I shared on Monday that I’m determined to not let our home slip back into total chaos over the wonderfully-routine-free-summer.
When I was a teenager, from 16-18, I spent my summers working at a camp. A very clean camp. It was a gorgeous natural setting, but it was also kept beautiful by rigorous cleaning standards and routines. Admittedly, I loved the weeks when I was a counselor the most, but I also loved the weeks when I was on cleaning duty. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every stage of my life, but there was something so magical and perfect about that one.
Part of it was the independence. Part of it was really truly contributing to something wonderful. I felt important when I cleaned the chapel. I loved the camaraderie when I washed dishes. And, even for this life-long slob, there was no feeling of bewilderment when it came to deep-cleaning the bathrooms. Each and every job at that camp had a detailed instruction list to go with it. DEtailed. Down to the exact amount of pine-sol to put in the potties, and which day of the week to use bleach instead.
“Clean the showers” wasn’t an item on the list, it was the title of the list.
I’ve decided to try to recreate this experience (without the pristine lakeside setting, unfortunately) for my children. Now that both boys can read, I’ve made out a detailed Bathroom Cleaning Checklist for them.
Bathroom Cleaning Checklist
1. Gather supplies:
-One sheet of newspaper
-Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
2. Pick up everything off of the floor and counters, and put away.
3. Vacuum the floors with the hand-held vacuum cleaner. Pay special attention to the edges of
the floor, near the walls, and under counters.
4. Pour one cap full of cleaner in the toilet.
5. Spray Shower Cleaner in the bathtub/shower, be sure to get it on the walls (Don’t do Mom’s
6. Spray Mirror Cleaner on the mirror.
7. Use a crumpled piece of newspaper to wipe the mirror.
8. Use a wipe to clean off the faucet on the sink.
9. Use the same wipe to clean the counter and sink.
10. Use a new wipe to clean off the toothbrush holder.
11. Use that same wipe to wipe off the doorknobs.
12. Wet your sponge and scrub the shower and bathtub.
13. Use a new wipe to clean the flush-handle on the toilet.
14. Use the same wipe to clean the top/back of the toilet tank.
15. Wipe behind the toilet seat, using a new wipe when yours gets nasty-looking.
16. Wipe the toilet lid, top and bottom.
17. Wipe the top of the toilet seat.
18. Wipe the underside of the toilet seat.
19. Wipe the top of the “toilet bowl.”
20. Wipe the outside of the toilet bowl, paying special attention to the sides and bottom where
21. Wipe the floor behind and around the toilet bowl.
22. Wipe the walls behind and to the side of the toilet.
23. Use the toilet brush to scrub the inside of the toilet.
24. Wipe the rest of the floor with a new wipe.
25. Put away supplies.
I used the list today while I cleaned the bathrooms. This helped me add a few things, adjust the order, and realize that I need to do my own bathtub. I also need to be sure that the counters are cleared of my toothbrush, hair products, etc. in the master bathroom before they start.
I know that this is quite detailed, and 25 things seems a little long. I remember learning how important the order of cleaning was. You start with the least gross things first, and then work your way to the most gross. Meaning, you don’t clean the toilet and then the faucet at the sink where you wash your hands.
My bathrooms are sparkly and shiny after using the checklist, so now we’ll see how it works for the boys. They are at the age where they love being given independence and true responsibility, and so I want to take advantage of that while I can.
By the way, I’m researching some home-made, kid-friendly shower cleaners and window cleaners that I’m going to attempt to make next week. While admittedly, I love my heavy-duty bathroom cleaning products, I don’t want my kids using them. Obviously, I’m being very picky about what they use to clean.