Summer weekends are made for sipping blueberry lemonade while wearing wide-brimmed hats and no shoes under the caress of a warm breeze — not cleaning! Here's how to make sure you enjoy yourself on your free summer days without giving up a clean house.
The key to making sure you're not cleaning on the weekend is simple: make sure you get your cleaning tasks done during the week! Here's a gameplan for staying on track.
Beef up Your Daily Chores
Daily chores include the maintenance tasks that keep everyday messes from derailing your weekly cleaning chores. Daily chores are things you do every day, sometimes more than once, and include washing dishes after you cook and eat, wiping down kitchen counters, and picking up items that are out of place.
In addition to being a stickler with these daily tasks, see what weekly chores you can break down and sneak into your daily routine. For instance, maybe you can do a quick vacuum with a cordless every night and skip a weekly bigger vacuuming session. Translating weekly chores into do-able daily ones can free up a weekend chore day.
Keep Up With Your Weekly Chores
Weekly chores are the ones you do about once or twice a week. Think cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, mopping, and dusting. The secret to getting these done during the week without having to use a weekend day is to make a schedule and stick to it. My personal schedule, shared in The House That Cleans Itself, only includes a few tasks over the whole weekend, ones that could easily be shifted to weekday tasks, especially if they're broken down.
If you let go of your good all-the-time housekeeping habits, you'll get stuck catching up on the weekend. One huge one that comes to mind is laundry. Try to do a load every day — to completion (that means folded and put away in drawers). Be strict with yourself about things like wiping down counters, going through the mail every day, and putting everything away where it belongs when it's in your hand.
Get the Family on Board
All this beefing up and shifting around and being strict will be hard to maintain (and likely make you cranky) if you're the only one doing it. Make sure to let your family or household know what your plan is and, of course, why you're going through the trouble, and get them in on it with you. Make weekend plans, even if they're as simple as eating Saturday morning waffles outside without chores hanging over your head, and remind yourself of your well-earned weekend freedom reward as you're working a touch harder on cleaning during the week.