54 mins and 40 seconds to a Clean House

You know how pregnant women sometimes claim they are "nesting"? Stocking up on bulk goods, feverently decorating and organising the baby room, obsessively cleaning and sanitising the house? I seriously never understood this claim, and truthfully, thought it was kind of just a joke. It's not. It is a LITERAL compulsion which ignoring is just not an option. It's completely crazy, although biologically, I guess makes sense. I am 100% feeling the nesting instinct. Instead of stashing nuts and berries in a tree (yes, our ancestors were squirrels), I have the overwhelming need to go to Metro and buy industrial size packs of everything. I continually need to remind myself that the stores will still be open after baby gets here and sending S out for more toothpaste is not akin to sending him out to scavenge supplies in the midst of an apocalyptic zombie genocide. Taking baby to the store is fun, there is no need to stock up supplies lasting the next 20 years.

Even after reasoning with my more baser instincts (okay, I won't buy the 100 pack of handsoap), I find myself sitting on the couch in the evenings pondering more thorough ways to clean my house. The cleaning thing has been the complete focus of my life for the last 2 weeks. I kid you not, thinking about the toxic chemicals in my cleaning supplies keeps me up at night. We don't have a particularly messy house (especially not now....you could basically eat off of any surface in my home at this point), but before now, I don't think Ive ever even THOUGH about dusting regularly, let alone accomplished a complete dusting of every thinkable surface in the house bi-weekly (ok...3 times a week).

Anyways, as I was browsing Pinterest I came across this nice little list from Real Simple, the "Daily Quick Cleaning Checklist" which claimed it could get your home neat and tidy in under 30 mins a day. Then I found this post, completing trashing the original list. The blogger made it sound like the list was a completely unthinkable accomplishment in 30 mins and wouldn't work even if you could complete every item. Let's be honest...I thought the blogger sounded a little overly dramatic.

So, challenge accepted. I tried the list, timed every item and below are my results. Overall, the list gets a B- from me. Yeah, many of the listed times were pretty off, and yes, I had to made a few amendments to get my house in an acceptable daily state, but its not THAT far off from being achievable.

The list below took me exactly 54 mins and 40 seconds.


1. Clear out and wipe down the sink (5 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 18mins.
The list says to move the dirty dishes to the dishwasher and wipe the sink with a sponge. I don't have a dishwasher...yet (MARCH 7th!), so I took this time to do all the dishes by hand and put them away. So, 5 minuets could be realistic IF you have a dishwasher and a typical meal's worth of dishes.

2. Wipe down countertops and stove (1 min) - ACTUAL TIME 2 mins.
The list makes it clear that you're just supposed to wipe up spills here, but there is no way I'm leaving my kitchen with a counter full of water spots and germ infested cabinet handles. So I took an extra minuet to spray some cleaner/disinfectant on the counters, stove, oven front, and cabinet handles, and wipe it all down with a paper towel. I'm a germaphobe...sue me.

3. Wipe problem spots on the floor (2 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 0 mins.
There really aren't many of these so I skipped this step. I'm obsessive about my floors, so I mop a few times a week really well which helps to keep the house looking all sparkly clean on days when I do this  kind of "abbreviated neaten up".

4. Fold or hang dish towels (30 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 30 seconds.
I actually really like this one. I hate messy looking dish towels and it takes basically no time at all to put them away. It took me a hair less than 30 seconds to fold the clean one and toss the dirty one into the laundry.

TOTAL TIME SO FAR: 20 mins 30 seconds


5. Wipe out the sink (30 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 1min 40 seconds.
It took me 1:30 to spray some cleaner and wipe down the whole sink (hardware and all), and another 10 seconds to get rid of the water spots on the back splash behind the sink.

6. Clean splatters off the mirror (15 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 0 mins.
Skipped this step! No grossness on my mirror (I tend to wipe it quickly after brushing my teeth in the morning).

7. Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 1 min.
Foamy cleaner + paper towel. Im sorry, but the paper towel for the sink just is not enough to make me feel safe around the potty. We need some germ killing power here, none of this "pre-moistened cloth" crap.

8. Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 10 seconds.
This one was easy.

9. Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 7 mins.
My shower is made up of 2 glass walls and a door, its gigantic and the water spots it attracts are glaring to say the least. A quick squeegee, although we do it after every shower, helps to keep it from looking totally disgusting immediately, is not enough to maintain the thing. A quick spray of glass cleaner (vinegar solution), then the squeegee, then a microfiber cloth keep it looking like a place you actually want to be. Not some gross, scummy dungeon in the corner of my bathroom.

10. Spray the shower and curtain liner with a shower mist (15 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 0 mins.
Don't have a shower curtain! SKIP!

TOTAL TIME SO FAR: 30 mins 20 seconds


11. Make your bed (2 minuets) - ACTUAL TIME 1min 30 seconds.
If I just did this every day when I got out of bed, I would have saved a minuet, 30 seconds.

12. Fold or hang clothes and put away jewelry (4 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 4 mins.
I don't really have clothes just laying around so I took this time to fold and put away the clean laundry.

13. Straighten out the night-table surface (30 seconds) - ACTUAL TIME 30 seconds.
Simple enough.

TOTAL TIME SO FAR: 36 mins 20 seconds

I needed to do laundry (a load a day makes laundry for me manageable. It piles up super fast otherwise), so I added an extra 3 mins 30 seconds to throw in a load of colors.

Living Room

14. Tidy the sofa (2 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 2 mins.
Pillows fluffed, blankets folded, cat beds re-assembled.

15. Pick up crumbs with a handheld vacuum (1 min) - ACTUAL TIME 10 mins.
Yes, you could very well have accomplished this in 1 min, and this did add a big chunk to my overall time. However, I have 2 cats in addition to the messy people living in the house, and if I didn't vacuum regularly (like daily) I would have dust balls that could be mistaken for cats rolling across the floor reminiscent of tumbleweeds. Even after vacuuming daily I still pick up big piles of hair.

16. Wipe tables and spot-clean cabinets where you see finger prints (1 min) - ACTUAL TIME 1 min.
I dust a few times a week with a good microfiber cloth so there aren't too many lingering finger prints and such, but wiping down the table with a multi surface cleaner and rubbing the nose prints from the cats off the windows actually takes less time than you think and makes a big difference.

17. Straighten coffee table books and magazines (2 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 5 mins.
We don't have a coffee table, so I took this time instead to simply straighten up the living room. Put the mail away, wrangle the remote, toss any knick knacks into their homes.

18. Clear major clutter (5 mins) - ACTUAL TIME 0 mins.
After the 2 min. straighten up there wasn't much of this around, so I skipped it!

TOTAL TIME SO FAR: 54 mins 40 seconds

BONUS: Clean the litter box and wipe down the floor in front of it with a strong cleaner. 6 mins.

If you do a little bit every day then your house never goes to complete hell. Ill share my normal "Clean House" routine with you guys tomorrow.

What's your ritual? How do you keep your house sparkly and liveable?

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