Make a Weekly Cleaning Routine

I had coffee with a friend, and she said that she wanted to find a cleaning routine, but every time she made one, she couldn’t stick with it.

That’s totally normal. I can’t stay with the same routine for longer than six months for two reasons:

1. Life changes. I might be more busy, pregnant, have more projects to do, or be more tired than usual, and I need to change my pace.

2. I desire a change in routine. Sometimes I just get tired of Thursday being The Day I Clean The Bathroom, and I want something fresh and new.

In this post we’ll talk about the essentials for a housekeeping routine so that you can keep your house clean without spending too much time on it. At the end of this post I’ll give you the routine I rely on the most and a template you can use to plan your own personal routine.

I shift between a few different routines, depending on what I need:

* Weekday Assigned Tasks - Do a job or two every day, plus daily tasks.

* Get it Over With Weekly - Do a burst of cleaning in three hours one morning a week, plus daily tasks.

* Survival Mode – Focus on the essential daily tasks, and ignore the rest for as long as you can until it starts to look bad. (And to add a note, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are in survival mode, it just means your house is taking a back seat to something more important.)

The key to any cleaning routine is to identify the jobs that make the most difference when you do them every day. Every other job fits around these.

My essential daily tasks:

  1. Make the bed.
  2. Wash the dishes.
  3. Take the trash outside.
  4. Pick up clothes and put things away.
  5. Sweep the floor.

Housekeeping is made up of tasks that are daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal.

You need to create a cleaning routine for yourself because every home is different.

I’ve lived in seven homes in the past ten years, when I count the places I’ve lived for three months or longer. Each house had unique needs. Some had light carpet that had to be vacuumed frequently. One apartment had such hard water that the bathtub needed to be scrubbed three times a week. One apartment would become really dusty, another had a kitchen floor that always had to be mopped. I adjust my routine every time we move.

When I moved into this house, I waited to see how long I could go without cleaning something before it looked bad. I discovered I can wait a month before I need to dust, but I have to sweep the kitchen every day for my toddler.  I straighten up the pantry a few minutes once a month, and I vacuum the living room rug once a week.

One of the problems I’ve experienced with a cleaning routine is that it can make you think you need to clean more often than necessary. I’d see “clean the glass” on my list, so I’d clean the windows and mirrors even if they weren’t very dirty. I try to use my routine as a guide, but now I only clean something when it needs it, not just because it’s on the list, so I don’t feel like I’m stuck or wasting my time. I want my efforts to make a real difference.

Making a plan for keeping your home clean can help your home run much more smoothly. Here is my usual routine, along with some suggestions for regular housecleaning:

Rachel’s Cleaning Routine

Cleaning Routine Blank Template

What kind of routine works for you?

clear the clutter

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.

Comments

  1. We have four dogs, so every day is cleaning day for me. luckily I get some peace in cleaning, though I don’t think I am OCD. LOL Nothing gives me grater pleasure than my house cleaned. Being a minimalist it isn’t so bad. I light a candle, gt a coffee and relax and all is well with the world.

    • Exactly! I have a 2 year old, two dogs and I babysit kids. I became a minimalist because I could keep the house perfectly clean all the time without much work. I sweep, do a load of laundry, wash dishes, clear the table, and do one thing a day as I notice it needs it and that’s all the cleaning I really need to do to keep the house sparkling :)

  2. I love this! I was just working on revising my cleaning routine last week because it seems to not happen at all if I don’t have it down on paper and posted on the fridge. Well, until things get REALLY bad. And then I’m overwhelmed.

    I feel so confirmed because my new list looks a lot like yours. I’m even more motivated to stick to it!

    And I totally agree on not cleaning things that don’t need it. I don’t have time for that!
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Menu Plan for the Week 3/11 – 3/17 Yummy!

  3. Wow, do I admire you. My routine consists of cleaning things about a week or so after it looks bad enough that it’s starting to get on my nerves. There are some things I do daily or as needed, such as the dishes, laundry, and tidying up clothes etc, but for the big tasks like cleaning/washing things, they get done when things start verging on disgusting!

    • I can completely relate. I am the same way. Things are always neat, laundry and dishes caught up, bills taken care of, organizing up-to-date, decluttering done constantly. But, man oh man, the true cleaning always gets away from me. I hate doing it so much!

