My house is a wreck. Not that you would think so from first glance. I try to keep up with the obvious surfaces. But in a house with 5 children- often just picking up takes all day. You put one away, they take three out- and repeat.
It can feel overwhelming to think about all that needs to happen to keep a home clean. Then, a few years ago, I had a revelation. I was watching a show on public television- I can’t remember the name of the show- but it was about a mother of 7, who was also a professional organizer. She would go into the homes of overwhelmed mothers and help them get a handle on their lives. One of the things she taught them was that it didn’t all have to be clean at the same time. This was a huge eye-opener to me. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to spend all day cleaning the house, only to have it undone in the next 20 minutes.
If the jobs are broken down into small chunks of time, you don’t feel overwhelmed, and if you have a schedule, you eventually get everything done and still have time to live the rest of your life.
This is how I start mine. I start in one room and write down everything that needs to happen in that room at some point in the course of time. Take the bedroom- it needs picking up, dusting, vacuuming, organizing- dressers, closets, under beds; baseboards cleaned, windows washed and blinds/ curtains cleaned. You get the picture. Then, I go through with multi-colored pens or markers and put each job in a category based on how frequently they need to be done- weekly, monthly or yearly. Then comes the fun part- the spreadsheet.