Currently, we are living in a 3000 square foot rental home. To some that may be average, but to us this house is quite large. In fact, it’s the biggest house my husband and I have ever lived in. I was nervous moving in thinking about what it would be like to clean the house. Since we’ve lived here almost two months now, I thought it would be interesting to share my cleaning schedule. It actually hasn’t been as daunting as I thought, thank goodness.
I will preface this post by saying that I’m naturally a pretty clean person. My kitchen is always clean, laundry is never piled up and we don’t have random toys strewn throughout the house. The girls know that their toys stay in the play room or in their rooms. They bring toys downstairs, naturally, but know that they belong upstairs and they put them away when they are done. I do dishes throughout the day as needed, I wipe down the counters multiple times per day and I rotate laundry as I go. It’s really not that hard to bring the dirty clothes with me on my way downstairs and throw them in the washer. This method has prevented me from doing multiple loads at once on any given day.
My biggest tip for keeping a big house clean
My biggest pet peeve is clutter. One super, super easy way to eliminate clutter is to simply not have a lot of stuff!! Our house is big, yes, but it is NOT full of furniture, toys, decor and other knick-knacks. Do we have wasted space? Yes…but if I’m being honest, I really like living in a big house and having space, even if we never fill up every single room. It’s nice to spread out and have room for the girls to play, I like being able to cook and watch television downstairs after the girls go to sleep without waking them and I like that we can comfortably host guests in our home without feeling overcrowded.
My house almost always appears clean because we don’t have a lot of stuff. The more “stuff” you have, the messier your house can get and the more time you have to spend cleaning it!
My cleaning schedule
I wish I had specific days where I did specific chores, but that’s just not me. Instead, I hit specific areas once a week (that’s the goal, anyways). Here’s how I break it down:
Our house has three bathrooms. To clean all three takes about 45 minutes. This includes the shower in the master, the toilets, the tub in the master and girl’s bathroom, the countertops in all the bathrooms and the mirrors in all the bathrooms. If I’m pinched for time, I clean just the master and skip the other two bathrooms since they are not used as often.
The floors take up the most time at roughly 1 1/2 hours. I clean all the hardwoods downstairs and vacuum all the carpets. It doesn’t seem like it would take that long, but for some reason this is how long it takes me. Clean floors make the whole house appear freshly cleaned in my opinion, so it’s a chore that’s well worth the time. Usually, I end up cleaning the hardwoods twice a week and vacuum once every two weeks.
The play room
Ahhh the messiest room of the house! One thing I LOVE about having a play room is the mess in there never bothers me. It’s an area dedicated to toys (and a foosball table, haha!) and the girls get so much use out of it. If someone stops by on short-notice, our house is never full of toys because we try to keep them in the play room as much as possible. But, nonetheless, I do clean it at least once a week. When it’s clean, the girls especially love playing in there because they can mess it up again, haha. This room takes me about 20 minutes to clean, which is strictly picking up and organizing all of their toys.
As I said above, I clean the kitchen as I go. If I cook, I do the dishes immediately. After we eat, I do the dishes. If we have a snack, the dishes are done right as we’re finished. There is nothing worse than having dishes pile up in the sink (to me, anyways), especially if food is stuck on them. In fact, I have never once let this happen in my own home. I would much rather spend 30 seconds here and there loading the dishwasher a few times a day rather than an hour soaking and scrubbing each dish every two days. To me, there is nothing better than a clean kitchen!!
Closets and drawers
Closets and drawers can get messy very quickly. One nice thing about having a large house is we have plenty of room for storage. Each kitchen drawer has an item dedicated to it – such as bills, John’s work papers, coupons (yes, I have a whole drawer for these!), tax information and more. I’m good about tossing out expired coupons and bills that have been paid. I never used to keep my papers organized but I’m working hard at that now and so far it’s paying off! We recently cleaned out our closets and got rid of ALL our junk when we moved from AZ to NC, so so far the closets have been super easy to maintain. I do plan on going through all our items once the seasons change and clearing out even more stuff.
All in all, I spend roughly 30 minutes – one hour each day cleaning. If I tackle a big project, such as the floors or baseboards, I spend more time. Cleaning is definitely something that can seem overwhelming, but if you break it down and tackle one “main” chore every few days plus stay on top of dishes and laundry, it’s actually not that bad. Another tip is to be willing to ask your spouse and kids to help out! My kids are 2 and 1, but they both help me unload the dishwasher, they put their toys away and my oldest puts her dishes in the sink when she’s done eating. John always takes out the trash, helps rotate the laundry, maintains the outside of the home and does additional household work anytime I ask (he’s a keeper!!).
For some people, having a specific, very detailed cleaning schedule is needed. For me, I more go with the flow and tackle projects that are necessary at the time. Every once in a while I’ll get in the zone and spend three hours cleaning, but more often than not I clean as I go.
Do you follow a cleaning schedule? How much time do you spend cleaning your house each day? Any tips on how to clean a big house?
photo credit: Flickr via Susy Morris