Does a practical cleaning schedule for working moms exist? Yes! Because we are all different, it will take some time to create and make it work for each family and each household. But, once you create it – you will wonder how you were able to function at without it.
Some of the cleaning schedules that you may have come across may seem too over the top and make it look like all the time after work would be spent on cleaning chores. And that does not sound appealing at all. Nor is it realistic, as it will quickly lead to burnout. So how do we keep a clean house while working full time?
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Why Should Working Moms Have a Cleaning Routine?
Working moms can easily get overwhelmed with the housework. It seems like there is not enough time in our days to get everything under control. Working moms juggle a lot of different responsibilities and cleaning tasks seem to be never ending.
Having a cleaning routine will definitely make your housework responsibilities easier to tackle. For one, getting on a cleaning schedule will eliminate a lot of stress related to what you should clean and when. You will make that decision when you are planning the cleaning tasks and than you will just follow the schedule.
Having the routine will also help you keep your house clean. Which is the main goal here, right? When things get clean on regular basis, they don’t get very dirty between cleaning sessions and don’t require a lot of time to get them done. It is really a win-win for tired working moms who like to keep their house clean or clean’ish’ 🙂
What is a Good House Cleaning Schedule?
First, let’s make something very clear. A good house cleaning schedule is the one that works for YOU. Just because a specific cleaning schedule is working for your friends, does not mean that it will also work for you. It needs to naturally fit into your lifestyle and family schedule.
It is best to start thinking about your cleaning routines in three different categories: daily, weekly, and deep cleaning. In other words, you want to think about the frequency with which you want to complete different types of cleaning tasks.
Daily Cleaning Routine
- empty the dishwasher
- clean up after breakfast
- wipe down kitchen counter top
- clean up after dinner
- load the dishwasher
- wipe down kitchen counter top
- wipe down dinning table
- sweep/vacuum the floors (if needed)
The idea behind a daily cleaning routine is to get into a habit of cleaning up after ourselves every single day. These tasks don’t take a lot of time but we all know what happens when we don’t stay on top of cleaning. The mess and clutter piles up really fast!
However, doing little things each day will go a really long way to help you stay on top of cleaning.
Weekly Cleaning Routine
Now let’s move on to a weekly cleaning routine. This routine is basically dividing up weekly cleaning tasks among the days of the week. These are basically things you want to clean on a weekly basis.
The typical things include chores like: vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and bathrooms clean up. You can also include things like cleaning up the fridge or taking care of paperwork. You can divide it up however you want! Here is a my filled out weekly cleaning schedule template.
Here is exactly what I do during the week. Keep in mind that you can easily swap cleaning tasks between the days if something comes up.
After the weekend, I like to start my week easy 🙂 This is why my Mondays are for cleaning the office and any paperwork that I have accumulated over the past week. The cleaning itself involves dusting, picking up any clutter laying around, and cleaning all surfaces like desk, window, and side table.
As far as paperwork is concerned, I like to basically go through my pile of papers and sort them out. Anything that needs action will go to my weekly folder. And everything else will be either field away or thrown away.
Next day is for the bedrooms. This is where I will dust and clean all surfaces in our bedrooms. And we have three of them. I will tell you that it does not take me long at all. The reason for that is that our bedrooms are fairly clutter free. My kids, who are 4 and 8 have a few toys and books in their rooms as most of their stuff is currently in the playroom. And our master bedroom have even less things. We went for a very minimalistic look – we truly got rid of a lot of knickknacks a couple of years ago and that cut down the dusting time by a LOT!
RELATED: MINIMALISM - GRADUAL TRANSITION
Wednesday is the day where I clean my main living area. That includes our living room, dining room, and the kitchen island. This is where we spend majority of our days. And that means two people working full time from home, one child doing remote learning, and one child playing all day long 🙂
This day is where I dust, clean surfaces, collect any clutter always finds its way to the living space, make sure that all the blankets are folded, and remotes are disinfected. I also clean the inside of my living room window – finger printed as well as forehead prints can be found there quite often 😉
You cannot have a practical cleaning routine for a working mom without a day dedicated to the kitchen! And for me, that is Thursday. I chose this day because we usually get our groceries on Fridays. This way I can make sure that my fridge is clean and that I get rid of any expired or unusable items. This also gives me an opportunity to take an inventory of my fridge and pantry to see if I need to get anything to my grocery list.
Kitchen cleaning involves wiping down the hood, oven, and microwave, and spot cleaning my cabinets. I also wipe down my stainless steel appliances, all counter tops, and give my sink a really good scrub.
The last day of my cleaning routine! And that day is when I do most of my cleaning. I clean the main bathroom and take care of all the floors. I do that purposely because I really enjoy freshly clean bathroom and floors on the weekends. Weekends are also when I enjoy my bath – which is why I want it to be freshly cleaned.
