My Daily Household Routine

I am really curious about the daily "cleaning" that you do every day to keep your house nice. What things do you do every day to keep things clean? I love reading others' housekeeping routines to help gauge where I might improve my routine.

My routine is a combination of Flylady and what I've worked out over the years as necessary.  I used to be an abysmal housekeeper.  I was an all or nothing sort of gal.  I would spend a week or more cleaning every single room in the house, from top to bottom, inside to out and then collapse in exhaustion convinced that housekeeping was hard work (and it is at times) and too much trouble to bother with.

Well...Then I married a man who helped me begin to break jobs down into daily tasks.  Who knew you could do a load of laundry every single day instead of waiting to do it once a week and feeling overwhelmed?  Who knew that every single time we showered (and that was every single day) we could hang our towel up to dry and use it again the next day?  And who knew that it was acceptable and okay to wear a shirt or jeans two times or even three before we washed them?  John took over laundry and taught me a great deal about how to streamline that task. That was a huge help. Then he took over vacuuming and for years he did that task too. 

I have several routines that I follow in a week's time.  There's my daily chore list which is straight forward and fairly simple and will keep the house looking nice for two or three days (remember there's just the two of us) and decent enough in those hectic times when I might not be able to do more for a couple of weeks. Then I do some heavier cleaning each week which is how I manage NOT doing a huge seasonal cleaning.

All of these tasks keep the house looking nice all of the time, but because you've asked specifically about my daily tasks those are what I will share.

First thing each morning, I throw back the covers and allow our bed to air.  I go through the house and open the curtains and in comfortable weather (not humid or damp) I open the windows for at least 10 minutes in each room.  There's nothing like sunshine and fresh air to perk a house up.  There's also nothing like sunshine to point up just what needs to be done in a room either, which is also why I open curtains every day!

My day generally starts in the kitchen or living room.  In the living room I fluff pillows, straighten side tables, and empty the trash if needed.  Then I  check the dining table to see if we need fresh napkins or a clean tablecloth or place mats there. Since John also uses the table as his computer station and we have a printer in this area, I check the trash can in this area.  I check both rooms to see if they must be dusted.  I confess that this is usually a monthly task for me in these rooms.

I usually check the laundry area as I unlock the back door each morning and fold any laundry that might have been left to dry overnight.  I usually load any dishes that were left overnight, usually just dishes we used for snacking or beverages.  If the dishwasher was full the night before I unload and put away and then load the overnight dishes in.

At this point I usually start breakfast, have coffee, etc.  I'll feed the animals and clean up the front porch, sweeping the floor, deadheading plants etc.

After breakfast I clear away any items left out, clean up dishes, and wipe counters.  Then I go back to our room, taking any laundry that needs to go that way with me.

In the master bath, I wipe down the counter and faucet, swish the toilet, wipe around the base and under the seat.  I usually hang the towels outdoors at least two or three times a week between washings just to freshen them up a bit.  I check to see if trash needs to be emptied in bath and bedroom.

I make the bed.  Put away clothes, straighten desk and dresser and my nightstand.

I usually check the guest bath to see if it needs any attention, and the craft room too if I've been working in that area.

At this point, I will gather all trash together and put in a fresh bag.  I don't empty trash cans every day, but I do empty them anytime they appear full because a room can be neat as a pin but a full trash can makes it appear unkempt somehow.

And then I sweep kitchen/baths/entry area, and vacuum dining room/living room/our bedroom if John isn't sleeping (work weeks).  If he is working I usually will do the vacuuming after he leaves in the evening, but I can sweep without disturbing his rest.  We vacuum more often than most folks.  I don't do it everyday but it's not uncommon to vacuum six days out of a week.  I know most people see this as a once a week task, but we've always considered this a daily chore.

I don't need to do much else most days.  I prepare meals, and clear up after them following each meal and that's it.  The last thing I do each evening before bed is to walk through the living/dining/kitchen areas and pick up any dishes, trash, etc and take to the kitchen.

Not including meals and clearing up my daily routine typically takes about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours each day.   We are not messy people by nature and we don't have children running about so that is a help, but I firmly hold the belief that any household may look at least half decent if just five tasks are done routinely: make beds, keep floors clean, put away clean laundry, wash and put away dishes, bathrooms swished and wiped down.   


Rebecca said...

I SO agree about the 5 daily tasks you boiled it down to in that last paragraph (although everyone has their own non-negotiables, I think.)

It definitely boils down to what what creates a comfortable and satisfactory environment for those who share the space & responsibilities.

IM said...

Sounds a lot like my routine, Terri! I have one question for you, though. Do you get dressed as soon as your feet hit the floor, or do you wait until your return visit to the master bedroom with your laundry? Around here, I seem to have all the energy to clean the house, but dressing seems to come pretty late in the day!

Hugs, Linda

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