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Zone Cleaning | How I Keep My House {Kinda} Clean


Had to throw the “kinda” in there because there are some days when surely it seems as if the Tazmanian Devil graced us with his presence bringing a hostess gift of clutter and destruction wrapped in foolishness.

Somewhere along this pursuit of living a peaceful and purposeful life I discovered as messy as my tendencies are, I thrive in a well organized space. It declutters my mind and gives me a calm that I hadn’t known before I became intentional about keeping our living space tidy.

I am messy by nature. Keeping our house clean comes with schedules and when we get off schedule things get out of hand and we end up having to take a full day to get everything back in order. This past Sunday was catch up day, I was thrilled that it had been nearly 3 months before there had to be a resident intervention with all hands on deck to get this place back in order.

The Zone Cleaning Method does a great job of keeping our house in order. I have integrated my cleaning schedule into the mix and when I stay on top of things and when I say I, I do mean policing other people to do their chores, my mind is in a state of organized euphoria.  When executed properly our house stays tidy in a way that we never have to do more than pick up things here and there and rarely have to clean on the weekend by design.

Zone cleaning specifically means giving certain areas of your house a day of its own to tidy. You can easily incorporate zone cleaning into your home with these simple tips

Start with a clean home: To be effective when implementing this you have to start with a fully clean house otherwise you’ll be working in circles and won’t see the benefit.

Pick one or two areas to clean a day: The kitchen seems to be in high demand so you will have to clean that daily but only deep clean it on it’s assigned day. For the assigned spaces, vacuum, wipe down mirrors and appliances, mop, do whatever it takes to get the space clean. At least once a month incorporate dusting, and the baseboards into the rotation for a deep clean.

Give yourself 30 minutes per area: Once you get in the hang of it and are diligent about putting things where they belong on a daily basis, it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to tidy the space once a week. Set a timer, put your phone down, find you some music and get to work.

Do laundry twice a week: I used to do laundry once a week and it was too much. I find two days makes the loads smaller and more manageable. I wash on Wednesdays and Sundays. If I miss folding on Sunday, I reserve it for Wednesday and then the next Sunday until we are digging out of the basket. This only happens sometimes.

Pick Things Up Daily: Somebody left their shoes in the living room? Call them to come and pick them up. Toothpaste residue was left on the counter? Yell for the culprit. I promise they will get tired of hearing your voice and start to do these small  tasks that if left untamed are the gateway to clutter and disarray. This rule goes for you too. Teamwork makes the tidy dream work.

Stick to the Script: I know there will be days where you will fall into the door, and feel lucky that you didn’t unleash your wrath on someone, however you really have to make a conscious effort to do your zones daily and be diligent about doubling up on the next day if the bed truly needed you at 6p on a Tuesday and your kids ate cereal for dinner. Things happen.

This is seriously a high level overview, you obviously know your space better than I do but these tips will hopefully get you thinking about how you can reclaim your time in the cleaning department and not live in clutter. Disorganized spaces are so mind draining, no matter how small or big your space there are options out there to start you on the journey to living a decluttered life, even if it means starting with the junk drawer in the kitchen…..just keep going.

What are some of your cleaning tips?

 

About the author
Mom, wife and friend. I moonlight as a cooker, baker, laundry folder and organizer. I like to think I do it in style. Unlikely Martha is my contribution to the internet in helping women "Keep House and Stay Fly!"

13 Comments

  1. I’m all about keeping a clean home and I agree with you, a decluttered space actually enables you to think clearly. You’ve shared some great tips, especially the one about giving ourselves 30 minutes for each area.

    Neriah , my eldest is at a stage where she actually like to help me clean, so I’m thankful, however Im not sure how long that will last LOL

    As always, great post!
    Charlotte recently posted..the true meaning of self-care

  2. Good tips. When you are home for the night after baseball and dance, how do you push yourself to clean? After working all day when I finally get home I just crash 😣😣😣 I need motivation.

    1. You really do have to start with an entirely clean house. I think part of it is a mind trick that if you see the space clean you will want it to stay that way. Maybe hire someone to do the initial deep clean and stay on top of it. Once you get the system down I promise it is literally 30 minutes or less of just picking things up and putting them where they belong and you can do that while cooking or getting ready for the next day.

  3. Thank you for the tip! I am doing my best with just keeping downstairs tidy. I have a new rule…no dishes should be left in the sink each night. Mentally I’m working on upstairs. I need motivation.

    1. Take a day out or hire someone. I had a hard time getting the system to work when my house was not completely clean. It never seemed like I was making any progress until I took one full day and cleaned every room.

      I pick things up daily and literally takes me less than 30 minutes except for the one time a month when I deep clean each space.

  4. I used to zone clean all of the time and then I turned into my mother. I got sick of always telling people to pick up after themselves and I just started to do everything. Now I’m over it again and I guess it’s back to managing the family so that I can actually keep the house clean!

    1. YES! The making sure everyone cleans up gets annoying. It’s just easier to do it yourself, but I’m sticking tough with it. They need to clean up after themselves.

  5. I love this idea. I realized that when my home is unorganized so is my thinking . I started breaking task in increments so that I’m not overwhelmed .

    1. I promise looking at a little bit at a time really helps. Before you know it those little things add up and you start to see things in a different light. Glad this helped! Thanks for reading!

  6. MiMi I somehow on IG stumbled cross this post. I see that it is old. Nevertheless still helping busy moms like ME 🙂
    I started zone cleaning my house last week Friday starting with my bar area. It has been working out really well. The problem that I am having is I spend too much time in one area, now this is not totally a bad thing because its needed. When I began doing the play room where most of my kids junk is , they all CAME running ummm what you doing ? Why are you throwing that out ? Wait why are you moving this ? Guess what happened they HELPED ME and its super clean in there right now. I have two college students that will be leaving to go to school in the next 2 weeks. I’m looking forward to less mess in my house being that it will just be one child (my 12 year old) in this house. The hubby came home and said what did you do with all that stuff and we both LOL ! Thank you for helping me MiMi my next zone will be the laundry room. I have not actually created a schedule because I’m curious to see HOW the house will change with only one child here. I will do a schedule by OCTOBER and keep you posted.

    1. Yay Shon! So in the beginning it will take more time than normal but as you are consistent you can usually straighten bedrooms and other areas in about an hour or so, the key is lightly picking up during the week. My goal for the laundry and kitchen is to just have to sweep really good and mop. It makes life so much easier once you find the rhythm and by then it doesn’t take as much work to keep things together. I set a timer, and I try to beat the clock to get it done, otherwise I’ll drag it along. Try that!

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