I’m a sucker for a good system. I want there to be a magic oracle out there that will tell me exactly what I need to do to keep my home clean and neat without my having to rethink things.
Flylady was the first system I ran across that fed this information to me. Although I was a devoted “flybaby” for years, I walked away because I couldn’t make her system work with my house, and I couldn’t customize it easily (see Why Flylady Didn’t Work For Me.)
Flylady insists that if you clean throughout the year, you will never have to do spring or fall cleaning again. And she’s right. But I haven’t been able to incorporate it for a few reasons.
My Remaining Struggle: Zone/Deep Cleaning
You see, I clean bathrooms and kitchen once a week. But that didn’t take into account the rest of the house, nor did it allow me to clean deeply in the kitchen. So I needed something to help me get through the rest.
Flylady has a concept called zones. Each week of the calendar month you focus on an area of your house, and use her lists. This approach keeps you from ever having to do a massive cleaning, such as my mother did.
This method worked well when I was dealing with a small condo. When we moved into the house, doubling the area I was caring for, I couldn’t keep up. Nor did I see the point of having to clean things that weren’t dirty.
So I have struggled with this concept. I love the idea of breaking the house into zones, and 5 zones works well for me. But I needed a way to adjust the rooms, the tasks, and how often the tasks came up for completion.
But there was a way out…being a programmer, I wrote a tool.
My Deep Cleaning Lists
I started with a basic room list. Then I allowed myself to group those rooms into the 5 zones to correspond to the weeks on the calendar. My house, my rooms, my grouping.
Then I wrote down the tasks I could do, and mapped the tasks to the rooms. I wanted a way to be able to assign the same tasks to different rooms, so a grid format was the way to go.
Then I decided how often I wanted to be reminded to do them. I don’t need to get my carpet cleaned every month, but I do need to dust the trim every month, or the pet hair takes over. So I set it up so I could choose how often a task was performed: yearly, semi-annually, quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly.
Then I made it generate a schedule for me.
The Cleaning Grid
This tool has been so helpful to me, I decided to make it available to you.
You put in your rooms. You group them according to how wish. You match up chores to the rooms. There’s a suggested list, but you can add your own. You decide how often you want to do the chores – even on the suggested lists. Then you push the button to generate the schedule. It’s really that easy.
Here’s the catch: it’s written in Microsoft Excel 2013. So if you don’t have access to Microsoft Excel 2013 or later, this won’t work for you. (I might make a Google Docs version at sometime in the future, but I’m not making any promises).
Want to know more? It’s available in my store: The Cleaning Grid (Excel)
I’ve got it on sale, too. Usually $4.99, it will be available for $2.99 until 13 August 2017.
After stumbling through the Zones for years, and being unable to squelch my frustration at cleaning things that didn’t need to be cleaned, and the difficulty of using someone else’s map of their home on mine, I finally came up with a solution. My cleaning grid generator made it so that I can get back to cleaning deeply.