Let’s face it – we only have 24 hours in the day and all of us mama’s have more than that to do. Regardless of if you stay at home or work full-time, homeschool or send your kids to school – our to-do lists are always a mile long and for many, it can seem like it never gets done. For me, a big chunk of that to-do list every day has to do with housekeeping and until recently it seemed to always fall to the bottom of the list (i.e. didn’t get done).
I was really struggling because I chose not only to be a stay at home mom but a homemaker also. Part of that means “keeping the home”, aka keeping it clean. I strive to keep a home that is relaxing, warm and inviting for both our family and others. I realize the pressure to maintain a clean house on top of everything else is self-inflicted pressure but it’s there nonetheless. I read dozens of blog posts and articles about staying on top of housecleaning and the “secrets” of homemakers who are always on top of their game. The common thread through all of them was the notion of having a cleaning schedule.
Here’s the thing – a quick pinterest search on weekly cleaning schedules will bring up dozens of different printables and worksheets. They are beautiful and look lovely but the truth is that everyone’s house and priorities are different. I tried a few of the “pre-done” schedules and found myself getting frustrated as I was constantly behind each day. It wasn’t until I threw out the beautifully made cookie cutter schedule and sat down to make my own that I finally felt like I was getting somewhere.
To my surprise – IT WORKS! Having a cleaning schedule has completely changed how I manage the house and has significantly reduced my stress about it. I’d love to give you guys a list that you can just print and go but I think part of the success it having a personalized plan. Don’t worry, it’s super easy to do though and I’ve broken it down for you.
Basically, instead of saying “clean house”, change it to small, do-able tasks that can be accomplished each day.
To start, write down all the rooms in your house and then group the rooms/cleaning tasks that can be done together easily. You can have up to 7 groups but I find that 5 works better. Personally, I try to have all the major cleaning done during the week so the weekends can be spent together as a family without worrying about scrubbing toilets! Once you have your groups, assign them to specific days based on your schedule.
For those moms that work out of the house, you can absolutely assign a few jobs to Saturday or Sunday but I think you’d be surprised at how much you can get done during the week with this plan. With the exception of laundry, I can get all the tasks done for each day in an hour (sometimes less if the kids are behaving!).
For a reference point, this is what my plan looks like:
Once you have your cleaning schedule, create reminders in the calendar on your phone for what needs to be done on what day. After a few weeks, you’ll remember what needs to be done each day but it’s a good reminder and most likely, you’re never far from your phone!
There are a few things to keep in mind to minimize stress:
- If you’re on a roll and finish the day’s tasks quickly, stop! Don’t try to tackle more than that days tasks.
- That being said, there are some smaller tasks that should be done daily – for me, that means doing roughly a load of laundry a day, having the kids clean the playroom every night, never going to sleep with dishes in the sink and sweeping the kitchen floor every day.
- If you don’t get a day done, THAT’S OK! Just skip it and move on tomorrow.
The beauty of this system is that you’re going to miss days here and there – life happens. But once you are in the routine, your entire house will be cleaned every week so if you miss “bedrooms” one week, you can rest easy knowing they were done last week and they will be done again next week! 🙂
I’ve always been a clean person by nature so struggling with maintaining a clean house was an unexpected surprise for me. Finding a cleaning schedule that is manageable has been a game changer.