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Is this a realistic cleaning schedule?
I truly believe it is possible to keep a clean and tidy home even when you have young children. The weekly cleaning schedule I use, which you can grab at the bottom of the post, works for even the most hectic households.
As a stay-at-home mom to three kids at home, I can promise we create a lot of messes and yet I am still able to maintain a clean and tidy home.
It is important to remember that anything worth having is going to take a little bit of effort. You cannot simply wish to have a clean home, you have to actually put in the work.
You can’t just print out the schedule and expect things to happen. You must show up, do the work every day, and only then will you be able to have the clean home you envision.
What is keeping you from having a clean home already?
It’s important to address why you are having a problem keeping a clean home, with or without an effective cleaning routine. I’ve found that it is usually one of two problems. Either you have too much stuff and have become overwhelmed or you aren’t using your time in the best ways.
The good news is both of these are totally fixable things.
However, in order for a real change to take place, we have to acknowledge the areas where we are struggling and decide to put in the work.
It will be work. Raising children and running a home is work. Real work. You can either do the work or use an excuse as to why it’s not getting done.
“Excuse the mess the children are making memories” immediately comes to my mind.
If you want a messy home that’s your deal, but if you are reading this post I imagine that you have found yourself pretty tired of living in a mess. Kids are messy. When you are at home with your kids all day your house is going to take the brunt of your children’s messy nature. It’s okay. Kids can still be kids and you can still have a clean home.
The two CAN go together.
How to overcome excuses on why your home isn’t clean.
Changing your mindset about homemaking.
You need to get all these excuses out of your mind. Today’s society has made it appropriate for us to have messy homes because we are just too busy. That’s just not true y’all. We aren’t too busy. We just prioritize it so low on the chart.
Change the way you think about homemaking.
Stop looking at cleaning as a burden and start seeing it as a blessing that you have a home to maintain. A safe, clean place for your children to grow up. An inviting place for friends and family to visit. An oasis for you in this crazy world we live in.
Knowing the difference between cluttered, messy, and dirty.
Clutter are things you don’t need that are taking up space in your home and mind.
Mess are things you use that have managed to get out of their “homes”.
Dirty is a lack of cleanliness, grime, filth, and trash.
Clutter and messes are not ideal but they are liveable. Dirtiness is never okay.
How to deal with clutter
Dealing with clutter is not an easy, quick fix. Dealing with clutter is a slow process but one I think is critically important to have a simplified life. Check out these posts to get some expert tips on dealing with clutter.
- How to Handle Guilt from Decluttering
- How to Talk to Kids About Toy Clutter and Minimizing
- How to Tell Family Not to Buy Any More Toys for Your Kids
- Minimize Kids Clothing? The Reasons Why Might Surprise You.
- Get Rid of The Toys – Infinite Benefits For Children
- How to Let Go Of Your Possessions and Find Real Happiness
- Why Consumerism Hinders Minimalism Goals & How You Correct it
How to deal with mess
This post is about creating a cleaning routine, but creating a routine to deal with daily messes is important too. While my printable cleaning schedule mostly deals with dirty, there are also “picking up” aspects incorporated into it.
Having too much mess will directly impact how dirty your home becomes so you want to make sure you are dealing with a mess on a regular basis.
How to deal with dirty.
Your home should never be dirty. Period. There is no excuse for allowing yourself or your children to live in a dirty home. Think back to your own childhood and the memories of your own home. Do you have memories of it being a safe space or a cluttered, dirty, anxiety-filled home?
Now think about the memories you want your own children to have. Are any of those negative feelings ones you want your children to carry?
Who benefits from a clean home?
Everyone who lives or visits your home benefits when it is clean.
Personally, a dirty home gives me anxiety. When I am anxious, my mood then affects everyone else in my home.
Your children deserve a clean place to play, sleep, do homework, or whatever.
Your husband should be able to come home to a place where he can relax.
Your family and friends should be able to spend time with you in your home without becoming anxious or distressed themselves.
Why should you break down cleaning into a weekly schedule?
Time management is important to me, and I personally think it should be important to you as well.
My main purpose in starting this blog was to teach mothers of young children how to simplify their lives in order to create more time to spend on the things that bring them joy.
Cleaning, while important, is probably not super high on your list of things that bring you joy.
Doesn’t it make more sense to schedule your home cleaning workload out to create as little impact on your time as possible?
I remember as a child we would spend hours on Saturday cleaning our home. Granted, it was a rather large home but I look back now and wish we had used that time to do something a little more fulfilling.
Using a weekly cleaning schedule you can break the hours of cleaning down into manageable, bite-sized chunks that still allow you to have a fulfilling life.
What household cleaning chores should be done every single day?
While cleaning the toilets only appears once on the weekly cleaning schedule there are various items that must be completed every single day both for hygienic reasons as well as to keep a handle on the “mess”.
