Inside: The reasons why a cleaning schedule doesn’t work for every home and what to do to still keep a tidy home instead.
Not long ago I was the one searching for cleaning schedules to help keep my home tidy. I tried all the things. Room-by-room. Task-by-task. A checklist for monthly, seasonal, and yearly items. You name it, I was trying to juggle it.
I made a chart, hung it on the fridge, and tried my best to stay on top of things. But somehow, it never seemed like there were enough hours in the day with all the other duties I had to fill.
Like, seriously, who WERE these super people who were able to get all this stuff done?
I was about to have baby #4 and thought I NEEDED to get the hang of a cleaning schedule in order to keep our house from becoming a total and complete train wreck.
Thankfully, I was wrong.
After trying to stick to my schedule for months after our son was born, I threw in the towel on cleaning schedules (temporarily) and opted for a simpler approach that was WAY less stressful for the season I was in.
A Simple 2-Part Cleaning Method
There are 2 main ways our home gets clean and stays clean:
- With a daily cleansing spree and
- With simple routines to help KEEP our home clean.
Every day, I have one main burst of cleansing energy. This is the time when I do all the little things throughout the house that are bugging me. Any little loose ends that need to be taken care of are tied up. We’ll talk about that more in a minute.
Then we all have smaller routines throughout the day to keep the house from getting unmanageable and make sure everyone is doing their part to help.
It’s simple, easy to follow, and may just work better for your home if the cleaning schedules aren’t cutting it.
Daily Cleaning Spree
So at some point every day (either before or after homeschool time, depending on the day), I quickly go throughout the house, tidying anything I see that’s out of order. Picking up stray clothes that need to go into a laundry bin, wiping down counters, carrying things upstairs, sweeping floors, cleaning toilets, clearing clutter off the mantle, dusting.
You name it. Whatever catches my eye and needs to be done, I do it.
It’s truly amazing how much can get accomplished in that time. I usually only spend 20 minutes to an hour on this spree, and yet I get more accomplished doing it this way than I did when I was sticking to any certain schedule.
Even if your time spent cleaning doesn’t end up totaling an entire hour, spend as much time as you can accomplishing as much as you can.
I usually already have a running mental list (or list in my daily planner) of things that need to happen when I get a minute, just because they’re often things that have already been on my mind. For example, while breastfeeding my son, I’ll see things on our bookshelf that need straightened, mail on the piano that needs to go to our office, and that the rug needs to be vacuumed.
So as soon as I’m free, I’m ready to get at it.
Simple Built-In Routines
So other than power hour, I have simple things built into my day that help me stay on top of housework. For example, I do dishes at pretty much the same spot in our daily routine every day. Every morning before I wake the kids up, I throw in a new load of laundry.
My husband and kids have things to get done, too. After everyone is dressed in the morning, we all make beds. When my kids are done playing in a room, they have to pick up their toys before they move on to a new activity. Every evening, my husband takes out the trash if it’s full.
These are all just little ways to keep the mess from piling up and keep our home running smoothly.
No cleaning schedule needed.
When Tasks Get Overlooked
With a cleaning schedule, if I ended up NOT having time to get something done, it was a big deal. (Or at least that’s how it felt in my mind.) Either it was left untouched until the next week rolled around OR my to-do list for the next day got that much longer. Neither of those is a good option.
But with this method, if something doesn’t get done, it doesn’t feel like an added burden to the next day. It goes down in my planner to remind me to get it done, and even if I don’t have time for much else the next day, I’m not getting behind on housework. That’s the big difference.
Easing the Burden of Cleaning Schedule Stress
Maintaining our homes this way can come a little more naturally to us which makes it less stressful. Sometimes we over-complicate things in our quest to find solutions for our time management problems.
It’s not possible to get everything done in a day, and some cleaning schedules seem to heap on the burdens. So it’s often easier to get more done by intuitively checking off the things we SEE rather than incessantly checking a list and struggling to stay on track.
Side note: I use a monthly ordering service for my cleaning products called Grove collaborative. They have so many natural options, and their prices are amazing. If you’re in need of a little motivation to enjoy cleaning, I highly recommend checking them out. Use my link to get a free 5-piece gift set!
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Until next time,