Monday, July 22, 2013

Organize Your Cleaning Schedule

If you hate cleaning, think of it as a way to get in your weekly exercise.  Because if there is anything I hate more it is knowing I need to exercise.  As I am running around the house, pushing the vacuum cleaner or scrubbing the shower doors, I try to remind myself that all this work is burning those calories up!  If that's not motivation enough for you - here are some simple tips and tricks I use to help my cleaning routine run more smoothly.  This won't work for everyone, but use what does work best for you and your family and stick with it.

If you are overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning your house needs, consider hiring some help.  If you can't afford to hire someone on a regular basis, then hire a professional for the big jobs like cleaning out the garage or shampooing the carpets.  Staying on top of your cleaning is crucial to staying organized.

First, start off by making a list of all the chores that need to be done around the house.  Break them down into daily, weekly and monthly to do's.  Then create a chore chart and have a family meeting to delegate the jobs.  Post the chart so everyone can see it on a daily basis.  I keep a master list in my Filofax.  The Daily Chores tend to be the same thing everyday.  That's what makes them daily!  For me, that includes making the bed, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning the sink and counter tops, washing the bathroom sinks and picking up misplaced items and putting them back where they belong. For the weekly chores, I tend to do these on the same day each week.  So, I always write in on my Monday calendar that I need to get the vacuuming done (which includes the hallways and Master Bedroom) and the Laundry.  So I get started on the laundry early and change the load about once every hour.  Tuesday's is the day I clean all the mirrors, pictures and tables in the house.  Wednesday's I clean the bathroom and pick up the backyard of dog waste.  Thursday's I sweep and mop the living room and kitchen, I mail bills, and clean the couch cushions.  On Fridays, I clean the Kitchen and sweep the front entry and the garage.  And finally, on Saturdays, I wash the linens and cut coupons and go grocery shopping and run errands.

Carry a basket around the house while you are cleaning.  If you find something that does not belong in the room you are cleaning, put it in the basket and later put it where it belongs.  This saves you tons of time by cutting down on the trips around the house - but don't forget to empty the basket every time you clean, or it will become another clutter collector for you to worry about.

Take fifteen minutes each night to straighten up the house.  Try and make it a family chore by assigning each person a different room and list this on the chore chart.

Clean one room or finish one chore each day.  This will save you from wasting your entire Saturday or Sunday cleaning everything.

Assign each family member his or her own towel for the entire week.  This will cut down on laundry and color-coding is the easiest way to tell them apart.  Since I don't have anyone to assign chores to for the moment, I use a different colored terry cloth for different chores.  My blue towel is used for cleaning glass windows, mirrors and pictures.  The brown towel I use for polishing tables and furniture. And the green towel is used for kitchen and bathroom counters, polishing sinks and steel appliances.

Place a set of disposable disinfecting wipes in each bathroom so every time you go in, you make a habit of wiping the counter or sink or toilet top, etc.  Making each trip into the bathroom an easier job than the last.  They are also great for cleaning up globs of toothpaste and cleaning up accidents left by younger members of the family around the toilet.

Save space by minimizing cleaners.  Start by buying all-purpose cleaners or make your own whenever possible.  (I'll link a list of handmade cleaning products I've made that work wonderfully on my next post.)

If there is a chore that no one like, rotate the chore each week or each month.

Make your bed every day before you leave and teach your kids to do the same.  There is nothing nicer than coming home after a long day and finding a neatly made bed just waiting for you!

Clean the kitchen counters and wash or load the dishes in to the dishwasher immediately following dinner.  Food begins setting in the dishes as soon as it begins to cool.  The sooner you clean these dishes out, the less stuck on food you have to deal with by letting it sit until morning.

As you clean a room, work from the top to the bottom so you don't waste time backtracking.

Carry one large garbage can around the house while cleaning and empty all the smaller ones into it instead of carrying the smaller ones to the large can, eliminating the amount of trips.

Let your children choose what day of the week they will clean their room.

Play music while cleaning.  It will energize you while organize and clean.

Do chores in bulk.  For example, don't pull out the iron to press just one or two shirts.  Wait until you have at least a week's worth of items to do.

I've taken some pictures of different ways I've organized my chores.  Maybe one of these methods might work for you!

The pictures above are a clear credit card holder/business card holder.  I used my label maker to print out my weekly chores and assigned a day to them on the left.  As I completed each chore, I used a dry erase marker to cross it off.  Then at the end of the week, I wiped it off with a dry paper towel and moved the card holder to the next week in my planner.

In this next set, I tried to impart on the FlyLady methodology.  So, to keep up with it, I wrote out each Zone and what it included on a separate index card.  I store all the cards in the inside pocket of my Filofax or on my dashboard (Flyleaf).  Then, when the Sunday email arrived indicating what Zone would be worked on this week - I would move that Zone's card to the middle of my weekly pages.  I intend to laminate them so I can tick them off similar to the method I used with the credit card holder.

I've also created my own cleaning sheets in Word, but tended not to look at them if it wasn't in my Filofax - so they have fallen by the wayside for now.  Well, I hope your find these tips and suggestions useful in organizing your cleaning schedule.  Happy cleaning and happy calories burning!  LOL 

Until next time,


  1. Great post! I'm stealing the "Carry a basket around the house while you are cleaning" idea. I often leave things were they are, bc at that moment I don't know where to put it or I think "I do that later".. You know the end of the story.. :)

  2. Love the idea of the card holder & marker. Seems easy and effective.

  3. Burning calories when doing housework is enough to motivate me to clean the house. But during lazy days when I'm in no mood for total cleaning but have to clean up because house is starting to look like there's a resident evil in it, I'll just opt for picking up the obvious mess and wiping disinfectant on the surface of the house. --Skylar Cox