  4. Oh my gosh Rachel, I swear I have a serious light bulb moment when I read your posts. Something always stands out to me and this week it was “I only clean something when it needs it”! That was quite profound for me and I decided to do just that once I read that sentence so thank you! I do believe you’ve changed my entire cleaning routine. I tend to spend too much time cleaning (which I hate, but love a clean home) and am so guilty of cleaning things that really don’t need it. So big yey, things are going to change and that will free up so much time for other things that matter too and are important.

    I have found that there are of course things that need to be done daily, for me it’s sweeping the kitchen floor and taking care of the litter box, those are absolutes! But in the last few months I have taken the few minutes to put things away right after I’ve used them, to go through the mail as soon as it comes and put the junk mail in the recycle bin and most of all if you see a spot or splatter in the fridge or microwave, take care of it right then and there. For me it’s those little things that take literally seconds but keep it all from piling up into big things! I’m also amazed when company’s coming in a matter of minutes and a clorox wipe of your bathroom sink and windexing the mirror can make a huge difference. Thanks as always for your wonderful insight into daily life!!!!!

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I totally agree, doing things right away saves time later. I rarely mop the entire floor because I wipe up spills when they happen.

    • Andrea, you sound like my mother, which is a very good thing that I mean as a compliment. She taught me ‘if it ain’t dirty don’t clean it’ and was a huge proponent of the ‘clean as you go’ philosophy–including mail sorting and clorox wipes! Inheriting her cleaning approach has made me so much mellower than I might have been otherwise.

      I actually wrote something in this vein this past week–I discovered that putting my ‘weekly’ list on Thursday night was just perfect for me, for a few reasons. It funny how this takes some intentional thought, but once you have a strategy, it totally frees you up.

  5. I have to clean my bathrooms every Monday or else I would not do it at all until shame forced me. And by then I’m depressed and hating it so much it is a bigger deal than it needs to be.

    Other than that- it’s sort of an “as needed” clean around here. If I know I haven’t swept in a couple of days and you can really tell- sweep. Dusting pretty much never happens, except when I host a gathering here:)

    But yeah- the bathrooms every Monday are a necessity.
    Katherine@YeOldCollegeTry´s last post…Project Simplify: The Kids’ Toys and Clothes

  6. I clean the upstairs one week, the downstairs the next…vacuum, dust, bathrooms, etc. just a touch up on the “off week”. Daily laundry first thing in the a.m. Daily tidy before bed. Kids do all the dishes and daily kitchen cleaning/trash

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I like to start the laundry early in the morning too. Sometimes it takes me until late in the day to finish it.

      • This just reminded me I have loads in the dryer and the wash. I, too, have to start early in the day, but even then I hardly ever get my laundry folded the same day because I always forget I’m doing it! :-P

  7. I almost always vacuum on Mondays. I get up, crack the window to air out the room, make the bed, vacuum the house, shower and dress, close the bedroom window, eat breakfast and then unload/reload the dishwasher, start a load of clothes-wash, then go into my office to work.

    We usually start the dishwasher before bed if there’s enough to wash. I do find basic chores are pretty easy to integrate into our daily routine. My husband takes out trash on his way to work. Saturdays are for bigger projects and those are the things that often get ‘forgotten’ (washing windows, dusting, ahem…)!
    Juliette´s last post…Free Cheer for Your Desktop

  8. I love the tip to only clean something if it really needs it!

    I had been trying the “do every thing once a week on one day” method, and failing miserably. Two weeks ago I started sitting down on Sunday night, and breaking down chores into roughly equal segments (about an hour a day) and doing a few things each day during Eleanor’s nap.

    Last week I almost dusted, because it was on my list, but then I looked around and realized it really wasn’t that dusty, because it had only been 6 days since I’d last dusted. So I wrote a blog post instead. :)
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…Gift Ideas: Exceptional Board Books

  9. I used to clean every Saturday, front to back, whether it needed it or not. Just because that is how my mother did it and we helped as kids.

    Now that I am retired and want to do something other than follow my hubby around cleaning off his fingerprints, I clean when I can no longer stand it.

    I vacuum when the thread from my sewing reaches every room. I sweep when I start to see dust bunnies in the corners. But one thing I do do… is make sure the bathrooms are clean. Never know when some unexpected friend/relative will pop in uninvited.

