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How To Create A Home Cleaning Schedule + A DIY Multipurpose Spray

Jen Chillingsworth
Contributing writer
By Jen Chillingsworth
Contributing writer
Jen Chillingsworth is a freelance writer, author, and photographer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. She has written and photographed features published in The Simple Things magazine and 91 Magazine.
Image by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy
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March 23, 2020

A home is a retreat from the outside world. It is the place where we seek comfort, create memories, and nurture our family. A home needs to be cared for too, yet we often lack the time or energy to do so.

Creating a cleaning rhythm can help you to maintain the balance in your home. Working to that rhythm allows you to keep on top of things and free up your time elsewhere.

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If you have lots of rooms to tackle or if you live in a studio apartment, your rhythm will probably look very different from mine. You can reassess your rhythm if it's not working well for you or your circumstances change. That's perfectly OK—the goal isn't perfection but finding a balance that works for you, the number of people in your home, and your lifestyle.

Here's how to start:

  1. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete in your home.
  2. Decide how frequently these tasks need to be completed.
  3. Make it easier for yourself—is there a time of day or a specific day that will work better for you? It may be 15 minutes in the evening or before you go to work.
  4. Once you've worked out what needs to be done, split the tasks up into the days of the week that work best for you. I stick up a printout of our rhythm so that everyone in our home can see it.

Here is my weekly rhythm, for reference:

Things I do daily:

  • Kitchen: Wipe down the sink, countertops, and tabletop. Wash the dishes. Sweep the floor after main meals.
  • Bathroom: Wipe down the sink with an organic cotton cloth. 
  • Bedrooms: Make the beds (allow your beds to air for an hour with the covers turned back before you make them as this allows any moisture to dry out and deters dust mites).
  • Laundry: Try to do one load of laundry per day. I like to load the machine the night before, switch it on first thing in the morning and hang it outside to air dry before I begin my working day.

Things I do weekly:

  • Kitchen: Wipe down appliances. Clean cooker and hob (stovetop). Sweep and mop the floor.
  • Living room: Dust and wipe down appliances. Dust and polish furniture. Water houseplants. Vacuum. 
  • Bathroom: Clean and disinfect the toilet. Scrub the bathtub and sink. Clean the shower, mirrors, and accessories. Wash the floor. Change and launder the towels and bathmat.
  • Bedrooms: Change and launder the bedding. Dust and tidy. Vacuum.

Ready to clean? Make this DIY multipurpose vinegar spray.

The most common complaint about cleaning with vinegar is its smell. It is pungent, but there are ways to combat this. From adding slices of citrus fruit and herbs from the garden to scenting with essential oils, the secret is to make an infusion.

I've given a few suggestions to help inspire you. No matter which fruits, herbs, or oils you choose, the longer you let them infuse, the more it lessens the scent of the vinegar. After that time, simply strain the vinegar into a clean jar with a lid and compost the citrus or herbs that are left behind.

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What you'll need:

  • Glass container with a lid (Kilner jar, Mason jar, recycled jam jar, coffee jar, etc.)
  • Spray bottle

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle distilled white vinegar
  • Water or distilled water
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Herbs (optional)
  • Citrus slices: oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, etc. (optional)
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Method:

  1. Use a mixture—let's try lemon, lavender, and peppermint. Wash and dry one lemon.
  2. Cut into thin slices and add to the glass jar. Add a few drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils.
  3. Top with the vinegar. Seal and leave to infuse.
  4. To make the spray, use the ratio of one part vinegar to two parts water for the size of your bottle.
  5. Pour the strained, infused vinegar into a glass spray bottle using the ratio above for a guide. Top with tap (faucet) water or distilled water. Label the spray bottle with your ingredients.
  6. To use, spray onto toilet bowl, rim, seat, and cistern. Wipe clean with a damp cloth. This is a multipurpose spray that can be used to clean countertops, tabletops, etc., but must not be used on any porous surfaces.
Excerpted from Clean Green by Jen Chillingsworth. Reprinted with permission by Quadrille, February 2020.
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Jen Chillingsworth
Jen Chillingsworth
Contributing writer

Jen Chillingsworth is a freelance writer, author, and photographer based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. She writes regularly about slow and simple living, eating seasonally and green issues on her blog Little Birdie. Jen has written and photographed features published in The Simple Things magazine and 91 Magazine. She is the author of two books, Live Green and Clean Green.