Friday, October 24, 2008

Order of Operations

What happens if you mop your kitchen without sweeping? All that dust sort of turns to mud, crumbs stick to the mop and get dragged all over the rest of the kitchen. That's why the "correct" way to mop a floor involves sweeping first.

Most of my day job is documenting and optimizing procedures, and amazingly enough I actually do quite a bit of work with cleaning procedures. Sometimes, I'm pretty dense. I was actually thinking about the cleaning procedure for my bathroom before I realized that, um, people pay me a lot of money to document and optimize their processes for their businesses. I ought to be able to optimize the cleaning procedure for my own bathroom.

Back in high school home ec, I learned about a process called "dove tailing" which is preparing a meal so that everything is ready at the same time (or when it's supposed to be). Optimizing a cleaning procedure is sort of the same thing.

The Basics
1. Start at the top. Gravity is a not always a helper. You don't want to take the time to sweep the floor only to wipe the counters and get a hole slew of new crumbs on the floor.
2. If something needs to soak for a while, start it first. Since we're optimizing the process, we don't want to clean floor then the rest of the bathroom, just to have the floor be dirty again.
3. Work your way towards the exit. The importance of this is most obvious when you're doing something with the floors like mopping or vacuuming. Who doesn't hate having wet dirty foot prints on their freshly mopped floor? Backing out of the room prevents you from being the one leaving those tracks behind.

My Bathroom Procedure Version 1:
1. If anything in the bathroom should be trashed, trash it.
2. Remove shampoo bottles from the shower, place on bath mat.
3. Spray with shower cleaner (This has to soak for 2 minutes)
4. Clear off the counter, place everything on the bath mat.
5. Clean Mirrors.
6. Spray sink and counter with cleaner.
7. Use scrub brush on the shower. Rinse.
8. Wipe off counter and sink with a damp sponge. Rinse sink.
9. Return items to counter or shower.
10. Wipe down outside of toilet.
11. Smush on new blob of stick on toilet cleaner.
12. Shake out bath mat.
13. Sweep floor.
14. Remove trash, replace liner.

The whole thing should take about 15 mins, and I'll probably be trying it this evening when I get home.

1 comment:

Liz said...

I <3 this blog. Looking forward to your optimizing input on other household tasks.