Are you stressed out and completely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done in your house each day, week, or month? Yeah, me too.
I love a clean house and get very anxious when things start to fall apart. However, I haven’t been able to use all of those printable cleaning schedules found all over the world wide web. Each one has a part that just doesn’t fit my house or lifestyle and I end up nixing it soon after I begin.
I was tired of trying to make everyone else’s schedules work for me. I decided to figure out how to make a simple, yet complete, cleaning schedule that fits my life as a busy mom.
I don’t have time to check 15 different detailed tasks off lists each and every day. Deep cleaning my entire house each month just isn’t in the cards for me in this season of life. I want to keep a tidy home, but I would rather spend my time building Lego castles than scrubbing dusty baseboards. The dusty baseboards will still be there in 20 years, but the Lego castles will be long gone.
In order to keep my house tidy, I followed the following 6 step process to create a simple schedule that works for me and my family in the season of life we are in right now. I hope you are able to find a balance between family life and cleaning by using these tips to create a simple schedule that works for you too.
6 Steps to Create a Cleaning Schedule
Figure out what is most important to you. What’s important to me, may not be important to you! All of us have different homes, different heavy traffic areas, different children, and on and on.
Keeping up with dishes is one of my priorities. I find that when my kitchen gets messy, the rest of my house starts to fall apart. It’s like a domino effect. So getting my dishwasher unloaded in the morning is essential to me keeping my house clean.
I had two other tasks at the top of my priority list: laundry and bathrooms. I have two messy boys and a husband who wears a uniform to work. If I don’t do at least one load of laundry a day, it gets completely out of control. I have to wipe down my boys’ bathroom daily. It’s not only a bathroom used by boys (enough said!), but it’s also our main bathroom for guests. Every day I try to wipe down the sink and toilet. It takes me less than 2 minutes and keeps the nasties away!
Figure out what your main priorities are and put them at the top of your list!
2. Clear out the Clutter and Keep it Away
Keeping the clutter under control can be huge in keeping a tidy home. I think that floors can be messy and dust can be piling up on the furniture, but if a room is picked up and decluttered it looks clean! At least that’s my philosophy!
Trying to declutter a messy and cluttered home is another post for another day. However, one tip I’ve found to keep away clutter is to keep a consignment/donation bin in my home. I have a Sterilite tub with a lid in my laundry room. Every time I find something that doesn’t fit, is starting to wear out, or I just don’t use anymore, I toss it in! When the bin starts to get full, I take it to my local consignment store or Goodwill and it leaves my house! No major decluttering sessions needed!
3. Make a limited list
Rather than try to schedule your life around your cleaning, schedule your cleaning around your life. When you are in the season of motherhood with littles running around, a perfect home is probably not your biggest priority. Keep your “must do” list short and sweet. I created 3 lists of “must do’s” – a daily list, a weekly list, and a monthly list. Here are my lists:
- Make Beds
- Wipe Down Bathrooms
- Prep Dinner
- Unload & Reload Dishwasher
- Complete 1 Load of Laundry
- Run Dishwasher
- Mop Floors
- Change Sheets
- Scrub Bathrooms
- Meal Plan (every other week)
- Clean Out Fridge
- Wash Bath Mats
- Change Air Filter
- Clean Out Car
- Wash Bedroom Quilts
I knew I would be doing good if I could squeeze a total of 30 minutes of cleaning in each day. My husband gives me about an hour to an hour and a half once a week to get a few of the weekly tasks done. The monthly tasks I do as I have time or my husband helps out. These lists are extremely basic, I know. It’s what I have time for and what fits into my life right now. And that’s okay with me.
There are a few other things I do every few weeks when I have a little extra time or
people are coming over I feel inspired to clean! 🙂 These include dusting, running a cleaning cycle on my dishwasher and washing machine, and cleaning the glass.
I also do a semi-deep clean twice a year that includes things like cleaning ceiling fans, wiping down kitchen cabinets, vacuuming behind furniture, etc. I don’t keep up with a detailed list for these items because I just do them when I see they are needed.
4. Keep up with a morning and evening routine
My morning routine and evening routine are the biggest things that keep my home tidy. When I created my morning and evening routine I just took my daily tasks and separated them into time slots.
By starting my laundry in the morning I can finish it throughout the day and have it folded and put away in the evening before I go to bed. By unloading the dishwasher, we have a place to put the dirty dishes throughout the day and I can run it overnight for clean dishes in the morning.
If I were to have uninterrupted time (which lets face it NEVER happens) my morning and evening routines would only take me about 15-20 minutes each to complete.
I’ll go more into depth of my morning and evening routines in later posts this month so be looking out for that!
5. Complete the Cycle
You may be wondering, what do you mean complete the cycle?
I mean finish each task completely each day. It would be a dream to finish a task before moving onto another, but as a mom that’s just not always possible! A toddler needs a snack, a baby needs to be nursed, a dog spills his water bowl all over the kitchen floor. We get interrupted. It’s the life of a mom.
However, I always try to complete everything I started before I go to bed. Here is what I mean:
- If I start a load of laundry, I make sure to dry it, fold it, and put it away.
- If I bring the mail inside, I trash the junk mail, pay any bills, and file any papers.
- If we come in and kick off our shoes and drop our bags, we take them to where they belong.
See what I mean? Finish the cycle. Rather than leaving out half finished tasks, I try to complete each task completely. This keeps piles down, laundry baskets empty, and our home just a little tidier.
*Confession: This is probably the biggest step I need to improve upon!
6. Schedule it in
Finally, once you have prioritized your most important tasks, cleared out the clutter, created a list, begun working on a morning and evening routine, and started completing the cycle, you need to schedule in some time for cleaning. Look back at your weekly and monthly tasks. Decide how much time it will take you to complete those tasks and then schedule it in. This will look differently for everyone.
My monthly tasks are pretty short and sweet. My husband has an alert on his phone on the 1st of each month to change the air filter. I usually try to wash the bathroom rugs the last week of each month and wash the bedroom quilts sometime the first week of each month. My car gets cleaned out when the weather is nice enough for me to spend 5-10 minutes outside. 🙂
My weekly tasks get accomplished one day in the middle of the week when my husband is home. I carve out an hour and a half either on Tuesday or Wednesday depending on the week to complete these tasks. My husband is off these two days and takes care of the boys and I work as quickly as I can to get everything completed.
It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for me.
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