Life is busy. But even though you’re short on time, you want a clean and orderly home. Because when you’re busy and stressed, a messy home is only going to make you anxious (and cranky, if you’re anything like me).
You need a realistic cleaning schedule that helps you keep your house clean and organized without demanding a big chunk of your life.
And you’ve come to the right place.
Because this simple cleaning schedule will keep your house clean in an hour or less of cleaning a day.
Without demanding hours of wiping out cabinets, scrubbing baseboards, or dusting your ceilings. Without overwhelming you to the point where you’re so paralyzed, the only thing you can do is watch Netflix and pretend the mess doesn’t exist.
HOW DO I KEEP MY HOUSE CLEAN WITH A BUSY SCHEDULE?
If you’ve ever plopped on the couch and exhaustedly looked over the messy landscape of your home and felt only despair, I feel you.
I was a mom of 4 kids 4 and under, working evenings, when I first decided I needed a simple cleaning schedule or else. Or else I’d have to accept that my house would forever look like it was hit by a tornado.
I searched online, and what I found was overwhelming. I had 4 tiny kids, a ton of responsibilities, and a chaotic house.
Putting on mascara felt like a great achievement. How on earth was I going to follow a cleaning schedule made for a 1950s housewife who spent hours and hours cleaning each day?
But luckily, I figured out how to keep a clean home, even with a crazy busy schedule. And you can too.
Here’s how you do it:
A REALISTIC CLEANING SCHEDULE YOU CAN STICK WITH
This schedule is designed to keep your home clean and stay up on laundry by doing simple core tasks every single day. Additionally, you’ll do one extra chore from a rotating list in order to hit all the major areas of your home.
Doing this makes it easy to keep a clean home. As a working mom of 4 kids, I find that following this schedule really keeps my house clean with just a little effort.
All these tasks take just a few minutes, but make a big difference.
Every morning, you will:
- Make your bed: Making your bed gives you an immediate sense of accomplishment and makes your room look neat.
- Unload the dishwasher: Or assign the chore to your child/spouse.
- Clean up after breakfast: Taking care of the kitchen keeps kitchen messes from getting out of hand and makes dinner clean up much easier.
At some point during the day, you will:
- Do 15 minutes of laundry: Throw in a load, and fold and put away the load washed the day before. In a family of 6, this is all it takes to stay up on laundry…and sometimes I skip a day!
- The day’s chore:
- Monday: bedrooms
- Tuesday: bathrooms
- Wednesday: floors
- Thursday: fridge and pantry
- Friday: clean surfaces, declutter, & dust
- Weekend: wash sheets, plan meals, vacuum car
Personally, I do these things in the morning after cleaning up breakfast.
Then each evening, you (and your family) will:
- Load the dishwasher and run it: I always run it if it’s at least half full. Otherwise, it throws off the schedule and dishes will stack up like crazy the next day and get overwhelming.
- Clean the kitchen: clean and wipe surfaces, sweep & spot mop (if necessary)
- 10-minute quick clean: Before the bedtime routine, set the timer and do a 10-minute power clean through the whole house.
TIPS TO IMPLEMENT THIS HOME CLEANING SCHEDULE
1. Block out time to clean each day.
If you don’t schedule it, it probably won’t happen. So schedule in time daily to clean. I recommend blocking out some time in the morning and some time in the evening. You can even use this free daily planner template to totally plan your day. And bonus, the daily chores are already listed!
I typically block out 20-40 minutes in the morning to do the bulk of the cleaning. I’ll do my morning chores, my 15-minutes of laundry (or 5 depending on what there is), and knock out the chore of the day.
Then immediately after dinner each night, the whole family helps with the evening chores.
2. Get Your Family Involved.
Having kids involved in housekeeping not only makes your life easier, it teaches them valuable skills, and gives them self esteem as they feel they make vital contributions to the household.
Even small children are capable of helping with keeping this schedule!
Here’s how you can get your family involved in helping with the cleaning schedule:
- Get everyone to help clean up breakfast. (Even my 2 year-old takes her dishes to the sink)
- Put on some fun music and include everyone in the 10-minute quick clean at the end of the day (we keep a special “cleaning playlist”)
- Older children (and spouses) can be assigned dishes
- Children should clean their own rooms, while you supervise and give the thumbs-up.
SIMPLE CLEANING HABITS TO KEEP YOUR HOUSE CLEAN
In addition to this simple daily cleaning routine, developing a few simple habits will go a long way to keeping your home clean with minimal time and effort.
Here are some habits that will help keep your house clean:
- The 1-Minute Rule: Anything that can be done in under a minute, you should do it right away. This keeps clutter from forming and small tasks from multiplying and becoming too overwhelming.
- 10-Minute Power Clean: When you’re motivated, it’s downright incredible how much you can accomplish in 10 minutes. When faced with a big mess, set a timer and attack it for just 10 minutes and see how much you can get done. Don’t feel like you have to commit to cleaning the entire mess (which is often paralyzing). Just commit to 10 minutes.
- Always carry something: As you are moving around your house, get in the habit of never being empty-handed. Instead, always carry out-of-place items and move them closer to their destination. Like if you’re going upstairs, carry some items that need to make the trip up. You don’t need to put it away—just get it closer to its destination. Eventually everything gets put away. This habit take no extra time and keeps clutter from forming.
- Don’t fold your kids’ clothes: I’ve found that folding my kids’ clothes is a waste of time since they just rummage through their drawers constantly. I usually have them fold their own clothes (as a matter of principle). Otherwise, I just stick their clothes in their drawers.
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WHAT TO DO WHEN LIFE GETS CRAZY
Inevitably, you’re going to go through an especially crazy season where everything feels like it’s falling apart and you completely neglect any housekeeping duties.
As easy as this cleaning schedule is, you’re probably going to fall off the wagon at some point. Because you’re human and life happens. And you’re busy.
But it’s okay.
Here’s what you can do:
- Don’t beat yourself up: You’re totally normal and being unkind to yourself is unproductive. EVERYONE has a crazy messy house at some point.
- Make a plan to get on track: Figure out what you can do to get back to the cleaning schedule. Maybe you start with doing one task every day and building from there.
- Reset: If you have a couple of hours and just want to attack the mess once and for all, open the windows, throw on some music and go to town. If you want extra help follow this guide for how to clean your house when it’s a disgusting mess with a free checklist.
- Do something every day. Even if it’s folding one shirt and making your bed. Small steps daily will go a long way.
DOWNLOAD THIS REALISTIC CLEANING SCHEDULE
To make it easier for you, I created a free printable you can download. Snag this free simple cleaning schedule and put it up somewhere in your house where you can see it. And then get started!
With just a few minutes a day, you really can keep your house clean and organized.
You’ve got this!