Are you a mom looking for a cleaning schedule that seems reasonable? Me too, friend. If this isn’t the first cleaning schedule post you’ve visted, hopefully this post will boost your self esteem. At the end of this post, you’ll find a free Cleaning Schedule for Moms printable that you can filled in with the tasks you need to complete on a weekly basis (and won’t make you feel bad about yourself).
In the past, our house seemed to have two states, fairly clean and complete disarray. The length of each state depended on how many times company was coming over and how busy our lives were at the time. During the clean days, I optimistically thought that I was going to “stay caught up on housework,” and “never let it get away from me again,” but I had no plan of how to do that in place.
My husband and I were constantly doing dishes and laundry. Right when we would get caught up and think we could relax, we were instantly behind. We went through this cycle over and over again. I felt like we would never be able to stay caught up on housework.
But in the past few months, I unlocked the secret to staying caught up on housework and it can be summed up in one word; intentionality.
You have to be intentional about what you want to get done. There are 24 hours in a day. You have to decide what’s important and make a plan as to exactly how and when you are going to get them done.
This post and accompanying printable will help you keep your house clean and stay caught up on household tasks.
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Getting started with your cleaning schedule:
Now as it says, you are going to make a cleaning schedule, but it’s not as cliche as that (I’ve tried plenty of cleaning schedules and NONE of them worked. And honestly, most of them made me feel bad about myself because they were completely unrealistic. I will not be cleaning the baseboards in my house this year…. or probably ever.)
So when you make YOUR cleaning schedule, you need to think about the things in your house that NEED to get done (especially if they aren’t getting done now).
For example, before I started using this cleaning schedule (or routine), I would wait to do laundry until it needed done. And when it needed done, ALL the laundry baskets were overflowing and it tooks DAYS to catch up. Not to mention it took SO much time to get all those clothes folded and put away.
I don’t know about you, but I fold clothes on my bed. So at night, when I’m downright exhausted, I would walk into my room to see the mountain of clothes I’d forgotten to fold. I’d then move the pile somewhere else, like the floor or a dresser (because I was too tired to fold them). That pile would then get pushed out of the way for days before starting to wonder if they were clean or dirty.
This cycle repeated over and over.
But now I’m almost always caught up on laundry. We’ll talk more about exactly how I’ve gotten here in the next section.
So what you should do now is start thinking about the household tasks that absolutely need to get done on a weekly basis. Be realistic and don’t over do it. You can always add more tasks later, but if you are as behind as I always used to be, I’d start with daily goals of things like staying caught up on dishes and putting a load of laundry in. These should be things that absolutely have to get done for your household to function and the things that cause you the most stress when they aren’t done.
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What tasks need to be on your cleaning schedule?
The items on my cleaning list are there because when these items are not done (especially all at the same time), I feel overwhelmed and incredibly stressed.
I suggest you think of the things that cause you the most stress when they’re not completed and add them to the list: If the items on my list are all on your list, feel free to just add them at the bottom of mine. Otherwise you can use the blank one to make your own cleaning schedule!
Here’s the items I put on my list and a little explanation of why they’re there:
- Make your bed. I have found that when I make my bed, I feel an immediate sense of accomplishment, all be it small. It’s kind of like working out in the morning, you feel like you accomplished something. It also makes it easier to fold a load of laundry, as I always fold mine on my bed. If the bed is already made, it makes the process so much smoother.
- Put in one load of laundry. As mentioned earlier, laundry has always been the bane of my existence. One habit I’ve gotten into lately is always carrying a load of laundry to my washer before I make breakfast. Again – a slight boost in feeling accomplished before breakfast!
- Fold one load of laundry. I usually fold a load of laundry mid afternoon, but find a time to fit it into your routine. If you haven’t moved your clothes in the washer to the dryer yet (no judgement here!), do that now. Folding one load of laundry a day is better than 6 (don’t ask me how I know.)
- Unload the dishwasher. After breakfast, I usually have my kids unload the dishwasher. It’s so much easier to stay caught up on dishes if the dishwasher is empty and you can put dishes in as they’re used.
- Run the dishwasher. I usually run the dishwasher every night, even if it’s not completely full. I’ve found that if I don’t, it will fill up during the day and then I get behind on dishes.
- Clean the kitchen. I try to tidy the kitchen up throughout the day, but cleaning up dinner is a struggle of mine. If I’m feeling ambitious, I will clean the kitchen immediately after dinner, if not I clean it after my kids go to sleep. It’s a big stress to me if I come down in the morning and find the plates from dinner still on the table, as then I have no where to serve breakfast.
