Cleaning – Home Maintenance
Team Cleaning as a Couple
Some of us love the process of cleaning just as much as we enjoy the results. Others struggle with the patterns necessary to maintain their living space daily, weekly and seasonally. In order to live this life well, we must create a plan to maintain our space. Let’s be honest, maintaining a home is hard work. When we are in the grind and feel like maids while doing all the house jobs, pause. Remember the verse in Romans 12:11 that encourages us to serve our family and others who enter our home as we would serve the Lord. Work enthusiastically with your mind toward honoring God.
How would I wait on Jesus Christ if he were the guest in my home? How can I treat my family in a manner that reflects my effort to be hospitable as if I am hosting my Savior? It takes some thinking, but this truth often changes my attitude toward the management of my home.
God has given me an amazing opportunity to keep a home, love a family and honor him with a generous spirit. This blog is about rhythms and routines that offer workable patterns which can be personalized to meet your needs. The big idea behind purging and deep cleaning is to create a livable space that is relatively simple to maintain on a daily and weekly basis. Sometimes we have the help of a spouse and sometimes we don’t. Ideally, teamwork is best. The responsibilities change when as seasons alter responsibilities. If both spouses work full time, the work might need to be evenly divided. If one spouse works full time and the other works part time, a discussion sorting out the responsibilities is in order. Do what works best for you.
The sweet picture at the top this blog is of my sweet Katie and her husband Zach. As a young couple they implemented patterns to work together to clean and maintain their home.
As homemakers, cleaning is part of our responsibility. If we share our home with a spouse or children, a plan to share the daily and weekly jobs associated with the upkeep is reasonable. For parents, it is also our duty to train the next generation to cook and to maintain the spaces where they live. Since we will invest many years in cleaning and maintaining, it is worth our time to develop patterns that create the most pleasant, livable space. As with any skill, observe others who are successful, educate yourself on workable patterns and read about how the job is done well. Adapt what you learn to your needs and lifestyle. Start where you are now and develop patterns that win for you.
Remember, progress, not perfection!
In college, waitressing and cleaning houses paid the entirety of my bill. I graduated debt free. When providing a cleaning service as an independent contractor, efficient cleaning patterns sped up the process. Most homes were given a general cleaning in 3-4 hours weekly when I worked alone. The expertise that comes from just doing the work repeatedly tested patterns of speed and efficiency.
Determine what works best for you.
Customize your patterns.
Identify your schedule.
Modify your routines.
When I read Proverbs 31:27, “She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness,” I am reminded of my desire to maintain order with the space that is my responsibility. Regardless of whether it is a small space or a sizable area, it is mine to maintain. Let’s start with daily and weekly cleaning and then look at the seasonal cleaning and purging.
Daily & Weekly Schedules
Cleaning as a Couple
In early marriage my husband and I both worked nearly 50 hours a week. As the seasons of our lives changed, so did the way we shared the responsibility of maintaining our home. Since we both worked outside the home to share the financial responsibility of our team, we listed all of the responsibilities related to our home and car. Once we estimated the time involved in these tasks, we divided them between us. Currently, we still have children at home, but we will soon be working toward keeping a home again with just the two of us. Below are some ideas of how to evaluate a daily and weekly list. The key is to make a list together of what you think needs to be done. If you designate the time needed for each task, that helps. Lastly, determine who will do the assignment.
Empty trash in kitchen
Pick up/Put away
20-30 minutes from the weekly maintenance jobs list
- Wash clothes
- Change sheets & towels
- Iron clothes
- Clean bathrooms
- Vacuum, Sweep and Mop floors
- Food planning/Grocery shopping
- Keep flower beds weeded/mulched (in season)
- Drop off and pick up dry cleaning (mostly his)
- Help with meal clean-up
- Vacuum and wash both cars (this was “BC” – before children)
- Vacuum whole house
- Collect trash throughout house and paper shredder
- Mow/weed eat/leaf blow (in season)
Below are the responsibilities sorted into days of the week.
Monday: wash clothes, change sheets and towels, sweep outside front and back doors/patio, iron
Tuesday: clean bathrooms (showers, toilets, sinks, mirrors, floors)
Wednesday: straighten, pick up and put away, dust
Thursday: vacuum whole house (including stairs), mop all floors in kitchen, bathroom and patio areas.
Friday: Fun Friday. Finish anything that did not get done during the week. Do a deep cleaning project. Or just run errands and have fun with a friend.
Saturday: outside responsibilities together, meal plan, shop for food
Sunday: worship at church together. Spend time with family and friends. Rest. Enjoy having friends and family for a meal and conversation. Food preparation for the week.
Much of the cleaning could be done on one day if that works better. For years, we would clean on Thursdays for 3 hours. Do what works best for you and your schedule!
Don’t get bogged down in one area.
Keep the big picture the focus.
Save deep cleaning for a day on its own.
Do what works best for you!
Join the conversation on this topic at Embrace Your Everyday podcast.
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