My Once-A-Week 3-Hour Cleaning Marathon

I only clean once a week on Mondays and just wash dishes and wipe counters on the other days.  I do, what I like to call, a cleaning marathon.  It takes me 3 hours to clean my home - that is TOTAL for the week.  Remember, I don't have many dishes because I haven't had to cook dinner meals since October with freezer cooking, so dishes are very minimal most days, except on baking days.  I also get all of my laundry done on Mondays, saving the towels/rags for last after my cleaning is finished.  I start a load first thing Monday morning.

Your house should stay clean for a week if everyone picks up after themselves.  My house stays "picked-up" (most of the time) meaning I make my daughter and husband pick up after themselves and then I pick up after myself.  If you do this all the time you shouldn't have to go through the house and pick up before you do your weekly cleaning.

Here is my routine for my cleaning marathon and I almost always follow it exactly.  I will have my mp3 player on and water bottle nearby because it is a workout!  I'm not just slowly cleaning - I'm running, sweating and burning some serious calories and so I don't schedule a workout in for Mondays because this is it:

  1. Vacuum entire house - I start with the rug in the laundry room, one in the kitchen and the rugs in both bathrooms.  Then do the 3rd bedroom, hallway, dining room, living room and bedroom at a cardio pace.  My daughter vacuums her room, so it isn't included.
  2. Dust entire house - I use a damp cloth for dusting.  I dust all the bookshelves, dining table, computer armoire, desk, printer cart and surfaces in the bedroom.  Then I clean my glass coffee table with glass cleaner and a t-shirt scrap.
  3. Empty trash - empty all trash cans in the house.  
  4. Clean bathrooms - toilets, sinks, chrome fixtures and mirrors in both bathrooms.  I use my all-purpose cleaner for everything except the toilet bowl; I use comet there.  I use 1 rag for counters/mirrors/chrome fixtures and another rag for the toilets.  Tubs are once a month.
  5. Clean Kitchen - clean all surfaces and appliances
  6. Sweep all floors - sweep kitchen, laundry room, both bathrooms and entryway; I mop when needed or once a month because we take our shoes off at the door and if something falls on the kitchen floor, I simply clean the spot right then.  My floors have stayed clean this way and only need mopping monthly.

At the end, I throw all the rags and towels in the wash for my last load of the day.  I usually fold the laundry as soon as its dried in the dryer.  I've found if I put it in a basket, I tend to let it sit.  Monday nights are so rewarding because my house is sparkling, the laundry is done and I know the rest of the week can be spent doing other things besides cleaning!  

Unless you have a lot of small children, disability, etc. - you shouldn't have to clean everyday.  You can teach any child that is 5 and above (probably even 4) to pick up after themselves and not leave messes.  It's called being responsible and its something that we as mothers SHOULD be teaching our children.  If your husband is a slob, well you married him LOL!!!!! =0  Ok, so maybe you didn't know he was when you married him but you can gently prod him to pick up after himself.  Years ago, I told my husband that I wasn't his mother and he wasn't a kid and I had him come pick up something he left on the floor or a dirty dish he left in another room.  There is nothing wrong with that, we aren't doormats as women!  We are managers of our homes and we have to manage the mess - literally.

Hope this helped to give you a glimpse of what took me years to finally get my house in order.  Now it isn't an issue and this does work and makes time for other, more important things in life!

I do have those weeks though when everything seems to go wrong and my house gets really bad and I usually can't function correctly when my surroundings are in chaos.  Just saying this so you don't think I have it perfect every week - I have yet to meet the woman that has it all together all of the time!

Note: If once-a-week isn't for you, you can simply do one of the steps above a day, that would give you 6 days of 15-30 minute cleaning and a day of rest.  Say, Monday you vacuum, Tuesday you dust, Wednesday you empty trash, Thursday you clean the bathrooms, Friday you clean the kitchen, Saturday you sweep and then rest on Sunday!  Either way, as long as everyone picks up after themselves, there really isn't that much else to clean but the above 6; not counting monthly cleaning - tub, washing rugs, etc.