I’m on a journey.
Although in my 36 years, I have awakened many, many times with a resolve to change my slobbish ways . . . that resolve did little to clean my house.
I had to clean it myself.
And keep it clean.
Learning skills and letting them build on one another is what has made the difference. For the first six months or so of this deslobification process, I only worked on developing daily habits. My goal was to recognize what things needed to be done daily (that I wasn’t doing) and force myself to do them until they felt natural. It made a huge difference and my house was more livable than it had been in years.
But once I started to feel like the house was somewhat under control, I realized that I needed to be more consistent with my real cleaning tasks. Y’know, pesky things like scrubbing toilets and mopping kitchens and other things that were ever-so-easy to put off.
So, building on the success of my Laundry Day, I started trying to clean bathrooms every Tuesday. Once that felt more natural and I saw how much of a difference it made, I designated Thursday as Mopping Day and Friday as Dust and Vacuum Day.
This is not some crazy new-fangled idea of mine. I’m pretty sure it’s what normal people have been doing for . . . umm . . . forever. But when my home was ruled by stuff, and cleaning a bathroom meant digging a path to its door and unearthing all of the things needed to clean it, the thought of doing all of that EVERY SINGLE WEEK was overwhelming.
So, what’s my point? It’s been a process. Waking up one day and saying I was going to start cleaning showers, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and washing every last item of dirty clothing in this house every single week would have been just that . . . saying it. I wouldn’t have gotten much farther than that.
But, just in case you’re to the point where you might be ready for weekly tasks, I thought I’d share a printable version of my schedule. Please don’t take it as an “I have to do this exactly this way” or even as advice. It’s just an example for you to look at if you feel like you’re ready. And even if you do want to create a weekly task list for yourself, your days will almost certainly be different from mine. I do laundry on Monday because it is the day when I’m most likely to be home. I have grocery shopping on Wed because I’m out that day anyway. Maybe doing one load of laundry a day works better for you, and you don’t need a day designated for laundry. It’s your home, and you’re the only one who can figure out what will work for you.
Before I share my printable list, let me try to explain my slob-logic. Remember, I have no “cleaning intuition” like normal people have. If I wait until I notice the need, have the time, and feel the urge to clean all at the same time, I end up waiting for a very long time. Knowing that I clean bathrooms on Tuesdays means that I plan my day around getting that done. Otherwise, I plan my day and cleaning the bathroom never enters my mind. (Ok, I plan my month and cleaning the bathroom never enters my mind.) And if something comes up and I can’t clean bathrooms on Tuesday, all is not lost. When the next Tuesday rolls around, the bathrooms get cleaned. Get it? It’s on the list. Not on the never-ending-to-do-list that gets shoved in the corner and forgotten and never ever finished, but on the oh-it’s-Tuesday-and-so-it’s-been-at-least-a-week-since-I-cleaned-the-bathroom list.
If you’d like, you can go here to print a weekly house cleaning task list. (The printable version includes my list and a somewhat customizable list for you.)
P.S. If you happen to be normal, and see a big glaring omission on my list, something that every decent and self-respecting person should do weekly, please don’t share. My house is so much better than it was pre-blog, and I’d rather live in this present state of cluelessness than be overwhelmed with something else to add right now.
P.P.S. Six years later, I wrote a book. After figuring out what works in my home and for my unique brain, I wrote the guide for you to manage your home without losing your mind. Check it out here: How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.
Remember, I have no "cleaning intuition" like normal people have
NEWSFLASH: cleaning intuition comes from either of 2 places: you are "born" with it or you've been disciplined very early in life by mama. Normal people are folks made up with differences. There are more 'not inclined' to cleaning people than the "normal people" you mention. If not, there would be no "Hoarders" but shows like "Spit and Polish" or "Clean Freaks Utopia".
My sister was born a neat freak. It's in her genes. She's also horrible as a host if you visit her home, because, God forbid you forget what rooms need your shoes on.
That, dear…is NOT normal.
Cleaning is boring. No matter how you slice it. It staves off illness; it helps with allergies..and it is nice aesthetically to look at and live in a clean environment.
It's still boring.
Do what works for you and stay off the web for ideas beyond getting a schedule. I clean best doing 'all over' and then pick up areas the few days after. I'm not a task by task cleaner. And I'm okay with that.
