Advice on a Cleaning Schedule/routine

Updated on August 05, 2009
A.L. asks from Plano, TX
34 answers

Hi Moms! I would love to hear how many of you are keeping your house clean minus the use of a house cleaning service of some sort. I don't have a regular routine down and would like advice on what may have worked for some of you. I have looked online and seen articles in magazines, but they don't really seem to give me what I'm looking for. I don't mean tidying up here and there, but everything related to cleaning the house like vacuuming the floors to dusting ceiling fans. I know some things are best to do daily, others monthly, but I don't like that stuff is only getting done when it is bothering me or, in my mind, "disgusting". I think I'll be happier with the cleanliness of my home if I know it is being done more regularly and on a schedule rather than a last minute rush for the guests staying with us or family coming over for dinner.

So, do you choose a day to get it all done, or do you divide it up? Do you have a system so you don't forget something? Anyone had any luck with a website with these resources? What do you do with your children - there is just so much my 3 year old can "help" with. I'm really looking forward to the responses I get since this has proven to be a great resource!

6 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Wow! Thanks everyone for all of the advice! I am sort of blown away at all the responses and variety of great advice. I am for sure encouraged because I realize I'm not the only one trying to figure it all out! Most of you recommended a chart of some sort and dividing up the chores per day into something I feel is manageable, especially while my kids are so young. I do for sure need to me more intentional with my 3 year old and have a time of day that she helps instead of here and there. We have been trying to have her clean up one thing before playing with another...A lot of you recommend flylady.net and some books so I plan to check it all out soon...I'm actually excited and feel that it is possible to fulfill my goal. Thanks again for taking time to respond - I truly appreciate all of your help!!

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Dallas on

Flylady.net

If you don't like all the emails just delete them...they have also revamped and all the "reminder" emails are sent in one daily digest now so it isn't as much as it was.

Only read the emails you want to and delete the rest. But she has some AWESOME advice and I totally recommend her site.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.P.

answers from Dallas on

I used to feel the same way you do. Go to Flylady.com. It is free and her system really works and only minutes a day.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.W.

answers from Dallas on

Here is a great book that details everything you've asked about. From daily cleaning to major spring cleaning. It includes steps, recommendations, and types of cleaners to use.

http://www.amazon.com/Making-Home-Housekeeping-Real-Life/...

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.K.

answers from Dallas on

Dear A.,
Over the years when my kids were young and I was trying to figure out my cleaning system Kathy Peel was the best resource. I still refer to her today. If you google some archives of Oprah you may even see her on there with her books.
The focus is on systems,"Every day Clean", and putting in efficient systems. For example...I sat down and wrote down everything that needed to get cleaned or done. Then I divided it all up into daily tasks, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, seasonal, or yearly. Then I put them on my calendar with a reminder so that when it was time to do it again it was already written down in my Outlook.
Another task that really helped my family was that we all shared what we felt was "every day clean" in each room. For example...My kids felt that the kitchen was clean as long as everything was put away. I felt the counters needed a good wipe down. So...as a team they help get everything put away and I am in charge of the counter wipe down. We did this room by room, which took time, but now as time has passed all I have to say is "please get the room every day clean" and they know what that means. I kept it in a notebook until we no longer had to refer to it.
A third tip I can give is that I went room by room, slow process but worth it, and I found a "home" for everything. If I didn't have a "home" for something then I either needed to trash it or give it away. This helped me to clear away clutter and "every day clean" could happen because we all knew where everything went...to its home. My house can look really clean even if we haven't gotten to the vacuuming or the dusting yet because of "every day clean". The routine with that is that most nights before bed we put as much away into its "home" as possible so we can start fresh in the morning. My youngest daughter has caught on the quickest and her room stays pretty clean.(age 11) Oldest daughter is still working on it. (age 13)
It is not perfect, but it helps me to be able to manage the home efficiently.
Check Kathy Peel out and see what you think.
Sincerely,
R.
[email protected]____.com

3 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Dallas on

I love your question!! And I'm looking forward to reading all of the answers you get and getting more ideas!

