Every mother’s favorite pastime.
What? It’s not your favorite thing in the whole wide world? Oh sorry, I must have been thinking about something else.
Here’s the thing: I truly believe we aren’t enjoying this piece of our lives because we aren’t doing it correctly.
When I was looking to streamline my cleaning process, I searched Pinterest faithfully, read every infographic studiously, and blog hopped religiously for a few weeks before I realized that none of the ideas were even close to practical for me.
Everything I read not only had a very long list of daily duties but also required deep cleaning a different area of the house every day in addition to decluttering for 15 minutes a day. I just don’t have time to clean all day every day with two young kiddos.
And, maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t really want to.
I actually read one schedule that claimed you needed to clean every window in your house. Every. Single. Week. Am I the only one who doesn’t have time for that?
Next, I tried to do all my cleaning one day each week. I started doing this on Friday, but the cleaning in addition to making our special Friday night meal usually left me feeling edgy. I tried moving the cleaning day to Thursday (leftover night at our house,) but I was usually frustrated when the house didn’t *feel* clean for the weekend.
Then came my *ah-ha moment* when I was working on creating my weekly schedule: The house will be clean if each area that needs attention is cleaned once each week… even if it isn’t all on the same day.
(2023 Update: I realized as I was creating my Put Your Home on Autopilot course that I needed a couple of additional steps to show you how to create a routine that you can stick with forever… so if you want the shiny new updated post that shows you how to make the perfect routine for your home, click here!)
Let’s get into how I built a cleaning schedule that I not only love but is so easy to stick to because it saves you time and energy.
And if you prefer to watch instead of read, here is the video that goes with this post:
How to Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule
1) Make a List
Grab a pen and a notebook, or my Printable Workbook and make a list of everything you feel needs to be done each week. This list will be different for everyone. Only write the things you really think need to be done every week (no matter what anyone else says!)
When I did this, I listed each item out individually. For example, instead of writing “bathrooms,” I listed each bathroom separately.
Then I could decide later it if made more sense to do my bathrooms on the same day or if it worked better to split it up.
2) Look at Your Weekly Schedule
What does your weekly rhythm typically look like?
If your upcoming week is more (or less!) busy than normal, don’t use that to create your cleaning routine.
You want to base your cleaning routine off of a typical week for your family.
We had a week not long ago in which one of my daughters celebrated a birthday, we went to the museum with friends, I had to stake-up and transplant a ridiculous amount of tomato plants (it’s a long story,) my sister came to visit, and my parents came to visit. I didn’t have a single free day.
Was I able to get my daily cleaning done? Nope. Did it stress me out? Not even a little bit.
Why? Because I know my house gets cleaned consistently. No one is going to know if the floors were vacuumed that morning or six days earlier (I have the type of carpet that gets messed up as soon as someone walks across it.) As long as the toys are picked up, which the girls do before every nap and bedtime, the house will be clean enough.
Your schedule works for you, not the other way around. If you make your schedule something you can stick with the majority of the time, it isn’t going to matter if you miss a day here or there.
There is freedom in consistency, my friend!
3) Pick Your Cleaning Days
Next you will want to decide which days you want to clean on. I prefer to do a little every day and take Saturday off.
If cleaning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday works best with your weekly schedule, then do that. Don’t try to cram cleaning into an already stressful or overbooked day. It will only make you want to give up on your new schedule.
Set yourself up for success and be realistic.
4) Divide and Conquer
Divide your list of everything that needs cleaned in a week among the days that you are cleaning. Be strategic here and work with your weekly schedule instead of against it.
For example: if you only have a small amount of time on one of your cleaning days, decide to clean one bathroom and nothing more. Don’t over-commit yourself.
If you try to cram too much into a small amount of time, you will only become frustrated when you realize that you can’t clean three bathrooms in 10 minutes.
Sunday’s are always a bit of a wildcard at our house. Sometimes we are home all day hanging out, but other times we are barely at the house between all of our adventures. This means I have very little predictable time to get anything accomplished.
Often once we get to Sunday night there are remnants of our weekend happenings all over the place. So my only job on Sunday, according to my cleaning schedule, is to tidy the house.
It’s a little like hitting the reset button before Monday and it gives me a good outlook for the week ahead.
5) Gut Check
Evaluate your schedule. How do you feel about it? Does it seem doable? Will your house be clean when it needs to be?
We like to have friends over on Friday evenings for supper or for after church lunches on Saturday; so I like to ensure that my downstairs *feels* clean on Friday. I vacuum the floors and clean the small downstairs bathroom.
Easy, right? But my company doesn’t have to know how easy it was🤫. If you like to have people over on Wednesday evening, maybe clean your guest bathroom on Tuesday or Wednesday.
If something doesn’t feel right or seem doable, now is the time to change it. Go with your gut!
Move things around until you are happy with it. Sometimes it takes trying it out for a week before you realize you need to switch a day. As soon as you realize it, make the change!
If you feel overwhelmed when you look at it, see if you can drop anything. Do you really need to clean your oven every single week?
Could you rotate a couple of items bi-weekly? Maybe you could alternate cleaning your bathrooms so each bathroom gets cleaned every other week.
You can keep testing and keep working your routine until you have a cleaning schedule that you can rock every week, while still enjoying some downtime.
If you get stuck, check out my My Simple Weekly Cleaning Schedule: The Routine that Took Me from Overwhelmed to In Control for some additional inspiration.
What If My House Still Feels Dirty?
If you followed the steps and you still don’t feel like you can keep your house clean, there could be three reasons for this.
1) You don’t have the routines in place for keeping the laundry under control and keeping your kitchen clean.
Both of these areas can make the whole house feel messy if they get out of control, even if everything else is clean.
If you need help setting up your laundry routine, check out How to Solve the Laundry Problem. And The Busy Mom’s Guide to Cleaning Your Kitchen the Easy Way will help the kitchen stay neat and tidy.
2) You didn’t incorporate your cleaning routine into your daily routine.
Even a perfect cleaning routine won’t work if you don’t incorporate it into your daily life.
If you are struggling to find time in your day to get your cleaning done, I highly recommend creating a Simple Daily Block Schedule.
3) You have a clutter problem.
If you have your laundry, kitchen, and daily routines in place, and you’ve implemented your new cleaning schedule, but your house still feels dirty… you don’t have a cleaning problem.
You have a clutter problem.
And the great news about having a clutter problem is: you can fix it!
If that sounds like your situation, hop over to How to Declutter Your Home: 10 Steps to Get Started Today!
I hope you’re excited to start using your new cleaning routine!
Ready to Get 7 Extra Hours in Your Week?
Then check out Simply Streamlined!
In Simply Streamlined, you will learn how to
- Declutter Your Home
- Put Effective Routines in Place
- Create a Set-It-and-Forget-It Meal Plan
- Get Your Finances Under Control
Simply Streamlined walks you through exactly how to Completely Streamline Your Home in just 15 Minutes a Day!
Plus you will receive
- Cluttered to Calm Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
- Put Your Home on Autopilot Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
- Set-It-and-Forget-It Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
- Master Your Money Lessons, Workbooks, and Spreadsheets
- AND Weekly Live Coaching Calls!
I hope to see you inside the program!
(Or if you are more of a do-it-yourself kind of gal, you can check out my DIY Streamlining Resources!)