Cleaning the house and keeping on top of all the housework can be overwhelming and totally never ending – unless you have a plan!
If you want to change how you go about cleaning your home, so YOU are in control rather than your home controlling you – then you’re in the right place!
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLEANING YOUR HOME?
- It’s never done completely
- I always feel like I’m trying to catch up
- I can’t get ahead, or get a system that works for me – I’m just too busy
- I get things done as they need doing – it’s exhausting
- I never feel OK to have people round because my home is never ready
Housework is one of those things that, no matter how hard we try, will always be there.
So we may as well take control back and help ourselves.
And what better way than to create a plan that’s totally based around you and your own homes needs, that works for you with the time you have available.
It’s not necessarily about perfect, it’s not about miracle working, it’s about making your home clean enough for you at any given point on any given day – so that you can lead the life you want without feeling stressed out all the time with the jobs you need to do.
Why not go through the following easy step by step guide to create your very own cleaning schedule – and reclaim your home once and for all!
A SCHEDULE? REALLY?….
Contrary to popular thought, a cleaning schedule doesn’t add hassle and stress to the house – it takes it away.
If you never quite know what the next job is, and whether the house is clean enough, then even subconsciously you are looking around for all the jobs that need doing (even when there may be nothing to do).
You end up in a constant state of not knowing what needs to be done, and that’s just draining.
It’s time to get to grips with the house once and for all.
Creating your own schedule means that you can design it around what works for you – and you then don’t have to think about it, just get what needs doing on what days out of the way and ticked off.
No more guilt about what else you should be doing – you know that you will be getting to everything at the perfect time for you.
Now that I’ve convinced you to give a schedule a go (hopefully!) – then let’s work through the steps together.
Grab a pen and paper and let’s get started…
HOW TO CREATE A CLEANING SCHEDULE: –
STEP 1 – WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
Before you can write a realistic cleaning schedule for your home, you need to know what you have to do to clean it in the first place.
It sounds obvious – but most of us haven’t ever sat and thought about all the jobs that need doing – we are much more reactive and get what needs doing done when we have time.
The trouble with this is that things can easily get missed, and you can feel stressed because it never feels finished.
The first step is to go around your home and for each room write down EVERYTHING that in an ideal world you would clean.
Also write how often you would want to clean it ideally.
For now we are just brainstorming – so write down absolutely everything – as it can be sanity checked later on in the process.
NOTE – I always start with the ideal, because if that can fit into your week thats fantastic – but if it can’t, that’s where you can start to tweak it so that it’s realistic (but we’ll get onto the tweaking in a later step…)
NOTE – No two lists will be the same – what you need to clean and how often is up to you – write down what is ideal for you and don’t worry about what others do.
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE FOR YOU : –
- Wipe all surfaces – Daily
- Empty the bin – Weekly
- Clean the bath and shower – Weekly
- Clean the toilet – twice a week
- Mop the floor – Weekly
- Change the towels – Weekly
- Descale the shower head – Monthly
- Declutter the bathroom cabinet – Annually
- Clean the bathroom cabinet – seasonally
So now you should have a clear idea of what needs doing, and how often.
At this stage it’s really important not to get overwhelmed, as it can look like too big a task to get all these jobs done (especially when the whole house is done in one long list), but it’s an important step in seeing exactly what needs to be done, and getting something in place to tackle it all.
NOTE – No two lists will be the same – what you need to clean and how often is up to you – write down what is ideal for you and don’t worry about what others do.
Now it’s time to think about grouping all these tasks together in some way, and that’s where step 2 comes into play…
STEP 2 – GROUP TASKS BY FREQUENCY
The next step is to group the jobs into how often they need to be done – grouping by frequency makes sense for cleaning because then you can allocate times for them much more easily.
This will give you a much better idea of what you will need to do each day/week etc…..
For example –
DAILY : –
Wipe the Bathroom Surfaces, Wipe all of the Kitchen Surfaces, Empty Dishwasher, 1 load of Washing, General Tidy, Empty Kitchen Bin
2-3 TIMES A WEEK :-
Hoover, Mop Kitchen Floor, Clean Toilets, Water plants, Errands
Empty Bins around the house, Polish, Ironing, Change Towels, Change Bedding,
Clean windows inside and out, Wash and Hoover car, Main food shop, Menu Planning, Deep cleaning, Check smoke alarm
Change clothes to different seasons, declutter cupboards
Clean curtains, Clean carpets, Defrost Freezer, Update Filing
These are by no means finite lists, but hopefully give you an idea of the sort of tasks that would fit into each category.
Please note that there is no right or wrong way, just what you are happy with with how often things are cleaned. Some people need to clean a lot more frequently than others, some have less people in their home so it needs less cleaning – everyones needs will be different, and your ideal timings for how often they are done may also be different as a result.
What’s key here is that you should now be able to look at your list and decide that if everything was done on it, to the timings that they are shown, your home would run smoothly, everything would be clean to your standards, and you would feel back in control of things again.
So – you’vee now written down what, in a perfect world, you would do when cleaning your home, and how often you would do it.
But the world isn’t that perfect, unfortunately – so it’s time to put some of your own life’s constraints into the equation and get real…
STEP 3 – WHAT TIME DO YOU HAVE?
Let’s take a second to be real about this.
We always overestimate what we can get done in a set amount of time, which can so easily lead to disappointment – so I want you to really think carefully about all aspects of your life when looking at what time you have available.
That’s why having a weekly schedule (for an average week) is key to being more organised – somewhere where you can put EVERYTHING you do in one place – so you can see clearly what you can fit in and where.
If you already have a weekly schedule then great – pull it out right now! – If not, you will want to create one for this step to work as well as it can.
A weekly schedule looks something like this: –
Within your schedule are usually everything such as work, social, clubs, hobbies, school, fitness etc….
What I would also urge you to include are things like time to get dressed, eating, shopping etc… and always ensure you have blocked out travel time as well as this is often forgotten and leads to over scheduling. These all need to be done as well, and take time – so it makes sense to include everything in your schedule to get a much more realistic idea of what time you have left.
This step is crucial to gaining more idea of how you can fit in all the chores you need to fit in, and see whether you need to tweak and change anything.
You will no doubt find that some days will allow you to fit in more than others as that’s the way that most of our lives tend to go!
Lastly – it makes sense to do a weekly schedule for anyone in your house as well, so that if you decide to delegate jobs to them, you can see exactly the same things for them as well (what days would work better for them and what time they have available).
It’s really important that the cleaning jobs they are allocated are do-able within their schedules as well otherwise you will find things not working later down the line.
WHY YOU MAY PREFER TO USE A 4 WEEK SCHEDULE: –
I’ve looked into how to create a cleaning schedule a LOT – and over the years have found that a 4 week schedule works better than a 1 week.
If you try and add in notes on a weekly schedule to say “only do this fortnightly”, “Done last day of the month” etc… – a weekly schedule gets very full and very complicated VERY quickly.
As such – just copy your weekly schedule 4 times, as this allows you to only write down what you need to on the right week.
…another bonus is that of course most months have more than 4 weeks exactly – and so you end up with what I call extra days – where you can catch up if you’ve fallen behind, or use the days to do other things that you want to do – classing them as a bonus makes them feel like a sort of treat!.
If you think a 4 week schedule would work best for you, then why not give it a go!
NOTE – If you prefer to have printables ready to use rather than make your own, AND you’d like this step by step guide written out – then it’s available in my HOME FILE – to find out more please CLICK HERE
Now you should be starting to see that you have been trying to clean your home and the myriad of jobs that entails in very little available time.
No wonder it’s a struggle to stay ahead!
The next step we are going to look at is how to make things work well for you going forward – to stop the crazy and focus on the calm instead…
STEP 4 – HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DO THINGS?
I wrote a post a while back about how cleaning can be done to suit your personality – and in it I talk about whether you like to do your chores little and often, blitz style, or delegate.
For any schedule to be effective, you need to work with your personality, as you want to be able to keep to the schedule and not fight against it all the time.
So, with this in mind, decide on the best times of the week that you would prefer to do the chores you have listed.
The following is a quick idea of how I think when I do this exercise – see if it helps you to work out how you like to do things:-
My current week dictates that I have only general bits of free time on Mondays and Thursdays, whereas I have an hour or so on a Tuesday and Wednesday after school, and a couple of hours in the day on a Friday. I also have some time at the weekends, although I know I prefer to get most of the chores out of the way before the weekend if at all possible. I like to do things little and often, so that my house is always clean enough to relax in, and have guests over at any time. However I do like to blitz rooms regularly so that I know things are being cleaned thoroughly and nothings getting left out for too long.
Take a few minutes now to think about (and be realistic) what time you have available, and how you like to arrange your cleaning and household jobs to suit your way of living.
So, you’ve now got all the knowledge you need to be able to create a schedule that truly works for you and your home – ready to put it together?…
STEP 5 – CREATING THE SCHEDULE THAT WORKS FOR YOU
Last by by no means least is putting everything together that you have done so far and filling into your schedule when you will do each of the tasks you have listed – so that everything gets done as often as you want, within the time you have available.
In your mind, work through your typical weekly schedule, and start to allocate the jobs from your list onto specific days.
TIP – I like to only put down the day I will do a task as then that leaves some flexibility for things that may crop up – but you may also want to add in a time for each task at this stage – once again, do what works for you the best.
Work through each day and see which rooms/jobs would be easiest to achieve on each one.
DAILY TASKS : –
These will (of course) – be a list that you need to get through each day – so it’s enough to write DAILY TASKS at the top of each day on your schedule, and then you could have a quick checklist that has them all listed that you can tick off each day as you do them.
I have a weekly checklist that works really well for this – you can find it HERE.
WEEKLY & FORTNIGHTLY TASKS: –
Simply add these tasks to the day that you can do them each week / fortnight (this is where having a 4 week schedule works well as you only need to add the fortnightly tasks to 2 out of the 4 weeks).
MONTHLY & ANNUAL TASKS: –
Monthly tasks will need to appear once over the 4 weeks – so it makes sense to split them up equally over those 4 weeks – but I split them up into 3 for the following reason: –
You also have annual tasks to consider, which will be made easier by splitting up into 12 equal chunks, and do one set each month over the course of the year.
So – you can have something like the following: –
WEEK 1 – Set of monthly tasks
WEEK 2 – Set of monthly tasks
WEEK 3 – Set of monthly tasks
WEEK 4 – Annual tasks for that month
Doing things this way means that you know that everything will be got to at the right time, so you have less need to worry. Perfect!
HERE ARE SOME QUICK TIPS TO HELP: –
- Look at allocating a specific month to each of your 12 Annual groups – and be time specific – i.e. defrosting the freezer and cleaning curtains would be easier in the summer months, and the winter months may be perfect for a massive declutter or to tackle the filing to ensure its up to date etc….
- If you find that you simply can’t fit everything in – start to prioritise. For example – Do you really need to hoover every day or would a quick hoover twice a week with a thorough hoover once a month (moving furniture etc…) actually be sufficient? You know what you will actually be able to do – and therefore work with that, then you are much more likely to be able to stick with the schedule.
- Think about delegating tasks that you want to complete but really have no time to do them in – pay for help, delegate more to others in the house etc… (I like to have a 10 minute tidy up session each evening and get my family involved – you could add in a couple of specific tasks for each person during this time as that works well).
- Don’t be too strict on when you do things – I used to write down time slots as well for my cleaning chores, but felt I worked better when I simply had a list of things to get through that day and fit them in around my scheduled stuff. I work better like this, so it’s worth understanding what works best for you and scheduling accordingly. You may find that having times to do things works better for you while you get used to everything, and then slowly you’ll start to know whats required on each day anyway.
- Add your schedule to your diary – I add mine at the front of my diary and then I can easily check on what my daily tasks are, and add them to my TO DO list for that specific day – that way nothing gets forgotten. The other way is to add your schedule to a utility/kitchen cupboard door so you can have a quick look each day at what to do.
- Be realistic – some things may have to wait as life gets in the way – but when you have worked out what those things will be, its easier to carry them over to the next less busy day/week.
- Use your free days (those that fall outside the 4 weeks each month) to get more done. A lot of months don’t fall exactly into 4 weeks, there are usually a couple of days left over, which I class as bonus days. You could have a rest and relax a little, OR you can get ahead with some tasks for the following month, which is great if you are going to be busier than usual (or away) – that’s the beauty of knowing what’s next with a schedule – you can get ahead!
So – have you managed to fit everything in?
How are you feeling now?
Now it’s time for real life to show you whether your schedule is sustainable…
STEP 6 – LIVE WITH YOUR SCHEDULE
As with everything you get more organised, you need to make sure the theory of what you have done actually works in practise.
The only way to work this out is to live with it for a while.
I suggest for your cleaning schedule trying it out for at least one month (4 weeks).
This gives you a chance to see all of the following things: –
- Things that work well
- Things that don’t work well
- Whether things take longer/less time than thought
- What time you REALLY have available each day
- Whether what you have delegated is getting done
From this valuable insight you can then start to alter things as and when that becomes necessary.
This process will iron out any creases in the cleaning schedule you have created, and ensure that you have something that you can successfully use to keep on top of the house from now on – and what could be better than that!
And that’s it – How to Create a Cleaning Schedule – Step by Step!
You’ve now got a schedule that has been specifically written for you, and one that stands every chance of making cleaning much easier, and putting you back in control again.
I really wish you all the best with this, and would love to know how you get on – leave a comment below if you have any other tips that you use that I haven’t added as yet as I’d love to hear them.
Lastly – if you would like to grab copies of printables to help you with your cleaning schedule – then they are available as one of the sections of the amazing HOME FILE – find out more right HERE.