    Great tips. Thanks!!
    Donna´s last post…Winner For Day 2 Blog Anniversary Giveaway Is Karla Conner

  10. I have a hard time seeing “a little dirty.” If it’s not filthy, it looks clean enough to me, but by the time it is filthy, it’s obviously way beyond time to clean. I think I would benefit from a custom cleaning plan, but if I need the plan, it’s because I don’t know how to plan. You see? :)

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      Yes I do, and i think it’s good that you don’t have the issue of cleaning too often.

  11. I’m similar in the switching up routines for different seasons of life and homes.

    When my son was very little I found the best window for cleaning was during his morning nap. Most days I took 40 minutes to do whatever was most urgent. I never kept a list or schedule to tick off but worked with the time I had.

    That window of time system is still how I do it but now I find two 2-3 hour slots during the week to clean, keep the laundry going, pick-up our apartment and still keep my toddler engaged in some kind of activitiy.

    The other thing I do: invite people over at least every 2 weeks. It’s usually on the weekend for a meal and I always get my husband to take my son to the park to I can do a few focused tasks like cleaning windows and mirrors and dusting.

    I like hearing that other people have found success without a regimented schedule. Life changes quickly. Being adaptable seems to be one of the skills I rely on most since becoming a mother.
    Rachel´s last post…The Real Price of Things: Calculating Cost Per Use

    • I love your comment about inviting people over every 2 weeks as part of your cleaning routine. Having guests is my best motivator for really cleaning. I loved how our apartment felt and looked when we started hosting a small group every week. I was motivated to make the place comfortable for our guests, and it made things more comfortable for us during the rest of the week, too!

  12. Dishes, laundry and light pick-ups daily. All other chores get pushed till Saturday when we do a thorough, but quick, blitz. I have four big teens and two middle school girls, so chore day is a breeze!!! Your life will change when your littles get big. Many hands make light work!

  13. Catherine says:

    We use to as needed but realized that it was easy to let things go to the point of dreading to clean. Now I do the majority of things (bathrooms, vacuuming, kitchen) every Thursday whether it needs it or not. “need” is relative anyway. It’s scheduled in and since it’s every week, it really doesn’t take that long and it doesn’t have that gross factor. I also will make it a ” takeout” night so I don’t have to cook dinner which is a little reward. Other things like dusting happen as every so often but Thursday has been set in stone. Now I’m jut working on how to be as diligent with exercise…

  14. Really like your cleaning mindset. But I do have a question…on your weekly cleaning schedule, it seems you only do 3 loads of laundry a week, how is that possible? Please let me know so I can use it here.
    Thanks!! :)

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      On Mondays I traditionally do the whites and sheets, Tuesday is towels and rugged clothes, Wednesday is for the colored clothes. My kids are small so all their clothes don’t take up much room. I will sometimes do another load at the end of the week, but I keep my routine about basics.

  15. Love your blog, love your clear, simple PDFs. Thank you!

  16. I am a proponent of the philosophy of only cleaning when things when they need it. If only some things (like bathrooms and the kitchen floor) needed it a little less often! Oh well!

    I actually blogged recently about how terrible I am at sticking to a cleaning schedule and how I get discouraged when I fail. (http://tinyurl.com/77lysnr) I’ve slowly learned that I’m not the scheduled type and that’s okay. And I still manage to keep my house pretty clean. :)

    Thanks for blogging, Rachel! Yours is one of the best.
    Erica {let why lead}´s last post…Photo Shoot for Three

  17. I have a cleaning routine that I just instituted after free-styling for about 18 months (it wasn’t pretty!) Now it stays relatively clean. I love a clean house, but hate the trouble that it takes to get it that way.
    I actually had a housecleaning business for 13 years. A lot easier to clean someone else’s place than your own!
    Bernice @ Living the Balanced Life´s last post…A different type of clutter

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I totally agree, it is so much easier to walk into someone else’s mess and take action, but your own can slow you down and feel overwhelming.

  18. This is helpful. Thank you!

    I have reached a point where I need to make a new plan for cleaning. In the past several months, we’ve been in survival mode because we’ve been so busy so we only really clean when we have house guests or dinner guests. I’m starting to feel like an inn keeper! We keep up on the kitchen daily and laundry weekly, but I need a plan for the rest of it. Thanks!

