Wednesday, May 16, 2012

There is a new cleaning lady in town {Bi-Weekly Cleaning Checklist}

In an effort to keep up with my money saving tactics I have reluctantly let go of my cleaning service and turned to myself to complete these daily tasks.  If you've read this post you know that I originally hired someone else to clean my two bedroom apartment 6 months after having my first child.  At that time I was simply trying to keep up with working full-time and being a full-time mom and my husband was still figuring out how to care for anyone else but himself.  Things have since changed a little and I am receiving more support around the house and so thought I might as well save the couple hundred dollars I spent a month and do the work myself.  Only problem is, I have somewhat forgot how to clean...

Growing up I was always cleaning.  Not for enjoyment but for MONEY!  This was my first paying job.  I can't recall exactly when I began cleaning my parents house but I know it was probably around middle school age if not earlier.  I always had a goal in mind as to what I was going to save up for and so doing odd jobs was the only way to make that cash.  {This is a total side story but when I was a lot younger I wanted to buy a horse so I went around the neighborhood asking anyone that would let me to pull the weeds out of their garden for a price.  Obviously this was a few dollars here and there but I was determined to save up for that horse!  Needless to say, after a summer of pulling weeds I ended up going out and spending my money on something smaller and more immediate but I think it taught me a good lesson on working}

Flash forward a few years and I still had my eyes set on having the money to buy things when I wanted them and not having to wait until my birthday or Christmas.  This is where cleaning my parents house and others comes into play.  Every time I needed some extra cash my mom would put together a list of individual cleaning duties and then would price each one out as to how much she would pay me to do them.  I would then spend the day crossing off the ones that #1 were the easiest and #2 paid the most.  This then turned into a weekly job for me.  My mom would put together each weeks duties and I would cross them off as I went.  (Fellow mom's, keep this in mind for your kids).  My mom must have talked me up at work as one summer I even scored a weekly cleaning job for one of her coworkers!  Again, she would leave me a list on the kitchen table of what all she wanted completed that day.  I would spend 4 hours each week completing the list and checking them off.

You would think after all of these years of practice that I would be pretty talented at cleaning.  Well, I'm sorry to say I'm not.  I'm one of those people that enjoy having a clean home, it makes things feel more peaceful, however, I also can live with a small amount of clutter and dirt.  This is where the problem lies.  I'm ok with leaving the dishes dirty in the sink overnight if it means that I can spend more time with my son.  I don't make the bed every morning because I find it pointless and annoying.  I do make the bed at night though because I can't stand to sleep in a messy bed. (backwards I know)  When I made the decision to take over the cleaning I said to my husband, Luke, "I'm not even sure where to start when it comes to cleaning this place, and I'm not very good a cleaning." He agreed that I wasn't very good at cleaning, which made me upset a little but I asked for it I guess.

It's been a few months of Margaret the cleaning lady and I still can't seem to figure out what to do next.  I'm good at dishes, laundry and picking up because those are things that you can see need to be done and I do them as needed but when it comes to scrubbing showers, mopping floors and dusting I feel like I need a better system in place.  Sometimes I stand in the middle of my apartment thinking... "I know I should be cleaning something but I'm not really sure where to start???" Then I give up and drop the cleaning idea all together.

This is where my newest organizational tool comes in.  The cleaning checklist!  I'm really good at making lists and when I can visualize what needs to be done I don't waist time standing around trying to figure out what to do next.  My only problem with this is again, with my lack of cleaning knowledge, I didn't know what all to have on my list.  In comes Martha Stewart.  A little googling and up pops a weekly cleaning checklist  provided by Martha to helps out others who may need to be told to do such things like... wipe mirrors, flush the kitchen drain with boiling water and vacuum vents.  Considering my 2 bedroom apartment doesn't feature a Home Office, Library or Stairway I will be modifying this list to better fit my needs.  Also to better work with my schedule I'm going to break it up into daily tasks that I can fit into a 10-20 minute time period.  That way, after work I can spend 10-20 minutes cleaning SOMETHING and at the end of the week feel as though I accomplished a lot more!

Below is my first attempt at a bi-weekly cleaning schedule.  This may need to be modified as I go along but will work as a start.  Now every 2 weeks I will know that everything will get cleaned at least once... just like it did when my cleaning service did it... :(


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