Tuesday, December 10, 2019

House Keeping Tips for My Son

(My oldest son is talking about buying his first home. At this point all my children still live at home, though 5/9 are adults. I am sure I will have some adjustments to make when he moves out (especially since he has offered to rent a room to at least one brother), but, though I have taught all my children individual skills for housekeeping, it will be a bigger adjustment for him to put all those skills together to keep a nice home.)

"Housekeeping" has three main departments (before children are added, anyway)

1) Calendar and meal Management
2) Clutter Control
3) Regular Routines

(I draw largly from Flylady.com . You can go to her site to get her whole program, which would be a good idea. I have also added in some from the Messie's Manual, and Don Aslott's writings, as will as a bit of my own ideas)

1) Buy a good calendar and write EVERYTHING on it (birthday's, anniversaries, major purchases, household maintanance, etc.) Flylady's calendar is big and made of non-glossy paper, so you can write on it with any writing implament. It's the one I have hanging on the linen cabinet (in the middle of the house). You can use it for menu planning too.

2) "You can't organize (or clean) clutter. You can only get ride of it." -Flylady. Keep an eye on how much stuff you have The more stuff, the more work. You, dear son, won't likely be starting out with all that much clutter, but it can get out of hand way fast!

3) Routines are divided up into daily, weekly, and monthly-or-less categories. The more frequently a chore is done the more important it is to do it.


  • Wash, dry, and put up all the dishes (actually, I would advise you only own enough dishes for yourself for- at most- two meals. If you have company, use paper.) Actually, this should be your most frequent chore, washing, drying, and putting up all the dishes everytime you eat. If you have a dishwasher, turn it on every night and empty it every morning. Hide your dirty dishes in it the rest of the time.
  • Take all the trash out of the house. It encourages mice and bad smells to have it linger in the house.
  • If you own a washer and dryer, do a load each day (wash, dry, fold, put up). This reduces the sheer number of clothes you need to own, thus clutter, you need to have in the house. If you don't own your own machines, schedule in one day a week to do your laundry, and daily sort your clothes so they are readiy to go at all times.
  • "Swish and Swipe" your bathroom(s). This is a Flylady thing. It means to wipe down the mirror, faucet, counter, sink, and outside of the toilet (and floor around it) daily. Then swish the toilet brush around inside the bowl and flush. The brush can be stored in a container with cheapy dish soap. This will keep it from making a mess on the floor, as well as always having soap to clean the bowl. 
  • Make your bed. It is the biggest pice of furniture in your house and if it looks neat, so does your house. Besides, it keeps bugs and dust out of your sheets. 
  • "Reboot" each room. Go through the house putting things back where they belong. No more than 5 minutes per room. 
  • Wipe the kitchen counters down and clean the sink.
  • Do anything you can to make tomorrow go nicer and easier. Can you put supper in a crockpot? Do you need to take something out of the freezer to thaw for tomorrow? Put anything you need to take away from the house with you by the front door (library books, papers for work, etc.)


  • Spend 10 minutes with a feather duster dusting lightly. This will prolong how long you can go between serious dusting without affecting your allergies. 
  • Spend 10 minutes either washing windows or wiping fingerprints off of doors, knobs and handles.
  • Vacuum all carpets (just the middles is fine. The edges only need to be done occasionally)
  • Mop all hard floors.
  • Change your sheets. Makes them last longer and feels oh-so-nice to have fresh sheets. 
  • Make a menu, checking what you have on hand and what is on sale at the store. If you use Smiths, make your own account and add coupons to your rewards card electronically. Make a shopping list.
  • Schedule one consist ant day a week to do your grocery shopping and take a list with you.
  • Clean your car and check it's fluids.
  • Toss old leftovers from the fridge.
  • Include your yard as a room to check out weekly. I know I have not done a good job at keeping up on these weekly and less often things, but the house would be better if I did.


Flylady divides the house into 5 zones, tackling what needs to be done in each one one week a month. Week:
  1. (From the 1st to Friday) Clean your entry, porch, and dining room. What ever needs doing such as washing walls, decluttering, deep vacuuming.
  2. (First full week of the month) Clean your kitchen. Do your cupboard doors need washing? Do they need straightening out/organizing? Does the fridge need washing? How about the silverware drawer?
  3. (Second full week of the month) Clean the family bath and one other room (store room, office, guest room, laundry room) Deep vacuum, declutter, organize, detail dust, whatever most needs doing.
  4. (Third full week of the month) Master Suit. Under your bed, closet, drawers, cupboards, shower curtains, rugs, etc. 
  5. (Last week of the month, usually partial, until the first of the next month) Living room. Whatever needs cleaning. 
In each of these don't ever pull out more than you can put back in an hour or less. Do baby steps. Most of the time, just 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week.Flylady and https://homecalendar.com/dashboard will both send you things to do in the house. Flylady has daily missions for monthly or less cleaning, while the home calendar has the odd ball chores like cleaning under your fridge or shutting all the shutoff valves off and back on. I'm sure you can find other sites that will also help you know when and what to do  for the less frequent chores.  

Keep one day for play and one for worship. 

If you consistently do this your house will stay clean, especially if there are only 1 or 2 people living there. 

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