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Cleaning My House the Easy Way

Updated on November 8, 2014

Help Me Clean My House!

I need help to clean my house! Cleaning my house is a challenge for me due to a medical condition.

I have trouble with endurance, so I cannot work long at a stretch. My condition also affects some aspects of executive functioning, like planning and starting work. I do fine with a lot of structure, but if I have to figure out how to handle a mess, my mind just goes blank. That is not my fault, nor is it a character flaw. It is just the way my brain works now. So I have to learn to compensate for that.

I have found a solution that is working for me. I use schedules that I found online to assign myself short tasks each day. I decided to post these here on Squidoo to help me keep track of them, and hope this collection might also help someone else with a similar problem.

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Clean House Poll I

Do you have trouble cleaning your house?

See results
I set my timer for 20 minutes when cleaning my house.
I set my timer for 20 minutes when cleaning my house.

Cleaning My House in 20 Minutes Per Day

The first list I found that really helped me was at Apartment Therapy. This handy dandy list gives me one job to do each day. I set a timer and work for twenty minutes. When the timer goes off, I am finished until tomorrow.

So far I have only been able to work continuously for twenty minutes one time. Usually I have to stop after about ten minutes and then do the other ten minutes after a rest period. That is fine. I hope my endurance will build gradually. I have been sick a long time. Until then it is okay to work in shorter chunks of time.

There are a couple of other rules that go along with this plan. First, I must wash my dishes after every meal. I wash my dishes by hand, and was only washing them once a day. I could not stand at the sink long enough, so this was stretching into an all day job, and it was very discouraging. Washing after each meal works better for me. There are only a few items to clean so it goes fast. I can wash all of them at one time without a break. If you use a dishwasher, then just make sure all of the dishes are in the machine after each meal and wash up any cookware you do by hand.

The second rule is to do laundry each day. With only two of us this does not make sense. I only want to do full loads unless I am hand washing my clothes which I like to do, but had to stop while I recover from my latest relapse. My adaptation of this task is that each day I carry the dirty laundry down to the utility room and sort it. I have a basket for lights and one for darks. When a basket is full, it is time to do a load. This prevents the laundry from piling up and getting ahead of me. It also saves me from having to carry a heavy, overflowing basket of dirty clothes down the basement stairs. If you have a mobility issue, you know how important this is.

If I miss a day with this plan, I do not worry about it. I just keep going. The important jobs, like cleaning the bathroom, come around often enough that a missed day is not the end of the world. If I get behind, I will not overwhelm myself trying to catch up. I will just start on that day's task and keep going from there.

This program may not work for someone who is very fastidious, but for someone like me who struggles to keep up with housework, this list is a step out of domestic chaos, bringing order to the house little by little, and that is fine with me.

Clean House Poll II

Clean and tidy kitchen
Clean and tidy kitchen | Source

Do health problems interfere with cleaning your house?

See results

This Book Helped me in Cleaning my House

I read this book several years ago, and it helped me a lot in keeping my house looking good. Aslett has many suggestions for selecting elements in your home to save you from work. Not all of them will work for anyone's situation, but everyone should find plenty of helpful advice.

I will be replacing my kitchen floor in the next few years, and I will be following Aslett's advice when choosing my new floor covering. The cream-colored flooring currently in my kitchen demands a lot of attention because it shows every crumb dropped. My next floor will look more like stone or brick to hide some of those crumbs until they get swept up.

Great ideas in this book. I just wish I had read it before I picked white tile for my bathroom floor!

Make Your House Do the Housework
Make Your House Do the Housework

With page after page of practical, environmentally friendly new ideas and methods for minimizing home cleaning and maintenance, this revised edition shows readers how to make their houses keep themselves in order.

 

Cleaning My Kitchen in 20 Minutes Per Day

Adding the kitchen to the housecleaning plan
Adding the kitchen to the housecleaning plan | Source

After I started cleaning my house in 20 minutes each day, I found another article about cleaning the kitchen in 20 minutes. I decided to try adding that to my routine. I have only been doing this for a couple of days, so I cannot comment on it yet. So far, I like it just fine and my kitchen is cleaner already.

There are a couple of rules with this one also. You are going to need to be sure to wash dishes and wipe down the counters after each meal, and sweep the kitchen floor everyday. Add your 20 minute task to these daily rituals and in one month your kitchen will be deep cleaned.

Tips I Like for Cleaning My House - Getting Rid of Clutter in Under 5 Minutes

Here is an example of what can be accomplished using small amounts of time. See how this woman got the cabinet under her kitchen sink decluttered and organized in less than five minutes. I love it!

I Love This Trash Can for Organizing My Recyclables! - Products I Love for Getting My House Clean

I like the recycling bins she attached to the backs of her cabinet doors. Recycling is a messy problem in my house. I am one of those people she talks about in the video who pile the recyclables on the counter until I can take them outside to the recycle bins. It really is tacky, but I have never figured out another system to work in my small kitchen.

