Friday, September 12, 2008

Cleaning Card Box

I have had a few friends ask me about my cleaning cards so I decided to share this idea. I converted a stationary kit into my cleaning card box. You could also buy a cheap index card box. I have the following listed on my cleaning cards:

Organize the pantry
Wash down doors, walls, and cupboards
Scrub the bathtubs
Organize a closet or drawer
Mop floors
Clean out the fridge and freezer
Wash the widows and mirrors
Wash bedding

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday I complete a cleaning card. Then I put it in the back of the box so that all of the chores get done before I start over again. On Saturdays I usually assign one card to each family member.

Every morning I vacuum, unload the dishwasher, throw a load of laundry in, and wipe down the bathroom counters and mirrors if needed.

There are two phrases that I try to live by. The first one is the "Only touch it once " rule. In the morning when I get out of bed the first thing I do is make my bed. Instead of putting a dirty dish in the sink I rinse it and put it into the dishwasher. If I get ingredients out for dinner then I put them right back after I measure out how much I need. This was hard for me to get use to for the first week but now it is so easy! It has also amazed me to see how clean my house stays. I have taught my kids this habit so they also make their beds every morning. If they get out a toy they clean it up when they are done.
The second rule I have adopted is "Everything has a home". Part of what makes the "Only touch it once" rule work is having a place to put everything away. We have a toy room. I keep all of the big toys in the toy room and keep the puzzles, games, action heros, cars, barbies, and everything else that has a lot of pieces in closets. I took pictures of all of these toys and put them into a photo book so that my kids can remember what toys there are to play with. This has also been a big help. The kids rooms stay clean because all they have to worry about is making their beds in the morning. The toy room stays clean because if I get a toy out for them then they clean it up when they are finished playing with it.

I know different things work for different people but so far this has been the best way for me to keep my home clean. I really feel like I spend less time cleaning then I used to. I maybe spend 15-20 minutes cleaning every morning.