Cleaning Levels: Raise the Standard of Clean, Cleanliness, and the Quality of Your Life

When I moved to my first apartment, I would clean it when it got dirty. Then I would leave it alone and not do any additional cleaning until it got dirty again. The dirty house would make me angry or depressed. Then I would clean it again. Mostly I would clean when I was expecting company.

There would be extreme fluctuations between clean and dirty, and my moods would fluctuate accordingly. I never cleaned it enough to invite the queen or president for tea, but neither did I let it get bad enough for the health inspector to come knocking on my door. A graphical representation of my level of cleaning looked like this:

Before I raised my standard of cleaning, my house would fluctuate extremely from clean to dirty and back to clean.
Before I raised my standard of cleaning, my house would fluctuate extremely from clean to dirty and back to clean. | Source

This hub was inspired by Simone Smith as a Weekly Topic Inspiration. Thank you Simone.

From Dirty to Cleaner

Can you guess when people came over? That's right, it seemed like they only came over when it was really dirty. Most people wouldn't say anything, but I could see their eyes focusing on the messiest areas of the place. There were some things I hadn't even realized were messy until I saw them look at one pile or another. They just had become my normal. Some people, particularly relatives, would say something, and that would make me feel even worse about myself.

Visitors hardly ever came over to visit when my place was extremely clean. But when they did, and they tried to compliment me on the clean place, it was awkward for me. I felt guilty about the state of my apartment, and the compliment reminded me that the place doesn't always look like this.

One day, I decided to do something about this problem. I decided that the key to having a cleaner place is to clean it before it gets as bad. Once I did this, I realized that by raising the minimum threshold of cleaning, I was improving the level of cleanliness in the house.

I started cleaning up before things got as bad, thereby raising my minimum threshold of cleaning.
I started cleaning up before things got as bad, thereby raising my minimum threshold of cleaning. | Source

Raising my Standard of Cleanliness

Once I realized that I was raising the standard of cleanliness of my house, I decided that I should keep raising it from time to time. I saw that by raising the standard of cleanliness, I was showing myself and the world that I was worth this level of cleanliness. I kept the house clean for me, not for company. Keeping the house clean also raised the quality of my life. I was living in a cleaner, nicer environment. I was able to see all the pretty things I had bought, and they looked good. I had spent a great deal of time decorating the place, and the clutter kept people from being able to see how lovely my place really was.

I thought I should keep increasing the standard of cleanliness. This way, my house would always be at 80%. This seemed like an impossible goal, because it seemed like I was spending all my free time cleaning, and I had other things I wanted to do. I wanted to live life.

Now I am able to keep my house to a reasonable, even level of cleanliness.
Now I am able to keep my house to a reasonable, even level of cleanliness. | Source
Day Nine: Hub #21 of 100 Hubs in 30 Days
Day Nine: Hub #21 of 100 Hubs in 30 Days

Even Level of Cleanliness

How did I even my level of cleanliness to a reasonable level? I realized that I needed to clean something every day. Each day, I clean either the area that is the dirtiest, or the area that is on my list to target. I joined FlyLady, a free newsgroup of cleaning ideas, and followed some of her ideas. She sends email reminders and inspirational articles that really helped me in my cleaning.

I read a lot of cleaning books, and realized that I need to get rid of my clutter instead of trying to organize it.

Cleaning the house every day doesn't take any more time than emergency cleaning did. Instead of spending a whole weekend to clean the house, I just take a few minutes each day to pick up some things, throw away clutter, and wipe down some surfaces. Is it perfect? No, I don't even try for perfection anymore. It doesn't have to be spotless, because it won't be long before it gets cleaned again. I want a nice level feeling of clean whenever I enter a room.

By cleaning every day, the level of cleanliness in the house has increased, and I feel much better about myself. Sure it is possible to increase the level even higher, but I am satisfied with its current state. When visitors come, they see a house that is lived in. They see a house that is relatively clean.

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Comments 33 comments

Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 2 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Emunah.. You are definitely not the only one who cleans only for company. I have to treat myself as company to really get the house clean. It does make me feel special when it is clean.

Thanks Audrey for your input. I think that when I put off housekeeping, it tends to feel overwhelming, but once the job is started, it does become enjoyable to see the big difference it makes and to keep going. Housework is actually fun once you get started.

Thanks Dianna for your input. Streamlining and limiting the number of possessions does make the job faster and easier.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

It's only me and my hubby in the home these days, so cleanng is not too hard a task. However, over the past years, we simplified our furnishings and it's much faster and easier to clean. I love your methods and thoughts on keeping a home clean.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I enjoy housecleaning and always have. I just clicked on your link and joined 'Flylady.' Some days I need a little inspiration to get me going :)

Super hub and will share on FB. ~ Audrey


swilliams profile image

swilliams 2 years ago from Arizona

I enjoyed your article. My husband makes fun of me for cleaning only when guest are arriving. But I'm glad I'm not the only one! Lol! However a dirty house depressed and angry which forces me to clean. Good Article!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Reglad. A clean environment does help a mood, and makes it easier to open the door for company, and the company is less likely to look around disgusted or make a comment. There are many benefits to keeping your place clean.


