Clean by Your Calendar – Phase 1

I have a hard time keeping my house clean. I feel like I barely get the minimum done….and the “deep” cleaning is constantly ignored.  So, after several trials, (and some tips from the Flylady and her “Sink Reflections” book) I came up with a plan that slowly takes care of all the deep cleaning, little by little.  That way, I can just do the basic every week (and a smidgin of the deep stuff) and the whole house is much more manageable.

Here’s how I do it.

First – divide your house into FIVE zones that are even in the amount of time they take to clean.  For my house (an 1800sqft ranch with basement), the zones are:

  • Porch & Foyer & Mudroom & Living Room
  • Kitchen & Dining & Back Patio
  • Kids Bedrooms & Bathroom
  • Master Bedroom & Bathroom
  • Basement Living Area & Laundry/Bathroom

If you like color coding, assign each zone a color.  Then, use your calendar, and write a zone (or color) on the Sunday starting each week.  I always start with the Porch zone….this will go on the first Sunday space of the month (even if that month doesn’t start until Wed….write it on the Sunday space)

Keep going down the calendar with a new zone on each Sunday.  If you have one left at the end, repeat the first zone again.

Next – Go through each zone with a notebook.  Make a list of all of the little stuff that needs to be done in order to perfectly clean the zone.  This includes:

  • cleaning light fixtures
  • scrubbing baseboards
  • washing walls
  • cleaning door & window tracks
  • washing curtains

You can download my lists (clean by your calendar zone details) for some ideas.  Once you have your own lists…print them out and keep them on a clipboard or in a notebook.  You will be crossing off items as you get them done.

Don’t be scared….it’s going to take months to get it all done….but that’s OK.  Most of these items don’t need to be done more than a couple of times each year.

Last – put it into action.  Each day of the week….set aside 10 or 15 minutes.  Set a timer so you don’t do too much.  Choose one thing off of the list from that zone, and do it!  Slowly over time, you will complete the whole list.

If you can’t get it done everyday, that’s OK….a few things done is much better than none!  Keep in mind that this will get all of the deep cleaning done over time….it’s not going to be an immediate fix, but each week will show improvement in a new area.

Don’t forget to enlist the kid’s help.  When they come to you asking for extra chores (to earn money or marbles), show them the zone list for that week.  One 10-15min job earns one marble or whatever money you agree upon.

Good Luck!




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