About a month ago I asked the question “Can you have a clean house with toddlers?” Well, I looked into what “should” be cleaned on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and I found a lot of different weekly schedule ideas. But none of them really appealed to me. Most of them were either just too set in stone, or they had you cleaning something every day. Blah!
Well, I’ve had some time to not only come up with a house cleaning schedule that works for me, but to try it out for a couple weeks to really make sure it is manageable. I like the fact that my schedule allows me to be flexible – in case the weather is perfect for a zoo outing or it’s just “one of those days”.
So here’s my schedule:
Monday or Tuesday: Dust, Vacuum, Change Bedding/Vacuum Mattress/Wash Sheets, Sanitize Toys (I just spray ’em with Lysol)
Wednesday: Laundry (?)
Thursday or Friday: Vacuum, Vacuum Couches/Chairs
Saturday or Sunday: Clean Bathrooms, Laundry
So far I’ve been doing all the Monday or Tuesday stuff on Monday, making it a busy morning, but leaving Tuesday completely free. And I’ve even found a way to do most of it while involving the kids – making sure they aren’t messing up some other area as I clean. Since I strip the beds down on Monday I let them use that time to jump on my bed while I put clean sheets on their beds. They love it, and it wears them out a bit. Then I just vacuum off the mattress and start with the other vacuuming.
I’ve been doing the Thursday or Friday stuff all on one day, too, giving me another free day to just enjoy being with the kids, which is the reason I’m a SAHM, not so my house can be spotless, right? Turns out my daughter loves to use the cordless hand vac to do the couches for me, and she does a pretty decent job. My son, on the other hand, just loves to ride on top of the big vac…
Of course these are just the weekly things I’ve found on numerous sites, like this one with the Ultimate House Cleaning Schedule. I didn’t include the things that need done every day, like the dishes. I’ve been trying to get them put into the dishwasher at the end of each meal as the kids are finishing up. This has worked a lot better for me than to just let them all pile up until evening, which was getting pretty overwhelming. Some of the cleaning schedules I looked at also suggested doing laundry every day. It’s just not my style. For one, I have a big problem getting laundry put away after it’s clean, so I’d rather just have to try to do that a few times a week. For another, I like to have full loads. It’s just easier for me to throw all the whites in a basket and the various colors in baskets and when it looks like a load, toss ‘em in to wash. Hence, I have laundry written on my list a couple times – but if it doesn’t seem to need to be done that day, I’ll skip it and do it another day.
Straightening/tidying up was also something that popped up as something to be done each day… I had some great ideas on this given to me in the comments of On My Way to a Cleaner House (They may just make it to another post…) I have incorporated a “five minutes before bedtime quick clean up” where we try to get the kids to help pick up toys before they start their bedtime routine. I’ve also been trying to be more diligent in tossing junk mail and removing the other accumulating clutter from the kitchen table each day. I guess there is no quick magic fix there, just to keep on it before it gets out of hand.
That leaves the monthly items I kept finding on various cleaning lists, like cleaning out the refrigerator and wiping down its shelves, cleaning cabinet fronts, cleaning the air filter, etc. Since I have several days that aren’t really labeled on my weekly list I can throw one of those in there. But I generally just fit it into what I’m doing. When groceries come home I take time to toss out old food and wipe down necessary shelves. Since this actually happens more often than once a month, the grime hasn’t built up and it’s easier to wipe out. I usually wipe any spills off my cabinets when I see them. I’ll save the real polishing for my twice a year “big cleaning”. And, lucky me, my husband does the air filter. Woo-hoo!