Cleaning Routines- Zone Cleaning

I’ve mentioned Zone Cleaning before and how I was going to try it. So here’s my review on Zone Cleaning.

What is Zone Cleaning?

Zone Cleaning is credited to FlyLady.net. Basically, Zone Cleaning helps you “deep clean” your house in zones, or sections, rather than get overwhelmed and have to do a huge Spring Cleaning overhaul in one day or a marathon of cleaning days. With Zone Cleaning, you break your house into zones. Make a list of all the deep cleaning things you need to do in each zone and divide it into seven days (each zone should take you one week to complete). Visit her site for a more thorough explanation of what it is. I first heard about it from “How Jen Does It”, a YouTuber who had a series about her zones and how she cleans her house using this method.

Zone Cleaning should be in addition to daily cleaning/tidying up, like doing the dishes, laundry, sweeping, wiping down the kitchen counters, etc. It’s really the deep cleaning stuff that you don’t always have time to do each day or week, like cleaning the oven, wiping baseboards, washing light switches, dusting the top and insides of your kitchen cabinets, and more. In Jen’s videos, she mentioned each task takes her about 15-30 minutes to accomplish.

Once your first zone is completed after the week, move on to the next zone and repeat. This way, you might be deep cleaning your family room once every six to eight weeks (depending on how many zones you have). Check out FlyLady.net for a more in-depth description of Zone Cleaning.

My experience

After watching Jen’s videos, I got really motivated to try this type of cleaning routine. I started making my zones, writing down every little deep cleaning detail of what I wanted to get accomplished, and printed out my lists.

Here is what my Zone Cleaning routine looked like:

Day 1: Wipe down walls and light switches

Day 2: Wipe out top cabinets and organize them

Day 3: Wipe out bottom cabinets and organize them

Day 4: Wipe down the outside of all cabinets and dust wine rack

Day 5: Clean out fridge and freezer and wipe it all out

Day 6: Self-clean oven, put a cut up lemon in the garbage disposal, & organize the pantry

Day 7: Wipe the windows, patio door, and baseboards

Day 1: Clean baseboards

Day 2: Dust chandelier

Day 3: Wipe down TV and remotes

Day 4: Dust fireplace, end tables, and wipe dining room table

Day 5: Baking soda/vacuum carpet and rug, couch, and chairs

Day 6: Organize and clean out closet in dining room

Day 7: Wash windows

Day 1: Wipe down walls, windows, and mirrors

Day 2: Dust light fixtures

Day 3: Scrub tubs, shower, and jetted tub (use dish detergent in jets)

Day 4: Wipe out drawers and cabinets

Day 5: Wipe down outside of cabinets

Day 6: Scrub the floors

Day 7: Wash baseboards

Day 1: Closet – organize and wipe down the shelves and window

Day 2: Dresser – wipe out and organize the drawers. Dust the TV

Day 3: Bedside tables – wipe out and organize the drawers and dust the outside

Day 4: Wash the sheets like normal, and wash the mattress pad, too. Baking soda/vacuum the mattress. Dust the bed frame

Day 5: Clean under the bed

Day 6: Baking soda/vacuum the carpet

Day 7: Wipe the walls, light switches, and baseboards

Day 1: Organize and wipe down shoe rack

Day 2: Wipe walls, wash floors, light switches, and baseboards

Day 3: Organize the hall closet and wipe the top shelf

Day 4: Wipe down laundry room cabinet inside and out

Day 5: Organize the top of the laundry machines and dust them

Day 6: Wipe the inside of the dryer out and wash the dust filter

Day 7: Wash the washing machine with cleaner

Day 1: Baking soda/vacuum the carpet and mop the bar floor

Day 2: Baking soda/vacuum the couches and chairs

Day 3: Wipe the walls, light switches, and baseboards

Day 4: Wash the window, countertops, and sink

Day 5: Organize and wipe down the cabinets in the bar

Day 6: Dust the coffee table, side tables, and bar stools

Day 7: Vacuum the stairs and dust the banister.

Day 1: Wash the sheets, baking soda/vacuum the carpet and mattresses

Day 2: Organize and declutter the storage closet

Day 3: Wipe the walls, light switches, and baseboards

Day 4: Wash the windows

Day 5: Dust the furniture

Day 6: Organize the bedroom closets and wipe down the doors

Day 7: Wipe out and organize the dressers. Drop off any donations from these areas

Day 1: Sweep porch and patio

Day 2: Spray for weeds on the patio if needed

Day 3: Wipe down the grill

Day 4: Organize the shed and wipe down the outside

Day 5: Wipe down the front door and patio door on the outside

Day 6: Wipe down the porch furniture

Day 7: Wipe down the patio furniture

The next day, I got to work on my first zone, the kitchen. The first day was great! When I got to the second day, I cleared out all the top cabinets, got rid of things I didn’t need, wiped the shelves down, put everything back. By the time I got done with one side of the kitchen, I was feeling awesome about that accomplishment. But, I still had a whole other side to go and was also tired. I decided to do those cabinets the next day along with the bottom ones, which means I really only finished ⅓ of my cabinets in one day. The next day, I cleaned out one bottom cabinet and then something came up and I had to do something else and couldn’t get back to cleaning.

Then the days went by and I couldn’t get the motivation to continue because I wanted to follow my rules and needed to do the cabinets before I could move on. The whole point was to deep clean and I felt like I had to follow the rules or not at all… so I didn’t continue.

Pros/Cons of Zone Cleaning

  • It gives you a little bit to do each day rather than having to do a huge deep clean at once
  • Keeps your house on a cleaning schedule so dirt doesn’t build up
  • Is a great solution for people who are motivated by smaller tasks over time

  • Might be easy to fall behind if you miss a day or two
  • Certain personality types might be discouraged if they miss a day
  • Can be overwhelming to create the list and realize all the things you need to do to keep your house clean!

If you want to use the Zone Cleaning method, something to consider is you may want to add a brief morning/night routine or daily routine to keep the house organized and tidy (with things like: dishes, laundry, sweeping, etc. on the list). This will help you keep the house clean in other areas along with the zone of the week.

Try Zone Cleaning – Free Printables

Zone Cleaning Printables

If you want to start using the Zone Cleaning method, here are some handy free printables to help you start figuring out your zones and what you want to accomplish.

Sign up to get free zone cleaning printables:

What I learned

Make the tasks doable. Break down the specific things on the list into tasks that can actually take just 15 minutes rather than an hour. If it takes two weeks for one zone, that’s ok! If you skip around the tasks within the zone (for example, you wash the baseboards instead of wiping down the outside of the cabinets one day) it’s ok! Don’t get discouraged by feeling overwhelmed. This cleaning routine is supposed to make life easier, not more stressful.

Personality and cleaning

As I’ve tried out different types of cleaning routines, I’ve realized I wish I could do a little bit of cleaning every day, but I actually enjoy marathon days of cleaning – getting it done in one swoop and then enjoying the rest of the week. Because of this, I think I need a deep cleaning schedule that is more in tune to my personality.

But I don’t want to “give up” on zone cleaning so easily. I’m thinking about revising zone list to spread it out more evenly so I actually only have about 15 minutes extra to do per day. In theory, I’d like to keep the house cleaner (in a deep clean state) more often than just having one big marathon in the Spring. Who knows? It might not fit my personality or life. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to deep clean our house – and that’s ok.

Have you ever tried Zone Cleaning? What cleaning routine do you use to deep clean your house? Comment below!

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