A long time ago I told you I would post about cleaning schedule options I have used for the mommy years. Before I begin the practical suggestions here, I want you to know that I probably only use a structured house work routine half of the time. The other half of the time I just clean whatever needs the most attention. I will say, however, that I prefer the housework schedule for one main reason: when I’m finished my work for the day, I’m finished. When I’m not using a schedule that whole “always-something-else-to-clean” thing drives me crazy and it feels like there is never an end to the house work to be done.
I love change and become bored without it, so I have changed between the following methods over the years.
1. Floor of the House Approach. This approach designates a floor of the house for each day of the week. My schedule (when I use this approach) looks like this:
Monday: menu planning, grocery shopping
Tuesday: main floor
Thursday: main floor
Saturday: laundry catch up; change sheets (honestly, this doesn’t happen weekly for the kids because they sleep on top of their made bed with blankets 🙂 ).
Each of these floors gets vacuumed, dusted, and the bathroom cleaned on the day that it falls on. Mind you, I have kids old enough to do these chores, so if it sounds like too much, just modify it. My upstairs and basement only get dusted monthly at best. You may not need to vacuum as much either. We have burgundy carpet throughout (not my choice, but actually rather pretty) so the main floor could be vacuumed everyday. But because it’s not on my list everyday, I don’t feel the pressure to do it.
2. Chore of the Day Approach. Like the ladies of old, this designates a certain chore to certain days. I haven’t used this for a while now, so I’m a bit rusty, but the schedule may look like this:
Monday: errands, grocery shopping
Tuesday: laundry, ironing
Wednesday: Bathroom cleaning day
Thursday: vacuuming day
Friday: dusting day
Saturday: laundry, scrub kitchen floor
3. Major Cleaning Day. Honestly, I used this more before I had children, but it might work if you have a friend to take the little guys for a while so you can do some serious cleaning (maybe a tradeoff thing). Simply maintain your home during the rest of the week. You probably want to keep up on laundry and keep things picked up at the end of each day. Then, one day a week do the whole nine yards: vacuum what needs it, dust, scrub some bathrooms, etc. If you’re not a perfectionist, you could probably do this in a couple of hours…as long as it’s basically picked up before you get started.
4. Default Mode. This is what I always default to, which I’m fine about. Basically, consider the schedule for the week. Am I going to be near Aldis anytime? Will Jason be out of town? Am I hosting a meeting? Are we going out of town? After considering the schedule, I will decide what days are best to do whatever. If I’m having a meeting, my emphasis for housework will be on the floor that the meeting is on. If Jason is out of town, I might do more organizational-type stuff and let the rest of the house suffer a bit. If I’m going to be near a store like Aldis or BJ’s I might just run in real quick rather than have an official grocery day. If we’re going to be out of town and the kids are staying at home with a sitter, my emphasis will be laundry, and freezer meals. You see what I mean? It is less scheduled, so more things fall through the cracks – like dusting the basement…but I’m not a cleany-type, so that’s fine with me.
When my children were little, this work around the house mostly happened when the kids were sleeping, or when they were watching videos. Otherwise, it was interrupted a lot…which is fine if you’re expecting that it may take all day to dust one floor.
One last thing. When I was first trying to grow in the area of home management, a friend of mine and I decided to coordinate our cleaning schedules. We would call once in a while to see if the other had done the chores for the day. It was fun knowing that I wasn’t alone in my efforts, and the accountability/commaradary was great.
What is your approach to housework?