  19. It feels good to know I’m not the only one who switches up their cleaning schedule. LOL. Seriously.
    I have a preschooler who I homeschool, lots of pets, and live in a house that is over 100 years old (ie. dirt crawl space, unsealed beams attracting bugs, etc) so I feel like this house is never ever clean while at the same time I feel like I never do anything but clean house.
    I just found your blog so I am making baby steps toward extricating myself from the stuff that causes clutter – but even when there is not clutter about, it still feels dirty.
    Anyway – with that pep talk (LOL), I thought I would share my cleaning plan (since it is written down already). I always find inspiration in some form from other’ lists so I thought I would share mine:
    Yoga
    Get dressed, get kids dressed
    Breakfast, vitamins
    Clean kitchen, flip cheese, manage kefir, dinner prep
    1 load of laundry
    Gather and wash eggs, feed chickens
    Feed dogs and fish
    15+ min in garden (more during harvest season)
    30 minutes on a room (house divided into 10 rooms/sections)
    Daily routines:
    M – Vacuum/sweep downstairs
    T – Clean purse and diaper bag, make kombucha, library
    W – Ironing, wipe appliances, clip kids’ nails, vacuum upstairs (every other week)
    Th – Clean microwave, clean trashcan lid, grocery store
    F – Wipe bathrooms, purge fridge, tidy all rooms for weekend
    WE – Brush dogs, water plants, wash bath toys, make broth, make cheese, menu planning, homeschool prep for week, clean chicken coup

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      Your routine looks really balanced. I like how you included to clip the kids’ nails, I always forget that. I use to have to put “kids’ baths” on my list because I would forget!

      Do you mind if I make a suggestion? If you purge the fridge the day before you go to the grocery store then it’s not as full. That has been easier for me. I like how the items on your list give a glimpse into your lifestyle.

  20. SOMEDAY I will have a regular cleaning routine. That day is not today; right now, we’re adjusting to life as a family of four, including a newborn.

    In the meantime, though, we’ve been decluttering, a lot. Yes, even with the babe in my arms, bit by bit. I feel like we have to deal with all the old clutter before we can have a cleaning routine — which may or may not be true, but right now we’re doing the doable, which is good enough for me!
    Rachael´s last post…On My Mind: 03.12.12

  21. The problem is that most of the time I live in “survival mode”! Also, you sweep every day? Ahhh, that’s amazing.

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I’ve been in survival-cleaning mode for a while too now.

      I use one of those big janitorial dust mops, so it takes me two minutes tops to sweep the kitchen and under the table. I can do half the house in under five minutes, so that’s why it’s easy.

  22. With three children under 4, all in diapers, I NEVER clean anything that doesn’t need cleaning. I like your essentials, but must say I hardly ever make a bed. It’s amazing when you’re distracted how dirty something has to become in order for you to SEE that it needs cleaning. But, so be it. If I don’t notice – than it doesn’t really matter. I guess that puts me in Survival Mode according to your list. :) That’s ok. I know myself. I love a clean house…but sometimes I’d rather do something else, like be with my kids. Hmmmmm….I think you wrote something to that effect 2 weeks ago.
    Thanks!
    Debra Bell´s last post…Do you know who you are?

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      About that term, it’s the housecleaning that’s in survival mode, but the family and other projects can be thriving.

    • Mandi S. says:

      I once heard a speaker at a mom’s group talk about every mom’s non-negotiable. This talk was such an aha moment for me. She talked about every mom having a non-negotiable that nothing else gets in the way of. And for different moms, that non-negotiable is different. For me, it’s sleep. Hands down, I need to have enough sleep in order to be a good mom, wife, friend, etc. While I’d LIKE to have a totally clean and organized house, and I’d LIKE to feed my family as healthy as possible, and I’d LIKE to exercise more (and on and on and on…), what’s most important to my family is that I get enough sleep. So, I now make sure I get my 8-9 hours a day no matter what. And then I start filling in the essentials beyond that. And if the house is a mess, so what? At least I got the sleep I need to be the mom that my kids need me to be. Sounds like you do the same thing: put your kids first and everything else will fall into place if it needs to.

  23. Here’s my two big ideas for making housework work for us:

    1. Do things right when you notice they need doing. (Like spills on cabinet doors, yuck on the toilet, something that needs putting away, etc.) Most things take a minute or less.

