~Sorry I took a little break from the blog last week. Our Health Insurance Company sucks, and apparently, they hire people who don’t know how to read properly. That issue still isn’t fixed and is highly stressful, so I needed a break. But, I managed to keep a clean house, so here’s the post I promised last week! Sorry for the delay! ~Stacy
If you’ve been following me on Instagram lately, you’ll know that I’ve been on a cleaning binge. I don’t know if its Spring or just the fact that having a messy house stresses me out, but I love everything to be tidy. I wasn’t always that way. In the last year, the housework has started consuming me, and I’ve been looking for a way to keep a clean house with minimal effort. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found something that works, and I want to tell you all about it!
How I Used To Keep A Clean House
Back when I was working, and we didn’t have kids, and we had a smaller house, we had a cleaning lady. She came every other week and cleaned our house. She didn’t clean the way I do, but it was nice to not have to do ALL of the cleaning. When I got laid off, and we had kids, and we bought a bigger house, we kept her. Mostly for my sanity. We could stretch our budget to make it work. In fact, she had her own the Konmari process.
Then last year, she stopped coming. That meant that, since I was home all day, I had to keep a clean house. Now, this isn’t as big a deal as it might be for some of you. See, I like to clean – most of the time. What I don’t like about cleaning is the time it takes. I’m pretty meticulous, and while I try to be as efficiently as humanly possible, it still was taking me all day or all weekend. I tried to get on a routine and a schedule, and it just wasn’t working. I needed to find a solution.
A few weeks ago, I found it.
My New Cleaning Routine
I’ve had several of you ask what this new routine I’ve found to keep the a clean house is called, and the one I’m using is the TOMM Method from the Konmari process. BUT, I don’t think its the specific method that is the secret to keeping a clean house with minimal effort. Any schedule you can find on Pinterest (and there’s a million of them – the Konmari process) will outline daily tasks in order to keep a clean home. You just need to find the schedule that works for you. I’m a few weeks in, and I think TOMM is it for me, but it might not be for you.
I’ve found the secret to keeping a clean house to be choosing the right cleaning routine AND putting it on your to do list as a recurring task.
My To Do List
A few years ago, I started using the app Remember The Milk (free version) to keep track of what needed to be done each day. The free version also allows you to set up recurring tasks and use notes. When I started the TOMM method, I took the tasks from her printables and added them to my Remember the Milk tasks as recurring items.
The 15 minute daily chores repeat every day. I use the notes section to assign a bathroom chore each day (Monday: Mirrors & Fixtures, Tuesdays: Showers, Wednesdays: Countertops & Trash, Thursdays: Sinks & Bathtubs, Fridays: Toilets, Floors & Baseboards, Weekends: Repairs & Restocks). Then, I set the Weekly tasks to repeat weekly, and the Friday Focus tasks to recur every 8 weeks.
How I Changed The Routine For My House
Now, I don’t do the TOMM method exactly the way she does, and that’s ok. My house appears to have more rooms than hers, for starters. I added Dining Room to the Living Room days and Office & Playroom to the Entryway & Stairs days. For the Kid’s Room Friday Focus, I added the playroom. My Week 7 Friday Focus is the Office/Guest Room/Closet Under the Stairs. But this is what works for me, and its helping me maintain a clean house.
The TOMM method promises a clean house in 45 minutes a day: 15 minutes a day doing the daily chores and 30 minutes doing the weekly chore. Am I only spending 45 minutes cleaning? I certainly didn’t the first week or the second week. The first week, I was cleaning all day and was sore at night. The third week is closer to that 45 minutes, and I skipped several days in the second week. Vacuuming under the couch cushions every week takes much less time than only doing it once a year or whatever.
The first week of this method was brutal, but the results were fabulous. My kid’s rooms were disgusting, and it took me an hour to clean each of their rooms that Tuesday. But, when the Kid’s Rooms Friday Focus came just 3 days later, all we really had to do was Konmari everything: keep/toss/give and organize. We went through the whole entire upstairs and everything is now sorted and organized. We got rid of a ton of stuff. It feels fantastic. The following Tuesday was quick and easy! Even skipping days last week, it wasn’t so bad this week. My son has kept his room clean for THREE WEEKS, Y’ALL. THREE WEEKS!
