One of the things I often notice while perusing blog posts and videos on minimalism is the constant assertion that time is saved in house cleaning. As a stay-at-home mom/wife/homemaker, lessening my cleaning time has always appealed to me. But I don’t think it’s as easy as becoming a minimalist and/or decluttering some items.
While there is a strong amount of truth in stating that decluttering and minimizing life helps decrease the amount of time spent cleaning, there is also an equal amount of truth in stating that the time saved really depends on how one cleans.
Decluttering your home and minimizing possessions is great for surface area. The time saved in cleaning is evident when you no longer have to pick up multiple items before wiping a counter or vacuuming a floor.
But.. and this is where things get serious… if you don’t keep up with your cleaning, no matter how much decluttering you’ve done, you won’t save any time.
Clean House Reality Check
In order to save time cleaning, you actually have to clean. For example, if you put off cleaning a bathroom for a couple of weeks then it will take you longer to scrub the sink, tub, and toilet. You will have to work harder at it despite the cleared off surface area. And if you don’t sweep up your floors regularly, they will take longer to clean as eventually the dust and dirt starts to stick.
So what is a person to do when sometimes cleaning just isn’t an activity you want to do?
Make a schedule.
Yes, a cleaning schedule.
It doesn’t have to be anything grand or amazing. You don’t need a new planner or special printouts to achieve this. All you need is a piece of paper or a notes app on your phone and you are set to go.
My Cleaning Schedule
I have recently created for myself a cleaning schedule. I did this because, just as I mentioned above, time was not being saved. I was putting off my cleaning and the buildup was starting to make the process take much longer than it needed to take.
My schedule is very simple. It’s more of a big picture schedule, not a deep cleaning routine or anything of that nature. There are minor areas that I clean daily and some bigger things that I only do when my kids break from homeschool. You’ll see what I mean…
Dishes – both afternoon and dinner
Laundry – one load a day (yes, for real)
Sweep main floor space – our main space is the living room, kitchen, and dining room – they flow as one continuous area, and we have a parakeet so a daily sweep up is very important
Sinks and mirrors in the two bathrooms
Tubs and toilets in the two bathroom
Dusting throughout house
Vacuuming bedrooms and hallway – the only areas in our house with carpeting
Scrub kitchen sink
Every Five Weeks
Mop main floors
I know, you are shocked that mopping is only every five weeks. But the truth is, if I keep up with the main floor sweeping (I have a sweeping stick vac and a dust mop – what I use depends on my mood), I don’t have to mop constantly. I can wipe up any spots or spills easily and save the big mopping for a time when my mind isn’t consumed with teaching two different grade levels and managing a house.
You might also notice that I have no major tasks for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. That is because my husband works what is called four tens. That means he works ten hours a day, Monday thru Thursday, and he is off work Friday thru Sunday. The last thing I want to do is fill his time off with watching me do house chores. The poor guy already has to endure grocery shopping…
Clean and Peaceful
Creating a cleaning schedule has been really helpful for me. Keeping up with the chores on a regular basis actually does allow me to say that minimalism decreases cleaning time. But again, it has to be kept up with. If I were to just put things off, the dirt and grime would accumulate and my husband’s precious days off would most certainly be filled with housecleaning. No one wants that. We prefer our weekends to be free for family time and relaxation – the things that matter most.
How do you approach cleaning in your house? What are your thoughts on minimalism decreasing cleaning time? I would love to hear from you in the comments.