Life has a way of getting ahead of all of us. Whether it’s keeping up with your kids’ schedule or a combination of work and home, it’s easy to fall behind with the everyday, mundane tasks. Unfortunately, a cluttered, dirty home can contribute to stress, which only makes keeping up that much harder.
A solid cleaning schedule can keep you on track. Schedules let you plan the most labor-intensive cleaning on days you have more time. It also helps you divvy out chores according to which family members are available on certain days. The trick is to make a schedule part of your routine, and we’ve got some tips to help.
Make a List
You’ll be surprised by how many cleaning tasks you really do. We’re not just talking about the daily things like wiping counters and picking up toys. We’re talking about cleaning the fridge and freezer, dusting, and sanitizing door handles too. A lot goes into the upkeep of a home.
Start by taking a walk through your home and making a list that includes everything from sorting laundry to scrubbing the bathroom sink and dusting the baseboards. Then, separate them by how frequently you would like to have them done—daily, weekly, or monthly.
Create a Chart for your Cleaning Schedule
The next step is to create a chart onto which you can place all the jobs from your list. Some people prefer a checklist while others do better with a calendar. You can use a combination of both if that works better for you. But create a visual representation onto which you can rearrange tasks until you find a layout that works for you.
Doling Out the Chores
Here’s where you’ll need to do some coordinating. Take a look at your family’s schedule and arrange tasks according to when there are free blocks of time. From there, you’ll be assigning chores.
Everyone can have a few daily tasks that include picking up shoes, backpacks, or toys and one daily cleaning assignment like wiping down the bathroom counter. Another option is to have one or two family cleaning afternoons or evenings when everyone works together to check several items off the list.
How frequently you need to do certain tasks will largely depend on your lifestyle. If you vacuum seal your meals, your freezer might be cleaner than average and may only need cleaning once every other month or so. Large families may need to include organizing the pantry once a week. Space tasks so that you’re happy with how frequently they get done but far enough apart that they don’t feel overwhelming.
You’re probably not going to get it right the first time. If you’re working with kids, you might have to create a rotating schedule so everyone gets a crack at the least popular jobs like scrubbing the toilet. Keep an open mind (and chart that can be reprinted) and be ready to make adjustments as you find what does and doesn’t work for your schedule.
A cleaning schedule isn’t a binding contract. It’s a set of guidelines to help you keep track of what needs to be done. It’s also a way to make sure that cleaning the home isn’t left to one person. Sharing responsibility takes the bulk of the load off your shoulders and shares it with everyone. Children learn how to take care of themselves and their possessions while partners support each other in building a supportive environment.