Clean Sweep? The Case Against Spring Cleaning

The Solution: A Household Cleaning Plan

So how do we replace spring cleaning? With a workable household cleaning plan.

Homes cleaned according to a household cleaning plan stay reasonably clean all the time--and even when they slip, can be pulled back into line easily.

Instead of a single yearly intense cleaning period, a cleaning plan provides for routine deep-cleaning of each room in the house, on a regular, staggered schedule.

A cleaning plan integrates seasonal cleaning chores into daily or weekly cleaning sessions, and no task goes too long without being done. Result: a clean home the year around.

How do you develop a cleaning plan for your organized home?

The best plans are individualized for your own family's needs. Tempting as it is to jump into a canned routine of lists and schedules, it's hard to sustain the energy to continue if you're either cleaning already-clean areas (because the plan says you should!) or living with neglected corners (because they weren't part of the plan!).

While there are lots of "Do it my way!" options out there, rigid methods fail most folks in the long term, because they're not suited to the unique needs and challenges of any given family. Just ask all the "Week Three drop-outs" about the disappointment they face after. an intense flirtation with somebody else's cleaning plan!

No, a cleaning plan must be home-grown. While the steps are fairly simple--identify the household's cleaning needs, decide on frequency of cleaning tasks, set up a calendar or tickler file to schedule cleaning chores, and assign chores to the time periods mandated by the calendar--the devil is in the details ... and the doing.

Will you spring-clean your home this year?

For some of us, like this writer, there will be no choice: the house must be reclaimed, top to bottom, from built-up dirt and disorder.

But you can bet that as my dust cloths fly (Aaaa-CHOO!), I'll be thinking of how I never intend to face spring cleaning again. What will my secret be? A household cleaning plan!