I too had looked for guidance online and wasn't able to really find anything that perfectly fit me. I found that I wouldn't stick to the schedule or plan that was furnished by someone else. So... I created my own. I made a list (in Excel because I'm a freak) of each room in the house and all of the items that needed to be done in each room. Then I decided (on my terms and not someone else's which was the issue before) whether I wanted each item done daily, weekly, monthly, etc. I then created a table by category (daily items, weekly items, and monthly items) to generate my checklists from. The daily and weekly checklists are on weekly calendars so I can check off what day I actually did something (and so I only have one page per week of the daily items). My schedule varies sooo much that I only loosely have planned days to do particular weekly tasks like laundry, etc. If I don't get to it on one day, my chart allows me to see that I still need to do it without there being this huge pressure of remembering. I needed to be able to have a flexible chart that allowed me to mark the day I did a task rather than writing the task into a planned day. It also helps me make sure that if I did a particular cleaning on Monday last week, I won't put it off until Friday this week. The monthly tasks have a single page for the entire year - on some tasks I'll write the date that I did it in the box, others I'll just check it off.

As I began working with my lists, because they were in Excel and easily malleable, I was able to work out which items needed to be on a different list. Some things I wanted to do daily just weren't getting done but once a week and others that I thought were weekly jobs, were really daily.

So, my advice would be use whatever medium makes you most comfortable in tracking your lists, and set your own expectations for each job. Also, your house is unique and your cleaning requirements are unique. Only you can judge how frequently you want to do each job. Having someone else tell you can be downright frustrating if it doesn't suit your situation. And whatever system you set up, make sure that your lists are detailed enough to have multiple checks for each room so that you get the satisfaction of checking off your items. Sometimes that's all the motivation we need to go do something - marking it OFF the list. But also, if you have interruptions like I do, you'll need a way to keep track of where you are because there's never a time when I get to clean the entire bathroom (floors and all) all at once.

Good luck and happy dusting!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hey A.
Do you like being on the computer ALL DAY LONG? If you do, then flylady.net will work great for you. Me, personally, I couldn't handle all the email reminders she sent me all. day. long. for "keep your sink shiny!" so I unsubscribed about 2 weeks after I signed up.

One system I like is called Cozi.com and it is run by Better Homes & Gardens. It is basically a family calendar, but you can enter anything you want: regular events (like clean out the refrigerator) and schedule them as often as you want - the computer will put it on the calendar automatically. Or you can schedule one-time events (like "rachel's recital"). You give each person in your household a personal color so that the jobs are separated by who has to do them.

I print out my calendar once a week so that I don't have to squeeze all my appointments and chores all on one itty-bitty square on the wall calendar.

It is a really good system for me. It helps me schedule all my chores along with my appointments, so when I need to make doctor appointments, etc., I can see if I'm already going to be having a busy day or not.

Plus it has lots of other cool features like grocery lists that you can access from your mobile phone. I don't use that feature so I dont' know how it works but it sounds neat.

Hope that helps!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have gotten a lot of feedback, but try Motivatedmoms.com, it has a chore list broken into weeks with daily tasks to do. I have been using it for several weeks and I LOVE it because my house always seems clean and I don't have to spend hours at a time.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.J.

answers from Dallas on

I would first buy a swiffer wet jet if you don't have one already! It is so easy and fast to use and makes the whole house smell good (most of our house is stone floor). I vacuum everyday! We have a dog so if I don't the hair is unbearable. I also mop almost everyday. Other than that, I try and do most of my cleaning every Monday but you can break it up in days too (Clean the bathrooms Monday, change all the bedding Tuesday, etc. I have two friends that have the irobot and they swear by it. That will be our next purchase. They are costly but worth it. You can purchase on HSN and pay a little every month. Hope this helps a little!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Dallas on

motivatedmoms.com - It is basically a chore planning system. I LOVE it!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Dallas on

flylady.net is a great site to give you a cleaning schedule and make keeping a clean house much easier. Check it out

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.N.

answers from Dallas on

You might try FlyLady.net - it's begins with general cleaning & then gets specific. It gives the different zones of the house a different week.

