I don’t really like cleaning, but I love a clean house. I used to pile on all my cleaning on weekends or try to get it all done the evening before I have company coming over. But once I heard about this method of cleaning your house in 20 minutes a day, I knew I was hooked. Not only does it take less time overall, but it also keeps it more clean overall for longer. It reminds me of a saying my parents always said – “a stitch in time saves you nine”. You’re house is rarely getting to the state where it needs a huge clean up because you’re keeping it tidy constantly.
The plan I’m about to show is what works for us. We’re a small family of two people and a little dog in an apartment, so you may want to change this a bit if you have a bigger family or house. That being said the same principles apply and you can make this even easier on yourself if you follow a couple of little tricks I’ve found to help you keep in the habit.
Have a spot for everything to go when you get home
I used to be one of those people who just threw everything down and crashed on the couch as soon as I got home from work. The next morning I’d be scrambling to get everything ready for work and dump all my stuff from the day before all over the place. It wouldn’t take long for things to pile up throughout the apartment.
Now I make a point of taking a few minutes when I get in the door and put my keys and purse in the same spot, sort the mail (recycling vs. desk), unload any groceries and empty out my lunch bag. No more clutter at the door and no more racing around for stuff in the morning. (I wish I had a mudroom like this to put everything after work!)
Do The Dishes Right After Dinner
I know that after making dinner, the last thing you want to do is wash dishes, but if you get in the habit of doing it that night it will save you more time in the long run.
We’ve even got into a habit where I make dinner while Garrett washes the cooking dishes as we go. That way we’re both in the kitchen spending time together and when we wake up in the morning, its to a nice clean kitchen.
Make Your Bed Every Morning
For some people this isn’t very important, but for me I find it makes a huge difference to how tidy the bedroom looks. I also love the feeling of slipping into a nicely made bed every night. Its much nicer than trying to unravel a ball of sheets every night before I go to sleep.
That being said, sometimes Whiskey ruins this plan and I come home to a wound up pile of pillows and blankets anyways.
This is the original list I found and use to this day. I wish I remember where I got it from, because it was so helpful. You do one task below each day instead of trying to clean everything at once. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and then when the timer goes off you know how much more time you have left. This helps you from getting off task and or slowing down. 20 solid minutes are much more productive than an hour of procrastinated work.
1. Surface clean living room and kitchen (pick up stray items, dust, sweep, vacuum).
2. Clean bathrooms (toilets, showers, floors, walls, mirrors)
3. Surface clean bedrooms (put away clothes, toys, dust)
4. Clean all interior windows
5. Surface clean living room and kitchen
6. Clean all door knobs, phones, remote controls, switch plates, banisters and keyboards
7. Clean bathrooms
8. Sweep and vacuum all floors and stairs in the house.
9. Surface clean bedrooms
10. Deep clean living room (mirrors, baseboards, dust artwork and trinkets)
11. Clean bathrooms
12. Clean out closets (hang up anything that has fallen – jackets, hats, etc, straighten towels and sheets in linen closet)
13. Deep clean bedrooms (organize drawers, check for dust bunnies under the bed. dust all surfaces, artwork, fans and lights)
14. Surface clean living room and kitchen
15. Deep clean bathrooms (clean inside medicine cabinets and drawers, inside of garbage cans, top of mirrors, lights, tile and mop floors)
16. Clean out refrigerator, organize pantry and note anything that needs to be bought
17. Clean entryway, sweep porch and clean out the car
18. Surface clean bedrooms
19. Surface clean living room and kitchen
20. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house
21. Surface clean bathrooms
22. Deep clean kitchen (scrub appliances, wash trash cans, base boards, wipe down all surfaces and cabinet doors, straighten cabinets)
23. Surface clean bedrooms
24. Clean something that you’ve been meaning to do (wipe down all light fixtures, deep clean your stove, organize your desk)
25. Sweep and vacuum all floors.
Sometimes if I have more time I will do the next day too or start on something that I’ve been putting off, like organizing the medicine cabinet. Even with this list I tend to deviate and do things out of order, but for the most part this general plan has really helped me keep our place clean…most of the time. There are still those weeks where we’re working like crazy or one of us is sick and everything is forgotten, but even then I find 20 minutes of cleaning a day goes a long way to making you feel better.