Having a detailed weekly and monthly schedule for housecleaning helps me, a part time working mother of a 3 year old and 1 year old, from going completely insane. I will admit right away that nothing gives me more anxiety than a messy house and when two small monsters, I mean children, play and eat, they inevitably destroy my house. When my youngest was a newborn, I had to develop a plan for keeping my house clean without scrubbing it from top to bottom once a week, because, face it, that’s just not possible when you have kids you need to watch. My schedule has really helped my family, and I believe it can help yours too.
Monday I clean bathrooms and wash the bathroom rug and towels. We only have one bathroom so this task only takes about fifteen minutes.
Tuesday I dust the entire house. Some days I even dust fans and door frames, but that’s not something that needs to be done every week. How detailed I dust really depends on how lazy I feel that day. I give my three year old a feather duster and she “helps” me dust toys and books. I also use this time to organize dressers and tables, since I need to in order to dust anyways. This takes me anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 depending on what I feel like doing.
As I will go into later, I vacuum the family room every day, but Wednesdays are spent vacuuming the entire house. Some days I will pull out toys and vacuum the baseboards, but that is done mainly once a month. Most of the time, I just do a full house vacuum. While my family room could be vacuumed every hour, the rest of the house just isn’t used as often and doesn’t get dirty from food crumbs. This takes me 20 minutes unless I am pulling out furniture. I’m not above bartering things to get my husband to do the more detailed vacuum.
Thursdays are my least favorite cleaning day. This is when I detail clean my kitchen. I wipe down cabinets and countertops. I clean the microwave, Keurig, and run bleach through my washing machine. (We have one of those old houses with the laundry in the kitchen.) I scrub the floor and sinks. By doing this detailed clean once a week, the rest of the week I just have to wipe down the countertops and spot clean. Every other week, my husband cleans out the refrigerator because I have convinced him he is better at it than me.
Fridays are spent doing any laundry that has not been done for the week and also washing bed linens. You probably don’t need to clean sheets every week without kids, but my children are gross and need the weekly wash.
Saturday and Sunday
With my schedule, I don’t need to clean very much at all on the weekends. My husband usually cleans the cars, puts away the outside toys, and organizes the garage every week. We also use weekends to do things like clean the carpets or go through toys to get rid of ones that are not used anymore.
I vacuum the family room/dining room every day. This is where we usually eat and play. Both of the outside doors are in the family room/dining room, so all kinds of leaves and dirt are dragged in. I do this at night after the kids are in bed, and it only takes me about 10 minutes to do.
I wipe down the countertops in the kitchen.
My children have been taught that they cannot play with something new without putting away their other toys so we pick up after ourselves throughout the day.
I do one load of laundry every day to keep up with the ever-growing dirty laundry pile. I catch up on whatever is left on Fridays.
We do one load of dishes every day overnight, and then the dishwasher is emptied in the mornings.
I wash the couch covers and clean the walls, basically whenever I can’t take the filth anymore. By giving myself a month between these tedious tasks, I don’t feel overwhelmed by the accumulating mess.
Overall, my detailed cleaning schedule helps to keep me from being overwhelmed by the sheer amount of chores and tasks I need to do. If my kitchen is a mess on Wednesday and I’m already tired from the vacuuming, I know that at least by tomorrow it will be clean again. We have a very small house (1000 sq ft) so each chore only takes about twenty minutes to complete and the rest of the day can be spent having fun. This schedule can easily be adapted to the needs of your family and the size of your house.