Are you always falling behind on your house cleaning schedule? Do you feel like you never get around to that never-ending chore chart? Stop living with the unnecessary guilt and frustration. You deserve to feel loved in your home.
So, even if you just clean up enough to feel like you can relax and enjoy your home, you need a house cleaning schedule you’ll actually stick to. Put away the mile-long checklist you printed from Pinterest, the key is to keep it simple. Here you won’t find any ridiculously long list you need to print and follow to the letter. Instead, I’ve outlined my five favorite tips that help me to feel like the chaos hasn’t fully taken over our home.
Tip 1. Pick up after yourself
This might seem obvious to some, but for the rest of us Type B personalities it can be hard to master. Is it just me but it seems like all cleaning articles are written by naturally clean and organized people. But what about the rest of us?
That’s where I come in! I don’t like lists and I don’t like long chores that take forever. I want to get in and get it done. So, if you’re like me, just put this task off until the evening. I like to do one 10 minutes “sweep” through the house doing a quick pick up. That’s why I make a game of it with the kids and we see how fast it can get done. I don’t like to constantly feel like I’m picking up all the time. So, I just let it all go until the evening time.
For others, this might drive you crazy and you will want to pick up and put away toys and stuff right away. Do what works for you and don’t worry about what the so-called experts say. It’s your home after all!
Tip 2. Assess the situation
Just as with any big project at home or at work you need to start with a plan. So first, assess the situation. What are you working with in terms of how big of a house are you cleaning? How many people and pets live under your roof. How much help can you reasonably expect?
Now you know where you stand. For example, a mom with a newborn isn’t going to get up at 5am to dust, you need your sleep momma!! But I also think that’s a big reason why our bodies naturally go into that nesting mode right before we deliver. I remember being down under the sink scrubbing everything down and swearing that I was going to keep up with the deep cleaning after the baby was born. Well, guess how many times I’ve been down there since, never! So give yourself some grace if you’ve got a little one.
And if you have three teenagers and two dogs then you’re going to vacuum more often than an empty nester! But you also have more help than the mom of three toddlers who can’t be trusted with a dust cloth much less a broom handle!
So, don’t skip this step, it’s important because your house cleaning schedule won’t look like anyone else’s. And your schedule in this season is going to look different than others you were able to maintain in the past.
Tip 3. Gather your supplies
You need to have what you need handy or you won’t want to even get started. I learned this tip from my favorite home blessing guru. She encourages everyone to keep cleaning supplies in the room where you’ll use them. Personally, I still have curious little ones so I have everything in one central location that still has a baby lock on it. But mine are seriously getting to the age where they can start to help and should know better so it’s probably time to change things up.
So, again, know your situation and plan accordingly. Just because someone says to keep your cleaning supplies under every sink doesn’t mean you have to do that if you have wandering littles who like to explore.
But in general, gather your supplies. Even if it’s one central cupboard under lock and key, go pick up a small plastic tote from the dollar store and have them all handy to grab and take to the room you’re cleaning.
My list of cleaning supplies has gone down considerably ever since a few of my friends started selling Norwex. But I do still have some things that I like to keep in my small tote. Here is a short list to help you start brainstorming what to gather:
- General antibacterial spray: I use Mrs. Meyers as I talk about in this article here
- Bathroom scrub with bleach: seriously, in the bathroom if it’s not bleach it’s not cleaning, just like the commercials say. True story: the first time we ever saw that commercial years ago my husband turned to me and said that I should have been their spokesperson! Sorry, not sorry.
- Glass cleaner for the windows and mirrors
- Cleaning rags: FlyLady has some great colors here that literally wipe away the grime without harsh chemicals. Norwex is also a great option if you know someone who sells it.
Some other miscellaneous supplies you might want to have on hand include:
- Wood polish: I don’t have wood floors and I don’t polish my wood furniture so I don’t have this but if you have wood floors and/or feel inclined to ensure that your furniture shines then this will be important for you to keep handy.
- Baking soda and white vinegar: I don’t keep these in my regular caddy that I carry around with me. But I do have a ridiculous amount of each in my pantry. I love that they’re natural products that can be consumed but they’re also naturally cleaning. Mix up a small batch of 1:1 cup of baking soda and white vinegar and pour down any slow moving drain. Let sit for 10-20 minutes and follow with hot water. It’s amazing! You can also sprinkle baking soda on your carpet a few minutes before you vacuum to naturally help with any weird smells you might have.
- Rubber gloves are also nice if you have sensitive skin like I do (or nice nail polish you want to protect!).
Tip 4. Stick to your routines
Nobody likes to do a massive deep clean on Saturday mornings. That’s your time to relax. Or if you have children in sports likely you’re not even home. When I used to work 12-hour shifts at the hospital I was at work every other Saturday and so trying to deep clean one particular day of the week just didn’t work for my schedule.
I am grateful that I had to look for another option because I love that I never have to do a big cleaning marathon on the weekends. Luckily for me, I discovered FlyLady years ago and I haven’t looked back. I have my routines down pat and I follow the zones for the rest of it.
It really is amazing what happens when you do 15 minutes a day and then let the rest go. And, because it’s not a big singular cleaning session, if you miss one or two you won’t even notice because you get right back to it the next day.
Tip 5. Stick to your zones
I mentioned this in the section above, but if you haven’t discovered zone cleaning you should at least give them a try. You can find information about my free Trello board here so you always know what needs to be done next.
Have you seen those weekly cleaning schedules that have you a deep clean of one room in your home each day? Who has time to fully dust the baseboards of each room each day? Not this momma.
So, I do my quick weekly home blessing hour one day a week that just tackles the middles and the hotspots. Then, each week you simply focus on one room or area. And, each day you do 10-15 minutes in that room either decluttering or doing one deep cleaning task.
That’s it. Leave the rest. You’ll come back each day this week to do 15 minutes more and then what isn’t done will get done in the next month. There is peace in knowing that you will come back to it because you’ve built up the habit. And you never have to marathon-clean again!
A house cleaning schedule you’ll actually stick to
When life gets crazy it can be hard to keep your home clean. But you and your family deserve to live in a home that is comfortable — and mostly clean! Don’t worry about creating the Pinterest-perfect home. Nobody has time for that and your family doesn’t want to feel like they can’t relax in their home.
Instead, use these five tips to stick to an easy house cleaning schedule that is so easy anyone can do it. You don’t need a strict schedule up on the fridge reminding you of all the tasks you haven’t done. Instead, use your zones and routines to take the frantic out of your cleaning frenzy.