Kathy

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from Dallas on

This isn't very detailed but something to start with. I sweep and mop all tile on Mondays. I dust and vaccuum all carpet on Wednesdays. And I clean all bathrooms on Fridays. I don't have a system for baseboards, ceiling fans, blinds, etc. I tend to put those off as long as possible. Maybe I will get some good tips. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.V.

answers from Dallas on

Several people have recommended flylady.com. It's actually www.flylady.net. She will help with all the questions you've asked including ways for your child to help.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.D.

answers from Dallas on

I take one day out of the week usually Thursday so it is clean for the weekend, I do it all that day so it takes all day. I do laundry everyday so I don't get backed up.I have 4 kids plus myself and husband. That has always worked for me but some would rather split it up so it doesn't take all day.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Dallas on

I hate housework. It's that simple.

I have a method referred to me by a dear friend many years ago. Do one room a day. Do a little laundry when needed - like all the shirts together, all the jeans, all the towels - easy loads and when you have time do a tough load like socks and underwear, etc.

The real trick is getting your spouse to help. After awhile I get behind because I work and about once a month he vacuums and picks up. Really a life saver.

So pick a day, today I will only vacuum and maybe one load of jeans. Tomorrow I will mop the floors or clean a bedroom or dust. Next day, maybe a load of clothes and go for a walk. etc.

Never go to bed with dishes in the sink, just think I will only wash one dish before going to bed and voila, somehow that warm water running is so soothing, all the dishes are done.

It sure makes housework more enjoyable for people like me that rather be doing something else, like reading a book or playing with the kids.

Good luck and be happy. It's great to have a home. c

A.G.

answers from Dallas on

I like to have the whole house cleaned at once (it's not a big house, just a farmhouse), so we try to do everything on one day. I'm a teacher, and my husband is off on Thursdays. Every Thursday during the school year my husband cleans all the floors - vacuuming/mopping. He also cleans his bathroom - shower, toilet, everything, and does extra stuff like ceiling fans. Then when I get home from school I can quickly dust and clean the other two bathrooms. Last year our youngest was home with my husband on Thursdays, and he played while my husband was cleaning. Next year both boys will be in school.

During the summer, sometimes we clean together on Thursdays and knock it all out quickly, but sometimes I want to be able to play all day on my husband's day off, so I'll do all the cleaning myself on a different day instead. Oh, I also think my kids are old enough to start helping, especially my 11 year old, so they help with dusting their rooms and swiffering. My 11 year old also always puts the dishes away when the dishwasher is finished washing.

We have many animals also, so in between our weekly cleaning, we have to dry swiffer and vacuum every couple of days to keep it looking nice.

I hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.D.

answers from Dallas on

I like Flylady.net for help with getting cleaning routines set up. There's a lot of stuff on the website that may be helpful, including the guidelines for weekly cleaning (called weekly home blessing) and advice on how to get started. Hope it helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.L.

answers from Dallas on

I do itis wash day the old fashioned way like my other and Grandmother still do. Monday is wash day, Tues. ironing, Wed bathrooms, Thur kitchen and Friday the whole house so it is neat for the weekend. As my children have gotten older and are no longer on the floor I have eased up on cleaning a little. I used to sweep,dust and vac. everyday but I generally do those twice a week now. I also find limiting food to one area helps. If you want to eat you eat in the kitchen NO FOOD IN THE BEDROOMS EVER. Many of my friends and my children think I am crazy but I have never found a half eaten sandwich in my child's bedroom collecting ants like others. I think doing a little each day makes it easy and I am flexible if I wanted to go on a play date I knew I had to do that days work the day before or after. The big stuff like scrubbing baseboards and wiping down walls I never really had a definate schedule I just try to schedule a party or meeting at my house about 4 times a year and that way I do the deep cleaning because I would not have people over without doing those things. Good luck

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from Dallas on

Check out www.flylady.net. Awesome resource for housekeeping routines.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.K.

answers from Dallas on

Now that my daughter is 6 months, she takes regular naps and thats when I get my cleaning done. I get about 4-4 1/2 hours to clean, and I usually get it done during that time. I get laundry done mostly during that time too. Throw a load in and go clean that bathroom. By the time I'm done it's time to put it in the dryer and move on to the next room. Sometimes it takes me two days for laundry though. If you ever need a cleaning person let me know. I'm based out of Garland and offer pretty reasonable rates. My website is www.maidforcleaningtexas.com . Hope that helps just a little!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Dallas on