Therefore, Fridays are cleaning heavier days for me – but that is totally by choice. You can move the bathroom or floor cleaning to another day if you prefer to have your Friday evenings less cleaning intensive 😉
RELATED: BATHROOM ORGANIZATION FOR BUSY MOMS
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
Saturdays and Sundays are designed to be days free of daily cleaning tasks. However, you can also use your weekends to catch up on things or to do a deep cleaning of one area of the house. I also like to use my weekends to work on specific projects around the house.
This cleaning schedule is meant to have some flexibility built into it. Because we all know that as working moms, our weeks are not the same. Some weeks might be so crazy with work that we don’t have time to complete some of the weekly cleaning tasks. And we will have to catch up on the weekends.
Deep Cleaning Routine
Now let’s talk about the last piece of the puzzle, which is the deep cleaning routine. This is the one I was struggling with the most for many years. Simply because I did not have any sort of schedule or system to make it work.
So what is a deep cleaning routine?
It’s exactly what is sounds like. Really getting into all the nooks and crannies that we don’t bother with when we do our weekly cleaning. For example, when you clean your bedrooms each week, you will likely concentrate on dusting, putting things away, and vacuuming. But you might not clean your baseboards or light fixtures. At least I don’t 😉 Or you probably don’t take everything out of the fridge and freezer every week to wash all the shelves. Instead, you will just quickly wipe it down.
And that is where the deep cleaning routine comes in.
There are so many different options for a deep cleaning schedule. You can create a monthly schedule where each month you dedicate some time to specific deep cleaning tasks. For example in January, you can concentrate on deep cleaning the kitchen and in February you can deep clean your bedrooms. Focusing on a specific area of your house each month is a practice shared by Clean Mama.
Another popular option is the Fly Lady System, where you divide you house into zones and you deep clean it zone by zone.
And you can also totally make your own version of a deep cleaning routine. As working moms it is sometimes hard to find the time for cleaning. Which is I like to customize everything 🙂
My deep cleaning routine is fairly simple. I wrote down all the deep cleaning tasks for my house. And I try to tackle them each quarter. I usually dedicate a couple of hours on the weekend to get some of the deep cleaning tasks done. Sometimes, if time allows, I will incorporate the deep cleaning tasks into my weekly cleaning schedule.
For example, I might clean the oven during the evening when I am cleaning my kitchen. Or I might clean the grout in my shower on my bathroom cleaning day.
The most important thing is flexibility! As working mom that is a key to our success in keeping our house clean. If you don’t get to something that month or quarter- you can start with that task next month.
How to Create Your Own Realistic Cleaning Routine
There are a lot of different cleaning routines out there. And they all have a huge fan base! But how to choose the one that will work for you?
You have to decide which one will fit your lifestyle and preferences the best. If you are the type of person who really likes to spend the weekend doing family activities, than the cleaning routine that involves spending a few hours on Saturdays cleaning your house will simply not be the right fit for you.
If you find yourself spending a lot of time cleaning each area of your house – you might have a problem of having too many things and decluttering might be your long term solution.
So check out the examples and templates in this post and see what is the best fit. Try one out and see if it works for you. If not, adjust it or try another cleaning routine. Keep in mind that in order to create a realistic cleaning routine you have to be flexible, start delegating some cleaning chores, and understand that every cleaning routine needs to be adjusted from time to time.
Be Flexible with Your Cleaning Routine
As working moms, the number one thing you have to start with is flexibility. Any changes to the work schedule, the level or responsibility, or the type of projects you do, will impact your home schedule. And that includes cleaning as well.
You absolutely have to flexible. That means that if you don’t get to a cleaning task that you have listed for Tuesday, you simply get to it on Wednesday, the weekend, or it can wait for next week.
Give yourself plenty of grace! We are not superwomen but working women.
Delegate Cleaning Chores
Involve your family members in helping with household chores. You do not have to do everything yourself. This is one of the pitfalls we often fall into as working moms.
We do everything by ourselves!
Why? The list of reasons is very long. But I think one of the main ones is that it is quicker to do it that way. i know that my kids will take twice as long to put away their clothes after I do their laundry. And they will probably not put them in the exact same spot in the closet that I would. But is it really that important?
Because in the end if we work together as a team we finish the cleaning to-do list much quicker. And that means that we can spend more time together as a family doing things we love.
Adjust Your Cleaning Schedule
Cleaning routines are great! But they are not meant to be restrictive. We create them to help us plan ahead and feel less overwhelmed. But we have to realize that there is no perfect schedule. What works today might now work as well in a month. As your schedule changes, kids get older and help out more, you can make small changes (or even big ones) to further improve your cleaning routine.
Also, think of adjustments in form of what you actually clean. I will tell you that cleaning before kids meant something completely different once I had them. What you used to clean on a monthly basis last year now you are content with cleaning it quarterly.
Think of these cleaning schedule tips as a baseline or a template that you get to make your own. Try it out and add your own spin it! Make it YOUR CLEANING ROUTINE
How does your cleaning schedule look like right now? Do you have one? If not, what is stopping you from trying one out?