Take the Weekdays Off: The Complete Weekend-Only Cleaning Plan

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Keeping your home clean is less about being born naturally obsessed with cleaning and more about finding the schedule that works with the way you live in your home. Though there are a number of methods to keeping one's house clean throughout the week and month (like cleaning a little bit everyday, for example), this is a plan you can follow to keep your house regularly clean without lifting a vacuum or mop on the weekdays. How? Jump below for the full set of ideas and a schedule to help you keep your house healthy and fresh in only an hour or two of cleaning per weekend.

This plan's not for everyone. But if you've got a short attention span for cleaning, a bad habit of skipping cleaning chores you hate and an aversion to spending your time after work on weekdays scrubbing, you might find something you can use in this weekend-only cleaning schedule. The idea is to make sure every room gets a good cleaning once a month while regularly mixing in weekly cleaning tasks each weekend.

The benefits of weekend-only cleaning: Those who entertain in their home on the weekend can enjoy a home clean and ready for guests. Cleaning on the weekend totally counts as exercising. And depending on how big your home is or how many people live in it (I imagine folks with kids or roommates might need to do a lot of adjusting to these ideas) you may be able to get the cleaning done each weekend in an hour or so and not waste any weekday free time (which there usually seems like less of) on intense cleaning tasks.

How to get away with weekend-only cleaning (or what you will have to do on weekdays):

  • Quickly wiping down the kitchen counters and stove after cooking and the bathroom sink after brushing teeth will make cleaning surfaces on the weekend quick because you're not having to scrub anything too hard, just wipe it clean.
  • Picking up any visibly large "things" that end up on the floor, like leaves, coins, pieces of paper etc. will make it easier to vacuum quickly, too.
  • Cat owners may occasionally have to sweep when their cat does that thing when they dart out the litter box like a rocket, leaving a trail of litter across the floor.
  • Having enough sheet sets so you can put fresh ones on every week and enough towels to last awhile helps cut down on laundry tasks.
  • Tame clutter and pick-up throughout the week: Clothes off the floor and into the hamper. The dishes cleaned after cooking and eating. Things put away after being used.

HOW TO DO IT
Divide weekend cleaning into four home sections; at least once a month each section gets a thorough cleaning. But, I always leave time (5 - 20 minutes) to clean any hot spots that need extra attention or do the chores I like to complete on a weekly basis (for me it's quickly vacuuming my entire apartment, for you it might be toilet scrubbing, windows, laundry, changing sheets or something else!). And of course, these are just ideas to consider — everyone's home cleaning needs are different!

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Weekend #1

This weekend do an overall home swipe/sweep/vacuum:

  • Do a good dusting (including places like ceiling fans and baseboards!)
  • Wipe down all surfaces and counters
  • Vacuum every room thoroughly (moving furniture around as needed to access hard-to-get spots)
  • Vacuum the furniture, blinds and curtains with a vacuum attachment
  • Mop every room (scrubbing any stains or sticky spots extra. Yes get behind the fridge, too.)
  • Clean out cat litter/pet areas
  • Take out all the trash and wipe down the trash cans before putting new bags in
  • Tidy up / put things away
  • Last 5 - 20 minutes: Your weekly clean must-have (Like sweeping, vacuuming, dusting or scrubbing anything in any room that you prefer doing on a weekly basis.)
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Weekend #2

This weekend focus on the more private spaces in your home:

  • Wash all bedding, including sheets, pillow cases, quilts, mattress pad and even pillows.
  • Do clothes laundry
  • Extra dusting and wiping of surfaces not usually cleaned like nightstand and dresser (bonus cleaning because they usually have to be tidied first)
  • Vacuum floor and curtains
  • Wipe door and doorknob to bedroom door
  • Put things back in place in the closet
  • In a home office: Vacuum curtains, wipe down desk and computer keyboard and quickly file anything that needs to be filed away
  • Last 5 - 20 minutes: Your weekly clean must-have (Like sweeping, vacuuming, dusting or scrubbing anything in any room that you prefer doing on a weekly basis.)
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Weekend #3

This weekend focus on the kitchen & bathroom:

In the bathroom:

  • Wash the bathroom rugs, towels and washcloths
  • Scrub the toilet
  • Spray and scrub the shower really well
  • Scrub the shower curtain liner if it's getting grimy
  • Wipe mirrors
  • Put all under counter stuff back in order
  • Throw away any empty bottles of shampoo and make note of things running low
  • Sweep and mop if needed

In the kitchen:

  • Throw away old food in fridge, wipe down shelves, make note of what needs to go on the grocery shopping list
  • Wash counters, paying attention to spots that don't get wiped down normally like the wall next to the stove and corners behind appliances
  • Clean the oven and stove
  • Pay special attention to the area around the trash can, cleaning the wall or floor around it
  • Do a wipe-down once-over on the cabinets doors
  • Scrub the sink
  • Tidy cabinets and pantry
  • Clean the inside of the microwave out
  • Sweep and mop if needed
  • Take out all the trash
  • Last 5 - 20 minutes: Your weekly clean must-have (Like sweeping, vacuuming, dusting or scrubbing anything in any room that you prefer doing on a weekly basis.)
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Weekend #4

This weekend, focus on the more public spaces in your home:

  • Put the entryway/landing strip in order
  • Clean up pet areas (like pet bed or litter box)
  • If the weather's nice, improve curb appeal by sweeping off front porch, pruning and watering plants and dusting off the welcome mat
  • Wipe the coffee table and dining table down and straighten books, collectibles
  • Dust all accessories
  • Vacuum
  • Fluff pillows, fold throw blankets, tidy up the space
  • One more quick swipe of the bathroom surfaces like sink, counter and toilet
  • Last 5 - 20 minutes: Your weekly clean must-have (Like sweeping, vacuuming, dusting or scrubbing anything in any room that you prefer doing on a weekly basis.)

Feel free to chime in with your cleaning schedule and how it works for you and your home!

(Image credits: Adrienne Breaux)

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