Are you a busy mom who struggles to keep the house clean? (this is a rhetorical question because, really, aren’t we all?) Do you need a cleaning schedule for busy moms that’s simple and won’t make you feel overwhelmed? Than keep reading.
I have a love hate relationship with cleaning. I love having a clean house, but I hate actually cleaning it. Well, maybe hate is a strong word. I have been known to rage clean on occasion and that can feel soooooo good.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this regard. Cleaning a house, especially one that is lived in by people and pets, can be overwhelming, frustrating, and for some reason is a real source of guilt! Over the years I have come up with a cleaning routine that I use that makes staying on top of things less…ugh.
Having this schedule also makes keeping the house clean less overwhelming. Before I had this routine I always felt like I should be doing something everyday, but I didn’t really know what I should be doing!
Now I know exactly how often I need to clean certain things in order to maintain some kind of order. Over the years I’ve also fallen into a routine for which days are the best for accomplishing certain tasks, especially those on the weekly list. Is my house perfectly neat every minute of every day? Hell no! Remember, I have 2 small kids at home! But I have a plan that is easy, reasonable and ensures we are not overwhelmed with mess.
If you’re looking a way to spring clean your house to start with a clean slate, check out my tips for How To Spring Clean a Messy House.
I’ve broken this down by how often I do each task. I promise you, once you get a schedule in place, you will be less overwhelmed on the daily and you I’ve also created a cheat sheet of this list.
Clean the Kitchen
The whole house looks and smells better when the kitchen is clean. It’s also a total bummer to wake up in the morning to a sink full of dishes. You feel me?
This usually happens once a day at the end of the day.
If I cleaned up in the kitchen after every meal/snack I would literally be cleaning the kitchen all day. Cleaning the kitchen includes:
- Washing all the dishes/running the dishwasher
- Putting things away, ie toaster
- Wiping down countertops
- Taking out the trash (sometimes this is every other day, it just depends.)
The 15 minute pick up
Before bath and bedtimes, the whole family participates in the 15 minute pickup. Everybody pitches in and helps. This means we all go around the main family living areas and pick things up and put them away. This includes counter tops and tables.
Related: How To Get Your Kids to Do Chores
I set a timer and we pick up for 15 minutes. I’ll stretch it to 20 minutes if things are hairy. I like to do this before bed because no one is messing the house up for at least 10 hours.
Keeping it to 15 minutes is a great way to overcome that overwhelming feeling. It’s like saying “15 minutes? I got this!”
Twice a week
It’s not the act of actually washing and drying the laundry that I mind. It’s the folding and putting away part. As much laundry as there is in our house, I try to do laundry only twice a week. I do a big laundry day one day on the weekend. I empty all the hampers and then I have a one load policy during the week. This way I don’t end up with baskets of unfolded or ready to put away clothes that stare at me all week.
So, pick your big laundry day and your mini laundry and day get it done!
Sometimes this needs to happen more than twice a week, especially if my kid pours out his shoe full of sand in the kitchen. But basically, I can get away with sweeping just twice a week. I usually stick to the main living areas like the kitchen the entryway and the breakfast nook.
I do a full clean of all the bathrooms every week. I do the works. Scrubbing showers, bathtubs, toilets. Finding the right tools for the job is important and can make this a quick and easy experience. I have bought a lot of different bathroom cleaners before I found one that really did the job. I’m embarrassed by how much time and money I’ve invested in bathroom cleaning products. I finally landed on Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds.
It’s more expensive upfront, but it’s a concentrated liquid so it lasts FOREVER. I have the 16 oz. bottle, I’m about 1/3 of the way through and I have had it for about 3 months. (I also use it as an all purpose cleaner). This is my favorite no scrub bathroom cleaner recipe using Sal Suds and here is a dilution cheat sheet and other uses.
Honestly the easiest cleaning task on this list. I bought a duster from the dollar store and I have never looked back. And now that the kids are older, they love helping with this job too!
It is absolutely amazing how much of a difference a clean floor makes. If I could only clean one thing (sign me up) I would always choose to clean the floors. Not only does the house look better, but it always smells better for a couple of days. This just reminds me of my efforts and makes it worth the sweat session.
Wipe down appliances and kitchen cabinets
I do this only once a week because the cabinets and appliances don’t get too funky. I may spot clean things if during the week someone takes their syrupy hand and runs it down the fridge. Otherwise, once a week is enough.
I guess this technically goes under laundry, but I separate this out because I only wash the sheets every two weeks. For some reason, the days I do the sheets, the kids always make big pillow and blanket nests or forts.This keeps them busy for quite awhile. Maybe I should start washing the sheets everyday!
Dust the blinds
My handy dandy duster comes out for dusting the blinds. Sometimes I need to break out the heavy duty cleaners if sticky fingers attacked the blinds.
Clean out the Fridge
I do a quick purge every week when I grocery shop, but this in when I get in there and wash the shelves, clean out the drawers and throw out the things we don’t need (or that have gone bad).
Why are there so many baseboards? This one is a real pain, but my little helpers have always liked cleaning baseboards so I usually have plenty of help. Score!
Windows, inside and out
If you haven’t cleaned your windows since you moved into your house you are missing out. No. I have not gone crazy. You will be amazed at how much yuck is on the inside of your windows and how much brighter your house will feel when you are done.
For the outside of the windows, I buy a window cleaner you attach to the house directly. You spray the cleaner on the windows, rinse with water, and you are done. The inside windows are even easier. Some paper towels and glass cleaner will do the trick.
Tip: I highly recommend getting your kids involved. Not only is it great to have helpers but it also teaches them responsibility and the importance of helping around the house. Listen, even a 3 year old can wipe down lower cabinets in the kitchen or help clean baseboards. Make it fun, put on some music or sing songs. It might take a bit longer, but it will keep them busy and let you get done what you need to. If your kids are older, you can let them earn money for each task.
This cleaning schedule for busy moms I developed has been a real motivator for me and I know it will set you on track for getting the house clean and maintaining it!
Looking for some simple ways to get you organized in all areas of your life? Check out my favorite 5 apps to get organized!