Did you believe in fairies or elves as a kid? I did. However, my accumulating years saw the demise of my imaginary fairy friends. But now, with a busy family home, a messy dog and a couple of kids, I think I'm just about ready to start believing again. This time not in the pixie-dust-spreading, playful kind of fairies or elves but in the house-cleaning kind. The ones that come and mop my floors while I sleep. Scottish folklore tells us of a friendly little house-elf 'Brownie' who would complete the chores after the family went to bed and the Irish recount stories of 'Bean-tighe' the fairy who doubles as your house-keeper. Until I figure out how to get one of these cleaning fairies for myself, I'm resigned to cleaning my own house. Luckily, I have an excellent but simple system in place that ensures everything gets done minus the overwhelm.
I believe that your home should be hygienically clean enough to not compromise your health, but not so clean that you are reluctant to do anything fun that might make a mess. Having a clean home is a truly wonderful feeling, but it's important to find the balance between living in a clean space and being a slave to it. I still want to be able to relax in my home when the floors need mopping or the bathrooms need a scrub. If I waited until the entire house was clean before I sat down to relax, it would never happen. So I devised a system where I complete one or two cleaning- based chores every day of the week, minus Sunday. By spreading out the cleaning chores across the week, it fits around my other commitments and I know my house is getting regularly tended to without feeling like I'm devoting a whole morning or a big chunk of hours in one day. And I believe everyone needs a chore-free day, to feel like you're hopping off the hamster wheel of clean-dirty-clean-dirty and for me that day is Sunday.
There is one catch with this system though; it's never entirely clean all at once. In fact, you will rarely come to my house and find the whole place absolutely sparkling. Sure, the kitchen counters get wiped and dishes put away daily but if you come on a Wednesday, it's doubtful that my floors will be spotless and if you come on a Saturday, there will probably be fingerprints on the fridge doors and dust on the mantlepiece. And I'm okay with that because I know that every space in my house has been recently done (within the last week) so wont be crazy-filthy, just lived-in. I find by planning my chores in this way, I can rest easy knowing it will all get done at some point and I don't have to keep making the decisions about what spaces need cleaning. I have enough decisions to make in the morning, like what flavour breakfast-tea to drink, I don't want to be thinking about when the toilets were last scrubbed.
Below is the exact chart I use to schedule and tick off my chores. I print a copy on a Sunday evening when I'm prepping for the week ahead and pop it in my planner. As I move through the days, I complete the tasks and get that happy-dance feeling when I tick the box everyday. It's a simple thing, but boy does it motivate me! I have a spare line for anything extra I think of, or the less-regular chores like washing windows or cleaning the oven. I also have a notes section at the bottom to record my laundry/washing schedule, make a note if I am running low on any cleaning supplies or capture a reminder for something to be added to the following week's list.
This list is just for the chores I personally do around the house. We have a separate way of capturing chores my kids or husband complete.
Have you got your own house fairy that completes your chores while you sleep? If yes, I beg you to tell me how I can get my hands on one. If not, then you might benefit from having a simple system like mine. If you would like to download a free customisable version of my cleaning schedule head to my Resources Page to find it under 'Housekeeping' along with a bunch of other information including some recipes I use to make my own cleaners.
If you would like to read more about house fairies and elves (no judgement!) click here.
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