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Cleaning your house is most likely your least favorite thing to do each week. I totally get it. As much as I dislike cleaning, I dislike a dirty house even more.
It’s so hard to feel motivated to clean after a long day’s work, so you don’t. You rush through the door and feel like you barely have any time to breathe much less doing anything else.
Starting a cleaning routine can save you hours every single week. After reading this blog post, you will be able to create your own cleaning routine that actually works for you, unlike the done-for-you routines you see on Pinterest.
What is a cleaning routine?
A cleaning routine is just a cleaning schedule that you go by to make it easier to clean your home. You create a schedule of what you’re gonna clean and when. It puts your cleaning on autopilot and saves you a ton of time.
Benefits to having a cleaning routine:
Easier to keep your house clean
When you take your cleaning and do it in small bite-sized pieces, it makes it easier to clean and stay clean. You don’t have to spend your Saturday morning with your hand stuck down a toilet bowl (who wants to do that?). When your house is clean, your family is more likely to notice and actually put things up where they’re supposed to go rather than leave them out creating clutter.
You save time cleaning
For every minute you spend planning, you save 10 minutes in execution. That’s a 10x on your investment. When you decide ahead of time what you’re gonna clean and when you don’t have to worry about figuring it out in the moment.
You can plan to spend 20 minutes cleaning every day instead of a huge block of time on Saturday morning.
Spend less time cleaning
When you clean your house on a routine basis, you spend less time cleaning. Have you ever tried to clean your shower when you’ve skipped a couple of weeks or more?
It takes so LONG.
But when you routinely clean things, you don’t spend as much time cleaning.
Makes you healthier
Regularly cleaning your house makes you healthier. You don’t have all of the dust buildups of not cleaning which is better for your health and breathing, especially if someone in your house has asthma.
Makes you more productive
Did you know that clutter decreases your productivity? Yep. Have you ever sat down to do something and couldn’t concentrate because all you could see out of your peripheral vision was clutter?
Or you couldn't think because you thought of how filthy your house was?
Clutter has been scientifically proven to decrease your productivity.
When you have a clean house, you don’t walk into the door and get smacked with overwhelm. You don’t have to worry about all of the dishes waiting on you when you get home because you know they’re done.
You don’t have to worry about the pile of laundry because you know you’ll tackle it on laundry day.
You can walk in the door lighter and breathe easier because you know your house is clean.
When you sit down and decide what you’re going to do to keep your house clean, you know everything that needs to be done and when.
That makes it the perfect time to delegate and get your family members to help with the household chores.
Even small children can help. Just give them something to do that’s age-appropriate.
Make sure everything’s done
When you have a cleaning schedule, it helps you make sure that everything gets done.
- You don’t have to worry about mopping the floor, cause it’s on the list.
- You don’t have to worry about finding time to do laundry, cause it’s on the list.
- You don’t worry about your house because it’s on autopilot.
Don’t freak out to have guests at your home
When your house stays clean, you don’t have to flip out and take a vacation day from work to clean the house.
It’s always clean or cleanish and you don’t have to spend hours making your house ready for company.
Gives you a reason to keep the house clean
Have you ever cleaned the house and your child walks in tracking mud everywhere? Or maybe you clean the dishes and someone mysteriously finds a cup at the last minute?
It drives you crazy cause you want to deal with it right away to make sure your house stays clean. Well, that works when you have a cleaning schedule and your house stays clean most of the time.
You’re more likely to keep it clean.
When you have a pile of dishes in the sink, no one’s gonna notice an extra cup. But when your sink is clear of dishes, you will most definitely notice an extra cup thrown in there.
I’ve noticed that when the dishwasher always has dirty dishes in them and people can put the dishes into the dishwasher right away, they’re most likely to do it. But when there are clean dishes homesteading for 10 years in the dishwasher, people throw the cup in the sink.
They don’t wanna unload the dishwasher just to put up a cup. It’s easier to throw the cup into the sink.
Then the next person comes in and sees the cup and does the same thing. It’s a chain reaction and before you know it, you have a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded.
Cleaning Routine Methods
There are two cleaning routine methods you can use to keep your house clean:
Cleaning Schedule by Room
You can clean a whole room at one time.
Ex: Tuesday- clean the master bathroom.
This is just one way to create your cleaning schedule. You stay in 1 room and clean it until it’s clean.
This is the method I use when I have a daily cleaning schedule. This is the easiest to keep up with in my opinion.
You can go to the kitchen (or wherever you keep cleaning supplies) and gather all of the supplies at one time and clean the room in 15-20 minutes.
Clean Schedule by Task
Clean by a task is to basically clean by the cleaner. Grab the Windex and clean all of the mirrors, glass, etc at one time. Grab the bathroom cleaner and clean the sinks, toilets, and showers at one time.
It doesn't matter if they’re in different rooms, you just clean by the task. I do this method if I plan to do all of my cleaning once a week. I usually do it this way when I’ve had a busy week and don’t make time to clean each day.
These are common things to add to your personal cleaning schedule.