- Sort the mail. In years past, the mail would get carried in and set on the counter. It would then get ignored until I felt like looking through it. I hated having the clutter on the counter and every once in a while something wouldn’t get taken care of one time. When the mail comes in, I immediately sort it and recycle things that can be recycled. I then have a place on the counter where the important mail can go and be taken care of when there’s time.
- Take out the trash and recycling. Our trash service comes on Monday, so most of the time I take out the trash Sunday night. I do take the kitchen trash out more frequently, but the rest of the trash cans in the house get emptied once a week.
- Clean the bathrooms. I have 3 boxes open here, because I have 3 bathrooms in my house. I *try* to clean them each once a week, but it doesn’t always happen. Quick tip: With little kids, I always found it hard to keep up with bathrooms. The best way I’ve found to keep the bathrooms clean is to clean them while the kids are in the tub. I let them take a bath in whichever bathroom needs cleaned.
- Pick up living space. Before or after dinner, we usually have the kids help us clean up the living room and playroom. We play the clean up song and try to make it as fun as possible.
- Clean a Room. Everyday, I pick up a room to clean. I’m not deep cleaning this room, just wiping off surfaces, organize things that are in disarray, and cleaning the floors as needed.
You might have noticed that I didn’t mention vacuuming or sweeping. We have this vacuum, and so I just run it as needed. (This vacuum has literally changed my life). I rarely scrub the floor, only as needed. Maybe once a month.
Other things that you might want to think about adding to your list:
- Clean the litter box (if you have a cat).
- Clean out the car
- Tidy up the garage
- Clean out the refrigerator
You get the idea. Simply think of all the things that absolutely need to get done and and maybe a couple items that you’d like to get done.
Making your cleaning schedule:
For me, I’ve found that I definitely prefer written to do lists, over digital ones. I just LOVE the satisfaction I get from crossing something off. So with a cleaning checklist, I want that sense of accomplishment I get when I get to mark something as completed.
I made this cleaning schedule so that you can make it work for you. You can add the tasks that are important to you and set the frequency at which you want to accomplish it. You can and should modify this cleaning schedule to fit your needs.
On the first page of this printable, I’ve included my list of items that I do on a weekly basis, with the frequency of each item shown in the figure below. The second page of this printable is blank, so you can make your own (feel free to use mine if it works for you!)
Tip: You could print this out or use it as a digital file on your tablet.
The idea of this cleaning schedule is that you fill in the tasks that you want to clean on a weekly basis. Beside each item is 7 boxes. Decide how many times a week you want to complete that item. For example “Cleaning the Kitchen” is something I want (or need) to complete daily, so I am going to try to check off those boxes every single day.
But for something like cleaning the bathrooms, I am going to start the week by coloring in 4 of the boxes, so that only 3 are open. I have 3 bathrooms in my house and I try to clean each of those once a week (try being the key word here). So I left 3 boxes open and after I clean each one, I get to check it off (see image below).
You should use this chart to challenge yourself. See how many tasks you can get completed in a week. If you don’t get everything you wanted to accomplish done and it’s causing you stress, then make a plan for how you will get it done next week. Don’t just say I’m going to make sure I get this done next week. Be intentional, say I’m going to get that third bathroom cleaned, by doing it while my kids listen to an audiobook on Wednesday afternoon.
Tips for making this cleaning schedule work:
My best advice for making this schedule work is to make the items on your list a routine. Try to do them at the same time everyday so they become a habit. Just like I said about laundry, if it wasn’t part of my routine, it would build up until it was out of control and then it would be a mountain to tackle.
But as the quote from John Bytheway says “Inch by Inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard.” If you do a little cleaning each day and make it part of your routine, your house will hopefully never be as bad as it used to be. (If it does get out of control, head over to this post for my tips on speed cleaning.)
And remember you can edit this schedule to fit your needs. The tasks that drive you crazy when they aren’t done might be different than mine. And your standards of clean house might be different. Just make sure you are being realisitic and intentional. If the first schedule you make doesn’t work, make another one. And remember, make a plan of how you are going to get it done, be intentional.
Download Cleaning Schedule for Moms:
I hope this post has made your life easier and helped save you time, so you can spend more time with your family. If you enjoye this cleaning schedule printable, I bet you will enjoy my free ebook “Get Your Login Information Organized Challenge.” This ebook will help you brainstorm all the places you have login information and includes a free printable. Subscribe to get access.