Monday, March 9, 2009

Control Journal: the Cleaning Zones

Another important aspect of a Control Journal is planning out the manner in which you tackle common household cleaning tasks. Do you focus on one room per day? Do you try to keep all rooms clean all of the time? Everyone has their own plan or perhaps no plan. Once again Marla Cilley, the FlyLady, has come to my rescue.

For the past 20 years I have had a housework plan that focused on cleaning each room of the house on a specific day. Born organized people like myself love to have charts, categories, and all sorts of written checklists to work from. That might work if you have ample time to pull it all together. Raising four children and homeschooling at the same time quite often does not leave as much time as you would like to dedicate to maintaining your home. Working outside the home creates the same demands. A clean home is important for health and safety as well as providing the loving environment you wish for your family. As I could never get each room cleaned, top to bottom, each and every week my procrastinating perfectionism kept me from even starting. A new approach was needed.

Upon discovering the FlyLady's concept of her weekly Home Blessing Hour along with Zone Cleaning, I was able to make great strides in improving my ability to "keep home". Here's how it works:

Marla's Home Blessing Hour was a life saver for me. Here's an excerpt from her site which explains the concept wonderfully:

What is the Weekly Home Blessing Hour?

The Weekly Home Blessing hour is the time FlyLady spends slipshod cleaning her home. No detailed cleaning required; vacuum the middle of the floors only!

FlyLady sets her timer for 10 minutes to work on each of 7 tasks:

Polish Mirrors and Doors
Purge magazines
Change Sheets
Empty all trash

This takes approximately one hour; some tasks take less than 10 minutes.

"Don't obsess, set your timer for 10 minutes for each task, then QUIT!"

As you can see, setting aside the time to complete these simple but very basic tasks keeps basic home maintenance on track. Your children can help with these chores and work along side you to blast through them in no time. It makes so much sense to get out the duster once a week and do everything than to go fetch it daily and use it only one room at a time. Ditto for your window cleaning and so forth. Some tasks just don't lend themselves to this hour or so period, so I accomplish them on an ongoing basis through an approach the FlyLady calls Baby Steps. Here's the link to my previous post regarding baby step cleaning.

With these basic items complete, you can then focus on Zone Cleaning, detailed cleaning of the major household areas in your home. I started by breaking my home down into zones similar to those the FlyLady lists and then modified her detailed cleaning to meet our family's needs. Once again, focusing on one area for an entire week ensures that eventually you will find the time to get some of the detailed cleaning done during that week as opposed to cramming it into one day that just might not go as scheduled.

With these two plans in place, I'm pretty certain these days of getting the basics out of the way and then having time to pick away at the detailed cleaning for the zone area that week. I don't by all means get it all done that week, but the beauty of the plan is that you will return to the zone the following month and accomplish a little bit more. The overall affect is a clean and welcome that you and your family can enjoy to its fullest.

Related Posts:

Control Journal: Routines
Control Journal: Fifteen Minutes of Focus
Control Journal: Baby Steps

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