I know, the thought of putting together a schedule to clean the house sounds awful! But it was the best thing I have done recently and recommend it.
Before = In our home, we used the method of “clean it when it looks dirty”. Of course, this led to leaving things alone for too long and having dirt, dust and icky stuff linger around. When we did end up cleaning, it included tons of scrubbing and a long time to get it back to “normal” again. We did not have a list of things to do. Never took a full inventory of the chores. Which meant we walked past areas and did not even notice they needed cleaning. Top of the kitchen cabinets, dust under the bed or inside of the closets and the dreaded under the fridge area were ignored. We would be wasting time and it was not efficient. Not only did it take forever to accomplish cleaning one room, but we ended up skipping areas completely. Our home did not represent us.
It was time to get some order to our wild west type of cleaning.
Now = I would use the term “maintaining the house” instead of cleaning it. I never let it get too bad before I clean off surfaces. There is no concept of “Spring” cleaning. It is a schedule that goes throughout the year and evenly divides the workload. This way I not only have a clean house, but also free time as well. I am no longer overwhelmed with trying to clean everything in a single day or weekend. I can spread it out according to the time I can allocate. There are no more areas that get skipped. Each week (on average) I end up cleaning 3 days out of the week, 1 day set aside for de-cluttering and organizing, 1 day for grocery shopping and cooking meals and 2 days off. This schedule has been making a huge difference, the house is so much cleaner and smells fantastic too. My dust allergies have also been noticeably better. Side benefit is no longer having the crazy rush to clean the house before company comes over. It is always ready for a party!
How did I come up with my schedule?
- I brainstormed a full list of things to clean around the house. I walked around and took note of all areas. This created my chore inventory.
- This was a huge list and I felt very overwhelmed. This step was the worst to do but it got better from there.
- I then assigned 1 of 5 timeframes to each task. “Weekly”, “Twice a Month”, “Once a Month”, “Quarterly” or “Twice a Year”.
- The weekly items were things that I was already accomplishing each week. This was the easiest list to create.
- I was very realistic when assigning each timeframe. Would it be great to wash the dust out of your drapes each month?! Sure! But that was way too often for our home. We also do not have pets that shed so that determined how often we dusted and vacuumed floors.
- I combined the “Twice a Month” and “Once a Month” items into 1 of 4 groupings to make a 4 week rotating schedule. “Week One”, “Week Two”, “Week Three”, “Week Four”.
- At this point you are either admiring my organization skills or think that I am completely nuts. I really am a healthy combo of both. I like to have lists that I can check off and this also allows me to not miss anything.
- I tried to combine tasks/chores that were either using the same tool like the steam mop or were all located on the same floor to avoid going up and down the stairs too much.
- I made sure that each floor had its own set of cleaning supplies so they were easy to access. This ended up being a huge amount to spend on duplicate cleaning sprays and wipes but it was worth it. I store them in the bathroom cabinets and extras in the laundry room.
- We have four bathrooms so I just divided them up so I would deep clean one bathroom per week. This means steam mop the floor, scrub the shower tile, etc.
- This step took the most time, lots of scrap paper and trying to figure out a logical grouping of the chores.
- Finally I put it into action and tweaked along the way.
- I plugged in the “Week One” items into the planner along with the “Weekly” tasks and took note of what I accomplished per day. I want to make sure that I was spreading the workload evenly. I did not track the amount of time it took but you might find this to be helpful.
- For the items that were Quarterly and Twice a Year, I figured out which month I would target for those tasks and then plugged that into my planner.
- Since initially creating this schedule, it has already been modified. This is good because until you actually go through a full year, it will need to be revisited based on time available.
Here is my sample schedule. It will be different than yours since everyone has a different type of household. Use it as a guide to get ideas for your own. I ended up listening to some YouTube videos for cleaning schedule samples to gain some ideas as well.
- Vac 1st floor (kitchen, entry way which are high traffic areas)
- Clean kitchen
- Wipe down bathrooms
- Laundry (bedding, towels, clothing)
- Grocery shop / Cook meals
- Vac stairs to 2nd floor
- Dust/vac 2nd floor
- Deep clean spare bathroom
- Clean washing machine
- Change air filter
- Shred/file papers in office
- Pay off credit cards
- Vac stairs to basement
- Dust/vac basement
- Deep clean basement bathroom and bar area
- Steam mop 1st floor
- Deep clean 1st floor bathroom
- Wipe inside fridge, microwave and stove
- Shred/file papers in office
- High dust (ceiling fan, tall dresser, top of fridge) – basically anything that I need a ladder to get to
- Low dust (under bed, under fridge, under washing machine) – I have a duster that slides under appliances and vacuum that fits under bed easily.
- Deep clean master bathroom
- Catch up on anything skipped or do Quarterly or Twice a Year tasks
- Polish wood cabinets
- Wash drapes
- Clean “dark spaces” – behind fridge, inside closets
- Clean vacuum filters
- Wash mattress cover
- Wash blankets
Twice a Year
- Steam vac rugs
- Clean windows
- Clean top of cabinets in kitchen and laundry area