I am clearly still very new to the whole staying at home thing, but one area I needed to figure out first was how do I keep my house clean while being at home every day? Prior to me staying at home, I use to take a day I was off of work (I am a nurse) and have my daughter go to school, so I could clean the entire house during the week and not have to worry about it over the weekend. For me, I still strive for this, but with having my daughter at home so much more and only in a mommy morning out program, getting an 8 hour stretch where I could clean the entire house and do all the laundry and grocery shopping, definitely wasn’t going to happen.
Given I had a new challenge to figure out, I sat down and looked at when I had blocks of time and how much time I had to accomplish this. For many, this option may be on a weekend and I think if that is what works for, by all means, go for it. For our family, I try to keep the weekend to time for rest, recharging, and lots of play, although I did grow up in a home where we did NOTHING on Saturday until the entire house was clean. Like, I have vivid memories of this haha. That was our day and that is what made sense for our family growing up. My family has a little bit of a different flow right now, so when I was navigating how to keep a clean house, I took that into consideration.
The first thing I did, was look at when I had blocks of time. As I mentioned above, maybe the weekend is the only time you have a block of time because your partner is home or maybe it is only in the evenings or mornings. Whatever it may be, that is your first consideration because it will depend on how you break up your cleaning. For me, my two most obvious blocks where when she was in her mommy’s morning out class and during nap time. Given that I wouldn’t be able to clean my entire home while she was at school and given I could use that time more wisely for errands or bigger projects I needed freedom with, I opted to use her nap time.
For us, nap time is hit or miss right now, but given that our daughter is only 2, we have opted to continue with this time even if she is in her crib playing the entire time. My plan (I say plan because who knows) is that this quiet time will continue until she is in school because I think downtime is very important, however, given we have another baby on the way I will definitely have to reassess my schedule once they are here.
After you have decided how much time you have and when that time falls, it is now time to decide how you will break up your home for cleaning. For me, I have about an hour and a half, which means I need to cater my cleaning to about that time frame. This means instead of doing my entire house all at once, I must break it up into hour and a half pieces. For me, this meant dividing my house out.
I looked at the upstairs and downstairs and roughly estimated how much time it takes me to do certain areas. For some, maybe you could do the downstairs one day and the upstairs another (maybe this is an option for my weekend cleaners). Or perhaps one day you do all of your bathrooms, another day bedrooms and living spaces, and another day your kitchen. Just make sure that your timing and your space make sense.
Once you have assigned what days/times you do what, try it out. I think a lot of creating a cleaning schedule is trial and error (at least it is for me!). So, see how it works. Maybe you need some catch up time incorporated into your week, or maybe one task takes longer than you thought. Just continue editing, until you have found a good flow.
Lastly, in creating a cleaning schedule, I have a few tips that I find super helpful so far. One, is do a load of laundry every day. This will help prevent build up of stuff that needs to be folded (the worst part) and hopefully help keep from overflowing hampers, as well. Second, is to vacuum a few days a week in the main spaces in order to help things from building up. This makes cleaning it so much easier and faster. And thirdly, is to incorporate that buffer time for catch up, if you can. This helps on busy weeks or weeks that just aren’t going to plan. We all have them and knowing it’s okay if you don’t get to a certain task on a certain day can feel so good.
I am definitely still learning and gathering as many tips as I can, but these are a few that I have learned so far and have been super helpful. As I mentioned above, I also think it is important to remind yourself that these schedules will constantly be shifting and changing depending upon your life stage right now and that is okay. I think if you come back to these basics, you will definitely be able to figure out how to make it work again within your situation.
Below, I am going to include some graphics I have saved from Pinterest that have some ideas you could use for a cleaning schedule. Hopefully they help to provide you with some ideas on how to create your own cleaning schedule or give you a plan to follow that works for you, your home, and your family. *These are not mine, and when possible the creator is credited.