Cleaning Routine

Do you use a cleaning routine? I find that it really helps with making sure that everything gets done and keeping a regular routine lets me feel ok with those days that things can’t get done. I have tried a lot of different routines in the past and have a bit of an obsession with reading about different people’s ideas.

As I write this, it is summer time for us, so the whole routine goes out the window and we stick to a very basic and very natural schedule that flows with out lives. It tends to go like this –  tidy every day, give the bathroom and kitchen a scrub every week before my sister-in-law visits, clean the fridge before putting away the week’s groceries, and do all the laundry when the diaper laundry needs to be done. We get away with this because we have very little structure in the summer, so there’s always time “later” to get done whatever isn’t being done in the moment.

During the school year, there is never time “later”. Everything has to be done right when it has to be done – or it will never get done. This is the cleaning schedule that I intend to use during the year. (This is just a schedule for me, I don’t schedule BK, and you can read about why here – it’s certainly not because my husband doesn’t clean).

First, I divide our small home into rooms and then list the tasks for each space. Many resources recommend doing a different room, each day of the week. This does not work for me – with school and work, there are days that I can do nothing more than a basic tidy.

Plus, I find that some jobs are easier to do all at once, all over the home – like sweeping, cleaning windows, or wiping walls. While other rooms are easiest if done all at one – like the bathroom or the balcony. So I need to play around and group jobs that should be done together. I do this by highlighting jobs that should be done together in the same colour.

The other thing that I consider are which jobs just happen every day and don’t need reminding (like sweeping the kitchen) and which ones happen only rarely, but need to be planned for (like cleaning the oven). I mark very rare jobs with a star and underline daily jobs.

At this point, I don’t know what my schedule for the fall is going to look like. In fact, I often don’t know what my schedule is going to be like from week to week. Instead, I group jobs into pockets of 30 minutes or less, and label them on frequency. This lets me insert the into my weekly and monthly to-do-lists easily.

  • Laundry (Every 4 days)
    1. Diaper laundry
    2. Clothes and bath linen laundry
    3. Clean diaper pails
    4. Nursery bedding
    5. Bedroom bedding (Every 2nd laundry)
    6. Sofa cover (every 2 months, or as needed)
    7. Dining room chair covers (every 3 months, or as needed)
    8. Living room curtains (every 6 months, or as needed)
    9. Balcony linens (start and end of season, or as needed)
    10. Nursery curtains and other linens (every 4 months, or as needed)
    11. Nursery and play room stuffed toys (every 6 months, or as needed)
  • Bathroom (Weekly)
    1. Wash sink
    2. Wash tub
    3. Wash toilet
    4. Sweep
    5. Wash floor
    6. Wash walls and door
    7. *Clean shower curtain (monthly)
  • Deep Clean Kitchen (every week)

    1. Clean sink
    2. Clean under sink
    3. Wash garbage and recycling pails
    4. Organize and clean inside of cupboards (every month)
    5. *Clean behind fridge (every 2 months)
    6. Clean behind freezer
    7. *Clean behind oven (every 2 months)
  • Other Windows and Mirrors, and Picture Frames (weekly)
    1. Kitchen mirror
    2. Kitchen picture frames
    3. Living room mirror
    4. Bathroom mirror
    5. Bedroom mirror (every 2 weeks)
    6. Living room picture frames (every month)
    7. Hall picture frames (every 2 months)
    8. Bedroom window (every 2 months)
    9. Nursery window (every month)
    10. Nursery picture frames (every month)
    11. Bedroom picture frames (every month)
  • Non-Daily Sweeping (Every week)
    1. Bedroom
    2. Nursery
    3. Hall
    4. Closets (every month)
  • Wash living/dining area floor (every week)
  • Wash kitchen floor (every week)
  • Wash play mats (every week)
  • Living Room Windows (every 2 weeks)
    1. Wash inside living room windows
    2. Wash outside living room windows (every 2 months during warm weather)
  • Clean fridge (every 2 weeks)
  • Clean balcony floor (every 2 weeks, during season)
    1. Sweep concrete
    2. Vacuum carpet
  • Wipe outside table and chairs (every 2 weeks during season, or as needed)
  • Clean Stroller (every 2 weeks)
    1. Vacuum stroller
    2. Wipe stroller
  • Organize and dust play area shelves, wiping toys (every 2 weeks)
  • Wash walls and doors (every month)
    1. Entry door and walls
    2. Hall wall
    3. Closet doors
    4. Nursery walls
    5. Living/dining area walls
    6. Play area walls
    7. Bedroom walls (every 2 months)
    8. Closet walls (every 4 months)
  • Wash other floors (every month)
    1. Bedroom
    2. Hall
    3. Nursery
    4. Closets (every 3 months)
  • Organize and dust bookshelves (every month)
  • Organize and vacuum bedroom clothes drawers (every 2 months)
  • Organize closet shelves (every 2 months)
  • Clean dishwasher (every 2 months)
  • Organize and vacuum nursery clothes drawers (every 3 months)
  • Flip mattresses (every 3 months)
    1. Bedroom mattress
    2. Nursery mattress
  • Clean living room blinds (every 3 months)
  • Clean other blinds (every 3 months)
    1. Nursery
    2. Bedroom
  • Clean under bedroom bed (every 3 months)
  • Clean oven (every 3 months)
  • Dust living room lamps and lights (every 3 months)
  • Clean freezer (every 6 months)

Does it ever all get done? Absolutely not. But at least I can always see how long something has gone past due, which usually motivates me to do something about it.

**Update. As I’m returning to blogging after my twin Hiatus, I am rereading old posts. WAS I INSANE??? Seriously, did I really have that much time on my hands that I could not only clean this much, but also track it? This is not the reality. This is.

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