Spring Cleaning in Thirteen Weeks

My home is more or less decluttered. I mean, I don’t have to do more than a routine decluttering on a periodic basis to make sure that I keep up with problem areas. Drawers may get stuffed occasionally, but surfaces tend to be relatively tidy.  While I hardly keep the house perfect, I do have daily, weekly and quarterly chores. Technically, I probably should do some of these things monthly. I don’t. So there.

Daily Chores

  • Make bed
  • Swish-n-swipe bathroom
  • Evening clutter patrol
  • Clean up kitchen after dinner
  • Quarterly Chore (weekdays)

Weekly Chores

  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Get trash to curb
  • Mop kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Wipe down fridge shelves in prep for grocery shopping
  • Change sheets

This is not a lot of work in a decluttered house. It also means parts of the house could get really grody, as there is other stuff that needs to be done (after decluttering. You’ll never get to this stuff before decluttering). If you haven’t decluttered so that you only own what you can reasonably store, part of your weekday thing probably should be five to fifteen minutes of decluttering (if this matters to you. Hardly a moral imperative).

So, how do the Quarterly Chores work? Well, my list is actually thirteen weeks long rather than 12, but hey… Who cares? Stuff gets got to on a semi-regular basis, and that’s plenty good enough. This isn’t tool and die making, so precision isn’t that damn important. Your house will be different, but I wanted to give you an idea of how this works. Few chores take more than five or ten minutes, unless you’re starting from something really nasty (like my fridge recently. I added the wipe down every week thing because I NEVER want to do THAT again!) Another thing that you should notice is that I do have some regular decluttering of places that in my house tend to collect it. I think it’s something like a quarter of the chores. If you do it every three months, you’re going to find that you’re looking at a five minute job after a year or so.

Are there things missing from this list?  Oh yeah.  Absolutely.  If it becomes truly problematic, I’ll add ‘em to the list and have a longer rotation.  I don’t care about perfection, but just that detail cleaning gets done somewhat regularly. What I won’t do is try for more than a few minutes a day cleaning.  I’ve proven time and again I won’t do it, so it’s better for the chore to be broken down and put into a long rotation than do it “perfectly.”  I cannot urge anyone who is Housework Challenged strongly enough not to try for “perfect.” You’ll never live up to perfect.  Good, on the other hand, is completely possible to maintain.

I put the list under a cut because, it’s LOOONG.

Quarterly Chores

Week One

  • KITCHEN: Declutter Fridge and Calendar board
  • KITCHEN: Declutter Pantry Cabinet
  • KITCHEN: Declutter Spice Cabinet
  • KITCHEN: Declutter under sink
  • KITCHEN: Declutter baking cabinet

Week Two

  • DINING ROOM: Polish chairs thoroughly
  • BATHROOMS: Wash Bath Mats (NO DRYER!)
  • DINING ROOM: Polish Silver
  • LIVING ROOM: Declutter Entertainment Center (Including cabinets)
  • KITCHEN: Clean Cat’s Water and Food Bowl. Dust off Cat’s food bucket

Week Three

  • BEDROOM Declutter a desk or bureau drawer
  • BEDROOM: Wash Curtains
  • BEDROOM: Declutter Plant Stand
  • BEDROOM: Declutter Filing Cabinet
  • BEDROOM: Polish Furniture with Pledge

Week Four

  • HALLWAY AND DOJO: Declutter Printer Table
  • HALLWAY AND DOJO: Declutter bookshelves
  • HALLWAY AND DOJO: Pledge dust bookshelves
  • HALLWAY AND DOJO: Shine Mirrors
  • HALLWAY AND DOJO: Dust baseboards and get cobwebs

Week Five

  • KITCHEN: Scrub Down Counter Tops
  • KITCHEN: Declutter Tupperware
  • KITCHEN: Scrub Down Small Appliances
  • KITCHEN: Scrub down kitchen faucets
  • KITCHEN: Clean off top of fridge

Week Six

  • BATHROOM: Scrub around entire commode
  • BATHROOM: Dust Baseboards
  • BATHROOM: Scrub Bathroom Mirrors
  • BATHROOM: Scrub Tub
  • BATHROOM: Declutter a Cabinet

Week Seven

  • LIVING ROOM: Clean Windows
  • LIVING ROOM: Vacuum Under Cushions
  • LIVING ROOM: Clean Ornaments
  • LIVING ROOM: Vacuum Under Furniture
  • LIVING ROOM: Clean glass and electronics

Week Eight

  • JUNGLE ROOM: Clean and declutter shoe shelf
  • JUNGLE ROOM: Clean Dragons (Yes, I do collect something).
  • JUNGLE ROOM: Clean Windows
  • JUNGLE ROOM: Declutter generally
  • JUNGLE ROOM: Sweep and Mop floors

Week Nine

  • KITCHEN: Polish Cabinet Doors
  • KITCHEN: Wipe Down Baseboards
  • KITCHEN: Scrub Large Appliances
  • KITCHEN: Clean Out Fridge
  • KITCHEN: Run Self-Cleaning Oven Cycle

Week Ten

  • BEDROOM: Wash Comforter and Shams
  • BEDROOM: Wash Windows
  • BEDROOM: Clean Mirrors
  • BEDROOM: Declutter Vanity
  • BEDROOM: Dust Baseboards

Week Eleven

  • DINING ROOM: Run china through gentle dishwasher cycle and dust hutch
  • DINING ROOM: Clean Corner Cabinet Thoroughly
  • DINING ROOM: Dust Baseboards
  • DINING ROOM: Wash Windows
  • DINING ROOM: Declutter Hutch Drawers

Week Twelve

  • BATHROOM: Vacuum The Prince’s Bathroom Vent Fan
  • BATHROOM: Vacuum My Bathroom Vent Fan
  • BATHROOM: Vacuum Muscle Boy’s Bathroom Vent Fan
  • DAUGHTERROOM: Tidy room (She doesn’t live with us full-time or this would be her baby!)
  • DAUGHTERROOM: Dust and Vacuum thoroughly

Week Thirteen

  • WHOLE HOUSE: Windex light switches
  • WHOLE HOUSE: Windex Door Knobs
  • WHOLE HOUSE: Dust Picture Frames
  • WHOLE HOUSE: Clean glass lighting fixtures
  • WHOLE HOUSE: Clean Front Door

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