- Pick up clutter
- Load/unload the dishwasher
- Take out trash
- Clean off table
- Wipe down kitchen counters & appliances
- Wipe down bathroom counters
- Make bed
- Sweep floors
- Mop floors
- Vacuum floors
- Clean bathrooms
- Clean bedrooms
- Clean dining room
- Clean living room
- Clean office
- Wash bedding
- Clean out fridge
- Change out the air filter in the HVAC unit
- Dust blinds
- Clean oven
Every 3-6 months
- Clean baseboards
- Clean out freezer
- Clean patio
- Clean front porch
How to Start a Weekly Cleaning Routine
1. List the cleaning items you want to clean weekly
Look at the cleaning checklist for ideas and write down all of the things you want to clean every single week in your home.
Don’t hesitate to change it up to fit you and your lifestyle.
- Maybe you want to straighten up every week and only deep clean every other week.
- Maybe you want to add some chores.
- Maybe you don’t vacuum because you don’t have carpet.
Only write out the things you want to clean in your home each week.
2. Set aside time to clean
Set aside some time to clean each day.
- Maybe you are an early bird and want to clean before work.
- Maybe you want to clean real quick before you start dinner.
- Maybe instead of cleaning 20 minutes a day, you want to clean 40 minutes every other day.
Pick whenever it works for you. You are just picking a time. The time is subject to change. It’s not a lifelong commitment.
You can change it up as your needs and seasons of life change.
3. Decide what cleaning schedule type you’re gonna use
Figure out which cleaning schedule type you’re gonna use.
Are you going to use the by room method or by task method?
4. Assign the chores to days
Using the Cleaning Schedule Printable, create your cleaning schedule. Figure out what you’re gonna do each day and write it on the schedule.
Don’t forget to check your calendar when you’re doing this.
If you’re gonna have all-day doctor’s appointments on Thursday and get home right before bedtime, you probably wanna skip cleaning that day cause you’re not gonna feel like it when you get home.
If you always get off at noon on Friday, maybe you wanna schedule Friday a little heavier than the other days cause you have more time.
5. Assign help
Look at your cleaning schedule and put your family member’s name beside the chores they’re gonna complete.
6. Post the Cleaning Schedule Printable on the fridge
Post the Cleaning Schedule Printable so everyone can see it and it won’t get lost.
Your whole family will be able to see it and they’ll be able to see what they’re responsible for because you put their name by their chores.
Success Tips for Your Cleaning Routine
Here are the success tips to make your cleaning routine stick!
Use the Cleaning Schedule Printable
Using the free Cleaning Schedule Printable will help you stay on track and keep your cleaning schedule organized. By posting it on the fridge, it will help keep your family on track too. It just all the way around makes it easier.
Don’t do it all yourself.
Everyone should be contributing to your household chores. Your children should be able to help even if they’re young. You just need to give them age (or developmentally) appropriate chores.
For example, a 2-year-old can use a damp cloth to wipe surfaces.
Will it be perfect? No. But guess what? They’ll get there.
The first time anyone does something, it’s a hot mess. But over time, you start to get better and better.
Give your family (and yourself) permission to be a beginner. The first time anyone does something it’s not perfect, and that’s okay. Doing it for them won’t help them. It will only hold them back.
Let people HELP YOU. And stop complaining about not getting any help.
Give yourself grace.
Stop worrying about being perfect and give yourself some grace. If you have a lot going on in one particular week (normal for special needs life), you don’t need to beat yourself up because you didn’t mop your floors.
Just do it when you have time or skip deep cleaning that week. If you’re busy and not home, the house probably didn’t get as messy anyway.
It’s not set in stone.
Cleaning routines are subject to change. Routines should work with you NOT against you.
The cleaning routine you create isn’t set in stone for the rest of your life. It can change as your needs and schedule change and that’s okay!
Stop trying to be Martha.
Stop trying to be perfect. You don't need to be Martha Stewart.
No one is going to come into your home and perform a white glove test.
And if they do, you have my permission to kick them out.
Stop trying to be perfect.
When you get caught up in perfectionism around cleaning it actually makes your house dirtier.
Hear me out. It goes like this- you don’t have time to do it perfectly, so you just don’t do it. If you can’t do it perfectly, why bother, right?
WRONG. That keeps you stuck in the cycle of having a dirty house.
You can beat yourself up enough until you become submissive and do the thing. It doesn't work like that.
Evaluating is so important and most people skip this. Evaluating tells you what's working and what’s not.
If you evaluate and decide you hate sweeping the floors on Wednesday cause it’s the chore you hate the most and you have a long day at work every Wednesday, stop.
No one is out there telling you that you have to sweep your floors every Wednesday. Just move the chore to a different day of the week.
Remember- your cleaning routine isn’t set in stone.
Before I had children, I was a CLEAN FREAK. I mean like an anal, uptight clean freak. When I had my daughter, we were bouncing around in and out of hospitals for the first nine months out of her life.
My house was filthy! I hated it.
I used to beat myself up and wonder why I couldn’t seem to get it together. I hated that my house was so filthy. I felt guilty and like I was a bad mom because my house wasn’t spick and span.
Then I realized, I didn’t want to spend hours cleaning my home every week like I did before I had children. I would rather spend time with them.
I didn’t want them to look back on their childhood and remember how their uptight Mama was running around yelling at them to keep the house clean because it had to be perfect.
I wanted them to have a cleanish home.
A home that’s clean enough. I don’t want to pass the white glove test. I want my house to be clean, but I don’t want it to consume me.
I just want to clean my house for a few minutes at a time here and there and be done with it.
Give yourself a break Mama. You’ve got this. You can create a cleaning routine that works for you and your family. I believe you can do it.