I need a schedule to keep things done regularly, and this is what seems to work for me:

Laundry: Tues, Thurs (used to be MWF when my kids were home)
Mondays: Clean hardwood floors and baseboards with swiffer.
Sweep and mop tile floors.
First Mon. of the month, I wash hardwoods with
floor cleaner.
Tuesday: Run errands
Wed.: Clean bathrooms and kitchen
Thurs: Vacuum carpets, dust, change sheets
Fri: Grocery shopping

Of course, sometimes I get off schedule and move things around, but for the most part, I try to stick to this. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Dallas on

I have found a website called flylady.com. It has saved my life on the cleaning and decluttering front. There are babysteps to start with and she has routines for everything from vacuuming to yard work. She even has a section for the kids and how they can help. Very easy and wonderful! I hope it helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello A.,

You may have sort of a schedule and not be aware of it. I had a schedule and I didn't know it. I noticed that when I was gathering the trash (monday evenings) for next days pickup, I was usually cleaning up the upstairs bathrooms and vacuuming as I checked for trash to put out. and I did the downstairs TUE morning to finish gathering any other trash that could be put out. unfortunately the only thing that seems to work for me is to have company coming over on a regular basis....my kids and husband tend to work faster (LOL!!!). Good luck! ~C.~

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.T.

answers from Dallas on

Check out Flylady.com She has an entire system for cleaning and organizing your home on a daily basis that is built upon the idea of a 15-minute cleaning cycle. It's a wonderful system, and you can subscribe and explore for free.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.T.

answers from Dallas on

A.,

I have something that works for me b/c I deal with this delimma all the time. It involves laundry and cleaning. I have 4 kids (which includes triplet 2 year olds) so I have tons of laundry (but I don't do hubbys - he has to do his own). B/c you sound organized I will put my details - scan if too much:
Monday - Towels
Tuesday - NOTHING :)
Wednesday - Boys clothes (triplets)
Thursday - My daughter and my light clothes
Friday - Kids sheets & boys clothes (2 loads)
Saturday - our sheets & my daughter/my dark clothes (2 loads)
Sunday - Boys clothes again (yes 3x week)

For cleaning - every day we clean the kitchen 3x - once after each meal - every other day (most of time time) the kitchen is swept and mopped at night - hubby does this!(I sweep every day after lunch regardless)

Thursdays - Vacuum upstairs and the stairs
Fridays - Vacuum downstairs

Once a month I do the total house cleaning from top to bottom - including fans, etc. Like a good maid would do. I do this the last week of the month - just happened that way.

2 weeks after the big cleaning I wipe down all bathroom countertops with homemade clorox bleach wipes (recipe online) - husband makes this, his idea b/c we use so many.

Before nap and bedtime I get my kids to help put away all the toys (as much as 2 year olds can help - which is alot when they are cooperating) and my 7 year old is great. We never go to sleep with clutter out - so that we can start the next day fresh.

I hope this helps - this can be VERY frustrating.

T.
SAHM - daughter turning 7 this month and triplet sons who just turned 2.

J.L.

answers from Dallas on

a friend of mine swears by www.flylady.com It's a site that helps you streamline chores. I have not tried it myself but she loves it and her house is usually clean and she has 4 kids

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hooray for you! The desire to create a routine is the first step. What really helps me is to write it down; either day-by-day on a chalk or dry erase board or in a notebook. I would try to keep it simple at first and then add on more chores. Here's what I do: Tuesday & Wednesday's are laundry day. Tuesday is gather all trash day (since trash day is Wednesday). Thursday is grocery shopping and menu planning day (that is when the ads came out where I lived before). I tried to keep all chores for during the week so weekends can be family time.

My #1 piece of advice is to teach your daughter to help around the house. She can tidy her own toys, put her (plastic) dishes in the sink and trash in the trashcan. Once they get in the habit of cleaning up after themselves it makes it so much easier on you.

When I first started a cleaning routine I signed up with flylady.com. You will get a ton of email's so you may want to create a filter for your email. Once I got my own routine then I deleted my account.

