Have you ever wondered how long it takes other people to do routine cleaning tasks? Have you wondered if you should be doing it faster?
I’ve had a couple of readers asked this question lately, and it just so happens I had a post like that on my ideas list. I’ve actually already been timing myself doing my regular tasks for when I got around to writing it.
So with two readers asking the question, I decided it was time.
Before I tell you how long it takes me to do my routine tasks, we need to get a few things out of the way.
First of all – there’s no right or wrong answer on how long it takes to do various tasks. There are a lot of factors that affect that number, including:
- House size
- Family size
- Age of children
- Hours of employment outside the home
- Energy level
- How much help you get
- How messy you are
- How much clutter you have
- How easily you get distracted
- Level of experience
- Age and condition of house
- Number and type of pets
Those are just some of the factors and I know there are more. So keep that in mind.
Second, I have a 1,950 square foot home – a side split floor plan. My house has 3 bedrooms, an office, living room, dining room, office, kitchen and two bathrooms. David and I are empty nesters but the grand kids are here a lot and they’re messy. Two of the bedrooms are designated for them and their stuff. We also have a black lab who sheds like crazy. We don’t have a lot of clutter or knick knacks or unnecessary stuff. We clean as we go and like things neat and tidy. We’re pretty good at picking up after ourselves. And finally, I’ve been a homemaker for 30 years and am home full-time.
So here’s a list of my routine weekly tasks and how long they take:
Tidy the house. This task can vary anywhere from 10 minutes to 25. If it’s just David and I at home it’s usually quicker. But if the kids have been here, it can take 25. This morning it took 25. I had the kids overnight, got up early to take them to school, then went to the grocery store. That’s when I finally had a chance to clean things up.
Remember, tidy the house means going through and putting things away – NOT cleaning.
Sweep the floors. Sometimes I sweep the whole house and sometimes just the main floor. I don’t get every corner, under every piece of furniture or every piece of dirt. I sweep every day so I get what I can each time I sweep. If I can’t sweep a room because it’s busy, I skip it. If I can’t sweep most of it because someone or something’s in the way, I get what I can.
Whole house – 16 minutes
Upstairs only – 9 minutes
Main floor only – 7 minutes
Vacuum rugs. I have large area rugs in the living room, Ivy’s room and the master bedroom. Sometimes I only vacuum the living room rug. Sometimes I vacuum the living room and bedroom rugs. I don’t vacuum Ivy’s rug very often because she’s usually in there “napping” when I vacuum.
Both times when I timed myself vacuuming I added other tasks. The first time I vacuumed under the furniture. The second time I vacuumed under the couch cushions. I like to do a little extra whenever I have the vacuum out.
Vacuum all rugs and under living room furniture – 11 minutes
Vacuum all rugs and under couch cushions – 11 minutes
Living room rug only – 4 minutes (that’s a guess)
Touch-up vacuum/sweep. After I vacuumed the couch cushions, I noticed the air from the vacuum pushed some hair out from under the couches. I couldn’t leave it but I had already put the vacuum away. So I spent 2 minutes getting the hand held vacuum and cleaning it up.
Touch-up mop. Our kitchen gets a lot of traffic and shows dirt so I frequently “touch-up mop”. I get out the Libman with the attached cleaning solution and spend 2 minutes touching up the kitchen floor.
Dusting all rooms. I don’t dust every single surface. I use a feather duster and get the window frames, doorways, furniture, blinds, light fixtures. 15 minutes.
Clean glass. I clean the full length mirror in the bedroom, the full glass front door, the back door and back storm door and touch up the dining room and living room windows to get rid of the dog slime and kid fingerprints. 12 minutes.
Change the sheets. 6-1/2 minutes.
Bathroom. A thorough cleaning of the bathroom includes scrubbing the tub and shower wall, cleaning the toilet, cleaning the sink and countertop, wiping down the door frame, cleaning the floor with a rag (small bathroom so it doesn’t take long), cleaning the mirror, dumping the trash. 25 minutes, sometimes less.
Dump all trash cans. 5 minutes.
Move one load to dryer and put another in washer – 2 minutes (I don’t have to pre-treat anymore).
Hang colds (about 6 shirts), hang darks, fold and put away – 7-1/2 minutes
Kitchen. Clean microwave, clean sink, clean stove top, spot clean cabinet fronts, replace sponge. 10-12 minutes.
Mop living room, dining room and kitchen. This type of mopping is with a bucket of water, pine sol and a string mop. I don’t get every surface – just the easy stuff and under furniture that’s easy to reach. I like to get the base boards, too. 15 minutes.
My weekly chores include:
- 15 – Dust
- 12 – Glass
- 6.5 – Sheets
- 5 – Trash
- 25 – Bathroom (1 per week – I do daily touch-ups that take about 2 or 3 minutes) 12 – Kitchen
- 15 – Mop
1-1/2 to 2 hours – TOTAL
Sometimes I do the weekly chores all at once. Other times I do a few a day. Sometimes I even skip some. If I’m going to skip, it’s usually mopping. That one is a lot of work!
The thing is, even if you don’t do everything every week, if you do most of it most of the time, your house will be pretty clean. I never shoot for perfection because I can’t accomplish it. I just do the best I can and don’t worry about it.
So that’s how long it takes me to do my routine cleaning chores. I’ll try to keep track of some of the other things I do and share those in another post in the near future.
What are your basic weekly chores? Do you know how long they take?