Find your "you" in cleaning. Stay off personal blogs. That's a personality. That's not you or me. Organized Home is good.
And…although this is a cute title for a blog, and the humor is understandable through you; stop putting yourself down. This may be a place for accountability, but it still shows you lack confidence in yourself.
You are the normal. And you'll be just fine.
Sarah Floyd Greer says
Ooh, three year old insult response. And yet she carried on anyway. Go Nony! Not everyone will resonate with you, and that is how it is supposed to be! A pot calling itself black is not insulting itself, it’s being authentic. Authenticity is real confidence, not false bravado. If you want bravado, re-read this comment from “annonymous” again who clearly should take some of their own well meaning advice and stay off “personal blogs”. If there is one message I send over and over again in my own blog-with-a-cute/authentic-slightly sefldepricating-title it’s this: there is a spectrum of neurological types out there.
A *spectrum* means that we are not all the same as the above comment assumes. Some of us are very sensitive, very creative, very visiual, or very literal, others not so much. Some people really benefit from *explicit* written instructions to help them define necessary household tasks others don’t need the extra instruction. The point is that if you need it, it’s here (and you found it, Good for You!) and provided by a very generous person. If you don’t need it then you just don’t need it, Good for You.
Michelle W says
Laura O. says
Preach. I suspect I have ADD, so this method she has JIVES with me. I’m so glad I found Nony, she’s my spirit animal.
Yes!! Beautifully said, inspiring and not condescending !! Would be a much nicer world if we all had that frame of mind before we speak or “blog”!!
Alexandria Piche says
6 year old insult response- it is her authenticity about her slob brain that makes me prefer her over every other cleaning guru I ever met. And trust me, I have slob brain too. I married a “normal” person, and based on my mother in law’s perspective, I’m lazy. Because I suck at cleaning (and cooking). Nony’s honesty gives me hope and helps me understand myself better. What works for most people doesn’t work for me. I need Nony as a trailblazer to teach me how to keep house despite my slob brain. <3
That's so awesome! My mopping happens maybe 4 times a year…you know like after I've been canning or I start sticking to the floor. And dusting? That's a joke!
So glad I’m not the only one!
Have lived in our house 6 years. I know we have a mop. I do not know where it currently is, nor have I ever actually used it in this house. If the floor gets sticky, I throw a wet towel on the floor and spot-“mop”–yes, often with my foot.
It is so amazing how similar we really are. LOL I've struggled my whole life and in the last 4 weeks I've made an effort to do those "little" things. I must be doing something right because last night while I was bathing our 6 month old my husband cleaned the toilet…that I just cleaned last week. Before it might have gone 3 months before anyone noticed that it needed it. Gross I know, but I have a lot on my mind. Yesterday I overheard my 4 year old tell my 2 year old that he could come into the house, but it was messy. It broke my heart to know that all the times I've made excuses to company for my messy house my daughter has picked up on it. Today is laundry day so I'm gonna get off here and get started. I'm proud of you for sticking with it. You are such an encouragement to me!!!!!!
Nony the Slob says
Anonymous, thanks for the encouragement. Really, this blog is all about me finding my "you" in cleaning. And I think most of my regular readers understand that I refer to non-slobs as "normal" in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way. As I constantly tell my kids, "Who wants to be normal?"
I listened to your book and it gave me so much encouragement and motivation. I love your style, probably because I am almost the same way 😂 Your book was seriously the only book I actually read all the way through. Keep doing what your doing:)
Exactly what I love about you, the tongue-in-cheek approach.
I am very active in the Planner community and there’s a lady named Cindy,( llama love letters) she reminds me so much of you! Her you tube videos are so addictive!
I have just found your blog and I’m so glad I did.
I am 60 years old and about to retire. The last 20 years have been dis-organised to say the least. At one stage I moved house 7 times in 7 years. Since the last move (I bought my own place) life has taken over every time I have tried to do any sorting/de-cluttering/de-slobbing eg My sister moved in for a few weeks and moved out 3 years later.
In the last 2 months I have searched the Internet trying to find a de-cluttering program that I could follow, that would actually work!
I think I have just found it!
Thank you Dana for your wonderful creativity.
