Ok I have never once been accused of being a great homemaker. A good cook or good gardener or good quilter or great teacher but well my house has always been a mess. I could even leave the dishes unwashed for a few days until we were completely out of everything and I had to take matters in hand.
A few years ago I found Sheri Graham's web site. She had several kids and home schooled and seemed to do all I did but she did it better. She was organized. I've tried ever plan that came down the pike but nothing ever took for me. Until I found This part in her web site:
She divided up her home into short 15 minute to half hour cleaning projects and through out the year everything gets clean. I worked with it and made many changes and this year I added in two cleaning sessions most days to get everything in my home upstairs and down thoroughly clean twice a year.
I don't bother doing a big spring clean any more. The way I am doing my sessions I can now be accused of being an awesome house cleaner. We put our home up for sell a couple months ago and both real estate agents commented that they had never seen a house so clean before. So I guess I have finally arrived.
I used Sherri's suggestions to start but then changed it to meet my own needs. I have 4 set in stone weekly chores: Monday I Dust, clean mop boards and vacuum. Mondays and Fridays I do the same thing upstairs and downstairs. Wednesdays I clean the Laundry room upstairs. Thursday I wipe down the cabinet fronts in the kitchen, scrub the counter tops completely and get the walls in between and then I mop really good. Friday's I clean each of the bathrooms, change the towels out, replace TP, and I take out the trash in the whole house. Tuesdays and Saturdays are my extra chore days. I do things like Clean high in each room, clean pictures, clean the book shelves, pull out furniture and clean well, clean ceiling fans, clean the candle holders throughout the house, clean light fixtures and knick knacks, clean out cabinets, and the list goes on.
This is the first year I have added in the basement just simply because until this year we could hardly get around down there. We finally got it cleaned out and got it carpeted and it looks really nice now. I am moving slowly but these couple of months have already made a big difference. I reorganized the big storeroom and each of the bedrooms down there. I am currently working on the exercise/tool room. 2 more days and it will be done and then I can start on that huge wall of books. I can't wait to clean those book shelves! The first time I cleaned the book shelves up stairs I was shocked at how dirty all the books were! It took a long time to clean them so I only got a shelf or two done each session. Now that they are clean and I do them twice a year I can do a whole section of books as all the need a a fast dusting or little wipe down. The books downstairs are a mess. I've been dusting them each week but I know its going to be a big chore to get them done but can't wait to clean and organize them all.
I have discovered over time that I do not need to wash the mop boards every week so my plan this year breaks each floor into zones so that all the mop boards get cleaned well once a month. The thing is I can do my short to the point chore each day without killing myself and while things might get a little cluttered, its a very clean house so no scrambling when someone comes to visit.
I stopped printing out her calendar pages this year. I am using a regular calendar like they give out at banks and other businesses. I can list my daily chores on it and keep it handy to mark off as I get done. Sherri has lots of other helps on her site so please go explore and see if you find anything that helps you!