Neat freaks, help!
May 8, 2018 1:21 PM   Subscribe

You are a person working full time with lots of hobbies and interests who also manages to keep your living space very clean--without the help of a hired cleaning person. How do you do this? What does your cleaning schedule look like? How many hours per week do you devote to cleaning?

Our living space is just at the edge of acceptable. We keep up with the basics (dishes, sweep, trash out, scoop cat boxes), but that's about it. Occasionally I’ll have a bout of decluttering. My partner is much tidier than I am but also super-busy. At the end of the day, we are both too wiped out to do much cleaning, and it definitely doesn’t happen naturally.

I am naturally a very messy and cleaning-negligent person. I just don’t pay that much attention to my environment and have better things I’d rather be doing than cleaning. Over the years I’ve gotten much, much better than I used to be, but still not good enough. It’s started to really bother me.

On the other hand, I’ve known several people who are fanatics about keeping their living space clean, to the detriment of their mental health. One person I know sought therapy for their cleaning compulsions. Another would turn down social engagements in order to spend more time cleaning. I don’t want to veer too far in this direction, either. Like I’ve already mentioned, I have other things I’d much rather be doing and don’t want cleaning to turn into a procrastination or avoidance tool.

So, if you have a “healthy” relationship with cleaning, do all your own cleaning and consider yourself to have a very tidy, presentable home environment most of the time, how on earth do you manage? Do you constantly clean as you go, or do devote a certain block of time each week to cleaning? How many minutes/hours a week would you say you spend on it? And do you have any tips to share? I’m already very familiar with Fly Lady, Unfuck your Habitat, etc.

I should also mention that money is the main reason we’re not just hiring a cleaning service, which I would love to do.

posted by whistle pig to Home & Garden (19 answers total) 102 users marked this as a favorite
I keep my place decent enough that if people were to stop by I wouldn’t be totally embarassed and if I invite people over it wouldn’t take me more than an hour to really clean it up. I generally need a weekend morning or afternoon once every two to three months to get the rest of it. Everything else is just a general clean 10-15 min every evening.
posted by raccoon409 at 1:24 PM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Dana K. White's books are fantastic (she's also the author of the blog A Slob Comes Clean). I am a "Normal Person" (her words) with regard to cleaning and I still got loads of great tips out of them.

How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind
Decluttering at the Speed of Life
posted by anderjen at 1:42 PM on May 8, 2018 [12 favorites]

Clean as I go rule - I never go up or down a flight of stairs without carrying something that belongs on a different floor. Examples: Going upstairs, usually pairs of shoes. Going downstairs, usually cardboard boxes that need recycling.

Other rule to help my sanity - I do _one_ productive thing each night after work. Pay bills. Sew on a missing button. Dust the bedroom. Vacuum the stairs. It prevents me from collapsing on the couch immediately after work, but more importantly, it helps me from feeling guilty about not being productive.

On a rotating basis (and I write it out on my planner each month) I do something major each Sunday morning. Deep clean the bathroom. Change & swap out all of the linens in the house. Swap out cat litter. That works in conjunction with laundry day - it's a day I'm going to be home anyway so I just double up.

And then on an annual basis, I do a deep clean for each room, one each weekend, every spring. I've mentioned it before. I also admit that this is fairly unusual, and while it helps us, is most likely not for everyone.

I am in general fairly tidy. My husband has said that if something sits in the same spot for three days, it's his assumption that it belongs there. So after 20 years we've found what works (and more importantly, what we each care about. I like a cleaner bathroom. I don't think he can tell.)

*Caveats to all this* I am not responsible at all for anything in the kitchen. For the sake of my marriage that is my husband's domain. And I also have little to do with the yard or snow removal, save for weeding/planting in the spring.
posted by librarianamy at 1:49 PM on May 8, 2018 [16 favorites]

is the problem clutter, or is the clutter keeping you from cleaning so you are in fact dirty?

when i have too much clutter, it is impossible to CLEAN. and the number of cat toys on the floor really makes vacuuming not much fun.

i have a chronic illness so have to spread things out. but first step is to put things where they belong/declutter. the second step is to clean (dust, wipe up schmutz, vacuum, etc.). then if you can keep a lid on the clutter, it helps making cleaning easier, so you're less likely to put it off.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:52 PM on May 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I struggled with these issues for years and developed my own sort of Fly Lady thing. It doesn't always work and every now and then we get behind and then I schedule a day to catch up. But here goes. We are a family of 2 adults + 1 MIL adult who definitely helps but is mostly focused on her stuff, + 2 kids

"Stuff management" - I have a basket in each room for things headed to other rooms. I have a bin in the front hall for all paperwork, no dragging it throughout the house.

