Today's mission, as part of the Declutter 365 missions, is to make a personalized weekly cleaning schedule for your home.
When you make this schedule fit your personality, life and the needs of your home, you're setting yourself up for success in following the schedule and seeing the positive results it can provide.
We're working on this mission as one of the steps in the Create A House Cleaning Schedule Challenge here on the site, which is one of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenges. If you haven't yet, make sure you check out that article to get the big picture of what we're doing today.
Further, this mission is designed to be done after you have made your daily cleaning checklist, which was yesterday's task.
If you haven't done that yet make sure you do it since the daily and weekly tasks are combined to make your full schedule. Don't worry, it doesn't take long to make the daily checklist since I suggest the core 5 cleaning tasks that should be done daily, which means I've done most of the work for you in making that checklist!
The first step for this mission is to decide what you'll clean in your house at least weekly, or more often. This means deciding things like how often to vacuum, to dust, clean the toilet, etc.
To help you with general guidelines for what should get cleaned at least weekly please review this weekly house cleaning checklist, which also includes a free printable version (see the image of the printable below).
The checklist is most helpful to make sure, when creating your schedule, that you don't overlook anything. It is also designed to be a guide but the guidelines are not written in stone.
To make your cleaning schedule work for you, you need to tweak and adjust it as necessary.
How often you decide to clean things in your home is ultimately a very personal decision, and depends on things like the size of your home, how many people (and pets) live there, how messy those people are (which often relates to how old or young they are), and your comfort level with a bit of grime versus things needing to be immaculate.
That means, for example, while one person may choose that a weekly vacuuming of their carpets is sufficient since they live alone and don't have pets, another person may decide twice a week vacuuming is a necessity since the baby crawls on the carpet and four older children track in a lot of dirt and debris regularly.
I'm repeating this because people get hung up on it sometimes: There is no 100% right answer when it comes to how often to clean things, so use your best judgment. You can always adjust the frequency of cleaning up or down after trying it for a few weeks and seeing what is and isn't working.
Once you've decided what you'll clean over the course of the week, and how frequently, the next step is to decide what day or days of the week you'll do those tasks.
Again, there is no right or wrong way to do this. Some people want to do all their cleaning on one, or two days over the weekend, others want to space it out over the whole week, and others only want to clean during the week and leave their weekends free.
Things to consider when deciding on your schedule include who, if anyone, you can enlist to clean (remember, some or all of these weekly cleaning tasks can be assigned as household chores to family members, you don't actually have to be the only one cleaning!), your energy level at different times of the day and week, your normally scheduled activities and other tasks on various days or times, and generally, how much motivation you feel for various tasks.
Once you've decided on your weekly cleaning routine you need to write it down for reference.
I have created a printable cleaning schedule that you can fill out (it's the same printable that we used yesterday in dealing with the daily cleaning checklist).
You can go ahead and grab it here:
Once you've got both your daily cleaning tasks and weekly cleaning tasks filled out on the schedule you're ready to begin using it. Each day look at the daily checklist and make sure you do those essential tasks, and then also do whatever tasks (if any) you've assigned yourself for that day of the week.
Although I've provided you with a form you can fill out for your schedule, I want you to personalize your weekly schedule as much as possible so it suits your personality, lifestyle and needs.
Therefore, I'm also including several pictures sent in by readers who've already made their own personalized schedules so you can see what they've done and get inspiration for yourself.
This first one is from a reader, Kassy. She created several personalized schedules and then posted them on her wall where she could see them. She explained, "I have my cleaning schedule posted where I can see it every day. I also make daily appointments in my calender to do my cleaning so I don't forget and already have it planned into my day. Sad that I have to do that but it works!"
This next photo was sent in by a reader, Erinn. She said, "It took me awhile to get the hang of it mainly because I created some unrealistic expectations of what I could clean in one day and when I didn't finish a day's worth it really discouraged me. Now that I know what I can and can't do, I have reworked my schedule depending on my husband's days off." She further explained that she "put it into a sheet protector, then use a dry erase to mark off or highlight what is a priority. My kids also have their own chore chart."
Erinn makes a really good point about your schedule -- it's not set in stone! If you've over-estimated how much you can accomplish at once, or under-estimated how long tasks take, or your schedule or life has changed since you made your schedule, you can change it. This plan is supposed to help you, so change it however you need so it helps instead of hinders!
Below are two photos from a reader, Kara. She has combined her cleaning routine, laundry routine and other weekly household chores into one master list, along with assigning chores to others in the family, and then she's tracking it. She explained, "My kids sports schedule in spring messes me up. I have mine in my new journal and track daily items that I want to do and track. Also have weekly cleaning schedule highlighted by color. Laundry is the hardest and then getting the kids to do theirs."
Finally, this last photo is from a reader, Rignach, who showed her master cleaning list, which includes daily, weekly and monthly tasks. She said, "Here is my master list. I usually tackle the vacuuming and dishwasher while I am waking up with my coffee at 5:30 in the morning. After the kids are off to school at 6:30, I do the weekly chore. Then after lunch I tackle the monthly chore, followed by dinner prep/cook." She continued, "If days get disrupted and I cannot do a chore that day, I do not beat myself up. There is always the next rotation and some days if I am on the ball I can make up missed chores from earlier in the week. I found that if I do even 75% of the things it stay way above the mega ick tolerance level."
After you've written out your personalized weekly cleaning schedule, along with your daily schedule, the last task you need to do for this mission is to work toward doing the cleaning tasks for the day you've got on your schedule.
Commit to trying to complete this schedule for a week or two, tweak and re-arrange it if necessary, but I guarantee that if you stick to some type of schedule your house will feel a lot cleaner without seeming like too much additional effort.
I hope by now you're convinced that establishing and keeping up with a routine or schedule will help you and your family live and function more comfortably, and easily.
However, if you're not yet convinced, or want to understand how vitally important I think this routine is, check out this list of essential household chores you should do, even in survival mode. I've included several daily and weekly cleaning tasks in this short list, because it really shouldn't be skipped, even in really busy and chaotic times.
I hope seeing these pictures has inspired you to make your own daily cleaning routine, and then begin following it.
When you begin to declutter and organize your home and schedule the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
I've got a whole series of 15 minute decluttering missions (eventually 365 of them!) that you can do.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clean, organized and clutter free together!
I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!