Heart to Heart About My Cleaning Routine
First off, I feel the need to express my vulnerability with this post. My cleaning routine is something like a secret buried in a locked treasure chest at the bottom of the ocean. Call me crazy, but it is something that I think is pretty personal. Everybody cleans and keeps up with their home maintenance in their own way, and this happens to be the way that we do it with our home.
This, to me, is not the exact list you should follow, as this is not an instruction manual on how to keep the cleanest house ever. This is a tool to be used as a guideline for you to create your own Ultimate Cleaning Routine that works for you, your family, and your home!
Considering harmony and balance in life, cleaning house is one of those elements that is challenging for me to keep balanced. I either spend way too much time cleaning and don’t get anything else done, or I don’t spend enough time cleaning the house and end up being overwhelmed by it all.
Keeping the Balance
This planning system that my husband and I use helps us to stay on track with everything that needs to be done in regard to cleaning and maintaining our house while also keeping the amount of time we spend on cleaning the house balanced with the other elements in our lives. If you’re curious about my ideas on how to create balance and harmony in your life, you should check out this Creating Harmony in Your Life post! I believe this cleaning routine planner idea can be a useful tool for some people in finding that balance in life when it comes to taking care of your home, so as nerve racking as this is, I pushed my fears aside and pressed the scary “Publish” button! Here goes nothin’ 🙈!
When it comes to cleaning house, we all get overwhelmed and feel like we’ve fallen behind sometimes. When life is busy and your “To Do” list is haunting you, it can be difficult to get your head above water. We have all been there. My solution to this problem? My Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planner. (Yay! I love planners FYI! 😍) If you have an overwhelmingly gigantic list of things to do and then break that list up a bit and plan it all out, you realize that it’s not so scary. So let’s take that list and make life easier. Here’s an Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planner that you can print off to get you started!!
The Giant Scary List
Before we get to the planning part, first make the giant scary list of everything you want to be done in regard to cleaning and maintaining your home. By everything, I mean EVERYTHING! From the usual weekly vacuuming to the once-a-year shampooing all carpets. Here’s an example of part of our scary list:
- Clean fireplace
- Wash baseboards
- Shampoo carpets
- Change air filters
- Clean oven
- Re-caulk around the house
- Wash/organize toys
- Go through toys for charity
- Organize/clean out closets for charity
- Garden prep
- Spray off outside furniture
- Wash trash cans
- Descale Keurig
- Wash blinds
- Smoke alarm batteries
- Touch-up paint
Scary right? It’s down right terrifying and makes me want to crawl in bed with a good book and forget it’s existence. But can we do this? NO! We can’t ignore problems because they are scary. So we take it head on and get it done.
Breaking Your List Up
Make your giant scary list less overwhelming by first breaking it up into smaller parts. The way we approach this is by breaking the list up focusing on a few things right off the bat: priorities and frequency.
- Priorities – What are our priorities when it comes to cleaning tasks? What are those certain things that drive us crazy and haunt us at night if they’re not done?
- Frequency – How often would we like certain tasks to be done? Weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.
So, we organize the list by frequency while at the same time focusing on our priorities. Start big and work your way to the smaller, more frequent tasks. For example, I go crazy when my floors are dirty. So for us, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming are a higher priority than washing the baseboards in the house. Therefore, these will need to happen more frequently. Here’s an example of our list after breaking it up by frequency:
Put it On a Calendar
We then start fitting tasks into when they’re actually going to get done. Again, we start big and work our way to the smaller, more frequent tasks. We do this by assigning tasks to specific months, like so:
Now we start adding tasks to it. We try to make sure to assign specific tasks during a time when it makes the most sense to complete that specific task. For example, the fireplace isn’t going to be used in the summertime, so would we assign cleaning the fireplace in June? Nope! Not going to worry about it until the fall. See, already we’re lessening the “to do” load we carry on a monthly basis!
The tasks you have that will occur on a weekly and monthly basis will not be on this list because they’re going to happen every month. This list broken into months serves as a visualization for the quarterly, semi-annual, and annual tasks.
Make Your Ultimate Cleaning Routine:
Take your list that is broken up into frequency of tasks.
Next, make your monthly list as shown above. Start by first deciding when you will do the annual tasks. Keep in mind when it makes the most sense for specific tasks to be done.
Add your semi-annual tasks. The annual and semi-annual items are easy to assign to a month because they are only going to happen 1 and 2 times a year and are going to be listed when it makes sense to do them. Using the fireplace example, assign cleaning out the fireplace in late fall/winter months because it doesn’t need to be done until you’re getting ready to use it. We assign the tasks that are time sensitive first. If there’s a task that needs to be done at a specific time of year or during a specific month, assign those first and then fill in the rest of the year with the tasks that can be completed in any month.
Time for the quarterly tasks! Because the quarterly tasks happen every 3 months, you’ll want to balance and arrange these scattered throughout the year so that you don’t end up having 12 tasks to be done in January and only 3 tasks to be done in June. You’d be a busy, busy person in January! Lessen the potential of getting overwhelmed with things to do by balancing it all out. My husband and I try to plan for about 4-5 tasks for each month. This way, we just have to tackle 1-2 tasks per week, which comes out to one per day with our weekly and monthly list added to the picture. One task per day is totally doable! Here’s an example of our family’s Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planner:
Feels so much better seeing it all organized and balanced, right!?! If you love this you should check out the FREE printable Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planners! It’s organized in an awesomely designed chart to make you’re list even easier to keep up with, and it’s pretty! Plus there are pages for the frequency planning as well!
Implementing the Ultimate Cleaning Routine
At the end of each month, my husband and I sit down to figure finances, set goals, and make our to-do list for the next upcoming month. We also do this to check in and make sure we’re both on the same page with everything in regard to the kids, the money, the house, etc. During this monthly meeting, we pull out our Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planners and a monthly calendar. We then go through and assign the tasks for that month to whichever day we plan to tackle it. Each week, I then take our monthly list and map out our weekly calendar to assign the weekly, monthly and Ultimate Cleaning Routine Planner tasks.
Weight has been lifted off of our shoulders so we don’t always feel like there are a million things to be done, our house has stayed much cleaner, and we feel much more caught up on the bigger projects after implementing this system in our household. This is a system that has worked wonders for us, and I hope it helps you!
How do you stay on top of your house work? What’s the biggest struggle you face in getting the housework done?