I have my own "Emergency Cleaning" plan. I've gleaned tips from many different areas and made it my own. I use it for times when I'm standing in the middle of the room and paralysis has set in, I feel the Doom and Gloom descend and I want to run away because I can't figure out where to start.
That's what I felt like today. Everything was clamoring for my attention and nothing was truly getting done. We got in Saturday PM, church and laundry (and laundry and laundry) on Sunday. Monday I got the suitcases and paraphernalia put away, and the homeschooling back on track, but I was still faced with disaster.
So, I hauled out my Emergency Cleaning list and started blindly obeying it, taking a break after every two to three accomplishments. That got me up to the point where I can begin to function at normal levels again. It also stopped the hyperventilating. I decided to post it here in case someone else finds it useful.
- Spray cleaner on the bathroom sink(s) and toilet(s) and leave to do its thing.
- Deal with whatever phase the laundry is presently in without doing more. For example, if I've done everything except fold and put away the stacks, then I do that without starting a new load. If the underwear drawers have an echo from lack of inhabitants, I start a load of whites and follow it through to the finish, stopping after that.
- Clean out the frig. Dump out all wannabe science experiments without guilt and just start over. Fill the sink with sudsy water and put the emptied containers in to soak.
- Empty the dishwasher.
- Load the dishwasher.
- If there's no dishwasher (which has been most of my life), wash ONE sink-full of dishes and put in drainer. Condense everything else on the counter into a tidy, compact pile. It looks less scary that way. You will revisit this pile later.
- Take a trash bag and walk around the house in a clockwise pattern. Throw away ALL trash--including newspapers. You won't read them. Seriously, you won't.
- Take another trip around the house with a box or basket to hold all important papers. Stow these next to your desk. Trust me on this. Penalty fees in the past taught me a hard lesson about keeping important papers in sight!
- One more trip around collecting things that go in other rooms. Put them AWAY as you enter each final destination on your clockwise trek.
- Switch the laundry if you're doing a load.
- Put away dry dishes and wash another load of dishes if you're hand washing.
- Go back and clean the bathroom(s) fixture(s).
- Finish last step of laundry and/or dishes.
- Clean kitchen counters and stove top.
- Empty trash.