I am not a creature of routine. It's just not how I function, and I know myself well enough to make this work best for me. Up until now, this has been good enough for me to keep a pretty clean house. Cleaning when I am inspired has worked well, because I like to be tidy so I am inspired often. I know that when my sink is shiny and free of dishes that I feel like my entire life is more in order.
However...What I have observed and gleaned from talking to mamas is that the only way to keep sanity in a household with any children under 2 is to have some sort of routine.* As my hormones have kicked into high speed nesting gear, I have decided to begin a weekly cleaning routine for my home. Something tells me that with an infant, this is the only way anything is ever going to get done.
For inspiration, I went to Real Simple Magazine's website and searched "Clean Kitchen." I love the breakdown I found of what to clean in an article called "How to Speed-Clean Your Kitchen":
- Wipe down the sink after doing the dishes or loading the dishwasher (30 seconds).
- Wipe down the stove top (one minute).
- Wipe down the counters (one minute).
- Sweep, Swiffer, or vacuum the floor (two minutes).
- Mop the floor (five minutes).
- Wipe the cabinets, backsplashes, and appliances (10 minutes).
- Wash the dish rack (four minutes).
- Wipe the switch plates and phone (one minute).
- Wipe the inside of the garbage can (one minute).
- Empty and scrub down the inside of the refrigerator (30 minutes).
- Empty and clean the insides of the utensil drawers (15 minutes).
- Scrub down the cupboard exteriors (30 minutes).
- Clean the stove-hood filter (10 minutes).
- Perform "Shiny Sink 101"
Obviously, this doesn't get everything done, and I end up spending more time on one thing than another, omitting this and adding in that. But even if I already did all these things, it's really great to have a checklist to be sure to get things done. I do so love crossing off to do lists. Oh, and I also love that "Shiny Sink 101."
*Ironically, I have noticed the other integral piece of keeping sanity as a mother is to be flexible enough to realize that routine is going to be interrupted every. single. day.