    2. Have a big family cleaning party once every two weeks. We do it on Sunday mornings. Parents make a chore list, and everyone is assigned 2-3 chores (depending on what needs doing). At first our kids (10 and 13 when we started) resisted, but we persisted and now it’s not a fight at all. We’ve come to really treasure the time–not only because the house is so clean when we’re done, but also because its good bonding stuff.

    • There’s a lot of wisdom in the cleaning party notion. When I was a teenager I’d hate my mother assigned me any chores, because she did it to have a break. So I (oh poor teenage me!) would feel I was the only one working. Cleaning the bathroom floor while you hear your family laughing with a TV show is quite the hate inducer!

  24. This is the first sensible “routine” I’ve seen. My husband has always worked shifts, mostly two 12 hour days, two 12 hours nights, four days off. Having “vacuum every Monday” on a schedule only works until the first Monday he’s on nights. Add into the mix my job at the library – open 7 days a week and not 9-5 and my cleaning routine has nothing routine about it. And yet, my house is generally clean.

  25. Great post! We moved into our new apartment in November and I haven’t really cleaned the kitchen floor even once. I spot clean and while it’s now overdue for a good mop, it’s good to know how long it can go.

    I like to do random tasks every day, along with the essentials. Cleaning out the spice rack, cleaning mirrors, re-hauling the toddler’s closet. Just having a point of reference in mind and knowing the last time things were done is good enough most of the time. If I can’t remember the last time I cleaned the microwave, that’s usually a good time to do it. If I can do one “bonus” thing on top of my daily cleaning, I almost never have to do a deep cleaning day. Although sometimes it’s amazing just to take a weekend with the husband and CLEAN ALL THE THINGS. :)

  26. I’m terrible at this. I rebel at routine, even my own. I don’t even take prenatal vitamins during pregnancy because I hate doing the same thing at the same time every day. My biggest cleaning shame is that I never, never, never make my bed. I’d like to blame it on the fact that my husband works nights and that someone is always sleeping in it, but it’s really due to the fact that I never built the habit of making it.

  27. I admit having been so worried by the subject on what and how and when to clean that I referred to the available literature. I got Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home book, which is a nice introduction for someone clueless like me, and it was exactly what I needed. It was written by a woman running a family of 11 people in a house in snowy Iowa, so a lot of things just are not applicable – but sometimes all you need is a starting point.

    My husband and I decided to hire cleaning help (is relatively affordable where we live), so we have this lady for 4 hours every Tuesday. She comes to CLEAN, not to organize, cooking, do shopping, babysit or anything else, so it’s good to focus. Before she arrives we try to have the dishes done and put away, the beds made and shoes and clothes in place.

    Every Tuesday she does a basic list of chores which is completed in roughly 3 hours. Every week of the month, however, she focuses on a particular room and cleans, dusts and waxes in depth. Week 1: kitchen (one month the freezer, the next the fridge; clean the hood and filters, dust the lamp, clean the exposed shelves). Week 2: bathroom (wax mirror frame, clean the baskets from dust and scum) and bedrooms (dust all the high shelves, some boxes, wax the floors). Week 3: livig room (clean the AC filters, wax one piece of furniture, dust armchairs in depth). Week 4: dining room (wax one piece of furniture, dust in depth). It’s flexible, I might ask her to do something or other, or I might do it myself.

    Balconies, service room and laundry room don’t have a special day. Once a year I have my two rugs professionally cleaned. I haven’t decided yet how to go about the windows (the cleaning lady made it clear she doesn’t like that and husband said he’d do it), but I think I’ll have someone do it well and quick maybe twice a year. They don’t get mortally dirty, so I guess it’s ok.

    The scenario I fear the most is to take something seldom used and find it covered in a thick film of dust or with signs of derelict. I don’t think of myself as cleaning fan (neither the action nor the results), but I cannot describe the gut wrenching feeling of having one valued possession in my hands, something that’s been in my power all along, and find it deteriorated by lack of attention. That makes me cry.

  28. There are some tasks that we do daily, like make beds and dishes. Others are assigned a day of the week and then there are some big ones (really, just things I hate doing) that I do once a month like clean the oven. Every Saturday we do a quick clean where we just wipe down the bathroom, mop real quick, and pick up the clutter. Doing a bit each day makes it so much easier to not be overwhelmed with the cleaning and still enjoy life.

