The All or Nothing Cleaner, Part 3

Once you finish creating your Task/Time List, there's one more step I recommend (one that isn’t in my book The House That Cleans Itself because I just thought of it recently). Underneath the list of actions that must be performed on an ongoing basis and their times, you might add a second list of one-time things you want to do with that room, broken down into tiny tasks.

You won't need to time this set of actions since hopefully you'll only do them once or at least once in a great while. But think how much more easily those "someday" projects can get done if you've got a list of them posted in a handy place to remind you when you have a spare moment or two to tackle them.

For example, you might write "Do the fridge/papers/magnet thing", which means, essentially, take everything off of the fridge, throw away the papers that are out of date, throw away any ugly or unnecessary magnets, clean the whole outside of the fridge, and put the remaining, current stuff back on.

Of course, only put those magnets and papers back on if you really really want to. An uncluttered fridge goes a long way in making the entire kitchen seem cleaner! In the interest of having a House That Cleans Itself, you might want to consider getting a bulletin board instead, preferably one that's mounted on the INSIDE of a cabinet door so that you can easily tuck it away when you want your house to feel cleaner.

But I digress. If you are an all or nothing cleaner, it's time to get started on your lists today!


The All or Nothing Cleaner, Part 2

Have you timed your most common repetitive household chores yet?

When timing yourself, be sure to include the time it takes to gather any needed cleaning materials and to put those materials away when you are done. I challenge you to get started on that today—and if it's too overwhelming to do the whole house, start with the smallest room and just get that list done and posted for now.

In fact, I'd love to know about at least one of your tasks and how long it took you to do it. (If you don't have the book The House That Cleans Itself and you need a lengthier explanation of how to create an accurate Task/Time List, please email me at MindyStarnsClark@ and I'll be happy to send you a more complete description excerpted from the book.)

How long does it take you to unload the dishwasher? Clean up the dog's eating area? Wipe smudges from a door and doorframe, both sides? Sweep the front walk? Wipe the gunk off of the tubes and bottles on your bathroom counter? Swish the toilet bowl with cleaner—not clean the whole tank or the entire bathroom, just swish the toilet bowl? Remember, this isn't a race. As you time yourself, perform these tasks at the same speed you would normally perform them. You want realistic times for the Task/Time List to be most effective.

Come back next week for a helpful tip on augmenting your list.