The House that Cleans Itself: The Power of a Weekly Cleaning Schedule

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I’ve been using a cleaning schedule for a couple of years now, and when I’m good about keeping up with it, I really feel like my house cleans itself. With just a few 15-minute tasks a day, I have a presentable house pretty much all the time — and that’s not a small feat with three kids under 5, a dog, and two cats. Here's what makes it work for me...

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Good Enough Means Done

Don’t be too thorough. Aim to keep each task to 15 minutes. Do what you can do in that amount of time, a la Flylady. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you’ll get to it again next week (or sooner for chores you do more than once a week). Just get it done.

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Keep Cleaning Supplies Very Close

If it takes you 5 minutes just to gather up all your cleaning supplies, you’re wasting time you could be using to actually clean. Keep rags and cleaning products in each bathroom so you can easily grab and clean, for example, and house kitchen cleaning supplies under the sink.

Plan Strategically to Save Time

In addition to saving time by storing products where you use them, save time by how you use them. For instance, if you haul out the vacuum to clean your bedroom carpet, make that the day you vacuum all the bedroom carpets (rather than, say, cleaning your bedroom and bathroom in one day).

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Keep Yourself Accountable

Make a laminated printable and cross off items, or use an app. I love 2Do, pictured here on my Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. You will know exactly what you need to do every day, and you’ll feel accomplished crossing items off.

Cleaning Schedule

The following is my schedule. You can use it as a starting point, and within a week or two you’ll have a good sense of what you need to tweak:

Monday

  • Vacuum bedroom carpets
  • Wash bathroom towels
  • Clean common area floors

Tuesday

  • Master bathroom
  • Monthly to-do
  • Dust surfaces and clean glass doors

Wednesday

  • Clean common area floors
  • Outside pruning, sweeping, etc.
  • Wipe kitchen chairs

Thursday

  • Guest and kids’ bathrooms
  • Deep clean kitchen, sort through fridge
  • Vacuum bedroom carpets

Friday

  • Clean common area floors
  • Pick up desk, laundry room, mudroom
  • Wet mop kitchen

Saturday

  • Strip beds and wash bed linens
  • Monthly to-do
  • Pick up closets

Sunday

  • Rotate toys and books

Do you have a cleaning schedule? If so, what does it look like?

(Image credits: Alexis Buryk; Shifrah Combiths)

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