I love check lists. Check lists for everything keeps me sane. If I tried to just remember everything that needed to be done, even if it is only a few things, I just would totally blank. I have tried a ton of systems for house cleaning. There’s a lot out there. But really what I’ve found best that meshes with both my obsession with organization and my desire to spend time with my children while I’m home with them and they are young is to make my own system.

I made a list of all the cleaning chores that needed to be done weekly and divided them out Monday – Friday. I tried to be logical about it (not putting big chores on the same day…). I also divided the house into 12 areas for deep cleaning chores (like wiping baseboards and things like that). Each week I do one area as I have time for the deep cleaning tasks. That way I don’t have the spring cleaning mountain of chores for all the deep cleaning (I got this idea from here). The result is this (click on it to download it):

Cleaning Schedule

My philosophy has been this: a clean house makes me happy, but happy children and a non-stressed me make me happier. If I don’t get something done one day – oh well. I’ll do it tomorrow (or even the next day) I do a pretty good job at doing all the jobs on the days I have them scheduled, but I also use it more as a pacing guide of sorts rather than a “its has to be done today” sort of list. Often times I’ll have a day that I don’t get much done, but the next day get the stuff from the day before and a few things from the next day done. It all works out by the end of the week. One thing I never do is say no to playing with Landon or Riley to do one of the chores. Landon loves helping and will help vacuum, dust (he even was a champ at helping clean the toilets last week!). I do the tasks that he really can’t help with (like bill paying) while he naps or in the evening. I also don’t schedule any chores for the weekends (except the ones Brad does or we do as a family) so if I had a particularly unproductive day in the cleaning department I can catch up on Saturday or Sunday (when I have Brad home to help). I really like the way its working out. House is clean. Kids are happy. Mom is happy.

One tool that I LOVE that feeds my obsession with check lists is an app for my phone – Astrid Tasks

I went through and put that schedule into Astrid. It has the ability to set up re-occurring tasks, so I just set my weekly chores to repeat weekly (duh) and the deep cleaning chores on a 14 week cycle. It syncs with Google (and G tasks), so they also show up on my calendar on the computer. It has a ton more functionality, like the ability to assign tasks (Brad – you clean the bathrooms this week!) and add notes for the tasks (Brad – THIS is how you clean the bathrooms). It pops up a reminder the day the task is due but it doesn’t hound you if you don’t do it. It just sits in your notifications area until you mark it as complete or “snooze” the task for later that day or week. I just leave the ones I haven’t done there so I have a visual of the jobs I need to get done first. Oh – and did I mention it’s free!

My best advice for if you’re trying to get and keep your house in order is start simple. All the complicated programs did for me was overwhelm me with trying to figure out this system rather than just get and keep my house clean. 

What’s working for you?

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One Response to How I keep my house clean – Schedules and check lists

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