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Don’t Let a Mess Hijack Your Weekend!

Dirt never takes a day off. If you have kids, neither does the clutter. Keeping up with it all feels like a full time job and never leaves time to do the deep cleaning you keep promising yourself you’ll get to. Between work, school, sports, and (if you’re lucky) a social life, sometimes it feels like it’s all you can do to throw some dirty towels in the hamper and carefully wedge a few more toys into the closet.

 

So how do you stay ahead of the messes and maintain a beautiful home without quitting your job or sacrificing every evening and weekend? It doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds, but you do need to follow the same steps as the pros. One of the of the keys to efficient cleaning is implementing a specific, and repeatable cleaning process. Process cleaning allows professionals to minimize the spread of disease, germs, and bacteria, while increasing overall efficiency and improving cleaning times.

 

Basically, process cleaning breaks down very large jobs into smaller, more manageable chunks, and separates tasks that need to be done daily from tasks that can be done weekly, monthly or less regularly. Having a specific process increases accountability and ensures that fewer things get missed. In large, commercial buildings, a team of full-time custodians and maintenance workers systematically cleans virtually every foot of every surface, especially the floors, counters, furniture, glass, toilets, sinks, and high-touch areas. What they don’t do is deep clean all surfaces every day. Why not? Well for starters, they’d never sleep eat, or take a break. Ever! Sometimes we forget just how much surface area actually needs to be cleaned. For every 100 sq. ft. of floor space there’s typically at least 700 sq. ft. of surface area to be cleaned, including furniture, walls, and fixtures. In rooms like kitchens, or rooms that have a lot of decorations and furniture, that number can easily exceed 1,000 sq. ft. This means that a typical 3,000 sq. ft. home can have anywhere between 21,000 and 30,000 sq ft. of surfaces that need attention.

 

But there’s another reason that custodial teams don’t do every task, every day: not all tasks need to be done every day! For example, it’s a good idea to periodically clean your grout with a specialized tool called a grout brush, but if you did it every day, chances are, you’d never have time to do anything else. On the other hand, wiping down counters, especially in food preparation areas is something that should be done very regularly to help prevent the spread germs and harmful bacteria.

 

So how do I implement my own version of process cleaning in my house? Well, first you need to determine what tasks you’ll be doing daily, and which ones can wait to be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Everybody is different, but here’s a general guideline.

Daily

Weekly

Monthly

  • Wash dishes

  • Scrub kitchen sink

  • Clean and wipe down table

  • Clean kitchen counters

  • Clean bathroom counters

  • Sweep high traffic hard floors

  • Do one complete load of laundry

  • Organize pillows

  • Fold blankets

  • Make beds

  • Arrange paperwork and magazines

  • Pick up clutter (clothes, toys, shoes, keys etc.)

  • Make beds

  • Clean mirrors

  • Clean high touch windows

  • Empty trash cans

  • Thoroughly clean toilets inside and out

  • Thoroughly clean showers /tubs

  • Clean bathroom sinks

  • Sanitize doorknobs /light switches

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Mop hard floors

  • surface dust everything you can reach without a ladder

  • Clean out fridge

  • Change linens

  • Clean window sills

  • Clean doors and door frames

  • Spot clean walls

  • Dust fans and high areas

  • Dust decorations and knickknacks

  • Dust under decorations, books and small items

  • Clean fronts of cabinets

  • Wash baseboards

  • Clean chairs and bar stools

  • Clean out oven

  • Clean blinds

  • Vacuum edges

  • Vacuum under furniture

This is just an example of how to divide up tasks. You may choose to change the frequency of certain tasks to suit your household needs. For example, if you have a large family and/or pets, you may choose to vacuum and mop more regularly. Once you have your tasks divided, make a plan for how to approach the cleaning. If you don’t want to be stuck with a long “to-do” list every weekend, I recommend spreading out your cleaning tasks over the week. Here’s an example of a simple way to do this:

Mon/Wed/Fri

Tues/Thurs

Sat/Sun

  • Do every daily task

  • + 4 to 5 weekly tasks

  • Do every daily task

  • + 1-2 monthly tasks

  • Do every daily task

  • +Enjoy some time off.

It doesn’t matter what weekly/monthly tasks you choose to do each day, but it is important that your plan allows you to complete all your daily tasks every day, all your weekly tasks every week, and all your monthly tasks every month. Write down your plan on a calendar. Keep track of what you do each day. Your weekly cleaning calendar may look something like this:

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

  • All Daily Tasks +

  • Clean Mirrors

  • Clean Toilets

  • Clean Showers

  • Sanitize High Touch Surfaces

  • All Daily Tasks +

  • Clean Doors

  • Spot Clean Walls

  • All Daily Tasks +

  • Clean High Touch Windows

  • Surface Dust

  • Clean Window Sills

  • Clean Out Fridge

  • All Daily Tasks +

  • Clean Fronts of Cabinets

  • Clean Baseboards

  • All Daily Tasks +

  • Empty Trash Cans

  • Vacuum All Carpets

  • Mop

  • Change Linens

  • Just Daily Tasks

  • Just Daily Tasks

This is just one week so remember to rotate in at least four different monthly tasks on the next week’s calendar. By the end of the month you should have worked through all your monthly tasks at least once and all your weekly tasks about four to five times. Just don’t let yourself get behind. If you have kids, get them involved and hold them accountable. If you stick to your plan, you’ll always stay ahead of the dirt and clutter and you’ll never spend another Saturday trying to catch back up.

 

Still feeling overwhelmed? Call your local cleaning professional. That’s what we’re here for.