The 80/20 Rule for a Cleaner-Looking Home

Another summer weekend is nearly here, and if the weather cooperates, it’s an ideal time to enjoy the outdoors and share a meal or beverages with friends on the deck or patio.  But if your home could use a good cleaning before guests arrive, the 80/20 rule (sometimes called the Pareto Principle) can help homeowners get their house clean with less effort, and more time to enjoy the weekend. 

The principal, derived from a 1900s economic idea, proposes that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of the action.  In other words, some efforts produce greater results, and when translated into housework, certain tasks yield a cleaner-looking home in less time and with less elbow grease. 

While spending hours cleaning out a hall closet is a great rainy day project, especially for older adults who may have accumulated many unnecessary items, in the fair weather time may be better spent picking up and putting away laundry, or other daily clutter from counters and floors.  According to a recent article in The Spruce Home Trends, choosing the right task, and focusing on a specific area of the house will yield better results and cut down on stress.  

If friends will be gathering in the kitchen, start there by clearing any dishes or clutter, wiping down countertops, and sweeping the floor.   Next might be a powder room check to make sure the bathroom is clean and well stocked.  Breaking big jobs like dusting, vacuuming, or deep cleaning bathrooms down by days of the week can also lessen the workload.  If you tend to leave all the work for one day, it can be overwhelming, and time-consuming.  Cleaning strategically, in batches can make a noticeable difference in effort and results.

Laundry and dishes may be tackled throughout the week, but before company arrives, focus on the tasks with the biggest visual payoff.  A freshly made bed, neatly stacked books, a quick vacuum, and clean glass and mirrors instantly give a room the appearance of order and cleanliness, even when there isn’t time for dusting or wiping down all the baseboards.  One small task that gives you a sense of accomplishment helps motivate the next and creates a greater sense of pride in your home. 

Work smarter, not harder and spend more time enjoying your home and your life.  Visit The Country Penny to read more about implementing the 80/20 rule in your home.