Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cleaning house

I am working on some projects at the moment, but none are quite at the point of sharing, so I thought I would do a post on cleaning. I have been meaning to address the topic of keeping our house clean and organized for a while, but this seems like a good opportunity since I don't have a lot of other items to share. When we first got married, we lived in a small apartment, actually a medium-sized apartment and then a small closet-sized apartment. I did most of the cleaning. It usually took me 30 minutes to an hour to clean the entire place. So, it really wasn't such a big deal. When we moved to our house, we continued what we were used to. This led to me being completely overwhelmed when I first tried to clean the house from top to bottom and it took me 8 or 9 hours. Yup. An entire day of cleaning. So, J and I had a sit down discussion where I expressed that we would either need to divy up the cleaning tasks or hire a maid service. We opted for the former. And things have actually been pretty harmonious ever since. The only thing I have to be careful of is to not remind him to do something. He relegates his tasking to certain days of the week, and I get accused of nagging if I remind him. Thankfully, he is really good at doing the tasks he has been assigned. I, however, do my cleaning tasks when I notice something is looking dirty or if we are having company. (If you have been over to our place, the house likely looks better than it does on a day to day basis).

The breakdown.

J's tasks:
J is in charge of vacuuming. He gets home from work earlier than I do on Fridays and does this as soon as he is home. We vacuum every week. This is usually necessary as I make a mess with projects and cooking. Also, after our bed bug incident in 2009, we both like to regularly vacuum. I will spot-clean vacuum every once in a while. J is much better at this than me because, although our vacuum is really nice, it is very heavy.

Taking out the trash and recycling (which I obviously do if he is out of town).

Doing the dishes. I am so thankful to J's parents for this one. His mother cooks and his father does the dishes. This 'norm' got passed down to J such that he just gets up from dinner and starts cleaning. :) I love it.

Organizing. While I like things to be clean (i.e. 99.99% germ-free), I don't always put things away. As my parents know, I have never been particularly good at this. J is the opposite. He doesn't wipe things down with Clorox, but he gets in organized moods (usually on Saturday or Sunday mornings), where he puts a lot of things away and organizes them.

TV and media maintenance.

My tasks.
Bathrooms. I can't say that I particularly love this task, but I do love a clean bathroom. And when J lived a bachelor life with his roommate, his bathroom was not clean. Bathrooms have the ability to get nasty pretty easily. I usually break up my tasks so that I am not cleaning a whole bathroom at once. It becomes a monumental task. Here's what usually happens (along with some tips).

Toilets: about once a month, I visit all the toilets with a scrub brush and Clorox toilet cleaner
Sinks: The sinks we use a lot get cleaned at least once a week with whatever all-purpose cleaner is closest and a paper towel or sponge. If you want to make your sinks really shine, use some Windex on them after the cleaning to make them really pretty. Another tip: if you have soap scum buildup, use a fabric softener sheet (slightly damp) to scrub the soap scum away. It really works.
Showers: I would love to say that these get cleaned more often, but it is usually more like once a month for our shower and whenever it is going to be used for the other ones (showers not in use and dry stay pretty clean). Deep cleaning the shower like I shared in this post happens around annually (at least that's the plan). Normally, I use a shower cleaner and sponge or scrub brush to wash the shower.

For the shower doors, I use a fabric softener sheet right after my shower when the doors are still damp. I then rinse them off. After squegee-ing the water off them, I use some Windex on the glass. This really works, even if you have build up on your doors.

Dusting. I usually do this when I notice a bunch of dust on stuff. Neither of us like dusting, so this will definitely be handed off to our future offspring (someday) when they are old enough. (That's what kids are for, right?)

Floor cleaning. After J is done vacuuming, I will occasionally use wood cleaner on the hardwoods and clean the kitchen and bathroom floors. This happens around once a month. But we do not eat food that falls on the floor either.

Watering plants. Usually when they look droopy. I am astonished I haven't killed any.

Wiping down the counters. Although J does a great job with cleaning and organizing dishes, the counters usually need a wipe down about once a day (or more).

Cleaning jewelry. Obviously, since it's mostly mine. I mention this because I wanted to share an amazing tip. If your jewelry needs some TLC, try this link. It really works.

Joint tasking.
Laundry. This is usually done by the person who notices it is needed. Sometimes one of us will start it and the other finishes it or puts the clothes away. I usually always initiate cleaning the sheets and towels.

Running the dishwasher. We share starting the dishwasher and putting the dishes away.

Problems. Things break. We usually have to deal with this together.

Anyway, this is what has worked for us. And keeps us sane. I still sometimes think about getting a cleaning lady, but I would like to try to hold off until we have kids. I think it would be totally worth it at that point. How about you? What cleaning schedule has worked for you? Do you divide tasks to make them more manageable?

Hope you are all having a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha, this post made me laugh at many parts. The "nagging" thing is totally relateable (I too try to keep my mouth shut) & the task list split-up is pretty similar. Can definitely picture that as a conversation we'd have out loud together when we catch up about J & Mark :-)