It’s no secret: my mom knows it, my husband knows it, and my friends know it. I swear by my weekly cleaning schedule. I created it about 18 months ago, and it has actually changed my life. I’m spilling all the details today about the weekly cleaning schedule I love.
Why do I need a weekly cleaning schedule?
When I had twins in 2015, it seemed that the amount of housework and chores I did tripled. The crumbs, spills, laundry, stains, dishes, fingerprints, and smudges were everywhere. My husband works long hours, and although he’s very helpful when he is home, that wasn’t and still isn’t the majority of the time.
It was overwhelming and I felt like everywhere I looked was another job to be done. When we added a third baby to our family two years later, the overwhelm about housework I felt became worse.
I know I am not alone in feeling like parenthood comes with a lot of housework.
After settling in with our family of five, I knew I had to do something to give myself balance between keeping a clean(ish) house and feeling like cleaning took up every spare minute of my day. I don’t function well in a messy, cluttered space. I actually enjoy cleaning and organizing and love living in a house that is clean and organized. It gives me more energy and focus to write, create, and play with my kids.
At the same time, with three kids, a dog, and two adults under one roof, I could clean 12 hours a day and my house still wouldn’t be picture perfect. I have made peace that it is never going to look like a magazine.
I needed to find balance.
It became obvious to me that I had to find a balance between keeping a tidy home and not spending every waking hour cleaning or following my kids around sweeping crumbs as they drop them. I want to spend quality time with my family in a house that isn’t total chaos. I realize this isn’t everyone’s goal, nor should it be. To each their own. But, this is what I wanted.
After several years of trying different solutions, creating and following a cleaning schedule has helped me find balance and peace with all the housework.
It gives me a plan to tackle the work, with doable chunks of cleaning throughout the week.
I’m going to walk you through how I created a systematic and doable weekly cleaning schedule and how to create your own weekly cleaning schedule.
My Weekly Cleaning Schedule
My cleaning schedule is super simple. The best time for me to clean is on weekday mornings. I divide the weekly household chores into five main categories and assign each category to one weekday. Weekdays work best for me, but obviously this is not the case for everyone. I’ll talk more about how to tailor this system to fit your life in a bit.
The five categories I tackle Monday to Friday are:
- laundry (wash, fold, put away)
- bedrooms (change sheets, tidy toys and books, vacuum)
- basement TV room
- car OR playroom OR garage
You might notice that I do not include the kitchen, dining, or living room on the list. The truth is that I do some general cleaning in these areas every day. With kids home most of the time, and eating most of our meals at home, there is just no way around it.
For these areas, however, I do only clean at certain times of the day, usually after meal times for the kitchen and dining room, and at night once the kids are in bed in the living room. My kids and husband are great at helping with these chores and it doesn’t take long.
I leave Fridays as a “choice” day where I choose to clean either the family car, the play room, or the garage. These aren’t areas that generally need special attention every week, so I will choose the area that needs the most attention and tackle that. If I have extra time, I may clean more than one of these three areas, but I don’t count on it.
Weekends are for rest.
To allow myself to rest, I lower my cleaning standards pretty dramatically on the weekends. I prioritize family time and relaxing. I am able to let the mess go because I know that come Monday, I will get things back in order.
What happens if I need to skip a day of cleaning?
Fairly regularly, something will come up where I can’t clean on a weekday morning. Maybe someone is sick, I have to take a child or pet to the doctor, we have to do virtual school that day, you get the gist.
If that happens, I use my best judgement to alter the plan. I might squeeze in a quick cleaning session at another time of the day. If that doesn’t happen, then the next day, I will divide my cleaning time amongst two categories: the category that is assigned for that day and the category that I skipped. For instance, if I skip a Monday, then on Tuesday, I will quickly do at least some of Monday’s work (laundry) and some of Tuesday’s work (bedrooms). It probably won’t be an A+ job, but I can hit the most needed areas of each category. Basically, I just do what I can and let the rest go.
Obviously this schedule won’t work for everyone. Weekday mornings aren’t the time to clean for everyone, but maybe there is some time each week that you can count on for housework. It might be the hour after you get home from work and before dinner, or the time right after the kids are in bed. Moreover, every house is not built the same, and there may be areas of housework on my schedule that don’t apply to your house. I feel sure, however, that you can create a weekly cleaning schedule that will work for you, even if it looks nothing like mine, if you’d like.
Why I Love My Weekly Cleaning Schedule
I love this weekly cleaning schedule because it gives me a plan to work off of, and then miraculously, I can let the other stuff go. On Tuesdays, it doesn’t bother me that the bathroom isn’t perfectly clean because I know it’s going to be cleaned on Wednesday. On Wednesdays, I don’t worry about vacuuming the basement because I know I’ll get to it the next day, “basement day”.
Essentially, this weekly cleaning schedule allows my brain to let go of all the dozens of chores that could be done around the house and focus on one area at a time. It sounds so simple, but I used to spend a lot of time and energy just deciding what to do! AND on top of that, feeling like a failure that I didn’t really do anything.
I would throw in a load of laundry, start organizing the kids’ books and then vacuum the basement. I never really got anything done or felt like I had done enough to check housework off the list for the day.
Now, I get the housework done and can relax and focus on other things. My house is clean enough for me to feel creative, energized, and focused and I no longer feel the burden of keeping house all day long.
How to Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule
I highly recommend that you create your own weekly cleaning schedule. Here are four steps to create a weekly cleaning schedule:
- Create blocks of cleaning time throughout your week. Decide which days each week you can clean and for how long. Will you clean on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 30 minutes? Or will you clean Saturday and Sunday mornings for an hour? Do weekdays work for you like they do me?
- Write a list of the weekly cleaning chores that you want to accomplish each week. I listed out the five areas that I tackle one time each week. Which areas do you need to clean weekly?
- Divide the weekly cleaning chores into the blocks of cleaning time. Take the chores you’ve listed out and assign them to the times that you’ve designated to clean.
- Try our your weekly cleaning schedule. Tweak it as you go, and enjoy!
Let me know what you think!
I’d love to know what you think of my weekly cleaning schedule! I honestly never thought I’d be the type of person that follows a cleaning schedule every week, and I never dreamed in 1 million years that I’d be writing about it on the internet!
I hope my schedule gives you some ways to think about and improve the way you tackle your housework. If my method helps one parent fight the overwhelm that I felt, I will be so happy! Now tell me, do you follow a schedule or are you totally fine just winging it? Leave a comment below.
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Other Resources from Hey Kelly Marie
Check out my free, printable Weekly Meal Planner and List of Pantry Staples and 33 Meals to Make with Them!
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