If you’re anything like me, you really don’t like cleaning the house.
Even before I had pets, cleaning was one of my least favorite activities. It took up so much time and effort that I could have been spending doing things that I actually wanted to be doing. I would put it off and put it off, choosing to spend my time reading, playing video games, or any number of other things. The problem with that is that when I did finally go to clean, I had created so much more work for myself by not just doing it in the first place.
Now that Cole and I have seven indoor pets (and one horse), cleaning is even more of a chore. Even with mostly short-haired animals, they shed a lot! It’s really important to stay on top of cleaning so that we don’t end up with a complete disaster on our hands. We’ve finally come up with a method to the madness! Today, we’d like to share our cleaning schedule and habits with you. We hope you find it helpful!
Our Cleaning Schedule
We tried a bunch of different scheduling tactics, including calendar reminders on our phones and a physical printed calendar of cleaning in our kitchen. It didn’t work for us. It’s too easy to ignore the phone reminders and the kitchen calendar! Cole and I are also both big procrastinators, so that works against us, too. The schedule that we keep now plays to both of our personality strengths. See, I’m the organizer of the two of us; I am a perfectionist by nature and I always like to have a plan written out. Cole does a lot better with getting requests or a daily to do list as opposed to having to remember things on his own. So what does that have to do with our cleaning schedule?
As the planning half of the Dillons (to be), I made a list of cleaning tasks that need to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Our tasks won’t necessarily be the same as yours, but I’ve come up with some examples for you. Daily tasks are things that you have to do pretty consistently through the week, like dishes, laundry, or cleaning your litterbox(es). Weekly tasks are things that you do once or twice a week, like washing the sheets, cleaning the bathrooms, or vacuuming. We spread weekly tasks across the days of the week, except for Sunday. Sunday is the only day that Cole and I are guaranteed to have together with his job, so we usually try not to have any work to do. Monthly tasks are things that you don’t have to do that often, and it seems like these vary widely from person to person. Things that we have on our monthly list include bathing the dogs and cleaning the fridge. I keep a chart of completed cleaning tasks at the daily, weekly, and monthly levels, and as we complete them, they get checked off. Everyone is happy, and the house is clean!
Cleaning Tasks for Pet Owners
So far, what we’ve talked about can really be applied to any household. As a pet owner, there are a couple of things that we have to keep in mind. Perhaps the most obvious is that most pets have hair, and this hair has a tendency to fall out. Have you ever looked in the corner a room and seen a little tumbleweed of pet hair floating around? It’s not a good feeling, especially when your cats think it’s a fun toy to play with.
In addition to that, if you have pets that go outside, even if it’s just for a minute, then they will track in dirt when they come back in. If they get on your furniture, chances are they are going to get that dirt on everything else in the house, too, including you. These two pet-related issues are the biggest challenges we face in trying to keep our house clean!
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks for really making sure that we have a clean house, even with all of our pets, and we’ve decided to share them with you!
- Stick to your list! If you skip a day, you’ll end up behind, and it’ll be harder to catch up the next day. Every lost day of cleaning as a pet owner gives pet hair and dirt a chance to accumulate, which makes it even harder to get rid of.
- Keep a healthy stash of paper towels and cleaning supplies. If you go to the store and have to ask if you have something at home, just go ahead and get more. Chances are, you probably don’t have enough anyway.
- Clean every surface in your home, including dressers, side tables, and entertainment centers, at least once per week. This will help prevent the accumulation of pet hair and dust that can be kicked up by a ceiling fan, or even just someone walking by. That dirt and hair will inevitably end up on your furniture or clinging to your clothes, and having it swirling around in the air can make allergies or sinuses flare up.
- Any surface that food is going to be prepared, displayed, or eaten on should be cleaned before and after you begin cooking or eating a meal.
- Wash your sheets at least once per week, especially if your pets sleep with you. I also highly recommend getting a large, cheap flat sheet to spread out on top of your comforter or quilt. I know it’s not as pretty, but this has made a huge difference in how often we have to wash our bulky comforter. It even helps protect the rest of the bed, like the pillows, from getting as dirty.
- Vacuum at least twice a week. Use the hose to get in tight corners or under furniture. Vacuum everywhere you can see, and even everywhere you can’t!
- Clean your ceiling fans at least once a month. Honestly, we could probably stand to do this more often, but this is our current interval, and it’s working for us!
- Bathe and/or brush your pets regularly. Not only is this great for keeping them clean and getting rid of shedding fur, but it’s great bonding time, too.
How do you keep your house clean? Did we miss any tips on our list? Let us know in the comments!