Reglad 4 years ago

I really like your article. the truth is i vote for more cleanliness for any home and business environment. I manage a cleaning service business and this is what we preach. We preach cleanliness all the time, because we believe a clean environment breeds a healthy living and a happy people.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

Thanks EyesStraightAhead. The numerous FlyLady emails can get overwhelming. I get them in digest form and have them filtered to a special folder so they don't clutter up my inbox. They do serve as a good reminder from time to time.


EyesStraightAhead profile image

EyesStraightAhead 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

Wonderful! I am much like your first graph. FLY Lady overwhelmed me with emails and books to print years ago when I tried it!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

susanm23b, thanks. for visiting and commenting. It is true life is better in a clean house, although I do wish it just stayed that way without effort on my part!


susanm23b 4 years ago

I enjoyed this--great suggestions! I like a clean house too. I break down the tasks, make lists, do a little each day, my children help out--and our home is clean. Life is really better in a clean house.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA Author

I go back to the first graph from time to time as well, but I find just doing a few minutes each day makes the house more presentable for company, and akes me feel better about myself. I'm worth it!


carozy profile image

carozy 4 years ago from San Francisco

A very useful hub. After I tidy up I always enjoy how I can find things and how nice it looks. I'm also in the first graph you show... but I'm feeling inspired to change my ways.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks vocalcoach. It is so freeing and provides a great satisfaction to see a clean room - and clean house.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I have been cleaning/organizing my house all week long. This hub came along just at the right time. I love the combination of my cleaning, organizing and letting go of stuff. I feel more "CHI" flowing as I unblock areas by re-arranging furniture and making more room. Thanks. voted UP!

vocalcoach~


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Simone for the idea for the hub, your visit and your comment. Making cleaning a part of the daily routine does make life a lot simpler.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

I'm currently living more in line with your first graph, but the story of your own housekeeping improvement has inspired me to change my ways!! The argument you present is simple and straightforward. I've never seen graphs used to convince one to be a better regular housekeeper, but they really do the trick!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Denise.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Yes! I agree with acc12's comments. He was a master at time efficiency and your 'charts' amaze me! LOL


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks Koralee. That is a great saying for a magnet. It was my motto!


KoraleeP profile image

KoraleeP 5 years ago from Vernon British Columbia Canada

Great hub. It was so cute the way you presented it. And the graphs, fit in perfectly. I used to have a homecare client that had a fridge magnet that said:

"I cleaned my house last week, sorry you missed it." I thought it was cute.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 5 years ago from Orange County, California

These are wonderful suggestions. I love it!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you K9. Some people have always known this, but it was new to me that keeping thins clean is a better option!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

I really enjoyed your graphs, what a unique way to define your cleaning schedule and how it changed over time. Your point about "keeping" it clean more often rings very true!

Cheers~

K9


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks kcamp. I'm all about efficiency when I can get it.


kcamp01 profile image

kcamp01 5 years ago from Anniston, Alabama

acc12 and Gilbreth became the foundation of an amazing predetermined Motion time Study used in industries today to improve efficiencies. I love the use of industry techniques to improve household efficiencies.. Fun Article


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thanks acc12. I really couldn't show you any pictures of my house today!


acc12 profile image

acc12 5 years ago

Love the graphs - they make your hub really fun!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

Thank you dinkan for visiting, commenting, voting up, and sharing. I really appreciate it! I didn't like cleaning either, but now it isn't so bad. I find that if I don't let things get so bad, and just make it a part of my routine, it is pretty quick and easy.


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 5 years ago from India

Before I usually spend a few hours Saturday or Sunday cleaning the house. There are people who like cleaning, but I'm not among them. But once I started to clean more often and to start with one that I most hate to clean, I learned to clean very quickly and efficiently. So I'm sharing this hub with my lazy friends who hate to clean their houses even once in two weeks. vote up!!


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 5 years ago from USA Author

acc12 - I used graphs in a previous hub, and was having too much fun with it not to use them again, even though it is very nerdy. I am definitely not efficient when it comes to cleaning, but cleaning more often has reduced a lot of stress in my life.

nancynurse - thank you. I think we all struggle with cleaning especially in the winter, and with the holidays, we tend to have more company, but less time to clean.

Thank you both for reading my hub and commenting.


nancynurse profile image

nancynurse 5 years ago from Southeast USA

I liked your article and your examples. This is something I think we all or atleast I struggle with also especially this time of year when trying to slowly channge out decorations.


acc12 profile image

acc12 5 years ago

This reminds me of efficiency expert Frank Gilbreth, who wrote the book Cheaper by the Dozen. In his work on time & motion studies he found that if you handled each piece of paper (eg- the mail) only once & dealt with it, filed it or threw it out right away, it saved tons of time. Of course, he took efficiency too far, instructing his 12 children how to shower most efficiently (run the soap up one side of the body, then down the other)! Glad you found a happy medium for less stress/more cleanliness! Voted up.

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