To see how we built that closet with a super easy IKEA hack, click here.
The Friday Focus
The Friday Focus might just be my very favorite part of the TOMM method. You see, with other cleaning routines I tried, I would get overwhelmed by not just the daily light cleaning but also those deeper tasks. I just couldn’t find the time for all of them. This way, every Friday you get to sort, purge and deep clean one area of your home, while still keeping a clean house with the weekly chores in previous days and the daily 15 minute quick clean. Since this rotates every 8 weeks, you stay on top of these what used to be daunting tasks.
I’ve even started getting ahead of the Friday Focus by purging that area throughout the week leading up to it. 5 minutes to go through a drawer here and there. I’m hoping when Friday gets here, I won’t have any sorting to do, and I can just deep clean.
How I Spend My Time NOT Cleaning
So far, 2.5 weeks in, I’ve been able to have more time to relax and do the things I want to do. A couple weekends ago, I got to sit down and enjoy 2 movies with my kids. We didn’t spend all day cleaning and folding laundry like we normally do. This week, I’ve been able to sit down and play with my 3 year old. THAT is what I love the most. I had this horrible feeling like I wasn’t available for her because I was constantly cleaning. I felt like I was missing her childhood. It was awful. I don’t feel that way this week.
So, the TOMM Method is what I’ve been using, but the real secret to keeping a clean house is having it on my to do list app as a recurring chore. I can see it on the days after today, so I don’t postpone the chores each day and pile them up. I just get it done because I know it only takes 45 minutes. There are lots of to do list apps out there. I like Remember the Milk. I’ve heard great things about ToDoIst. You can also just use your Reminders app or your calendar.
My Favorite Cleaning Products
I’ve also found that having gone through the Konmari process, especially with cleaning products, has helped a ton. I have an organized cleaning caddy, and all of my products are together. Last year, I started using Grove Collaborative (Affiliate Link) to order my cleaning supplies, and I love that they just show up on my doorstep! I wanted to move to more natural, safe cleaning products, and Grove makes that so simple! I’ve found some really great products, and the free shipping (with the VIP membership) & price matching make it cheaper than running to Target most of the time. The Free gifts with the VIP membership are a bonus!
I really love the Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Spray, Dish Soap, Hand Soap, Vinegar Cleaner & Baking Soda Cleaner. The only downside is, I’ve found that I’m allergic to the Lemon Verbena fragrance (it makes me instantly sneeze). I usually go for the Geranium scent in the Spray, Dish & Hand Soaps. I tried the Mrs. Meyer’s toilet cleaner, and I didn’t think it was as effective as Lysol, so I don’t use that anymore. Also, the Mrs. Meyer’s glass cleaner isn’t really doing it for me lately, so I’m on the hunt for something else. Do you have one you love? Tell me!
The Grove Brand tools that I’ve tried are wonderful, as are the Full Circle Brand cleaning tools. I love finding new products to add to my order each month! It’s well worth the VIP charge & the Free gifts and free shipping make up for that charge quickly.
My Favorite Floor Cleaning Products
For our wood floors, I’ve been using Murphy’s Oil Soap, a rope mop and a bucket (similar). However, with the TOMM method, she wants you to mop certain areas each day. I’m not going to do that with a rope mop and bucket. So last weekend, I got a Swiffer Wood Wet Jet. I use this for the daily spot mopping, and then try to mop the whole wood floor one Friday a month with the Murphy’s Oil Soap.
For our vacuum, we’ve had a small Dyson Upright for almost a decade. We also have a Dyson hand vac. I highly recommend both of these products as they’ve held up really well. I’d love to move the upright upstairs permanently so I don’t have to lug it up and down the stairs every week. For Christmas, I’m asking Santa for a robot vacuum & mop. I found this one on Amazon that has really good reviews. I guess that means I need to be a really good girl this year!
This is getting really long (did I tell you I love a clean house), so I better wrap it up now. I’m thrilled to have found a routine that works for me! I hope it works for you! I love that I get to spend more time with my kids AND have a clean house. Not to mention the savings in the budget.
Have you found little tweaks to your routine that save you time in your day? Tell me in the comments!