I Tried the “6/10 Method” and It Shifted the Way I Clean My Home

Messy sink and sink area before cleaning with the 6/10 method
Credit: Shifrah Combiths Credit: Shifrah Combiths

I love personality tests. They remind me, first of all, that I’m not as unique as I think I am (ha!). But this is actually a good thing because, for every box I fit in or every label that matches my personality traits, there’s a goldmine of understanding that helps me use my strengths and manage my weaknesses.

What Is the “6/10 List”?
This method, aka the 6/10 List, was created by Organized Chaos and consists of six daily tasks and 10 weekly tasks. This cleaning method allows you to have a structured checklist of chores that need to be done and a manageable pace.

Finding out that, according to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies Framework, I’m a Rebel is one example of how personality tests have helped me manage my day-to-day life. According to Rubin, Rebels “resist all expectations, outer and inner alike” and operate under a banner of “you can’t make me, and neither can I.”

Messy bed before cleaning with the 6/10 method
Credit: Shifrah Combiths Credit: Shifrah Combiths

This has helped me learn that while I don’t like someone telling me what to do and while it’s pretty useless for me to decide to do something, I do respond well to choosing to do what someone, usually some kind of “expert,” suggests.

This is why I tend to respond well to cleaning schedules, routines, and lists of my choosing. So when I came across the Organized Chaos 6/10 List, I saw a tool that would help me get my chores done and keep my home reasonably clean and in order. The list consists of six daily tasks and 10 weekly tasks. Monthly and quarterly tasks are also included. When I saw the 6/10 list, something inside me said, “Oooh, yes, let’s try this,” and I made it my household cleaning routine and checklist for two weeks.

The six daily tasks are as follows: Make beds, wash dishes, scrub the sink, wipe counters, vacuum floors, and do one load of laundry. The 10 weekly tasks are as follows: Wipe out fridge, wipe out microwave, tidy pantry, mop floors, clean bathrooms, clean sink drains, dust furniture, wash bedding, tidy car, and clean pets’ bowls.

Here are my takeaways.

clean sink and sink area after cleaning with the 6/10 method
Credit: Shifrah Combiths Credit: Shifrah Combiths

Specific tasks are approachable. I loved having small, specific tasks that I was responsible for doing. It made cleaning bite-size and the overall feeling was that I was managing things well. I was able to accomplish a task or two here and there throughout the day, so I didn’t feel behind when I didn’t, say, “clean the kitchen” during a designated time on Monday, for instance.

Some daily tasks had to be done more than once. In our household, if we only wash dishes or wipe counters once a day, we’d be in bad shape. For this reason, these particular tasks didn’t feel like “one and done” tasks, but rather ongoing practices. While this isn’t a change from how I usually do things, these to-dos didn’t fit into the daily task framework and I never felt like I could “check them off.”

Vacuuming daily makes a big difference. I wasn’t able to vacuum the entire house daily, but choosing one spot a day to go over with my vacuum made a big difference in the overall cleanliness of the house at any given time. Being “required” to pull out the vacuum encouraged me to pay a bit of attention to some floorspace every day, and between this vacuuming session and our robot vacuum, our floors stayed cleaner than usual.

Making all the beds felt right. I typically make our bed every day, if my husband doesn’t get to it first, but during my 6/10 trial, I also went through the house and quickly made whatever kids’ beds weren’t made. I try to instill this habit in them, but I also don’t make it a big deal if they don’t do it some mornings. Making their beds for them feels like a small, physical kindness I can show my children and hopefully helps them realize that made beds feel good. I also think that having their beds in order helps them keep their rooms a bit cleaner.

Tidy bedroom after cleaning with the 6/10 method
Credit: Shifrah Combiths Credit: Shifrah Combiths

One load of laundry a day is great. I know this is so many people’s preferred way to stay on top of laundry. Finally having it on a list I was following helped me do it for longer than a few days. I think there was something psychologically helpful about thinking of laundry as part of my cleaning routine rather than a separate (behemoth) task. In any case, one load a day from start to finish really doesn’t take that long and makes a big difference in avoiding a huge pile of laundry.

Dusting once a week rather than by room felt easier. Dusting throughout the house felt so much more straightforward than dusting by room, which is what I usually do. I loved making a thorough sweep through the house without having to switch tasks or tools!

Maybe I need to clean my sink drains more than I do. I’ve never made cleaning sink drains a weekly task and this is probably a bad thing. I always make it a point to clean hair around drains when I see it, but I see the merit of flushing kitchen and bathroom sinks and tub/shower drains weekly to prevent buildup and costly problems down the road.

Weekly fridge and pantry cleanups save time. Doing weekly touch-ups and wipe-downs to such heavily used areas goes a long way in avoiding bigger cleanups later. I’d much rather do more frequent, smaller tasks than big projects — and it keeps these spaces cleaner in the meantime!

Overall, this method was a winner and I’ll be keeping it in my repertoire of cleaning schedules for sure!

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: I Tried the “6/10 Method,” and It’s Become My New Favorite Cleaning Routine