Monday, January 7, 2013

Cleaning house

One of the reasons I like UnF*** Your Habitat so much is that the UFYH lady often provides step-by-step instructions on how to clean things. As someone who only recently realized that one should rinse the kitchen counters with water after applying cleaning solution, step-by-step instructions are nice. Plus, they allow me to budget my cleaning time more effectively.

My boyfriend and I share cleaning duties for the apartment. When it's my turn to do the kitchen, bathroom and laundry, I know exactly how long it will take (2.5 hours) because I've developed a step-by-step method. This is that method:

1. Gather laundry; sprinkle Comet in wet bathtub.
2. Start laundry in the basement of my building. This means I can do several loads at once.
3. Kitchen:

  • clean dining table. 
  • remove all items from kitchen counters and stovetop. Clean items and place on dining table. 
  • clean counters, stovetop, sink, and fronts of appliances and cabinets. 
  • move all items back to their places. 
  • run dishwasher if necessary. 
4. Empty trash bins from all rooms of apartment; take trash down on the way to get laundry. 
5. Transfer laundry to driers; take up line-dry items. 
6. Hang up line-dry items. 
7. Finish up any lingering kitchen tasks. 
8. Bathroom: 
  • remove all items from flat surfaces on bath, counters, etc. Clean items and place on dining table. 
  • clean flat surfaces.
  • clean vertical surfaces, including shower curtain, tile and walls.
  • scrub tub; rinse. 
  • move all items back to their places.
  • do all the mirrors in the apartment. 
9. Get laundry from basement; fold, put away and make bed with fresh sheets. 

This might look like a marathon, but it has built-in breaks in the elevator rides, and enough variation in tasks that it is at least an over-all workout and not, like, 2.5 straight hours of scrubbing or something.

Note the first: the blog One Good Thing recently posted a similar method for daily bathroom cleaning.
Note the second: I am sure we all agree that it would be inappropriate to post "before" pictures of a dirty bathroom. That will not occur.


  1. I like your mixing-up-the-tasks method for cleaning. I tend to do one whole thing at a time, which sometimes leaves whole tasks undone. Do you have similar methods for the weeks that you have other chores?

    1. I do not, but I would be very happy to help you devise one that meets your needs! Two ideas: one, go in rounds. Start with a round of trash gathering and dishes gathering, then do a round of picking up things that are out of their designated places and returning them there. Then do a round of decisions about things that don't yet have a home. Then do cleaning surfaces, starting at the top, ie, dust before you vaccuum. Other idea: start using time pockets. Whenever you have something in the microwave, always use that time to wash dishes. Etc.

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