De-stress the Mess.

A method of cleaning that I loosely follow, comes from the fantastic learnings of Flylady. Ever heard of her? She’s good, she’s very organized, and for my household, a little too organized. That’s why I loosely follow her plan, and it works like a charm.

The first idea is cleaning in ‘zones’. This worked when we were still living at home with my Mom. In Mom’s house we had Bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, living room, and dining room for zones. Each day of the week is set aside for a room, equaling 5 days a week of cleaning. This worked for me, because Mac was under a year old when we were living there, and I didn’t have time to clean for a few hours, once a week.  Not anymore though! My House is only 600 square feet, how many zones can their be? I’ve had to customize it to fit, just like you’ll do for your own house.

This is how it’s different now that we’re in our own wee cabin!

Our Schedule


This includes wiping down cupboards, checking under the sink for any surprises, giving the stove a good cleaning (Not the oven, that’s a less often ordeal), maybe giving your tupperware drawer a once over and checking the pots and pans under the stove to straighten them.

Tuesday-Carpets and Sheets

Vaccum carpets, wash sheets on beds and put them back on! This is handy if you have two sets for every bed, because you can put a new one back on right away before you get side tracked.

Wednesday-Porch and Car

Tidy wood pile on porch, sweep off wood chips, straighten shoes, shake out the mat. Get garbage out of car, take out any extra bags and clothes that don’t need to be in there. (Car is a major work in progress for me. I’m so good and letting too many items get in there)


Straighten closet, put things back in their place. Find home for the items that have found themselves on the bedside table and on top of the dresser. Cowboy leave any dirty work clothes on the floor? Into the hamper! (Like me saying anything about not putting them on the floor really gets through)

Friday-Carpets and Bathroom

Vacuum carpets, clean toilet, wash floor, wash bathtub. Find home for the bits and pieces that have found themselves on the counter and wash sink. This is always the most satisfying room to do. A clean bathroom says so much.

I find this effective for me, because I get everything done for that area, for that day, and don’t worry about it until next week! I do things like sweep, wash dishes, tidy toys, and do laundry every day.

Here is a laundry line to remember:

A load a day keeps the CHAOS away.  (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome!)

But…something that helps me keep my sanity more than that, is not tidying the majority of the house throughout the day.

What?! You say. YES! I say. By not putting away the toys until Mac is in bed, and straightening the couch cushions when he is asleep. I save myself from doing it 10 times throughout the day. I just don’t worry about it! I check things off my list like, dishes, laundry and tidying areas that he doesn’t mess up, but are a result of Cowboy or I leaving a mess.

Mac is a 1 1/2 yr old tornado. He is here one second and a different room the next! If it’s really bad, I’ll tidy while he naps, but honestly, I have more important things to be doing. (60 pages of text book reading to do by tomorrow? Oh dear.) He is starting to get the idea of cleaning up his toys, but we’re a long way away from him doing it himself.

You may be too OCD to not tidy throughout the day, and that is just fine! But try out the method of cleaning in zones throughout the week. It’s so satisfying to just vacuum and wash sheets, then know I’m done that chore for a week, or a few days, and can go about my other things. If you work outside the home, don’t use one whole weekend day to clean, do a little bit every night.

This is where 10 minute tidies come in.

10 minute tidies are the most motivating cleaning strategy ever.


Choose an area that needs a bit of work, but seems too overwhelming to tackle. For me, that’s Mac’s room. We only moved in a bit ago, and there is still some boxes in there. Set a timer or look at your watch to note the time, and clean like crazy for 10 minutes. Then stop. I don’t care if you just have two more boxes left. Stop. Go make dinner, play with your kids, chop some wood or read a book! Maybe half an hour later, or the next day or the next week when it comes to your mind again, set a timer for 10 minutes, clean like crazy and then stop! Go do something else. This may take you 5 times to complete, it depends on the room and the mess, but every time you go back to the room, you will feel refreshed, because the last time you didn’t overdo yourself and that is important.

What I hope you get out of me sharing this is a simplified way to clean. Stay tuned for more fun ways to clean and de-clutter! Yes, it can be fun.

3 thoughts on “De-stress the Mess.

  1. Great post! This method of cleaning makes it very managable!!! But I have to admit, I am an OCD, walk by the couch and fluff a pillow everytime, kind of gal. My kids have to pick up their toys before nap, before supper and before bed or it makes me crazy. BUT having 4 kids has made me a LOT less anal than I used to be….its a work in progress! 🙂 Oh, and you chop wood? Super impressive! I keep the fireplace roaring all day and bring in wood…chopping? Never tried it!

    • Because of doing school, I can’t clean and tidy as much as I would like to. Mac is just starting to help pick up his toys, but I definitely will get him to do it before nap, dinner and bed when he’s a bit older! My Mom and I lived on our own for a couple years and someone had to chop the wood! We would take turns doing it. Making kindling is my work in progress. During the time when it was just Mom and I, I babysat a lot for this one family, and the Dad was a coast guard and had a mill. He brought us wood one time, and even had it pre-split! They were very nice to me 🙂

  2. WOw I cannot be that organized. I admire it but cannot do it. I clean once -twice a week same day I do my laundery. Istart at 9 am and im done by 12 I have to kids to run after so its hard. as far as toys i dont bother I get my daughter to do that at bed time she is very good at it! . outside and my car… i do when i have time!
    I would rather go nuts for one day and know i have no more cleaning to do for 3-4 days (other than the regular tidy, cook, dishes).

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