As a mother to five young children, my home is never completely spotless.
There is always a little something to be done and without a house cleaning schedule, even if you hate schedules as I do, you still need something.
I don’t think that a mother should strive to have a perfect home, I home is to be lived in, in it a place of connection, enjoyment and rest.
I do think however that you should strive for the ability to control your home.
how to create a house cleaning schedule
- Choose your daily cleaning priorities-these can change from day to day
- Divide your scheduled cleaning tasks into time pockets during the day
- Create a routine/rythm in your days to incorporate time blocked cleaning
- Write a small daily to-do list and add one weekly cleaning task that can be diveded into small daily time slots of less than a few minutes.
The ability to provide a clean, organised and restful environment for yourself and your family.
As your family grows, and as your time becomes stretched, having some kind of schedule, one that is a habit, one that is natural and not exhausting becomes a more pressing need.
Think of your days as a rhythm, rhythm is easy, a rhythm is learned and is adaptable.
schedules can be great for some people, but for others, they can cause more stress than they relieve, if this is you, then ditch the schedule mentality and rely on creating a task structure that isn’t time-sensitive but rather importance based.
If you are feeling:
- Out of control
- The thought of your home is stressful rather than restful.
Then you need to take a few steps to take control of your home and create the environment your desire.
STEP ONE: FORM A ROUTINE
In my post on block scheduling, I mention GLASS BALLS.
Daily life is filled with tasks, and some are more important than others. Glass ball tasks are the ones you can’t drop, you have to find time to start them and manage your time while doing them each and every day to maintain as little stress as possible.
Glass ball tasks are your priorities in your routine and usually what your routine is shaped around.
cooking, cleaning dishes, feeding animals, laundry and basic cleaning are glass ball tasks in a family home.
other glass ball tasks are your goals and lifestyle habits that shape you and your family such as, homeschooling, reading aloud to your children, completing a personal project, establishing an exercise routine, spending time with your significant other.
Plastic balls are everything else in your day-to-day. they are important, but they can be dropped for another time slot or another day.
Juggling these glass and plastic ball tasks becomes second nature when you create a routine to shape your day.
There are a few items in your house cleaning schedule that should be glass ball tasks.
- Living area
These three keep a home from being dirty, a dirty bathroom and kitchen, constantly neglected, and never quite clean will drive up your stress levels and make you panic if you have surprise company.
Creating these three as glass balls, (must-do tasks) in your day will:
- Keep you in control of your home
- Keep your stress levels down
- Help you enjoy your time in these clean rooms
- Make a baseline of achievement for the day that is sustainable for the long term no matter life’s season.
Glass ball daily tasks are:
- loading or washing dishes after every meal
- feeding animals
- Watering gardens
- Wiping benches and sweeping floors in our eating space after every meal
- Toilets are sprayed and wiped.
- living area tidied before the daily afternoon quiet time.
- Evening glass balls:
- A deep (daily) clean is done of the kitchen after the evening meal, everything area is cleaned, and prepped for the next day.
- At night the laundry is collected from the bathrooms to be placed in the machine.
- all living area floors are swept and the surfaces cleaned and prepped for the next day.
everything else for me is plastic but this is only according to MY priorities yours should be to suit you.
I don’t always make my bed, I don’t always have a clean room, my laundry and other rooms can get neglected, but they aren’t where we spend our time, so, amongst the busy days, they aren’t super high on my to-do list.
It’s nice on the days when I get them done but I am okay when I don’t.
In my time blocking post I didn’t go into my house cleaning schedule at all, I only mentioned my morning chore block and my afternoon kitchen block.
In these two blocks is when I take control of different areas of my home.
- I do not clean my entire home each day.
- I do end the day with clean living areas and bathrooms and kitchen.
- I set one day a week to reset and complete weekly cleaning tasks in my home and take control of any areas that are missed during the other 6 days
- I set time each day to deep clean or organise small areas, working through those less active areas that need occasional cleaning without having to keep a monthly or even bi annual checklist
All of this is possible amongst the homeschooling, the cooking, the baby raising and reaching my personal goals (working out, blogging, learning new skills) with a ROUTINE.
Routine is your fallback, your natural habitat.
It is not a schedule.
Newborns have a routine, feed, change, sleep.
Your life has some kind of routine no matter if it is fine-tuned to achieve as much as possible or it’s flying by the seat of your pants each day.
Having no routine, means no time prepared to do a set task, and tasks pile up, become overlooked, forgotten or half done until you become overwhelmed.
- Set house cleaning goals that you want to achieve daily and weekly.
- Set out physical tasks that will hept your achieve those goals.
- Set out time blocks with one or two glass balls(your cleaning goals) per block to incorporate those physical tasks
- It’s up to you to make is as efficient as you need it to be. (setting timers, creating checklists)
- Waking early, setting daily to do lists and of course, block scheduling are all ways to add effectiveness to your daily routine.
My routine is based on my daily priorities, which are based on my goals, both personal, for my homeschooling, child-raising and my home-keeping.
STEP TWO: INCORPORATE YOUR HOUSECLEANING SCHEDULE INTO YOUR ROUTINE
I don’t know about you but in the past, I have kept lists of things that need cleaning in my home.
There are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly lists you can read online and try and maintain in your to-do list .
I always made big plans to maintain my home, especially things like windows and sills, inside cupboards and deep cleaning rooms from top to bottom to maintain general dust and dirtiness that occurs with lots of children in the home.
These never lasted long, lost in my diary they were forgotten until the next time I realised my home was getting dirty and I needed to deep clean, often having to take a week off homeschool to do so.
Now I include small snippets of time (from 10 to 30 minutes) each day or every few days to clean an area that doesn’t get used often but needs attention every now and then.
This alleviates the need for yearly deep cleans and the build-up of dust and cobwebs around the home.
download my printable house cleaning schedule cleaning list
so you don’t get overwhelmed a few times a year with dust and grime build-up.
You can choose several small tasks each week to tack onto your daily cleaning schedule.
A good routine with an incorporated house cleaning schedule must be:
- Natural-not overwhelming
- flexible, It must be able to adapt to changes in day to day events, as well as changes in life’s seasons, such as pregnancy, new baby, moving house, or a big event.
STEP THREE: THE BLOCK CLEANING SYSTEM
Whether or not you time block your day you need to be able to create a space in your day to show up in some kind of predetermined order.
As mothers, we like to juggle so many things that we do each day, and I do juggle many tasks during the busy times of the day.
Even with small times in your day, you can get a lot done if you:
- Choose small zones
- Set a timer and don’t break from the task (distraction)
- Work in a chronological order (clean from top to bottom and/or clean rooms that share spaces or uses)
- Know your tasks ahead of time
I made your a free house cleaning schedule template!
Kitchen cleaning list & schedule
daily deep clean (evening)
- clear all benches wipe and dry and remove or organise your bench clutter if you have any so you can use your kitchen easily the next day.
- wipe the stove, soak any cooked-on bits with water.
- wash or stack the dishes in the dishwasher, dry any dishes and put them away.
- clean the sick under the dishrack and wipe out the cutlery holders and rack itself.
- rinse out and clean your sink, be sure to clean the plughole and leave no food or crumbs.
- dry off sink and tap. put away detergents and sponges.
- scan cupboards for drips or marks, wipe and dry.
- sweet floor, mop if necessary or spot clean with a wet cloth
weekly kitchen tasks:
- Organise fridge and wipeout, make a note of foods to be used in the next day-week.
- wipe the front of appliances, dry to streak-free.
- warm oven and wipe out crumbs or fatty residue -use soap and vinegar.
- choose a cupboard or pantry shelf to organise and deep clean.
- clean kettle, empty toaster crumbs, clean out coffee machine, clean the compost or chook scrap bucket.
- wipe window sills and clean windows.
Bathroom cleaning list & schedule
- spray shower or bathtub or both with a soap and vinegar solution and let sit for several minutes
- wipe basins and countertops and taps.
- remove wet clothing, towels bath mats
- wipe shower and bathtub
- dry every surface
- sweep or mop the floor.
- remove laundry
- spray and place in bowl cleaner
- wipe from top to bottom
- clean bowl
- replace toilet paper if necessary
- spray floor around the toilet and clean (important if you have young children)
- check toilet roll stash
- wipe sills
- mop the floor with soap and vinegar and essential oils (if you use them-lemon or lavender or tea tree is great for smell and antibacterial)
- spray tile grout with soap and vingear and soak- come back and clean with a cloth.
- remove and wash all used towled- replace handtowles and bath mats
- wash kids toothbrushes in boiling water (use a measuring cup and dunk them in)
living area cleaning list & schedule
- clear floors
- wipe lounges and organise pillows and throws.
- place away remotes, DVDs, books.
living area weekly tasks
- sweep or vacuum under couches.
- mop wood floors, or spot clean carpet or rug.
- wipe leather couches with soap and vinegar solution or vacuum fabric couches
- clean all windows and sills. shake curtains
- dust the room
- wipe appliances
- organise book shelves.
living area eating cleaning list & schedule
- Clear table.
- wipe table and chairs.
- sweep floor
- spot clean with wet cloth if necessary
- push in chairs and make orderly
living area weekly tasks.
- change flowers or greenery on table.
- wipe all chairs from top to bottom
- mop floors
- wipe window sills
- clean windows.
Daily tasks for a functional home cleaning schedule.
- water any gardens or pots you keep
- feed your animals
- plan your meals, even if just for the next day remove meats from freezer or begin marinade
- Start washing as early as possible in the morning.
- Incorporate folding of washing into the evening clean or the afternoon pre-dinner clean.
Create your daily block system to get the tasks done in each area for a fully clean and organised home.
Incorporate the above list of daily and weekly tasks into a block schedule that works for you.
Something you can work from is my cleaning blocks in my day.
Morning chore block– get your day started with a 20-45 minute clean of the living areas, if you end your day with an evening tidy of the living areas then this is a quick once over before the busy morning schedule with children. If you have time, you should incorporate making your bed, and refreshing your bedroom.
the pre-dinner prep afternoon clean. This takes place after the daily quiet time at around 3 in the afternoon, my dinner prep usually starts at four pm. This is when washing is removed from the line and folded, the floors in the living area swept, and children are commencing their afternoon chores.
The evening clean. The evening clean is a must for every mother in the midst of raising young children. As much as we want to sit and relax (and I do on weekends) It’s better to keep going for that extra 20-30 minutes and begin the next day with a tidy home than wake to a mess that leaves you feeling snowballed into overwhelm.
For example, My house cleaning schedule consists of 3 blocks, and each block contains 1-3 glass ball cleaning tasks.
the AM chore block- occurs after breakfast. before breakfast I wake early and have some time alone, I then get ready for the day and wake my older boys, I begin breakfast, often preparing yesterdays sourdough sponge that was started or preparing an element of the evening meal.
the morning chore block begins here.
I start the next load of washing, and I put washing away that was folded the night before while the children eat breakfast.
Pots are watered, washing hung that was started on delay start the night before, animals fed.
The children clean their room, make their beds, and clean the eating and living areas. I stack the dishwasher, wipe benches and then we begin the next block in my day.
My pre-dinner block contains:
folding washing, cleaning bathrooms, toilets and cleaning one room from top to bottom of our four living areas.
then the dinner block begins.
The after-dinner cleaning block or the evening clean begins after dinner is eaten.
The children clean the dining room, the lounge room and the hallway.
I clean the kitchen and prep the sourdough and tomorrows breakfast start an overnight recipe such as yogurt or a marinade for dinner the next day, and I do a final sweep of the house before 9 pm on a good day.
The final sweep includes starting the washing on time delay, emptying the bin, and vacuuming or dust mopping the living areas. wiping dirty surfaces such as coffee tables, side tables and sills.
I am usually sitting down with a cup of tea by 9:30 pm.
A Home reset day in your house cleaning schedule
The benefits of incorporating a reset day into your house cleaning schedule are:
- Staying on top of the finer details of your home.
- Creating a relaxing environment and taking a day to focus on your home which can be cathartic or at least allows you to get ahead of your home
- Taking the time to create something beautiful like a flower arrangement or fresh laundry in all the bathrooms, using oils such as lemon, lavender or rose for fresh smells in each room and perhaps cooking something nice for your husband when he gets home (how very 1950’s of me) Just give yourself wholly to the process of creating a home.
A reset day is a day in the week, for me, it’s a Friday, we don’t homeschool (4 day school week) and so instead, I get my boys to work.
On My reset day, the chook pen is raked out and cleaned, windows are cleaned, porches and back steps swept, our toy room is deep cleaned, all bedrooms are aired, vacuumed and beds on rotation stripped and washed.
Fresh greenery is picked to place around the home.
Bathrooms cleaned and mopped.
The fridge is wiped out and the pantry put into order the laundry is swept and wiped out.
One small zone in the house is deep cleaned and organised, such as a hall cupboard or a clothing cull is done for one of the children.
This isn’t a time where everything is dropped, meals are still cooked, the children play and babies are still cared for, but my glass ball priorities on this day change, there is no workout, no blog and no school.
my priority is to my home, so every time block, I can schedule more of the cleaning tasks.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN WITH CHILDREN
- Don’t have toys in every bedroom and if you can create ONE toy zone, out of a bedroom where they can play.
- Don’t allow you children to leave mess. If they use a puzzle, have them pick it up, if they take shoes off have them place them away, take the time to teach small habits in young and older children and your home won’t be so hard to manage.
- Don’t keep stacks of cups and dishes, keep only 1 or 2 more than you need for a family meal, place the rest in another location, this way children and yourself are forced to rinse and dry a used dish to use it again and you don’t have a massive stack of dishes to wash after every meal or at the end of the day.
- Laundry is a massive culprit of work in a family home, and often I fall victim to too many clothes in my kids drawes. At the start of every season remove the old seasons clothes, and place the next, 2 pairs(2 items) of each thing per child, (equals 4 of each cut of clothing) 1 good for wearing out and 1 for the wearing in the home this will drastically reduce your washing and save you time.
- Keep clutter to a minimum, for some of us, it’s tempting to fill our home with little things we like to look at, but with young children it is hard to dust, wipe and keep clean so many things. I am no minimalist, I dont have bare spaces, but I do not collet clutter to the sake of it. My rule is, in cupboards, on shelves and in any area of my home, if it doesn’t get used in a year, it goes.
- Keep toys to a minimum. Switch them out if you have to but toys are huge culprit of a working mother long after bedtime, cleaning the mass of colourful knick knacks, knowing they cause accident and stress when you have to step over them all day. keep one small zone, in one small basket, and teach your children to place them back after playing with them.
- Create a bathroom cleaning kit. when you have young children sometimes you walk past the bathroom and it looks a bomb went off in there. If you only have a few minutes but then keep a spay bottle with a water, soap and vinegar mix, a cleaning cloth and dry cloth, in minutes you can have the basin clean and shiny, the benches and mirror cleaned and presentable. (if they are old enough, find the culprit(s) and have them clean it!)
Get 45 cleaning ideas to add to your schedule so you never wake up to a grotty home, small and felixible add these to your weekly schedule.
I should add here, that I structure my day around a big priority of mine, QUIET TIME!
quiet time takes place in the afternoon for at least two hours and is when I get a chance to do something for myself, from exercise, blogging, filming, or just resting.
Quiet time in my day is crucial for being able to get things done that isn’t children focused 100% of the time.
read the post!
And that’s it!
This is how I keep my home clean and my sanity intact!
the simple mamma