Grown-up Life Habits

I’ve lived on my own for a while now–going on eight years.  Don’t get confused by that statement.  I’m happily married and have had roommates off and on for years before the whole marriage thing happened.  But for the purpose of this post, I’m going to define “on my own” as a time in which no one I live with is going to willingly clean the bathroom.  The point is that I should have some clue what I’m doing by now, especially in the bathroom cleaning department.

The other point is that it’s easy to shirk your adult responsibilities.  Really easy.  For the better part of a decade, I’ve been carefully avoiding cleaning.  Not in a gross way.  I like having tidy countertops and putting away clutter when possible.  But when it comes to cleaning supplies and mops and such, I stay away whenever humanly possible.  There are always at least 2-3 dog hair tumbleweeds in our house.  Even when I vacuum, there’s a tumbleweed hiding in a corner that multiplies instantly.  I’ve seen it happen.  

photo by Mary Lou Saxon Photography

In the name of nearly turning 30, I’m making a mid-February resolution.  I’ve already gotten better at keeping the dishes in their proper place (a.k.a. not in a stack of filth by the sink).  Clean laundry is a more consistent thing in my life.  Steps have been taken, and I haven’t run out of clean underwear since 2008.  Now it’s time to tackle the real cleaning.

And since I’ve learned one or two things in the last eight years, I’m enlisting the wisdom of other people to get me to a cleaner house.  Here’s the plan, compliments of Apartment Therapy:   


1. Surface clean living room and kitchen (pick up stray items, dust, sweep, vacuum)

2. Clean bathrooms (toilets, showers, floors, walls, mirrors)

3. Surface clean bedrooms (put away toys, clothes, dust)

4. Surface clean “extra” rooms (basement, office, play room)

5. Surface clean living room and kitchen

6. Clean bathrooms

7. Clean all interior windows (white vinegar and newspaper works great and is cheap!)

8. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house (don’t forget stairs)

9. Surface clean bedrooms

10. Deep clean living room (mirrors, baseboards, dust artwork)

11. Clean bathrooms

12. Clean out closets (hang up clothes, mittens, jackets, hats)

13. Surface clean “extra” rooms

14. Deep clean bedrooms (organize drawers, check under bed, tidy closet, dust artwork, fans, lights, mop)

15. Surface clean living room and kitchen

16. Deep clean bathrooms (clean inside drawers, inside of trash cans, tops of mirrors, tile, mop)

17. Clean all door knobs, phones, entertainment equipment (remote controls), switch plates, banisters and other things that are repeatedly touched.

18. Clean out the refrigerator, take stock of food, organize pantry

19. Clean entryway, sweep porch (if you have one), clean out car (because they’re often our home away from home)

20. Surface clean living room and kitchen

21. Surface clean bathrooms

22. Surface clean bedrooms

23. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house

24. Clean linen closet, straighten towels, sheets or regular closet if not applicable

25. Surface clean living room and kitchen

26. Deep clean kitchen (scrub appliances, wash trash cans, base boards, wipe down and straighten cabinets)

27. Surface clean bathrooms

28. Surfaces clean bedrooms

29. Clean one item you’ve been meaning to get to and haven’t (deep clean your stove, wipe down all light fixtures, tackle a particularly unruly area)

30. Sweep and vacuum all floors in the house

They have some other useful tips about keeping your house in order on that post, so I would encourage you to give it a quick read.  It can’t hurt to see how somebody else stays on top of life.  Who knows, maybe I’ll be one step closer to functional adulthood by the time I get to 30.  Fingers crossed.


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