Yesterday, I uploaded detailed worksheets/checklists for the Clean House Challenge that do not have dates on them—meaning you can start the challenge any time you want! If you choose not to start on a Sunday or Monday (the worksheets are set up to print out as two pages per week), you can cut the pages apart so each day is on a separate slip of paper, or cut and puzzle-piece them together so that the days match the calendar (e.g., if you start on a Thursday, you’d have days 1, 2, and 3 together to represent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and then days 4-9 for the next week). Or you can just take this as inspiration to create your own calendar/schedule/checklist.
I printed mine and hung them on the fridge, where I not only see them multiple times per day, they’re easy to check off and make sure I’m staying on track:
I trimmed off the right margin of the first page and clipped it off-center to the second page so that the shopping list column at the end of the week still showed. That way, I as I clean and declutter throughout the day, I can jot down anything I need or use the last of without having to flip pages.
Clean House Challenge — Day 4: Clear and Clean Kitchen Counters
For me, the kitchen is one of the places in my house that gets out of hand the fastest. I’ve always hated “doing the dishes.” For the first fifteen or so years that I lived on my own, I either lived without a dishwasher or I had to suffice with a counter-top size machine which I had to run pretty much every night if I cooked. So I got out of the habit of cooking every night.
Even when I did get a big-girl dishwasher, I discovered that while it could wash more dishes, it brought its own issues . . . the main thing being that since I couldn’t fill it up in one or two days, the dishes would sit in it for nearly a week before it was full enough to run. But because I live alone and cook a lot of smaller meals, the few small pans/skillets I have had to be hand-washed or I couldn’t cook, because they were sitting in the dishwasher dirty. So I continued the habit of not cooking often (and therefore not feeling compelled to do the dishes often).
If your kitchen needs as much love as mine does in order to “clear and clean the counters,” then set a timer for fifteen minutes and start by doing what I did—organizing the mess. The easiest place to start is with doing the dishes. Again, if it’s as messy as mine, do this in fifteen- to twenty-minute increments, always remembering to set a timer, and walking away to take a break when that timer goes off. Set a goal of doing this two to four times today, or until your counters are free from clutter and wiped (or scrubbed, if necessary) clean. Treat your sink as part of your counters and go ahead and clean it, too. Be sure to clean under and around any small appliances that sit on the counter. But don’t worry about cleaning those yet. That’s for another day!
Ready? Go! And be sure to post before-and-after photos!