I love your please don't share! I enjoy your writing so much. I come for the inspiration and the chuckle I usually get. Thanks for sharing your printable list.
Hi! I'm your newest follower from the Wednesday link up. Lovely blog:) You can find me at http://www.bouffeebambini.blogspot.com
CUte blog title
I just stopped by from Works for me Wednesday. What a great idea for a blog. It sounds like you are doing awesome on your journey. I, too, am a don't-notice-the-mess kind of gal, and it has surely been a many years process to (slowly) work my way out of bad habits. I think it will be a lifelong quest 🙂 Anyway, thanks for the blog and I, too, love the "don't share with me any omissions" comment. A girl has her limits 🙂
Home Cleaner says
Very good point. If you have the clear idea how to maintain the house in a good condition, you will be able to achieve it.
Jules Thomas says
What a journey you are on and what a great blog post thanks for sharing your cleaning ritual and check list
I thought I was the only one who lack the desire to clean. So glad to find your inspiring blog.
I am so glad there are other people who struggle keeping a clean house. I am a stay at home mom and you would think my house would be spotless but I would like to think I am a great wife and mother and a horrible housekeeper. I hope this blog helps me.
Amy Carter says
“I am not alone”. “Get out of my head”… they go on and on as I read your posts. As a stay at home-homeschooling Mom, you’d think I’d have it more together…NOT. As my 3 get older, I realize that in teaching them my lack of habits, and excuses for not having friends over, and scrambling to find things, is just setting them up for their own stress and shame filled thoughts. (sigh) I have tried to “fly”, but as helpful and insightful, it overwhelms me in and of itself. So, with a new perspective (and some checklists for motivation) I will face my slobby self and start learning –myself and the kids…we can only go up from here! Thanks for your honesty and humor :).
Hahaha, I love your story! I really appreciate your sharing it. It’s nice to be reminded that there are perfectly awesome people like me who just might be slobs attempting recovery when I’ve recently had a couple visits from my pristine-home-owning mother. My brain–and thus my home–is certainly more like yours than hers!!!
thanks so much for letting me know I’m not alone. all of my siblings are neat freaks but I get so overwelmed by the big picture nothing gets done. Your list are a life saver.
Bille Mayes says
I love your site and you. My mom passed away one year ago yesterday and she was always a clean freak till the day she passed she never sat still. Me and My 16 year old daughter lived with her and my father, now just my father, daughter and myself. I struggled at first to keep up with the house and cooking and taking care of my dad, I have to say my mom was wonder woman. She spoiled us, we tried to do things around to help her but it was not good enough she would rather do it her self.
I now love to cook and my dads says I’m a great cook and other people as well, but I make a huge mess when I cook lol. I have pretty set schedule of cleaning, but some days I just get fed up and and say screw it, it can wait till tomorrow. I have to turned into my mom, I like follow my daughter ad clean up after her and her friends. The one room I hate to clean is my own room lol, I always have books spread across my bed, I love to read and make monthly menu plans in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep, but people don’t see my room so I like it like that, lol.
Thank you! Your blog gives me hope. I had no idea there were other people who struggle the way I do. I constantly feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, then once I do I get distracted! When the house is finally clean, I come home to another mess and loose it! I decided if I just had a list to tell me what to do and when to do it, I’d have a plan and a chance. : )
Welcome! And there’s definitely hope!
OMG. This: “And if something comes up and I can’t clean bathrooms on Tuesday, all is not lost. When the next Tuesday rolls around, the bathrooms get cleaned. Get it? It’s on the list.”
See, I have been trying to make a weekly list for myself for years. But it was never very effective because if I didn’t get whatever was scheduled for a certain day, done, I’d think I had to “catch up” and fit it in, and then everything would snowball and nothing got done. I mean, really, so it waits till the next scheduled day. It is still cleaner than not doing it at all for months and months.
Thanks! It is a small break through for me.
Dana White says
I’m so glad! This was a huge mind-changer for me!
