After reading Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, and writing a lengthy post about it, I got to thinking: How could Ramsey’s philosophy be applied to housekeeping?
I’ll tell you what he’d do: [singlepic=39,320,240,,right]
He’d tweak his basic financial steps, and use gazelle-like intensity on his home.
1. Get current on all vital tasks. If the fridge is bare and the bathroom a biohazard, do an emergency clean-up to restore your bathroom to functionality, and hit the grocery for sustenance to last you at least a few days. You need to be decently surviving before you can tackle anything else.
2. Get your house orderly–fast. This isn’t meant to be a deep cleaning and organizing session of your entire home, but tackle the main things. Remove all the garbage lying about, make the beds, sweep the floors, and remove blatant clutter. Your home isn’t ready for hosting a dinner party at this baby step, but your understanding sister can come by and not be overly grossed out or offended.
3. The cleaning snowball. Start with the easiest-to-clean room first. By tackling the cleanest room (not the dirtiest) you’ll get immediate satisfaction in knowing that you have at least one clean room in your home. Work your way through your house, building up to the grand finale of the filthiest room of all. Then, use your gazelle-like intensity and destroy the filth.
4. Finish deep-cleaning your home: Kick Murphy out. In this case, Murphy is that messy (but invisible) family member. The careful housekeeper leaves a clean room, but returns later to find Murphy’s chocolate fingerprints all over the white rug. Murphy also likes to rifle through stacks of paperwork–quickly leaving them in disarray. On occasion, Murphy has been known to knock over entire trash cans, spilling their contents all over a clean floor.
Clean your home from top to bottom so thoroughly–along the baseboards, under the kitchen sink, in the shower drain–so that Murphy can never move back in.
5. Maximize long-term organization. In order to retire from your chores earlier than ever before, simply maintain your present level of clean. A quick pick-up in each room a few times per week, and an occasional scrubbing of the kitchen and bathroom ought to keep even the messes reasonably clean.
Enjoy your long hours of cleaning in previous baby steps, and preserve those efforts by maximizing your organizing and cleaning schedule.
6. College cleaning: If you have a kid in college, try not to visit his or her dorm or apartment. It’s likely that it will be a ridiculous mess. Just avoid it.
9. Live like no one else. You did it! Your home is amazingly clean and well-kept. You can find any item without having to search multiple places, your cupboards are stocked and organized, you’re living an uncluttered life. Your family loves it, and you enjoy being at home. You now have time to actually have fun, since you don’t need to spend all day cleaning anymore.
Because you cleaned like no one else, now you can live like no one else.