Back before I had kids I would do all of my cleaning in one day. During the school year when I was working my cleaning day would be Saturday (or Friday evening or Sunday afternoon if I was busy on Saturday). I loved that – I would clean for several hours, run a bunch of loads of laundry, and get it all knocked out at once. And for at least a small amount of time everything in my house would be clean all at once. Very satisfying.
Then I had children.
I really struggled after Hudson was born finding my groove in the housekeeping area. There was no way I could find a big chunk of time like that but I hated the thought that everything would never be clean at once anymore (ummmm…I shouldn’t have had kids if I expected that, huh?).
So it took me a while and I had to try a few things but I finally found what works (at the moment, life is always shifting and changing as the kids grow) for me.
What I decided to do was to assign one task per day that I could get done in 30 minutes or less. I considered doing one room per day but then quickly realized that it would be a bit of a hassle to get the broom out every day and the vacuum out several days and the cleaning rags out every day, etc. and that it would be much easier to do one task each day, i.e. cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the floors, etc.
So here’s my cleaning schedule. I am not super strict about it, in fact I love how flexible it is. If I’m going to be super busy one day then I double up on tasks another day. Or if I have an event at the house early in the week I go ahead and get everything done the first couple of days. If life gets crazy and I just don’t get something done that week…no big deal, I’ll get it the next week.
I have to wash dishes, wipe down the counters, and sweep more than just once a week but I found that after the weekend with us running here and there and Michael being home all day things pile up and the kitchen gets extra messy so first thing on Monday I work on getting it tidied back up. I do the dishes, clean all the counters and surfaces, wipe down the stainless appliances, and declutter.
Up until a couple of months ago this was my most time consuming day. I would move the chairs, baskets and bins, smaller toys, etc. and sweep, then Swiffer, and then mop all of our hardwood floors. We now have a Neato robot vacuum that has been AH-mazing (I’ll save that for another post) that runs daily and keeps our floors nice and tidy, so now on Tuesdays all I have to do is mop.
Just a quick dusting of exposed surfaces. I move a few things to dust under/behind them but I don’t do a super thorough job each time.
Clean counters, sinks, mirrors, and toilets. I should do the shower weekly too but I don’t.
Friday: catch up
I don’t have a cleaning task for Friday, I just use it to catch up on something I didn’t finish earlier in the week.
In addition to my weekly tasks we also (usually) pick up all the toys at the end of the day every day. It seems silly since the boys are going to drag everything back out the next day but it really does make a big difference and I feel so much better when the house is tidy. Plus it makes it easier for the vacuum to run while we sleep if there isn’t junk all over the floor.
You will notice that this is pretty bare bones. It’s definitely not a good, thorough cleaning but it’s enough of a surface cleaning that it keeps my house presentable and livable and able to have people over without freaking out. My blinds are dusty, my baseboards are dusty, and there are fingerprints on the glass doors so it’s certainly not perfect. I have a 2.5 year old and a 7 month old so I’m not going for perfect! Also this is just the downstairs. We don’t really use our upstairs that much other than to bathe the boys and spray out cloth diapers, so I do clean the upstairs bathroom pretty regularly and run Neato once a week but we don’t do much dusting or anything. Once the kids are actually using their rooms I’ll add that in to the schedule.
I’d love to eventually have a monthly cleaning schedule of tasks that I do one week out of the month or specific things that I focus on each month, but so far I haven’t gotten organized enough to do that so I just clean the other things as needed or when I get the urge or whatever.
Something like this – I actually really love this one because you deep clean each area twice a year, I just haven’t gotten around to implementing this routine myself. Maybe this will inspire me to print this off and get started! (graphic source)
Related: y0u can see what products I use to clean with here
And one quick note: I do not have outside help cleaning. Not that there is anything wrong with having someone else clean your house, don’t misunderstand me. If you have a cleaning person that is great. I’m only mentioning this because on occasion I’ve been reading a blog where someone shares their routine and their house is amazing and then you find out they have someone who comes each week and also cleans…well of course their house is going to be super clean! Their daily spot cleaning is in addition to someone else doing a lot of the cleaning too. So I only made this note so that you know that this is what I myself get done each week – it’s not much but it works for me.