  29. This is something I’m really not on top of yet!

    When I was working full time and running my business in the evenings and weekends, things just seemed to get ‘left’ until absolutely neccessary (except daily jobs).

    I really thought when I resigned and went full time doing my business that I’d have so much more free time to make sure the house was not just tidy but clean as well. For the first month that was relatively easy but as I’m getting busier – I seem to have left everything for the last two weeks. URGH!

    I was aiming to leave one day a week for household things, cooking in bulk etc, grocery shopping and chores/errands etc but inevitably that day has been taken up with clients (which is a good thing that I’m very thankful for).

    I guess for me I need to ‘relax’ about household cleaning stuff because although I enjoy a tidy clean house, my time is more valuable seeing clients. Your post has made me think that I need to relax a bit about how I do things (I’d always liked doing 1 morning/afternoon a week rather than a job everyday but perhaps that would fit better with my life right now?

    Thanks for the refreshing and common sense insight that I sooo badly needed to hear,xxx

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      That free time during the week is never as long as you think it will be, right? I think trying to do cleaning and batch cooking and errands on the same day is really hard unless you have help. Possibly rotate so you do a couple hours of cleaning one week and batch cooking the next? That might be easier and let you get some down time to refresh when you get a few hours apart from clients.

  30. this is great – i feel like i need to redo my routine. i do a couple loads of laundry usually everyday, do the dishes, sweep living room and kitchen floors, and have house picked up before bed every day. the other non-everyday tasks i need to have a better routine with. i think i am going to tuck this aside, since i am due with our 5th baby in 4 weeks, and definitely give myself a fresh routine once the baby is here.
    charis´s last post…amazing asian chicken salad

  31. This is one of my home goals for 2012 to make a cleaning routine. We’ve been in our house 1 1/2 years and there is no method to our cleaning madness, we do it whenever, or don’t do it often. I definitely need to figure it out, the dust is overtaking me :-)

    Thanks for the helpful info and the motivation to get this done!

  32. My sentiments exactly, Rachel. As I thought about my style it’s akin to cleaning intuitively and using my senses. When I see something is too dusty I dust, like you. When things start to be too cluttered I clear.

    That said, I take care of the basic weekly or daily routines like keeping dishes washed and put away — I make sure to keep the bathrooms tidied up weekly (If I sense the bathroom is dirty I can’t take a bath in it until it’s cleaned up :D — it’s a more soothing experience. Plus, maintaining that laundry is essential.

    You finally come to terms with cleaning, because a house will never be clean enough. I clean to meet my standards first and foremost, because I’m the one who has to do it. I want to have a life with time to do other things.

    I do major cleaning several times a year: Spring, Fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. The cleaning on holidays is a gift to my family. It makes the holidays special and it feels like we’re at a hotel — when you can really sense it’s all been spruced up.

  33. I have a sort-of routine. It changes at times, and I try to flex with what the week has. This week, the zone cleaning and such is skipped, as the its time to get the grass seeded and the garden planted, and that can be a lot of work.

    I look forward to looking through your routine sheets. I love stuff like this!

  34. That is so true! I am so there. I used to have an every-Monday-is-my-cleaning-day routine. One big binge and then I was done. Add two kids into the mix and things just aren’t that regemented anymore. So now I do a combination just like you said. Some things HAVE to be done, like dishes and picking up. Others get done regular, like bathrooms, and other things, like dusting get done when it looks bad. :)

  35. I have a weekly cleaning schedule for those things which aren’t done every single day and do a decent job of following it. If I get to a task and look around and see that it doesn’t really need doing, I’ll ignore it. There are also other tasks I detest doing and will put them off for days (mopping the floor for some reason is one of them) although, like you, we clean up after ourselves fairly regularly so it doesn’t get too gross. I am not a great deep cleaner and certain bigger jobs only get done when I have a sudden inspiration or shot of supernatural energy (smile).
    Kika@embracingimperfection´s last post…Weight :: And Are You A "Real Woman"

  36. I clicked on your cleaning template and am having an “aha” moment. Not to swerve off topic, but I love that you make your menu plan and grocery list the day before you go to the grocery store. What a great idea! I always try and do it on the same day and wind up rushing through the planning/list-making part so that I don’t run out of time to shop. Doing them on separate days would make a big difference.

  37. Sel in NZ says:

    Thanks for this Rachel. I used to carry such a bad attitude towards housework and I’m still far from being a model home maker, but these days I think of it more as blessing my family and creating bliss for me. By replacing Housework with Creating Bliss the chore aspect diminishes.

  38. Why is taking out the trash on your daily list? My insides cringed at that notion – I would feel so environmentally guilty about the extra bags I was throwing into a landfill given that there’s no need (in my home at least) to take the trash out daily. Nothing gets stinky in just a day, especially when the trash is kept either under the sink or in a free-standing trash can with a lid. Trash should also accumulate slowly in a house that recycles and uses the disposal or composter for food waste.

    • Rachel Meeks says:

      I don’t throw away a bag of trash every day. I don’t like having the trash accumulate in the kitchen or bathroom, so each day we empty the small recycling bin that we keep in the kitchen into the big recycling container at the back of the house, and the same with the trash.

  39. Thanks for sharing your routine Rachel! Glad to see I’m not the only mad person who does pick-up and cleaning on the go.

    I find that I need to wipe the fridge and the microwave once a week with some bicarbonate soda to avoid the build-up of dirt that would need more muscle-power to get rid of. :)

  40. Thank you so much for this! Cleaning is definitely on the brain over here and I like your approach.
    Jennie´s last post…My Spring Cleaning Arsenal

  41. Love the idea of ‘only cleaning something when it needs it’. All too often I find myself putting the ‘big clean’ off as that always means cleaning everything, whether it really needs it or not. A little bit every day, focusing on what needs it most is my preferred approach.

  42. After years and years of having the children gradually do more and more of the regular cleaning while I handled most of the less-frequent jobs, I am finding the need for us to switch roles since they’ve reached the age of outside-the-home jobs. It is a bit of an adjustment for all of us, and it seems like as soon as we have a good routine figured out it needs to change again because somebody’s school or work schedule is different.

    I’m learning to be ok with that, and I’m finding pleasure in being the one to clean the bathroom, wash the stovetop, etc. Frankly, I do a better job (grin), and there is a certain happiness in having one’s own hands care for one’s own belongings.
    Lori @ In My Kitchen, In My Life´s last post…Unsolicited Advice Book Report Edition: Bringing Up Bebe; One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

  43. I kind of think about cleaning tasks in terms of time frames- daily, few times a week, once a week, and every so often. We do the essential stuff like dishes daily, the few times a week stuff when I have the energy, and the once a week or more when I get around to it. I can’t deal with a strict schedule either.
    Audrey @ Mom Drop Box´s last post…Super Simple Saving Tip: Stay out of your weakness stores

  44. After the last few years of living a lot of the time in hotels, I have become a terrrrrrrible housekeeper. I actually look forward to settling into an apartment next month and developing a routine. FlyLady helped me immensely, once upon a time. This post is getting bookmarked to give me a fresh take. Thanks!
    Maggie´s last post…Rome Part II: When in Rome, Wear High Heels (but bring flats)

  45. Great post! I have my daily necessities too but I’m learning to share the load a bit more with the rest of the family. We now have a wipeable SPK chart and everyone’s tasks are on it. Even our 3 year old helps by loading up the toilet paper holder in the bathroom. It’s very cute and saves me doing it!!

  46. This post seemed like a good opportunity to thank you for having such a profound impact on my life for the now couple of years that I’ve been reading your blog. From the way I dress, to simplifying my home, to encouraging my husband to follow his dreams, to the way I make iced coffee, many of my best changes have come from ideas I’ve seen on here. Just thought I’d like you to know. :)

    I’ve used Flylady in the past, and then had a housekeeper during a particularly difficult time of my life. And I’ve been floundering with cleaning for a good while. This post was what I needed to read and I think your template will work for me! Thank you!

  47. I love the ideas….I have never had a cleaning chart…but have wanted one for a long time. This one certainly looks like the one that is most likely to succeed!! I love posting it somewhere..great idea!
    When I do laundry, it’s in the basement so it’s easy to forget I started it, so I set the kitchen timer. When the timer goes off I stop what I’m doing and go fold, and hang and start another load. While I’m doing this I’m planning my next moves so I restart what I was in the middle of doing!
    Love having a clean house and the laundry all done!!