the program that changed my life

I have mentioned before how I am in full nesting mode now.  It’s hard for me to leave the house or go to bed without feeling like everything is in place.  I don’t quite think I’m to the point that I must have EVERYTHING in order for the baby (I’m not too concerned about that yet since I have yet to feel a single contraction), but I have been cleaning every inch of my house.  Something that hasn’t been done since, hmmm, Matt moved in 5 years ago.

I grew up in an uber clean house.  I have had friends comment on how clean my house was growing up.  (And no, Mom, I’m not making that up.)  My parents would spend their weekends scrubbing showers + toilets, vacuuming + mopping the floors, polishing (not just dusting) the furniture, and wiping down every last surface until the house was, dare I say, absolutely perfect.

I was taught at a very young age exactly how a bathroom should be cleaned from top to bottom and just how often the furniture should be polished (not just dusted – there IS a difference).  Because of that, I have spent almost every weekend the last 4 years cleaning my house from top to bottom myself.  My house does not look nearly as perfectly clean as my parents’ does (my furbaby sheds way too much for that to happen), but it’s pretty gosh-darn clean, if you ask me.

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However, spending all day on a Saturday or Sunday cleaning is not my idea of a fun day off from work.  And with being pregnant, hours spent cleaning totally wears me out.  And that caused me to start slacking a little bit and not cleaning nearly as thoroughly as I would like.

About a month ago, Caitlin asked for her reader’s cleaning tips to help her clean her house without feeling overwhelmed.  Wow, did that really strike a chord in me.  I would feel overwhelmed with my cleaning every weekend.  Not that it took me a long time, but I would just be so exhausted by the end that I would just never want to even get started doing it again.

Those cleaning tips helped me discover How to Clean Your House in 20 Minutes a Day for 30 Days.  I can’t even begin to tell you how life changing this program has been for me this past month.  The basic premise is that each day of the month (1 through 30 – you get a day off if the month has 31 days), you have a different chore to do.  Each chore should take about 20 minutes, some take more time and some take less time.  But, it will help you get your house clean from top to bottom in 30 days.

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I started this “program” the last week of July and my house has never looked better.  I have cleaned things in the past month that I have never cleaned before.  I never feel like, “Oh my, our house is so disgusting – how did it get like this?” anymore.  Sure, some things take me a little longer than 20 minutes (like, cleaning both bathrooms), but it doesn’t bother me because I know that after I am finished cleaning them, I’m done!  Nothing else to clean for the day.  And if I don’t get around to cleaning something, I don’t feel too guilty because I know I can just get to it if I have a little extra time or just wait until the next month rolls around.  Plus, some things are repeated frequently (surface cleaning the bathrooms, living room + kitchen, bedrooms) that if I don’t get to every aspect I want to, I know I’ll be cleaning it again in a couple of days – No. Big. Deal.

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So now, all I have to do on the weekends is spend 20 minutes Saturday and 20 minutes Sunday cleaning my house, and I’M DONE!  It has made my life so much easier (I get overwhelmed easily) and I think it will definitely be easier to keep up with when I am trying to care for a baby too in a few months.

Have you ever tried this “program” before?  Do you have any cleaning tips you would like to share?  I’ve never followed a cleaning plan before, but I do so much better when people tell me what to do (as evidenced from my ever changing workouts and my need for training plans).  My only other cleaning “tip” is that I make my own cleaners to use – better for me, better for baby, better for the environment, AND it saves me money!

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Are you a St. Louis blogger?  There is a blogger meet-up scheduled for Sunday, September 25 at 1 PM.  Location is TBD.  If you are interested in attending and learning about our secret mission (muhaha), leave a comment over on Real Fit Mama’s blog!  She’ll add you to the list and let you know where exactly we will be meeting.

  • Thank you for sharing this!!! I have bookmarked it and plan to give it a try.
    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..The Birthday Edition

    • Kristen

      After your post the other day, I knew I had to share it with other people. I have mentioned it to so many people because I absolutely love it. It’s pretty time saving, but I’m interested to see how you feel about it with 2 kids to watch after!

  • Umm I need to get on board with this asap. I’ve seen it before but never actually did it. I did the thing once where you clean a different room each day of the week. It worked great- for the one week I did it. ;)
    Heather @ Side of Sneakers recently posted..Cracks About Quakes

    • Kristen

      It’s so much easier when someone tells you what to do! Plus, this gets me not only surface cleaning our house regularly, but actually cleaning + organizing drawers + closets, etc. I’m hoping I can still keep up with it when I am carrying a baby constantly that isn’t settled all nice + snug in my belly!

  • Jen

    Kristen, you are a lifesaver. One of my gifts to myself after having the baby was going to be getting a housekeeper. Well now the layoff happened, and that’s clearly not in the budget!

    I’m so awful at cleaning and I’m eager to give this program a try. Thanks so much for sharing!
    Jen recently posted..Week 24 pregnancy update

    • Kristen

      I had a ton of time in the beginning with it being summer break, and it made it so much easier. I figure it will be perfect to do during naptime – 20 minutes while the baby sleeps and then I can take a nap! Glad I could help! ;o)

  • Mom

    I think you give your Dad and I a little too much credit on the cleaning thing. We used to be a lot more picky about cleaning (I grew up with a cleaning queen too), but we’ve gotten much more laid back. And the house doesn’t get as dirty and messy as it did when we had kids! :-) However, I do hate spending usually about 4-6 hours cleaning on Saturday or Sunday — usually not both. So I think I may give this approach to cleaning a try too! (Since your Dad cleans the bathrooms, when it is the day(s) to clean the bathrooms, do I get to go shopping for 20 minutes or something fun like that?)

    • Kristen

      It’ll be dirty again when my little baby is drooling, splitting up, and pooping all over your brand new floors! It’s probably easier when you have 2 people doing everything – obviously, my house is much smaller, so I can vacuum the whole thing in 20-30 minutes, but you could always break up which days you do the floors. And yes, you can go shopping for 20 minutes!