Why do you need to create a cleaning schedule? I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to spend my weekends cleaning and playing catch-up to the mess that took all week to make?
I used to take an entire morning or afternoon every weekend to thoroughly clean the house, but that was BEFORE kids. I don’t have that kind of time anymore, and I have much more important things to spend my time doing.
With three kids. I have found that by breaking up cleaning over each day of the week into small chunks, I can keep our house clean for longer. I spend 15-20 minutes a day adhering to this cleaning routine and my house looks much better all week long and my weekends are free and clear of cleaning products and the vacuum.
Without the noticeable mess building up all week, I’m more relaxed and in better mood overall mood – because when did anyone ever say seeing a mountain of laundry or sink full of dishes makes them feel happy?
We also seem to have drop-in guests and neighbors often, and now I don’t run around the house like a lunatic shouting requests at my family to pick up as fast as they can.
Here are the things we do every day with our cleaning schedule to make our home cleaner and more manageable.
- Make Beds. Having a made bed immediately makes each of the rooms in the house look and feel tidy and I love climbing into a made bed with straightened sheets at the end of a long day. If your house is a mess from the start, you’re more likely to let things slide and a mess accumulate.
- Laundry. I do a load of laundry every other day so that it doesn’t pile up over time. I throw the laundry in the washer first thing in the morning and before I’m ready the head out the door, the wash cycle is finished and I throw it in the dryer before heading out the door. I’ll fluff the load after the kids have gone to bed and fold them while catching up on my DVR.
- Set Out Folded Laundry. When I fold laundry at night, I set the folded clothes out in piles for each of my kids in my room and they are responsible for putting them away in the right drawers or hanging in the closet the next morning. I fold piles based on how their drawers are set up – pants, shorts/skirts, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, pajamas, underwear, and socks so it is very easy for them to put things away in the right spot.
- Empty the Dishwasher / Load Dishes. Once I finish making breakfast, I unload the dishwasher so it’s ready to be filled with dirty dishes and no mess stares at me from the the counter or peers up from the sink .
- Straighten up the Kitchen. I keep an all-purpose spray (as well as hand soap, dish soap and scrub brush) on a pedestal in the kitchen so it is always within reach and I can spray down counters and wipe them clean in the morning, after snack, lunch and dinner. Having everything in eyesight reminds me to do a quick wipe down and makes the kitchen sparkle all day long.
THE BIG STUFF (TACKLE ONE A DAY)
- Bathrooms. I clean all three bathrooms in one fell swoop, once a week. Take a look at your schedule and set aside 30 minutes once a week – maybe more if you are potty training boys like I am – to deep clean all the bathrooms in your home.
- Dust. Once a week dust fans, lights, curtains, shutters, table tops, shelves, bookcases, etc.
- Vacuum. This is something we do 1-2 a week depending on the weather outside and how much has been brought inside by kids and pets.
- Kitchen Cabinets & Appliances. Once a week, wipe down your appliances and cabinet fronts. If you have stainless steel, it’s easy for fingerprints and little hand marks to smudge the fronts.
- Sweep/Mop Floors. This is something I do every 2-3 nights because our floors are dark and show dirt, dog hair and footprints easily. If you don’t have much traffic in your house and depending on the type of flooring you have, you may only need to do this once a week.
- Wipe Down the Kitchen.
- Load/Unload the Dishwasher so the counters are clear and the sink is empty. Starting the day off without a mess in he kitchen is a great sight when you walk in your kitchen sleepy-eyed the next morning.
- Sweep & Mop the Floors. This may only be necessary if you have dark floors, or heavy traffic like we do.
- Pick Up Toys & Clutter. I take a couple sweeps of the house throughout the day to pick up and put away random toys, clutter, hairbands and other items that are out of place. I put the kid’s toys in the toy room or in a basket at the bottom of the stairs where they are responsible for putting the toys away. When they head upstairs to get ready for bedtime, they grab their items out of the basket and put them away in their rooms or in the right spot.
- Fold a Load of Laundry.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP STAY MESS-FREE
- Leave Shoes Outside. We’re a shoeless house and you might consider this for your home too. We have a storage unit in the garage for the kids to hang jackets and put their shoes so we don’t bring in dirt and debris, not to mention germs and pollen every time they’re in and out of the house. I love it because our kids know where their shoes are at all times so we’re never in the situation of trying to find them around the house.
- Food is Eaten at the Table or Kitchen Island, No Where Else. Nothing is more counterproductive to your clean house than little kids eating and dropping food crumbs all over when they walk in circles around the house while eating a snack. Also gross is the trail of drool from our dogs as they follow them hoping for dropped snack.
- What’s Downstairs Stays Downstairs, What’s Upstairs Stays Upstairs. Our kids have toys that they play with in their rooms upstairs, but those toys stay upstairs when they’re finished playing with them. When the kids are playing with their toys in the playroom or living room, those toys stay on the first level of our house. By keeping toys in their designated areas, we’re not always going up and down the stairs to put things away play areas are much more manageable.