All cards on the table, I felt a bit hypocritical creating this house cleaning schedule for you guys. As I spent the time figuring out how to make my first writable pdf to go along with this post, my own abode sorta fell to the wayside for a couple of days. And when I say “fell to the wayside,” what I really mean is “looked like a tornado hit.” (I am happy to report that our little apartment is back on track in time to publish this post though!!)
I think we can all agree with that! And whether you are naturally very neat, messy, or some place in between, we all need to find some kind of system to make sure that the basics get done. Some people clean constantly — yeah, that’s not in my blood. Others clean one day a week, or divide tasks up by specific rooms or types of cleaning. Some people give their children chores (oh how I long for such a day!!!).
For us, having 4 people live in a one-bedroom apartment means that I have no choice but to stay on top of things. Just a couple of displaced items or dishes not put away and there is not enough space for us to properly function. And as easy as you might imagine a 500-square-foot-apartment to be to clean, I have found it quite the challenge. Sure, some of that has to do with my two little “helpers” (i.e. mess makers) and trying to fit any free time in blogging. But still, it is amazing how fast a small mess can somehow be trampled/dragged through/rubbed into our entire teeny residence in under a minute.
Let’s go over a couple of Cleaning routines that DO NOT work for me:
1. Having one special cleaning day a week.
This method is incredibly depressing for me. The day becomes stressful as I try to get it all done while scrambling through a normal, messy day and inevitably short cuts are taken on something (usually scrubbing the tub or any real “deep” cleaning) due to unforseen circumstances. And even when everything does get done, by the next morning it seems like my hard work has been finger-printed and made sticky again. It may have looked clean for part of a day, but for the next six it looks dirty again.
2. The One-room-a-day method.
I tried cleaning just one room or area each day for a while. (The kitchen on a Monday, Living room on a Tuesday, Bathroom on a Wednesday, and so on.) This turned out to not be very practical for us either. It felt like I was always deep cleaning something, but that the apartment never actually looked clean as a whole. It also seemed like a waste of time to get out all of the cleaners, supplies, and a new bucket of mop water every day to do such a small section.
Here is the Weekly Routine I now Use:
Things about this method that work for me:
1. Forming a Daily routine.
As easy-going as I like to think that I am, I realize that I function much better when I have established patterns in place. Morning routines are especially helpful and start the day off with motivation. Plus, I’ve come to find that one of the most important factors in a clean home is maintenance. By simply maintaining every day, I truly feel like our home is clean (even if I haven’t dusted or mopped all week).
2. A quick “extra” chore.
You will notice on the above schedule that each day only has one – or maybe two – extra chores (even swing day, which we will talk more about in the next point.) I love looking at such a short list! I can do just one chore, no problem!
Many things in our home don’t need to be cleaned each week (like the ceiling fans, curtains, and walls.) By creating a “swing day” that has a different task assigned to it each week of the month ensures that those things are still getting done without adding more things to check off of your to-do list for the day. And, being real, before swing day came into effect in our home, I was not getting to these “monthly” tasks anywhere near monthly.
4. Hanging up the daily schedule.
As silly as it might sound, having a printed schedule hanging up on my fridge or notice board has made a big difference for me. I love that I see it several times a day and am reminded of things I may not have gotten to yet. I originally started putting reminders on my phone for tasks and found this to be ineffective if I couldn’t get to the chore right away. I would get distracted and forget all about it.
With this technique, I have ultimately found that the apartment feels pretty clean all week long. YES, PLEASE! (Unless I am creating writable pdf’s and stop doing my chores, that is!!) Somehow it also feels like I am doing less work overall. Um, YES PUH-LEASE!!
I really don’t know who to credit this cleaning “method” to as similar schedules exist all over Pinterest. I just customized it to our family and home’s needs and have been feeling clean and organized! If you like the sound of this type of cleaning schedule, then you can do the same using my customizable printables!
Let me know how it goes! What will you be switching around on the schedule? Other tasks you will be adding to it?