Create a Cleaning Schedule You'll Actually Follow
Cleaning doesn't have to be stressful.
Cleaning routines are a great for enforcing positive habits around the house. Do it enough, and the routine will soon become a habit you won't even dread doing. To start, create a routine that fits in with your living situation.
Create a Checklist
Start by identifying all the tasks that need to get done. Grab your notebook or laptop and walk to each room. Take a look around and list tasks that you would like to get done.
Identify the Cleaning Frequency
When you're done creating your checklist, go through the list and identify how often each task needs to be completed. Is it daily? Weekly? Monthly?
Create Daily Habits
The easiest way to maintain a clean living environment is to start with simple activities you can do everyday. Turning these daily tasks into habits will ensure that these areas are clean at all times and reduce the number of tasks for later on in the week or month.
Here are a few habits you can start with:
Make the bed.
Wipe down the bathroom sinks and counters after use.
Wipe down the kitchen sink and area after use.
Wash the dishes or load the dishes into the dishwasher after each meal.
Clean up the clutter. Tidy up areas of the house where a mess can be cleaned up in a few minutes, put the books back on the shelves, clothes onto hangers, school supplies back into backpacks, or toys back into the bin.
Create a Weekly/Monthly Schedule
Once your daily tasks have been taken care of, your home will start to look a little cleaner. Of course, there are the tasks that require more time and dedication and that's when your weekly or monthly cleaning schedule will come in. Spread out the tasks throughout the weeks, and save the bigger tasks for the weekend when you have more time, to ensure that you don't get overwhelmed at the end of the month.
Weekly tasks to consider:
Do the laundry.
Clean the bathroom.
Sweep or mop the floors. Do this yourself or try a robot vacuum that will clean and mop the floors when you tell it to.
Dust the shelves, blinds, curtains, and baseboards.
Clean the windows.
Clean the mirrors.
Monthly tasks to consider:
Change the bedsheets. It's advised to wash the bedsheets once every two weeks.
Clean and organize the fridge. Clean up any spills or crumbs that have been sitting for too long. Also look out for any products that may have gone bad or expired.
Wipe down all appliance surfaces.
Deep clean the sofa or any furniture.
Change any filters on the vacuum cleaner or air conditioners. If you have a robot vacuum, be sure to change the filters on them as well.
Clean the light fixtures.
Dust the air vents.
Review and Reflect
Sticking with a routine can take some time, and studies say it could take anywhere from 21-66 days to fully develop a new habit. Try out your new cleaning routine for a few weeks to see what works and what doesn't. Maybe you're more productive in the morning or maybe Sundays are better for cleaning. Start slowly and make adjustments to your schedule as you go. When you see your home starting to come together, the reward of a clean living space will inspire you to keep at it with a cleaning schedule.
Keep the seasons in mind. Account for the seasons when creating your cleaning schedule. For example, save the decluttering and organizing for spring cleaning, and the window cleaning for the summer months.
Be flexible, and adapt. Life happens and it's ok if you skipped a task one day. Make up for it the next day. Understand what works best with your schedule and don't add unnecessary pressure on yourself.
Use your free days. Say you finished all your cleaning on Saturday and the rest of your weekend is free. You could use Sunday as a day to rest, or spend time with the family, or even get a head start on next weeks tasks.
Leave multiple cleaning supplies around the house as a reminder to clean. Chances are, if your cleaning supplies are in one part of the house, you could forget about them or even get too lazy to go get them. We see you, lazy cleaners.