There are items to be done first thing in the morning and others that should be done prior to going to bed, which you will see designated on the cleaning routine printable at the end of the post.
Each day you should be:
- Making beds
- loading and emptying the dishwasher (or washing by hand)
- Doing laundry – start to finish
- Animal chores if applicable
- Scheduling your plans for the day
- Tidying your eating spaces
- Tidying up play spaces
- Quick sweep or vacuum of your floors
- Taking out the trash
How much time should you spend cleaning every day?
My cleaning schedule printable is created so you can spend about an hour a day cleaning, including laundry. Obviously, your own personal life may change this number but again remember, we are trying to simplify this chore in order to maximize our time. So just get it done as quickly as possible given your OWN circumstances.
How will a cleaning schedule make things easier?
A cleaning schedule is meant to make things easier for you. It should free up your time. It should give you more of those fun mess-making times with your kids and less time doing household tasks. It does not have to be complex. In fact, it should be as simple as possible.
One benefit of having a printable cleaning schedule that came as a surprise for me is that my husband can jump in and help if needed. No more of the “what do you need help with?” he can just take a look at the tasks for the day and do them.
What are the best tools to keep a clean home?
My husband and I are suckers for gadgets! While all of my tools are not completely necessary they do help with time savings.
For example, is an iRobot Roomba i6+ necessary? Absolutely not. However, I love to run mine in our playroom while I do morning school drop off and through the rest of the house during afternoon drop off.
We love our Dyson vacuums. When we had carpets we used the full-size vacuum and now we use the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner for our tile floors.
I don’t know that I could live without my BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop. I’ve tried several other brands but this one works the best.
For small quick mopping, I use the ecloth mop. I love it because I don’t have to use any additional chemicals on my floors and never have to worry about babies crawling around at my home.
I also have almost all the cleaning cloths that ecloth offers. They really are quite amazing and require ZERO cleaning products!
What are my favorite “green” cleaning brands?
I don’t use a ton of cleaning products because I am mildly afraid of chemicals. My daughter is a cancer survivor so I am super conscious of our products.
Brands I love are:
- Mrs. Myers (I have researched these on EWG and as the risk is mostly with fragrance I am okay with most of their products)
- Essential oils from Edens Garden (I use these in lue of candles and on my steam mop to add a little scent when I mop)
Where should you store cleaning supplies?
Using Ecloth has really cut down on my storage needs. Each bathroom has a little bucket with cleaning cloths, toilet scrubbers, and magic erasers.
I also have a few refill bottles of cleaner and dish soap that I store in my laundry room.
I keep my essential oils on a lazy Susan in my kitchen.
Should young kids help with cleaning? Is this a family cleaning schedule?
Absolutely. I have gotten grief in the past for requiring my kids to clean their own rooms and such but I really do feel like it is a life skill they need to be learning.
They are responsible for picking up their own toys, putting away their folded laundry, taking their dishes to the sink, and a few other small chores.
They also volunteer to help me do other tasks fairly often. My 2-year-old likes to help change out the laundry, my 4 year old loves to mop and my 6-year-old likes to help do the dishes.
Should your husband help with housekeeping?
My husband works out of town so I don’t really like to rely on him because his schedule is very volatile. He is not opposed to helping however and can do anything that’s needed around our house.
How much time should you spend cleaning per day?
My goal is to spend less then an hour cleaning per day.
I wake up in the morning and do my morning chores while I make coffee and get the kids ready for school.
I usually finish up with laundry when I get home from drop off and go ahead and work on whatever the weekly task is.
Then I am done until about dinner time and that’s when the kids and I start working on the end of day tasks.
When is the best time of day to clean with kids at home?
I think this will be different for everyone depending on what season you are in. Right now I have two kids in school and one at home. I can spread things out a bit more at this stage. There were times when I had all the kids at home or when I had a newborn where I was just cleaning in little spurts throughout the day.
My advice is just to get it done at the first available opportunity. Don’t keep putting it off because life happens and then it just never gets done.
Ready to make a huge change with the weekly cleaning schedule??
I want my kids to see that I keep a clean home but I don’t want to miss time with them in order to do so. I want to be able to schedule a last min playdate and not have to skip it because my house is a wreck. I want to feel like I can take care of my family AND my home and not have to choose one over the other. I want cleaning my home to take less time.
Get access to the FREE printable weekly cleaning schedule and more when you sign up for our newsletter. Enter your email below and you’ll receive your printable weekly cleaning schedule immediately. Weekly emails from The Graceful Olive also provide you with deep cleaning chores to keep you super on top of maintaining a simple cleaning routine. These are reminders such as “replace your air filter”, “change your toothbrush” and “schedule to have your dryer vent cleaned out”.