Kitchen - 15 minutes a night x 2-3 adults for dishes, counters, table, declutter, sweep.
Bathrooms (2) - "swish and swipe" every night
Tidy - 5-10 minutes every morning, all hands on deck (this includes my kids)
Laundry - ideally a load a day, in washer in the morning, dryer just before dinner, fold at night - in practice my sainted MIL mostly helps with this - this includes sheets and towels and stuff, although I usually do sheets on weekends so that it's the same sheets going back on the beds. We do have enough that we can put sheets from the linen closet on the beds in the meantime.

Garbage out to bins, declutter, "big tidy" where the basketed stuff goes away - 1/2 hr, all hands on deck, Saturday
Fridge emptied on Saturday (before garbage/recycling/green bin stuff goes out)

Cleaning schedule:
Weekly - vaccuum, steam mop, deep-clean bathrooms (2) - 45 min-1 hr, aided by the daily swish and swipe, dust if time. My MIL does litter boxes, bless her (they are her cats but we adore them.)

Now here is where other people might gasp but I only deep clean zones of my house on a 4-week cycle, after all the above is done. Like this:
Week One - deep clean/tidy/sort out all bedrooms
Week Two - deep clean/tidy/sort out kitchen - wipe all cupboard doors down, fridge, outside of fridge, vaccuum over the cupboards, etc. This can be a long one as it's L shaped and also our dining room.
Week Three - deep clean/tidy/sort out living room, front hall
Week Four - deep clean/tidy rec room/home office - includes crafting corner and DVD organization!

A deep clean includes baseboards and window sills and window coverings and furniture and wiping fingerprints off the walls and cleaning the mirrored and glass surfaces inside the house, cobwebs, as well as sometimes for whatever reason despite all the sorting and tidying, there's a pile of crap to deal with in those areas.

If we have been on our games for the rest of the chores, the weekly deep clean takes another 1-1.5 hours, except the kitchen takes longer if I haven't like, happened to swipe down the cupboards etc. I have a tolerance for dust but not grime, if that makes sense.

This keeps the house relatively within the 15-minute rule.

The things that help us the most:
- we don't have a lot of "junk bunkers" or knicknacks beyond the basket in each room
- good storage for stuff
- weekly declutter (we do a 'fling' where you get rid of a number of objects based on your age)
- that daily tidying up is the best and when that falls off, everything else gets so much harder

Then we do have some quarterly chores like windows and stuff. I scrub the floors every now and then as the steam mop is great but not perfect. And during the spring/summer/fall we should be spending another 1-2 hours outside a weekend, plus 15-30 min of daily weeding etc. but - we are working on it right now.

Paperwork is also something that should be in here but that we are working on. I usually sit down to do it every other week one evening, regretting my life choices all the way. :)

I would call my home "cared for, clearly lived in, but decently clean."
posted by warriorqueen at 1:52 PM on May 8, 2018 [35 favorites]

I do my best to prevent things from getting dirty. I take off my shoes at the door, reuse the same water glass, put away tools when I'm done using them, don't let the dog on the couch, look down while brushing my teeth so the mirror doesn't get spattered, etc.
posted by metasarah at 1:57 PM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I became a tidier person when I learned about the 5S system.

Basically, everything has a place and you don't own anything that doesn't have a purpose. (It's OK if the purpose is "lookin' cute" but it has to do that in a fixed location every day.) Everything goes back in its place every time you're done using it. And activities are not finished until the area is returned to its uncluttered, clean state. It takes a while to train yourself, but it eventually becomes automatic. Plus, it makes it way easier to clean a surface if you don't have to pick up objects off that surface and then put them away before you can start.
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:02 PM on May 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The main thing that transformed me from clutter-and-filth to reasonably-tidy was realizing that it is much less work to keep things tidy. And I am lazy and want to do less work. Therefore I have motivation to keep things tidy.

I first realized this when it came to doing the dishes. I was an incorrigible sink-stacker; dirty dishes would just pile up until I was out of dishes, then I'd have to spend a miserable couple hours washing everything (inevitably while hungry, of course).

But if I just wash the dang dishes when I'm done with them, there's no dried bits that need soaking and scraping; lots of dishes are much easier to wash than if they'd been sitting in filthy sink water for weeks; I don't have to spend all that time stacking and re-stacking dishes to get them out of the way when I want some water. It's just overall much less total effort to wash as you go.

I take a similar approach to the rest of housecleaning. Except for the (very) occasional deep-cleaning binge, "cleaning" mostly consists of stuff like: every time I'm leaving a room with at least one hand empty, I look around and see if there's anything that belongs in the room I'm headed to, and if so bring it there. There's a space at the bottom of the stairs where I put things that belong upstairs, so they'll be easily grabbable next time I'm headed in that direction. I pace while I'm on the phone, so now I do it with a pushbroom in front of me. If the toilet looks like it needs scrubbing, I spend fifteen seconds with the toilet scrubber before I pee. If I'm standing around waiting for the water to boil I'll maybe grab a paper towel and wipe down a counter or two. That sort of thing.

TL;DR just make the job smaller. "Clean the house" is no fun at all. "Clean this room" is also usually too much work and time. "Clean this one thing" is basically effortless, and if you do it regularly enough comes to basically the same end result.
posted by ook at 2:37 PM on May 8, 2018 [16 favorites]

Best answer: My relationship with cleaning may not be healthy but you can edit as needed.

I work from home, have a husband who works outside of the house, and two dogs who are lazy and don't even have jobs. We have a mix of carpet and laminate, and we have two floors of living space. We have two vacuums; one upstairs and one down. This makes vacuuming much easier, except the stupid stairs. At the very least I try to vacuum one floor each day, or the entire house if I have time. it only takes like 15 minutes max, and that is one of those chores that makes the whole house feel nicer immediately. I use the attachments to clean the hard floors because sweeping is my most hated chore--vacuuming feels more fun and quicker.

I make the bed pretty much every morning as soon as I get out of it; that gets it out of the way and keeps me from getting back in bed. Sheets get stripped Saturday mornings, and the bed gets made with the clean set waiting on standby immediately so that Saturday night isn't "aw man I'm so tired but now I have to make the bed!"

We have three bathrooms, and each one has its own container of Clorox wipes, a toilet brush, a sponge, paper towels, and Windex. Bathrooms get wiped down on a pretty regular basis, and almost never have to be deep-cleaned.

We have tile countertops in the kitchen which make me rage, so when I cook anything I clean as I go pretty much constantly. Dishes immediately go into the dishwasher as soon as they're dirty, dishwasher gets emptied the first time I notice the cycle is over.

Swiffer products and Magic Erasers are your friends, buy lots of 'em. Swiffer dusters, sweeping cloths, and WetJet are so much easier than sweeping and mopping and the store brand equivalents are generally fine. I just dust whenever I notice there's dust or before company comes over, it doesn't take long.

Basically: invest in your tools, clean frequently, and you will be so much happier, feel like a cleaner person, and end up spending less time overall cleaning. I mean I know "vacuum every day" sounds annoying af, but time yourself next time--it's like no time compared to the amount of time you dread doing it.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 3:19 PM on May 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have a bunch of nonsense mugs like everybody ends up with that are essentially useless because I drink coffee out of one of those adult sippy cups or out of a Buffalo china coffee cup, but they have sentimental value so I can never throw them away. You know, like one's from the trip I took to New Hampshire to visit my friend in grad school and it has a moose on it. Etc. So I took one of them and put a sponge in it and then poured an inch or so of superstrength vinegar from the Korean store in the bottom. Now it lives on the counter and every time I get a splotch of something on the counter I wipe it off with the sponge and put it back in the mug. I change out the sponge daily and when I use up the vinegar or it evaporates, I put the mug in the dishwasher and select a new nonsense mug from the collection and repeat. Now the counter always looks perfect. This would not be so amazing if I were a normal person, but my house starts to look like Ed Gein lives there a mere two days after the cleaning person has been. Permanent countersponge has been a really good development.
posted by Don Pepino at 5:07 PM on May 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Previously from me with a previously-er from me in there.

Following Marie Kondo's book to. the. letter. changed my life and those of many others in related Facebook groups. Not kidding. It's a big commitment and a lot of hard work. It is so worth it.

Following that, cleaning is a breeze. For years before, I've been gamifying my cleaning by using spreadsheets and checking off things and hiding the rows for a room or area that is completely checked off.

I agree with masquesoporfavor that good tools that are readily accessible are really helpful.
posted by jgirl at 5:24 PM on May 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

One more example for your consideration: There is an app I use called Regularly. I input all the tasks I ever need to do in my home and the frequency that I want to do them. (Bring out recyclables, every 5 days. Wipe baseboards, every 3 months. That sort of thing.) This has helped immensely, even if I don't exactly do tasks on the day they're due. I still know where the priorities are if I find I've 20 minutes and some motivation. I don't waffle doing nothing, and I don't waste time or anxiety on tasks not yet required.

The key for me in all this was to break the tasks down as small as possible. Not "clean the living room," rather "vacuum livingroom" "dust livingroom" "declutter livingroom". Bite sized.
posted by unlapsing at 6:09 PM on May 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

As a neat person who has lived with many people on the other side, I can tell you how messes get made and things go south - shoving, stashing, and moving things around instead of putting them away.

If you have a bunch of wrapping paper and tape and scissors and glitter pens on the kitchen table, you can put each and everything where it lives, or you can leave it all there until you have time to put everything away neatly.

This is not intuitive, but it's the only way.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:34 PM on May 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

I used to be dreadfully messy but now I keep a neat house - even though I probably spend less time cleaning.

The difference is that I actually pick up after myself as I go throughout my day. For example, I used to eat dinner and put my dish in the sink. Then I'd do the same the next day, and the next day, and the next day... until it was bad enough I felt I had to wash them all. Now just wash my dishes after I'm done eating.

If I bring the mail in, I throw away the junk mail right away, and look at the rest to see if there's anything important. If I go through a storage box, I find what I need and put it back. If the recycling is full, I don't just pile cans on top precariously while telling myself I'll take care of it later, I take it out to the bins. If I do laundry, once it's dry I fold it and put it away insted of piling it up somewhere.

And so on. This keeps clutter from accumulating. The house just naturally ... remains pretty clean, instead of having to be cleaned. It's hard to say how long it takes me per day to do this. It's... not much? It's a minute here and there.

Tasks like vacuuming can happen on the weekends when there's more time. I usually do something like dust/vacuum plus some other thing that needs done - cleaning the bathroom or the fridge, for example. I'd say on the weekend I very rarely spend more than an hour.

Younger me would be mystified at the idea that keeping clean is so easy because it was such a stressful topic. But for me it really is just mostly about not letting clutter and mess accumulate in the first place.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:55 PM on May 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Seconding Dana White's books on decluttering. Definitely declutter down to the point where everything can be put away at the same time. It sounds a bit basic, but often things don't get put away because there is nowhere for them to go. And the solution is generally not "buy more storage and reorganise", it's "get rid of some of the stuff in the storage you have to make room for the things you use". I did Kon Mari the clothes in my drawers, because they get used sooooo much. Other storage I don't mind if it's a bit disorganised, as I don't need the stuff that often, but clothes and kitchens work best when they are organised in a grabable way (everything is able to be gotten out or put away without moving anything else).

I've started doing my washing every second weekend (I go food shopping on the other weekend). I'm single, so it's about 2-3 loads and takes 2-3 hours to wash, then line drying time. I used to try to do it every weekend sort of, but I've got enough clothes to make it through two week, just. After two weeks, I neeeeed to do washing, or there's no underwear. On washing weekend, I try to get all my clothes and sheets washed, dried and put away. As clothes are the biggest source of mess in my bedroom, I spend a bit of time while the washing's going, putting things away in there and doing a bit of cleaning. I've been doing this for a few months, and it's worked pretty well so far.

I'm in a share house, so processes are a bit different here. I'm a bit anal about the kitchen (too many ant incidents in my past), and like the dishes to be done and the surfaces wiped down after every big-ish cook up. Which can be six times a day or twice a week, depending on how often people are cooking. The idea is to leave the kitchen in a useable state for the next person. Not all of my housemates are good at this, so I nag a bit, and do a lot of dishes that aren't mine. It doesn't take long to handwash a drainer full of dishes though, and it's worth it. I got one of those scrubby-wands with the dishwashing liquid in it, and my housemates do seem to do more of their own dishes now.

The other shared spaces don't get cluttered very quickly (thank goodness). The cat owner housemates sweep every day or so, due to the enthusiastic litter box use of the kitties. Some of us will spot clean things that get grimy - give the toilet a quick swish or vacuum the hall when they do their rooms. The bins/recycling bins are big enough to take the average week's rubbish, so emptying them when the bins get taken out on Monday night works most of the time. For the other cleaning, I (being the oldest and grumpiest) will declare a cleaning bee. This is generally when the lawn or the bathroom mold gets embarrassing, about every monthish (and now everyone can faint at our grossness). The housemates put dibs on cleaning something, and the house and garden gets a once over. Every now and then there is a rental inspection, and that's when the deep cleaning gets done properly.
posted by kjs4 at 12:16 AM on May 9, 2018

I have a lot of stuff and used to have a messy place. For me, the secret is just having a place for every thing. It sounds obvious, but there was a lot of stuff that I wasn't quite sure where it lived, so it would clutter up the coffee table or the hall or wherever because I'd look at it and go 'ugh I don't know where to move this to' and move on. When I knew that all tape went in x drawer, the paperclips in y drawer, the hairbobbles in the bedroom container etc etc I naturally put things away when they were out of place. This takes significantly less time than wandering around with armfuls of stuff looking for a home.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:18 AM on May 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

My tools/tricks/routine:

Everything has a place to live
Particularly the stuff that just kind of gets in the way: Magazines have a magazine rack, when it gets full, chuck some in the recycling bin. Keys and wallets live in a butler tray/bowl that's en route to the door. Mail has a designated spot, near the door. Shoes have a designated spot. Out of season shoes live in plastic shoe boxes. Slippers have baskets. Enough hangers for all my clothes. If I run out of hangers, it's time to do a closet clean out because it probably means I have too many clothes. Cabinets are a russian doll's nest of more organisation baskets for whatever is in them. All the cat toys have a basket. Etc. When everything has a home, it's easier and faster to tidy because you don't have to think about where to put things.

Kon Mari
If it doesn't have a home in my home, maybe it doesn't belong in the house. We did a kitchen cleanout recently, chucking out things like souvenir water bottles, extra colanders, pizza trays we never use, tupperware with missing lids... it's made a huge difference to how the kitchen works, looks, and feels. Over the years I think we've become much more picky about what we incorporate into the home. It has to have a purpose and a place to live. It can't just live in a drawer or a shelf collecting dust if it serves no purpose than collecting dust. This doesn't mean we don't have decorative objects, but we have to really take pleasure in having the object in the house and not just sentimental guilt or whatever. If I don't love it, I don't want to dust it. If I don't want to dust it, buh-bye.

Good cleaning tools for the job, in the place you need them
All the kitchen cleaning tools (sprays, sponges) live in a basket under the kitchen sink. All my bathroom cleaning tools live in a plastic tub basket thing so I can carry everything with me to bathroom to bathroom to clean. I research the heck out of cleaning tools and solutions on Amazon to get the strongest (whilst still safe), multipurpose items possible.

A cleaning routine to reduce mental energy
For me it's either on a Sunday or Saturday, pretty much after breakfast. I stick to the following routine, based on payoff. That way if I stop after step 2 because I'm tired or don't have time, I still feel like the house is clean. I can do all 5 steps in about 1.5 hours in our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom flat. It's just to two of us and a cat that sheds. After I do this routine, I just sit there and bask in the cleanliness. Or I'll take a shower because I'm probably sweaty after step 5 and it's glorious to take a shower in a clean shower.

1) Sweep. We have laminate wood floors throughout. I also sweep the bathroom so pick up dust and hair and it makes it less icky to clean their floors later.

2) Bathroom: Spray down sink and shower/bath with Ozkleen Bath Power (the best thing I have found for scum, limescale, watermarks). I do this first so that it kind of works its way while I do the toilet next. I don't flush it so that the cleaning solution can sit in there. Wipe down the sink and bathtub/shower with a microfiber. Rinse the cloth in hot water (get a good pair of Marigold rubber gloves for all cleaning!). Spray down the floor with something stronger like Dettol or Cif and wipe down with the cloth, rinsing in hot water as I go. The area around the toilet is the worst, but this is why I do it weekly, because then it's not gross at all. Use glass cleaner on mirrors and glass surfaces in bathroom. I may skip this if it's not too bad.