I cannot find trash cans exactly like hers on Amazon, but I found this compact trash bin and I think it might work well for me. It takes grocery bags, which I like. It was designed for RVs so I am sure it is not going to take up a lot of room in my kitchen.

I am going to order a couple of these little guys and see how they work under my kitchen sink. I will report back when they come!

Camco 43961 Cabinet Mount Trashcan 3 quart, 5" x 11"
Camco 43961 Cabinet Mount Trashcan 3 quart, 5" x 11"

Mounts to the inside of a cabinet door. Perfect for my recyclables! Would also be great for a bathroom or next to/under a desk in a small office. So many uses for this compact trash can!

 

Clean House Poll III

Keeping a house cleaning schedule
Keeping a house cleaning schedule | Source

Would a schedule help you get control of your house?

See results

Some Days I Feel This Way About Cleaning My House

Do you ever feel this way about cleaning your house?

This Mop has Helped me in Cleaning my House

My Sh-mop has been serving me well for the past ten years. I have never had a mop last anywhere near as long as my Sh-mop has. I bought it when my daughter was three and she is getting ready to turn 14 next month.

I find the Sh-mop very easy to use compared to conventional mops. The head is very big, so you can cover your floor in less time. I also love the covers. When one gets dirty, just pop it off and slip on a clean one. Rinse the dirty covers out, then wash them with your laundry and they are ready for your next cleaning day.

I cannot say enough good things about the Sh-mop. I love this tool!

Sh-Mop Hardsurface Floor Mop
Sh-Mop Hardsurface Floor Mop

Especially designed for cleaning hardwood flooring, ceramic tile, marble, and vinyl. Shine-Mop also works well for ceilings, walls, and windows. The terry cloth cover of the Shine-Mop can be removed and washed. Shine-Mop includes swivel stick and one Sh-Wipe.

 

Clorox Wipes also Help me Clean my House

We use Clorox Wipes to clean in the library at school. That is where I learned how easy they make any light cleaning job. We get a lot of dust in the library, and whenever we have a spare moment we just grab a few of these wipes and start wiping off shelves and books.

Now I use them at home. I like the multi-packs because it makes it easy to keep one in the kitchen, and one in each bathroom. You might also like to have them in the nursery or playroom for quick clean-ups.

Grab a wipe and clean surfaces while you talk on the phone or while supervising a child's bath. Have a few minutes before leaving for the carpool? Grab a wipe and clean the fridge door.

More Helpful Tools I Like for Cleaning my House

Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges 15 Count
Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges 15 Count

My friend, Kim, turned me on to this sponge when she was helping me clean my house during my last relapse. Unhappy with the dishrags I used for washing dishes, she brought over one of these sponges. I started using it and found it really does make washing dishes go faster. The scratchy side makes cleaning stuck-on food a breeze. I have said goodbye to my dishrags, and just use the sponge now.

 

Update: My Organized Closet - Cleaning My House

My newly organized closet (Photo property of author)
My newly organized closet (Photo property of author)

I have been going at this housecleaning schedule for a little over a week now. I have had to miss two or three days due to a busy schedule, but I did not try to catch up the work I missed. I just kept going. I think that has made it manageable for me. Once you get behind, it is demoralizing and hard to catch up. I still see an impact from the amount that I am getting done and it makes me feel great.

Today's assignment was to clean out closets. As if I could even clean out one closet, much less multiple closets in twenty minutes! Have you seen my closets? Oh my! Some of them have almost eight years of clutter in them.

Case in point was my living room closet. Yes, I said "was", past tense; because, today I cleaned that closet out in twenty minutes.

Ordinarily I would have dreaded this job and put it off, because I would anticipate it would take all afternoon to clean out this closet. Not so. I just drug everything out of the closet that was not hanging up. Swept the floor, then put back what I wanted to keep. That took about twenty minutes.

The time limit kept me moving, forced me to make quick decisions and before I knew it the job was completed. I did not think to take a before picture, but I got an after shot which you see above.

I ended up with two bags of donations for Good Will, two coats to go to the dry cleaners, a box of breakables I thought had been lost in the move here, and a mirror I bought in 2004 to display keepsakes that I always meant to hang and never quite got around to. It is not going back into the closet, so I either have to hang it up or get rid of it.

I threw all of the hats, gloves, mittens and scarves into a laundry basket that is on the closet floor. Next time around I will go through that basket and decide what to keep and what to pass on to someone else. Meanwhile, it feels great to be making this progress!

February 16 Update: A Big Interuption While Cleaning My House

My messy bathroom closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved
My messy bathroom closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved
My messy bathroom closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved
My messy bathroom closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved

After being at school all day today, I decided to do my 20 minutes of cleaning tonight after supper. Tonight's assignments were to deep clean the bathroom (inside drawers, inside trash can, top of mirror, tile, mop) and to tidy up the pantry (canned goods, boxes and bags). I have too much clutter to deep clean very well, so this month I am using these deep clean days to declutter.

I was making good progress on one shelf in my bathroom closet when suddenly there was a plumbing emergency in the house. Yikes! I looked around for another adult to take care of the problem, but being a single mom, there was no one but me. Frischy to the Rescue! That's my motto!

I tried using a plunger, but that just made a bigger mess. Oops! The next step needed an auger. That was in the basement. That's where the washer and dryer are. So, not to waste the trip, I carried a basket of dirty laundry down with me, and started a load in the washing machine.

I brought the auger back upstairs and went to work on the stopped up drain. I finally got that problem solved, but now I was well into the second twenty minutes, had not even gotten the shelf finished I started on in the bathroom, much less set foot in the kitchen pantry. Plus, I had to add cleaning the toilet, inside and out, to tonight's list. I had not counted on that! And let's not even talk about that auger. Gross!

These are the days that make cleaning my house super challenging. Yes, I have been working on my house for the past hour, but who can tell? It looks just about like it did when I got home from school, except for that nasty auger. Blech!

Take a look at the photos of my closet above and see if you can tell which shelf I cleaned. Then answer the poll below.

Clean House Poll Number IV

Which shelf do you think I cleaned in my bathroom closet?

See results

February 20 Update: Clean and Tidy Linen Closet - Cleaning My House the Easy Way

Clean & tidy linen closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved
Clean & tidy linen closet | Photo property of author All Rights Reserved

This took a bit longer than 20 minutes, but I got the job done! This closet is still not as pretty as I would like it to be. I think I will be making another pass or two.

Someday I will have nice towels and matching storage baskets. But, in the meantime, don't you agree this is an improvement?

On the top shelf I used two baskets to hold bottles. One has cleaning supplies and the other has beauty products.

The next shelf down has two plastic shoe boxes I have used forever to hold cosmetics. I made a weak pass at them earlier in the weak, and they are no longer overflowing, but I need to go through at least one more time. I also decided to put toilet paper rolls on this shelf so we can reach them more easily.

The third shelf is the easiest to reach. I put things we need regularly. I also rolled our bath towels and stashed them on this shelf. I have a few in front, but there is another row of them in the back. I lined up the wash cloths in a plastic bin. Nice and tidy!

The bottom shelf is hard for me to use without bending over. I just put a few things on that bottom shelf. A pretty basket holds extra soap. I stacked the hand towels. Another basket holds extra tooth brushes and tooth paste.

I got some of my linen closet ideas from this video.

Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner, 4200
Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner, 4200

Compact robot floor cleaner runs up to 3 hours on single charge using microfiber cloths or most brands of disposable cloths.

Guided by North Star Navigation System to methodically clean open areas, around furniture and rugs, and along room perimeter.

Whisper-quiet operation; turns itself off when finished.

Low maintenance with no bins to empty or filters to change.

Measures 9.6 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep by 3.1 inches high; 1-year warranty.

 

A Robot to Help Clean My House! - Evolution Robotics Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner

I want one of these! As soon as I read about this Mint Floor Cleaner I knew I had to have one. I have all hardwood, vinyl and tile floors on the main level of my house. This little robot would be perfect to help sweep up all the pet hair and sand we track in.

I like the fact it used microfiber cleaning pads that can be wash and reused. The Mint is also cheaper than the Roomba.

There are many reason to love this floor cleaner. Just check out the great reviews!

Update: My friend bought this machine. After using it for a week she said she loves it. It gets the floor cleaner than her kids do, and she doesn't have to yell at it!

March 4 Update: Making Progress Cleaning My House

I have been using this schedule for cleaning my house for a few weeks now and I am noticing some improvements. Yes, there are still plenty of areas in the house that need attention. But, overall, the house is moving in the direction of becoming better instead of worse.

One way I know that things are improving is that the mess is starting to bother me more. I managed to clear my kitchen counters for a period of time, and now when I see clutter on the counter it bothers me until I deal with it.

The little piles and messes everywhere are bothering me a lot more than they used to, also. For a long time I was so accustomed to living with clutter and piles that I did not even notice them anymore. Now that I am making progress, I notice these messes and I want to get rid of them.

My life is so much easier in the areas I have addressed so far! This motivates me to keep going, getting rid of clutter, organizing what is left, maintaining my progress.

I have to confess that I have gotten a bit sidetracked this week, though. At the beginning of the week I was working on a grant request that was due on Thursday. No sooner had I gotten that finished up than we had a little foster dog move in with us. He has taken a lot of attention. Finally, to top the week off, we had catastrophic weather on Friday and spent hours in our basement under tornado warnings. Oh, and I spent yesterday out of town at a meeting!

All of this messed up my schedule pretty badly. I missed some of my 20-minute cleaning assignments. But, that is okay. I will just get right back on it today and keep going. I will not try to backtrack and catch up what I missed. I am just picking up with today's assignments and moving forward. It is okay!

Oh! I do want to mention that having the basement clean and tidy made being downstairs for the tornado warnings much more pleasant. It was also easier to get our evacuation bag ready, with everything organized. Life is just easier when you are organized!

Leave Me a Tip for Cleaning My House! The Easier the Better! - Thank you!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I work much better with a timer, and your plan is really helpful. The best thing you do, it seems, is remain guilt free. I think the guilt and the long list of things to do just drag us down. And Housework is never ever completed. So indeed every little improvement helps! Thank you!

    • beaworkathomemom profile image

      beaworkathomemom 4 years ago

      Great information. Even those without a medical condition can benefit from this lens.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      I cannot wait until I make enough income from Squidoo to have a full-time maid to clean my house...smiles! Seriously, I hate housework! But, I do love this page full of tips for cleaning my house.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      Of all the house cleaning lenses I've looked at today, this is by far the most motivational to me. I've clicked out to check out the method you are using, and I am highlighting this in my blog post today.

      My brain has a problem, not sure if it's a medical problem though, but it well could be!

    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      Yes, I found another helpful, personal and interesting lens by you!

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      I want a clean house but hate housework. Will try this

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I actually enjoy cleaning and I'm fortunate that, physically, it's not a problem. But time IS the issue. I just don't have enough of it most of the time, so cleaning quickly and efficiently is pretty important. Being uber-organized, as I TRY to be, really does help. So does keeping the house as clutter-free as possible. Oh, and making the man take his shoes off just inside the door. :)

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 5 years ago from USA

      A clean home is a blessing.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Let's see, invite over 5 friends and give them each one task. Then, when they are all done, have lunch! I don't know, for me I don't have the stamina I once did. The dusting gets neglected ... and I find I don't do all my chores in one day, but break it up across several days.

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 5 years ago

      I also try to do a little bit every day. I like cleaning the house, but get too tired if I try to do all at once.

    • profile image

      burntchestnut 5 years ago

      Great ideas. We want a clean house, but don't want to be overwhelmed with cleaning. I like using a Libman Twist Mop with cloth strips to wash a floor. You never have to wet your hands to wring out the mop and the mop does a great cleaning job.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I also suffer from a chronic illness and housework definitely is not getting the attention that it would in a normal home. I have started using baking soda and vinegar to do much of my cleaning but of course always keep my comet or ajax handy for the bathrooms. My husband carries my laundry basket down the stairs for me before he goes to work in the morning. Even that small bit helps so very much. Great article.

    • elizabethknows lm profile image

      elizabethknows lm 5 years ago

      Hi friend, one thing I do is tackle one room a day. seems to work.

    • buttonhead lm profile image

      buttonhead lm 5 years ago

      Great tips! I don't have a medical condition that inhibits my cleaning, and this is still very helpful. Doing things a little bit at a time really makes sense. Thanks!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Great ideas! I had the Don Aslett book, but I lost it in our house fire. I think we remembered the high points as we designed our new house, though. It's a wonderful book, very helpful.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      Love this lens and blessed! What great ideas are here - I particularly love the idea about filling baskets in the laundry room every day. Unfortunately, in my 160 year old house, my "laundry room" is in a hallway. Darn. All I need is a new house....

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      Great ideas here. Little by little each day seems a great way to get things done.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      friends ask me to help them clean and organize, am pretty good at it!

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      I find that if I tell myself "Think about how happy you'll be in 20 minutes when it's done",

      it helps me to get started. Getting started is the worst part for me.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      Yes, decades ago I worked out that breaking the housekeeping chores and pet grooming etc into daily bites over the week works best for me. I don't always get everything done, but it means at the worst, something only goes undone for a week. Great lens, thanks!

    • profile image

      Joan4 5 years ago

      As a senior, I do much better doing housework in short time segments. I usually make a timed list, but I like your way better. I do spread things out through the week. Saturday cleaning day does not work for me anymore! PS I love Don Aslett's books, too!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      My challenge in keeping a tidy house is staying focused long enough to accomplish something. Fortunately I have a routine with the dishes and laundry, so those don't pile up. We have no pets or children and that makes it easier.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I put baking soda in the toilet and pour plain vinegar on top and let it fizzle. Then I brush with the toilet brush. The soda and vinegar do all the hard scrubbing for me. :)

      I use the timer too when I need to do larger tasks and break them into segments. Makes the job more enjoyable. :)

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      The problem I have is clutter...nobody picks up after themselves. If I go through the house picking up the clutter, by the time I finish I'm exhausted. This is an excellent lens with some useful information and tips. Blessed.