Do you ever feel like as the chores pile up you have less time to get them done? I know I do. It seems like once everything has been cleaned there are new things to tidy up! With kids around, it’s inevitable that messes are just a part of daily life. In today’s installment of the Super Simple Series, I’m going to cover simple cleaning strategies to help you make the most of your time as you scrub and tidy so you can be done quickly. This post also includes a free Simple Cleaning printable to help you schedule your cleaning and keep track of your weekly and daily chores.
Biggest Struggle With Cleaning: When And How
I don’t know about you but sometimes as I look at the piles of crud all over the house I don’t even know where to begin. Should I clean up everything in a big chunk of time or break it down into smaller chores spread out over several days. The other challenge with housekeeping is how to go about it. For example, is it better to scrub the floor with a mop or on your hands and knees?
For many people, the biggest struggles with cleaning include when to schedule it in and then how to do it effectively so things get done efficiently.
To help you work smarter and not harder let’s address these two main challenges. Today we will focus on when.
When To Clean–Simple Scheduling
If you go out on Pinterest or other blogs you’ll find a lot of pre-made scheduling tools for cleaning the house. You know the ones that have the day and then lists out several chores to complete for that day. They might be something like this:
- Monday: Vacuum and Dust
- Tuesday: Clean Bathrooms
- Wednesday: Mop floors
These are great guides and if this type of schedule works for you, that’s great!
I’ve tried these guides and they did two things for me. One, it made me feel like these tasks were set in stone and if I didn’t complete my chores I felt like a loser. Maybe vacuuming and dusting day didn’t happen because I scheduled a playdate. Two, if things didn’t get done I’d get a cleaning backlog which created more stress. If I pushed Monday’s schedule to Tuesday then everything on the schedule got pushed back. Or if I’d double up on chores it would be a very hectic day.
So how do you solve this problem?
Come up with a schedule that is flexible and works for you! I’ve created a printable for you to fill out for yourself to fit your needs. No need to be spoon-fed to-do lists. You’re a smart lady! You can create your own cleaning schedule.
I won’t leave you high and dry to figure it out on your own though. Here are some guidelines on figuring out when to clean.
Do Some Soul Searching
Take time to think about how you like to clean. What’s your cleaning style? Do you like to devote one day to get everything done or do you prefer to have small tasks throughout the week? There’s not a one-size-fits-all way to schedule your chores.
If you like to knock-it-out of the ballpark and have one cleaning day embrace that preference. If one big cleaning day does not sound enjoyable then embrace the little-bit-each-day cleaning style.
Make a master list of all the chores that pertains to your household. In the free printable I included a simple list of weekly chores. Feel free to use that list or use it as a springboard to create your own.
When you make your own list consider some things like: If you don’t have any carpet there is no need to schedule a vacuuming day. If your kids are older and don’t smudge up windows on a daily basis you probably don’t need to have regular window cleaning scheduled.
Now break your list up into two categories, one representing tasks that happen once a week, like scrubbing toilets and one representing daily tasks, like loading the dishwasher.
Create Your Own Simple Cleaning Schedule
Alright, you know your cleaning preference and all the things that have to happen in your home to get it in ship-shape. This is your cleaning identity! Is there such a thing? Why yes, own it! And create your own cleaning schedule! You got this.
The key to creating a cleaning schedule is to incorporate flexibility into it. Life happens and not everything you set out to do in a day may happen. Your cleaning schedule should reflect that.
Instead of having a cleaning schedule set in stone take a look at your activities each week and fit your cleaning in around that. It’s okay to have designated days to do things, but it’s also okay to swap things out.
How does this look? If you print out the free simple cleaning schedule you will notice that I’ve left things blank under each day. I’ll leave it up to you to fill out accordingly. Here are some things to think about as you fill in the blanks.
If you are in the one day and done camp and have made Saturday morning your big cleaning day stick to that day as long as it works for you. However, say you are meeting friends for breakfast or have a kids soccer game scheduled on a Saturday morning. What do you do? Look for an opening on another day for that week. Are you free Friday night or Sunday afternoon? Switch to one of those days. Write down the items you plan on cleaning.
If you prefer to do a little bit of something each day a good rule of thumb is to create a general framework for the week but leave a few days open with nothing scheduled. If you have a general outline for the week and nothing gets in the way of that then go ahead and follow your plan. If you have something planned on a day you’re supposed to do something reschedule that task for an open day.
The Daily To-Do List
Now take a look at your list of your daily to-do’s. How do you incorporate these tasks each day? As you look at your list ask yourself, which ones must be done daily? What are items that you’d like to do daily but it’s okay if it doesn’t happen?
Put a star or checkmark by the ones that must be done daily. These are your primary chores. Circle or underline the ones that don’t have to get completed every day. These are your secondary tasks.
One approach to figuring out primary vs secondary items is to consider the sanitary aspect. For example, it is probably a good idea to make wiping down counters after every food prep a primary chore. If you have a crawler or toddler that puts everything in the mouth it’s probably best to sweep frequently. However, if your house sits empty all day and you don’t get to make your beds in the morning, that might be a secondary chore.
My primary list includes loading and unloading the dishwasher, wiping down counters after food prep, sweeping the kitchen at the end of the day, take out trash as needed, pick-up toys at the end of the day, make beds (because I have kids home during the day that likes to play on them) and dirty laundry in the hampers.
My secondary tasks include putting shoes in respective rooms, wiping down bathroom vanity if there aren’t any big globs of toothpaste anywhere, put any clean laundry back in drawers, sort mail and papers.
How do you fit in primary tasks throughout the day? When do you have the biggest blocks of time? If you don’t have a million things going on in the morning and have time to do dishes, make that your time to do it. If taking out the garbage or sweeping the floor will make you late getting out the door don’t do it.
Again some days may be different and there isn’t time to do it when you normally would. Be flexible and just make a point of doing the daily cleaning chores when you get back from your other activities.
I hope these tips will help you to schedule your time to clean in a way that works for your household. Be sure to print off the Simple Cleaning Schedule that includes the Simple List of Weekly and Daily Cleaning Tasks.
Check back tomorrow as we tackle the nitty-gritty of cleaning. What’s the best way to clean that’s effective yet efficient? I’ll go over some simple cleaning strategies that answer that question!