Whenever I read blogs like this I start to wonder if I am not normal. I see lots of blogs telling people their routine and having certain days they do things. I feel like I HAVE to vacuum or else I haven’t cleaned. Same with mopping. I sometimes clean up my kitchen without mopping it, but I never feel like I finished unless I mop. I also feel like it would be a disaster zone here (more than it already is) if I waited and only mopped once a week or so. I wonder now if we are dirtier than most? Or if I am just obsessed about it more than most? It should be noted my mom was a clean freak growing up. You could literally eat off our toilets and not be sick. So maybe I just obsess to much. It makes me feel better to read blogs like this. Even though it does make me wonder if I am normal or not lol. Thanks for the blog. Now I am off to clean up my slobby mess. 🙂
wait… do I own a mop? 😉
“I have no cleaning intuition.” I think I have just met my new best friend! I am the daughter of a self-proclaimed clean freak. Why can I not keep on top of my house is a mystery to my mother. My children know the routine that starts about two weeks before my parents visit… It’s sad, really. And after so much work she’ll stand in what I think is a relatively clean kitchen, staring up at the top of the fridge and muse aloud, “How did everything even get there…?” We are thankfully able to laugh about our differences now (although I still go through that “Mum’s coming! Get cleaning!” stressful panic with every visit) but it made it difficult to learn when the one who should have been teaching me never had to learn. I don’t blame her – I know what it’s like to have to teach someone something that came naturally for me. I had this very situation happen with a piano student who did not understand the concept of rhythm. I didn’t even know where to begin because I had never had to go through the process of learning it. And this is why I think I am going to continue to find your blog so very useful. You share my lack of cleaning intuition. You had to learn it. And I am so thankful that you did learn (or I should probably say are learning) it! I have already printed a couple of check-lists and hope to elicit the help of my teenage daughters in some areas. Yes, I have teenage daughters and 2 grown children…I am “better” (which is a relative term) at housekeeping than I was 20 years ago, but I believe for those of us for whom this does not come naturally it is a life-long process to continue to find ways to improve as well as never-ending cycles of having a handle on some areas and then completely losing control and becoming overwhelmed again… Anyway, thank you for sharing your journey. I am confident that finding a kindred non-cleaning-intuitive spirit will help with mine!
But… what about all those things that have to be done OUTSIDE??? I live alone and I have to do it all. I prefer to be outside, so my yard looks much better than inside the house. I also work 9 hours a day, four days a week. I’m a terrible housekeeper, so I like your lists and ideas, but it’s hard to find enough time for everything.
I love you, Nony. You make me laugh. You encourage me. You slap me up side the head, occasionally. 🙂
The “cleaning intuition”…yup. That’s it exactly! My mother asked me today why my floors weren’t getting mopped regularly. Ha! Because it never crosses my mind! Well, now thanks to your lovely list, maybe it will. Thank you!
I am totally horrible at keeping our house clean. When I do get in somewhat of a habit, I have found that combing the floors with laundry day really works well. They don’t have anything to do with each other, but the reason it works is that even if you fold the load of laundry after it’s done and you have a load going (I don’t normally do this) then you still have time until loads are done. So I make a game of it to make it less boring. I try to see if I can finish vacuuming/sweeping/mopping room X before the buzzer goes off.
I like Pandora and plug in my favorite music groups and songs and it picks similar music and goes from there. I pick upbeat songs that are played at first or very similar songs and you give it thumbs up or thumbs down and it helps it “learn” your preference. You can “program” several different “radio stations” and name them.
I explained all that to explain that I use these to say that I play the music when I can work around the house. It helps the work go a lot faster and a lot more fun.
I’ve been following the basics you cover in your book. Did it for a whole month like the guide in the basic. My house is looking nice. I just recently printed the week cleaning list. It took me longer than a day to do the laundry, but I got everything else done. I love your blog, it’s been so helpful.
Dana White says
So glad you’re experiencing success!!
Did you ever find out that “one thing you should absolutely be doing every week” that you weren’t? (ie in the P. S.). J/K :). Seriously though, has this list changed since you first wrote this? I think you are spot on. Before I searched your site, I wrote out 5 things that I think I need/want to do (most) every week and it was essentially the same as yours, to the day! But I have been on your site before so it’s probably from memory. Differences are Wednesday is (hopefully going to be) my baking bread day and Friday, instead of a full dust day (honestly my house does not get dusty enough for weekly dusting) will be a dust-declutter-organize one room of the house. I used to try for every hour of the day to be designated and I still strive for that but I like your approach of getting one basic task done otherwise I get too overwhelmed.