Keeping a clean home can be a difficult, never ending job. Between work and all of the other commitments that we all have on our plates, it can seem impossible to find time for house cleaning. I’ll be honest – I blog about this kind of stuff, and I still struggle with it from time to time. There have been many days in our house where dishes went undone, laundry was piled up, and our living room looked like a bomb went off – and we don’t even have kids yet! Sometimes (many times), after a long day at work, house cleaning is the last thing on my mind. Sometimes, all I want to do is crash on the couch and binge watch Friends on Netflix, you know? I used to struggle with this a lot more than I do now. It wasn’t until I figured out my own cleaning system that everything started to get easier. This system is what keeps me on track, even when I’m lacking the motivation (which happens a lot). The reason this system works for me is that it’s simple, practical for my lifestyle, and easy to follow even when I’m tired, busy, etc.
The holidays are coming up fast, and I know you have a lot on your mind besides house cleaning. So today I am going to share with you my system for maintaining a clean home, even when life gets chaotic. It doesn’t require much thought, and it helps to take some of the “work” out of cleaning. Follow this system and I promise you’ll make your life easier and your house cleaner in no time!
I’ve also included a free printable cleaning schedule at the end of this post to help keep you on track. Don’t forget to grab yours!
Do a Little Each Day
It helps tremendously if you can stay on top of a few small tasks each day. Even if you prefer to do most of your cleaning in one day, staying on top of a few simple things each day can make a huge difference. I’m talking about things like doing the dishes, wiping down the counters, etc.
For example, this is my typical daily chore list. I usually do all of these things every night after we’ve had dinner –
-Wash all dirty dishes
-One load of laundry
-Wipe down table and kitchen counters
-Organize all incoming mail/paperwork from that day
-Put away any objects that are out of place
-Clean litter box
These seven simple tasks take me around 30 minutes each night to complete if I stay on top of them every day. I usually throw the laundry in first and finish all the other chores while I wait for the laundry to finish up. The time and stress it saves me in the long run is so worth the extra 30 minutes out of my day.
Strategically Store Cleaning Supplies
Instead of hauling your cleaning supplies around the whole house, create cleaning baskets for each room or area in the home. Each basket should contain all the cleaning supplies you need for that room. You can find baskets at the dollar store that are perfect for this. This makes it super easy to clean something as soon as you notice it’s dirty. For example, if you’re standing in the bathroom and you notice that the toilet needs to be cleaned, you’re much more likely to quickly reach under the sink for the toilet cleaner than you are to walk across the whole house to get it.
I keep a cleaning basket in each bathroom and one in the kitchen. Each bathroom basket contains toilet cleaner, shower/tile cleaner, disposable wipes, a scrub brush, and some cleaning rags. The kitchen basket contains Bar Keeper’s Friend (for cleaning our farm sink), microfiber cloths, granite cleaner, baking soda and vinegar.
Break Down Larger Tasks
Tackling a whole house at once can be a daunting task. Try to make it a little easier on yourself by breaking down large tasks if possible. If you have a larger task that needs to be done such as cleaning the oven or deep cleaning the refrigerator, try to set aside some time (mark it on your calendar) to focus solely on that task. Leave the rest of your house cleaning chores for another day. Breaking larger tasks down into smaller ones makes house cleaning a little less overwhelming and much more manageable.
Stick to a Schedule
Having a cleaning schedule to follow also helps to make things a little more manageable. Write out your own or print out my free printable cleaning schedule and hang it on your fridge. Then you can just glance at it each day and know exactly what needs to be cleaned and when. It’s less for you to remember, and you’ll rest assured knowing that no part of your home is being forgotten.
Keep in mind though that your cleaning schedule will probably look a little different from anyone else’s depending on your home/lifestyle. My schedule is organized by daily, weekly, monthly, six month, and annual tasks. I look at the schedule first to see what needs to be done, then write out each task on my calendar when I know I’ll have time to do it. This routine is what works best for me, but yours may be different. Find what works for you and stick to it.
Make It Fun
Believe it or not, I have come to enjoy my cleaning days. I may not necessarily enjoy the task of cleaning, but I know that on my cleaning days I get to stay home in my comfy clothes and get stuff done. It also gives me a chance to focus solely on the task at hand and sort of shut my brain off to the rest of the world for a little while. I usually start by making a pot of coffee and turning on some music or Netflix. I love listening to reruns of my favorite shows while I’m cleaning. You could also listen to your favorite podcast or an audio book to help pass the time. Find ways like this that will help to make your cleaning time a little more enjoyable. You may even start to look forward to it!