I hope that helps...can't wait to hear what your schedule turns out to be.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Dallas on

I have a great schedule system (like you, I don't want to pay for a cleaning service, and I hate doing it all in one day). Here's what I've done:
1. Make a L. of ALL of your chores, then determine which ones need to be done daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.
2. Make a chart. Chores go on the left hand column, the days of the week at the top. Put an X on the day you'll do that chore, and try to spread them out throughout the week. Eg, On Mondays, I will do dishes, make beds, clean the toilets, and windex the mirrors. On Tuesdays, I'll do dishes, make beds, vaccuum, and dust.

When it's broken up by day, it's not such a daunting task, and you feel like you've accomplished something. And your house stays clean! Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from Dallas on

I'm still struggling w/some of the habitual daily routine of this myself, but I will tell you I tried Flylady.net and while she does have some good advice....she sends way to many emails!!! My inbox was bombarded with cleaning advice. Sadly, I had to delete her!:( Now I just visit her website from time to time instead of the daily reminders from her! Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi A.,

We have Saturday morning scheduled for cleaning in my home and everyone does a part. Some take dusting, sweeping, some family members take bathrooms and mopping etc. So everyone has chores to do a their part. I do laundry at different times of the week and pick up during the week on occasion if things are left out.

I also use Get Clean products from Shaklee to clean because the Basic H2 is so concentrated a little goes a long way and it has no toxic chemicals. It helps eliminate the risks of kids developing asthma.

For more info on the cleaning products visit:
http://www.shaklee.net/choice-wellness/getclean

Anyway setting time on Saturday morning works for my family and if we have plans on Saturday we move our cleaing to a different day of the week. We get our cleaning completed quickly and it frees up mor time with everyone helping out! Hope this helps; havea great day!

S. A

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hey A.,

I did what Bonnie L. did, only broke it down a bit more. I wrote out cards (talk about anal retentive!) and scheduled each day by the hour, making sure I scheduled in play time with the kids and downtime for me. Believe it or not, EVERYTHING got done. No guilt at all, cause my kids and I were part of the whole thing. As long as I stick to it, it's great! The house is never all clean on one particular day, I had to give up on that....but I'm not necessarily ashamed of having someone stop by!

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Dallas on

I have a chart that I made myself. I put dishes and general pick-up on each day. I put one load of laundry on each day: Tuesday is lights, Wed is whites, Thurs is darks, Friday is towels, etc. After that I put one chore per day. Mondays is Kitchen Deep cleaning, Tues is One bath, Wed is Dusting, Thurs is 2nd bath, Friday is Vacuuming (I do spot vacuuming as needed throughout the house.), Friday is sweeping the patio, etc. I shop on Wednesdays because it's double ad day at Sprouts. I have no system for the ceiling fans except that when my husband is home on dusting days he does them. Everything else that is seasonal gets done as I notice.

Update - My 4 year old and my 18 month old each help with "dusting." They get a rag and do low items and window sills. My 4 yo helps fold towels, diapers, and matches socks. He also gets his own dust pan and brush to help sweep inside and out. He loves to help vacuum and can use my Dyson Ball because it is so light. He helps water the plants and unload the dishwasher. I also pay the kids in pennies and nickels for their chores and help them learn to spend, save, and give out of that. I've got a chore list by age and a chore payment chart that I could email to you.

I plan a monthly menu based on what is in my freezer and pantry. Then I make up weekly grocery lists using my cookbooks and the menu. I stick these all in a drawer and keep a dry erase pad on the fridge for the little extras that pop up (Running out of mustard or somebody requests a specific cereal) This really helps me keep on budget and only have to go to the store once a week.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.L.

answers from Dallas on

The only thing that has worked for me was to make a daily schedule. It was not to extensive but helped me focus and ensure that these things were at least getting done once a week. (I will list my sample schedule below and you can just customize it.) I knew that if nothing else I got something checked off my list for the week. It also kept me from running around doing little things in each room all day and not being able to tell I got anything accomplished.

Monday- errands, any chores outside the home, shopping etc.
Tuesday- laundry wash and put away
Wednesday- clean bathroom
Thursday- detail clean kitchen
Friday- dust house and clean living room
Saturday- quick pick up/tidy of house. work on 1 room 15 min
Sunday- quick pick up/ tidy of house
Everday- dishes, swiffer floor, anything else you have time for.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I love Flylady.com for this. Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches