According to my recent Time Audit, I spend 9 hours a week cleaning my house. I’m still not sure how I managed to spend so much time on my house, but I think it went something like this:
* On the weekends, I would do a half-day deep clean that would take 5 hours and piss me off exceedingly.
* Throughout the week, I would ignore the house, then do a bunch of cleaning all at once. So I would ignore the house on Sunday-Tuesday, then have to clean for three hours on Wednesday.
* The unaccounted for time must then be little things: putting the dishes away, wiping down the counter before making dinner, dealing with the laundry, and so forth. (I did to some cleaning every day, but only the bare minimum.)
Basically, my house would get dirty, I’d spend a lot of time cleaning it, let it get dirty again, and spend even more time cleaning it. It was inefficient and dumb.
So I came up with a system that seems to work a lot better and saves me time. It goes like this:
Every day, clean for 20 minutes
On the weekend, clean for 1-2 hours.
Total time spent: 3-3.5 hours
Time saved: 5.5 hours.
Why does this work? It’s because with the 20 minutes cleaning, the house isn’t allowed to get that dirty.
I’m finding that 20 minutes seems to hit the sweet spot where I do that one or two extra things that keeps the house up. So before, I would put away the dishes and sweep the floor, which would take 12 minutes, and then stop. Now I do that and still have another 8 minutes to fill, so I’ll put away the laundry or clean out the sink or put away my son’s toys. In essence, it forces me to attend to that extra bit of mess that used to accumulate and take me so much time to clean at the end of the week.
I’m pretty amazed at the difference this is making. My house is a lot cleaner and I’m cleaning it less. (It helps that I’m more organized now, too.) Keeping up the house through the week seems to be a more efficient way to clean.
How do you save time when you clean?