Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Do Quick Cleaning Checklists Work?

So I have a board on Pinterest called "Getting my S#!t Together." On this board, I collect ideas for how to better streamline my life. Specifically, I collect lists that promise me that by following them, in 30 min or less a day, I will have a sparkling clean house.

The one that I particularly liked was this one from Organizing Made Fun. I mean, how could I pass up something called "How to Have a Fake Immaculate House" ?!?! I also really liked this daily quick cleaning list from Real Simple, so I took the two, smashed them together and made my own little baby quick cleaning list.
Aww... a cute little baby list

According to my list, my nightly cleaning should only take me about 40 minutes. Tonight, after a few weeks off from using it, I decided to take my little quick cleaning checklist for a timed test drive.  Our house was a MESS. Not its normal state of kinda messy, but because cleaning had taken a backseat to other DIY projects over the weekend, it basically looked like we were living in a backpacker's hovel. For example, our kitchen looked like this:
I promise we don't live foul. That is just a few dishes sitting
on top of a giant bowl in the right-hand sink and the Crockpot
crock on the left. The stuff on the counter to the right of the sink
are clean dishes. I swear.
The rest of the house wasn't AS messy, but it rather looked like a bomb had gone off in it.

So how did my quick clean shake out?

Downstairs Bathroom
Projected: 5 minutes
Actual: 9 minutes, 35 seconds

Upstairs Bathroom
Projected: 5 minutes
Actual: 5 minutes, 8 seconds

Master Bedroom
Projected: 5 minutes
Actual: 5 minutes, 30 seconds

Living Room (including hall and stairs)
Projected: 10 minutes
Actual: 15 minutes, 27 seconds

Projected: 15 minutes
Actual: 58 minutes and 40 seconds

Grand Total
Projected: 40 minutes
Actual (rounded up): 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Holy crap! Who has time for that every day?!?!?! I put my kids to bed at 7:30... If I started cleaning right after they went to sleep, I wouldn't be done until 9pm! (true story). When would I get any of that down time that this quick cleaning process is supposed to provide me with?

My guess is that IF I were to keep this up on a daily basis, it actually WOULD take me 40 minutes or less. I say this because the rooms that weren't that messy (upstairs bathroom and master bedroom) took almost exactly the projected amount of time. I am okay with being done by a little after 8pm.

I am going to commit to trying this for a week and getting back to you, dear readers, to see if this "quick cleaning" is really as glorious as all the Pinterest people say it is. Is this the answer to keeping a house that you wouldn't be ashamed to have someone just drop in and see while providing you with ample down time?  Tune in next week when I tell you how it worked out!

Oh and my kitchen?


  1. were you able to enlist help from Diesel? Would that have made it any quicker, or was he busy doing the "chill out" part of the evening?

  2. No on both accounts. Diesel was at school last night. He is generally very helpful around the house and usually unloads the dishwasher before work, which helps speed up the clean up process in the evening. Lately, I have been doing more of the housework because he's been doing more of the construction-type work on the house.


Your comments make my day-- seriously. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my posts. I will do my best to respond!