Friday, April 6

The Organized Woman's Guide to More Knitting Time

Or whatever you want more time to do.

This series is about discovering time you already have, but maybe you aren't using as wisely as you could.  I decided to do this series because I've learned some things that work for me, some things I'd like to improve upon, and some things I still need to learn!

Whether you want more knitting time, or time to spin, crochet, paint, read or whatever floats your boat, there are sure to be some tips and techniques you can use for better time management.

First up - 

Cleaning Your Home (in about one hour) 

I don't know about you, but if my house is a dusty, dirty mess, I find it impossible to focus on knitting or designing until I clean it.  (And yes, I  am little OCD, why do you ask?)

This is one reason I clean my house each week, but I don't spend hours and hours accomplishing it.  My goal is to thoroughly, but efficiently, do my basic cleaning, get it done and move onto other things.
I have days that are for deeper cleaning, but that's not what we're talking about today.

Let me confess right here, I'm kind of a stickler for tidiness and cleanliness.  So I don't just "hit the high spots".  I get everything done that I think needs to be done on a weekly basis.  Your list will be different from mine, and that's okay.  The idea is to do the amount of cleaning that will let you say "My house is clean" and move onto the the fun stuff (and for me, that's knitting, spinning and designing).

Tip:  Stay on target.  Try not to get distracted with one area that may need more attention.  If it's really bothering you or needs attention, you can come back to it.  But try to get the whole house done before you re-focus your attention on a problem area.  Put on some music and move!

Cleaning your home in about one hour:

  • Have a snack   (10 minutes - prior to beginning)
If you're starving, you won't have energy to clean efficiently.  So before you even get started, have a snack.  I usually grab a handful of almonds along with some carrots and celery.  Apple slices with peanut butter is another favorite.

  • Change sheets / do laundry (10 minutes)
The first place I head is to the bed, where I change the sheets (and the pillow shams if need be) and get the bed made.  The sheets go right into the washer with a few other like items. 

  • Change sheets
  • Make bed
  • Start load of laundry (with sheets included)

  • Clean your least favorite thing first :  for me - bathrooms  (10 minutes)
I find if I tackle my least favorite area right at the start and get it clean and shining, the rest of the cleaning is easier.   

  • Clean commode, sink and tub/shower
  • Polish mirrors, glass and fixtures
  • Wipe down counters and objects on counter
  • Empty trash
  • Shake out rugs

  • Dust/polish and pick up (15-20 minutes)
After the bathrooms are clean, the rest of the rooms are easy.  Admittedly, it's just my husband, me and our senior dog, which does make it easier.  I start in the bedrooms, then move to the office, craft studio, living & dining rooms.

  • Dust all flat surfaces (including any objects that need dusting/polishing)
  • Polish glass, mirrors and/or electronic equipment
  • Dust lampshades, picture frames and shelves
  • Return any out of place items to their home
  • Empty trashcans

  • Vacuum / sweep  (15-20 minutes)
Once everything is dusted (and the dust is on the floor) I vacuum the entire house at one time.  This is just the regular vacuuming, not any special move-the-furniture, get-into-all-the-crevices vacuuming (it's good to do that at least once a quarter).  Same for the sweeping.

  • Vacuum all carpeted areas / large rugs
  • Sweep hard flooring

  • Mop (5 minutes)
I don't use a lot of chemicals in my home.  I mop with a vinegar/water solution.  Use hot water! 

  • Mop hard flooring

  • Kitchen Clean Up (5 minutes)
This is more of a daily chore for me, so it doesn't take too long on any one day.  The countertops, sink,  and stove get wiped down daily, so this is just a quick swish.

  • Wipe countertops
  • Wipe down stovetop / polish if needed
  • Clean sink
  • Wipe down refrigerator / dishwasher if spotted

  • Sweep entryways (help dirt stay out in the first place)
Keep porches, patios and stoops free of debris. 

Remember, this is your weekly cleaning, not special or in-depth cleaning.  It's good to schedule those days at least once a quarter.  That's the time to move the furniture, empty the closets and really dig in.  That's not today.  Today's goal is clean house = time to knit!

You'll find when you clean your house regularly, it is easier to clean.  Because it stays cleaner through the week, stuff doesn't pile up, and grime doesn't get a chance to take hold! 

What about you?  Do you have any cleaning tips that help you get it done and get on to the fun stuff?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

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