Whether you're a professional housekeeper or a stay-at-home dad, cleaning, sorting and taking out the trash can be monotonous, mind-numbing work. Having goals and objectives, like beating your best time for finishing the laundry, not only improves your efficiency, it can make the work more satisfying.
The SMART approach applies to housekeeping goals just as to anything else. That is, goals must be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-specific. For example, "clean the house" is not a SMART goal, because it isn't specific or time-specific. Even being measurable or achievable is questionable, because houses are big with lots to clean. A SMARTer goal would be to clean the fridge before the last garbage day at end of the month, which qualifies under each of the five components of SMART. The results-oriented portion would be having any spoiled food out of the house and on the curb just in time for trash collection.
Because housekeeping has so many tasks that need to be done over different timelines, it helps to put dates on your goals. For example, emptying the dishwasher is something you should probably do every couple of days, but cleaning the attic may be something you do once a year. A good way to break down the chores is by focusing on one room at a time, like a general cleaning of each room once every week and a thorough cleaning once every month. If you put each room on a calendar, you will be able to see the week's activities in one glance.
Breaking Household Records
Do you know how long it takes you to scrub and disinfect the bathroom or to empty the dishwasher? The simple act of timing yourself doing different chores can get you through them much faster, leaving you more time to do other things, or – if you're a professional – give you time to get more clients. Most smartphones have a clock you can use as a stopwatch. Time yourself during each chore, and record the time so you can see if you can beat it. Just don't let the need for speed seduce you into cutting corners.
Inside every house is a family of people. If your goal is to simply clean a bedroom, you may not get a lot of satisfaction from it. However, if your goal is to have fresh sheets for your son, daughter, spouse or – again, if you're a professional housekeeper – your client to sleep on tonight, the work has much more meaning.
Every housekeeper has a budget to manage. For professionals, this may be limited to cleaning supplies, but if it's your own home, it includes the week's groceries, water and electricity. Keep track of how much you spend on your budget each month, and look for ways to reduce it. For example, using rags instead of paper towels could save you a hundred dollars each year, depending on how many paper towels you go through. Using vinegar and water instead of commercial cleansers can also save you a lot of money over time. Once you know what you're spending, set an annual target, like reducing the budget by $500 over a specific number of months. Then think of what you can do with the extra money.