3) Run a Swiffer on all the floors, especially under and behind all furniture. We try and avoid storing things under the bed as this is a class collector of dustbunnies and it makes Swiffering under it a breeze. Unfortunately, it's a great storage space so our guest bedroom is full of boxes and I hate it because I'm sure it's disgusting under there.

4) Run a dust cloth over all obvious surfaces. I don't really move stuff around, just on the exposed areas. I might do a "deep dust" every 6 months when I have extra time, where I actually lift items and dust behind them.

5) Change bedsheets. We do a 'double bagging' to protect pillows and mattresses. So that's a plain extra layer of pillow case and fitted mattress sheet. Every 2 weeks I change only the top most layer that touches the skin. Every 4 weeks, everything gets changed including the duvet cover. This used to be on a 1 week cycle but found it was too much and not necessary because we're not overly sweaty people.

The kitchen is notably absent in my routine. This is because my husband mainly keeps that tidy because he's a doll. He tidies it up almost every night (loads the dishwasher, sprays down surfaces) and once in a while he'll do a deep stove clean. He also keeps the front and back yard tidy from leaves and weeds. I love him.

If it takes less than 30 seconds, just clean it/put it away
Not even a full minute, in just 30 seconds you can: Spray down a counter and wipe it, put something in its 'home' (see point 1), put something in the dishwasher instead of the sink, etc. This is the hardest but also the most effective thing you can get into the habit of doing. I still feel like I'm nagging myself when I hear this in my head, but it's honestly really worth it in the long run.
posted by like_neon at 4:32 AM on May 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

I haven't read the other answers, but I think I'm eligible to answer here. My house is under control, but it's not, like, pristine, and I have a routine that doesn't dominate my life.

Time spent cleaning:
Every day, split between two adults with occasional child help: unload dishwasher in the morning (~5 minutes), put away stray items (~5-15 minutes), clean the kitchen after dinner (~20 minutes), run the Roomba (~2 minutes)

Every week, split between two adults with small but consistent child participation: vacuum the upstairs, wipe down the bathroom sinks, mirrors and toilets with vinegar, handle laundry (including folding, hang-drying, washing cleaning rags), putting away stray items (including kid stuff), spot-cleaning the floors (wiping up drips and sticky spots), dusting windowsills/coffee table/piano/etc., changing sheets, sweeping the porch, getting rid of anything too old to eat in the fridge. It takes our family about 90-120 minutes to clean the house on Saturday morning. We turn on loud music and have a fairly good time doing it. Usually we're done by 9:30 AM, and then we do the grocery shopping for the week.

Every month or two, we spend an extra 30 minutes scrubbing the shower/tub with a Magic Eraser, vacuuming air filters, removing or putting in window screens, that kind of thing.

Cleaning all together would not be possible if we hadn't made a Cleaning Bucket for the kitchen, and each of two upstairs bathrooms. The buckets have clean rags, vinegar spray, a Magic Eraser, paper towels. They never move. Each bathroom has a toilet brush. The cleaning closet ( tiny broom closet) has the broom, mop, Barkeep's Friend, Magic Erasers, rags, paper towels, Simple Green. We pretty much never use anything else.

We have done our level best to declutter. Everything we own has a home, and it can be put away easily, like without moving other things out of the way or reorganizing. You can just literally put it away.
posted by Cygnet at 8:55 AM on May 9, 2018 [5 favorites]

...hours? I can't imagine a small space taking hours a week to clean. Laboratories don't take hours a week to clean.

The professional kitchen mantra of "clean as you go" is probably the difference. You make a mess. You clean it up before wandering off. You don't do some scheduled thing for hours on a regular basis; you clean up behind yourself.

Cleaning a toilet takes a minute, unless you let it get really bad. Cleaning a bathtub or sink? Wipe it down with a washcloth, toss washcloth in the pile of stuff to wash, done. A shower takes two or three minutes to lightly scrub before you finish rinsing off, and really only needs that scrub every week or two at best. If you're cleaning as you go, there aren't dishes in the sink.

Three things that don't work this way:
- If the house is dusty all the time, I'd go with an air filter instead of repeatedly dusting all the time. Catch the dust before it lands. This also mostly if not entirely removes a need to wash walls. Fix the source, instead of bandaiding it manually with a lotta labor.
- Floors/vacuuming. "Sundays?"
- Windows. I hate windows, and this is my major achilles heel.
posted by talldean at 1:04 PM on May 9, 2018

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