Summer is over an school is back in session. That means that late summer sleep schedules and lazy, unplanned days have come to crashing halt. It also means that my unorganized summer ways have left my house in a dirty, unorganized mess! I’m kind of looking forward to some structure, and I’m going to kick it off by getting this place in shape. I’m going to focus on one space a day and try to get my life in order … I mean my house!
But before we dig in, I’ll give you some before pictures so you can feel better about your house.
Yeah, pretty embarrassing, but if you’re a mom I know you feel me. It happens. And now I’m gonna explode if I don’t get it under control!
I have three levels of cleaning in my little brain. Which one of the following describes you?
1. There is too much clutter and we don’t know where to put it all. We need a major change.
See: How I organized and simplified my house, room by room.
2. We’ve been out of our normal cleaning routine and have a big mess. Our stuff has a home, it’s just not in it! This post you’re reading now is just for you. This is what I will focus on today.
3. Things are relatively neat and clean. We just need to maintain it.
See: A one-thing-a-day cleaning schedule and pretty printable.
Set the time for 60 minutes!
I get overwhelmed even thinking about where to start so I’m setting my timer for an hour and going to work in one space per day. It really does help to actually set a timer. It just feels more doable to tackle something with a time limit. But ya gotta work hard and quick to get it all done! No dilly dallying!
The order here is intentional. I like to do the kitchen at the beginning of the week so I can also do a meal plan. I cleaned out our closets to donate and organize before laundry day. And I like to do the bathrooms and floor just before the weekend because we like to have people over.
- Monday: Kitchen
- Tuesday: Bedroom & closet
- Wednesday: Kids’ rooms and playroom
- Thursday: Laundry
- Friday: Bathrooms
- Saturday: Floors & home office
Day 1: Kitchen
I had to hustle to get all this done in an hour, but made it happen. If your organizing juices are still flowing after all this, go ahead and plan a menu for the week! And yeah, that’s a disco light up in the cabinet corner. You never know when the evening will call for a dance party.
- Clear off stuff that doesn’t belong on the counter.
- Throw out any food gone bad in fridge.
- Wash and put away dishes.
- Wipe down countertops and sink.
- Wipe down countertop appliances.
- Wipe down oven and stovetop.
- Wipe down inside and outside of fridge.
- Wash front of cabinets.
- Heat bowl of vinegar and half a lemon in the microwave 10 minutes, clean inside and out.
- Wipe down kitchen table.
- Tidy up drawers, cabinets and pantry.
- Take out trash and recycling.
- Extra credit: Use a Brillo Pad to clean silverware with spots, dirty pots and pans and stainless steel sink like this.
Day 2: Bedroom and closet
- Pull out clothing that doesn’t fit or you don’t wear.
- Take out items that don’t belong in the closet.
- Wipe down any dust in the closet.
- Tidy hanging clothes, drawers and shelves.
- Remove things that don’t belong in the bedroom (suitcases, kids’ stuff, projects …).
- Dust dressers, shelves, picture frames in the bedroom.
- Put fresh linens on the bed.
- Extra credit: Mend any clothing with holes or missing buttons.
Day 3: Kids’ rooms and playroom
Normally the kids are in charge of picking up their rooms and the playroom, but I’m doing it this time. That’s because I’m getting rid of stuff! They’ve had birthdays and dragged stuff from the donate pile back into the house. We have too much stuff (and furniture) in here! I’m not worried about cleaning the floors or dirty laundry aside from tossing it in the hamper yet. That fun is coming up in the next couple of days!
- Throw out trash/paper and junk toys in playroom and bedrooms.
- Take out toys that are not used, age appropriate or broken.
- Gather like toys in baskets.
- Straighten books on shelves.
- You can even put half the toys in the garage and switch them in a month.
- Tidy drawers and shelves.
- Dust and wipe down surfaces.
- Change sheets.
- Extra credit: Sort through kids’ art work to start the new school year. I do it like this.
Also see: How I organize my house with kids
Day 4: Laundry
There’s no way around this dreadful day. You can wash all the dirty clothes the day before or in the morning — whenever you get a minute — and spent the timed hour folding and putting them away. Not fun, but boy does it feel good when it’s done! I also cleared off the counter space, cleaned out lint in the dryer, wiped down the washer and dryer fronts.
Extra credit: Pull out clothes that don’t fit the kids anymore and make a donate pile.
Also see: Laundry room makeover and organization
Day 5: Bathrooms
- Remove countertop clutter.
- Clean bathtub. (I use dish soap to cut through grease!)
- Clean shower. It should just be a touch up if you do this.
- Wipe down counters and sink.
- Wash mirrors.
- Clean toilet bowl, seat and base.
- Replace towels with fresh set.
- Throw out old products.
- Make a note of products that need replaced.
- Tidy drawers and shelves.
- Restock toilet paper.
- Empty trash.
- Make DIY shower spray to keep that shower clean months!
- Extra credit: Clean stainless steel surfaces with a Brillo pad like this, wipe down fronts of cabinets and wash bathmats.
Day 6: Floors & office
- Vacuum all rooms and closets.
- Mop or swiffer all floors.
- Sort through piles of bills on junk mail on the desk.
- Tidy drawers and desk space.
- Extra credit: Clean windows and glass doors.
I did it! I finished my week and actually got it all done except folding a couple loads of my nemesis — laundry. My motivation was hosting a baby shower and it worked. I made a printable for the week because I plan on using it again in the future. Hopefully you can use it too.
Do you have any cleaning routines or tips to share! I’d absolutely love to hear them.
Click image for high-res version.