In this age of government mandated quarantines, you may be without the outside cleaning help you’ve come to rely upon. A loyal reader asked our advice for cleaning routines in this “new normal.”
We recommend the “Tackle a Different Task Each Day” approach and offer this Sample Schedule — Adjust as necessary
• Monday: Clothes Laundry — gone are the lenient days for rewearing clothing — be diligent about single wear/use everything
• Tuesday: Kitchen — scrub and sanitize everything (but the floors)
• Wednesday: Bathrooms — scrub, sanitize and sparkle all hard surfaces
• Thursday: Floors — shake out rugs, sweep, mop, vacuum
• Friday: Linen Laundry — Decide the frequency you want for changing the linens. If your household produced a lot of clothes laundry consider doing towels and bed-linens separately
• Saturday/Sunday: “De-Clutter” — pick up and put away anything out
Rule #1 This new normal requires a new approach:
You’re NOT duplicating a professional housecleaner’s approach. They were paid to deep clean and dust picture frames and reflective surfaces. YOU are dusting, vacuuming and sanitizing to maintain a healthy environment.
Rule #2 Eliminate not-in-use rooms — you’re not entertaining visitors
Your cleaning service may have cleaned your house top to bottom. YOU should only clean rooms and areas that are in use. To ensure you don’t overdo it and tire/bore/burn-out from this large and looming task, focus on the priorities: a safe household to lift your spirits while you are spending more time at home.
STEP 1: Declutter so you CAN clean
Before cleaning, clear your surfaces so your scrubbing efforts aren’t frustrated by starting and stopping to put items away.
STEP 2: Create a Sustainable Schedule: think task-batching
It may turn out that you HATE wiping down countertops but you love scrubbing tubs and showers. Your kids may discover they like going systematically through the house wiping down doorknobs and light switches but abhor dealing with the vacuum. Barter, get creative, incentivize if you must!
STEP 3: Daily must-do’s keep contagions away
A task-a-day works for the sweeping categories like floors and bathrooms but doorknobs, light switches, keyboards and remotes (the high use, high touch) items in your house are daily “musts.”
If cleaning is new to you – be especially open to tweaking your schedule. Announce to your family if you don’t live alone, that the whole schedule is flexible – and it’s all one big experiment.
We are not working hands-on in homes right now but we are available by email, phone and text to support your efforts. We are still your cheerleaders! Let us know what you’re up to.