3 Step Cleaning Schedule for Working Moms
As a working mom, finding time to maintain your home is a challenge. That’s why a cleaning schedule is so important.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan of attack already laid out before the week or month even begins? To know what tasks need to be done without really having to think about it? To spend less time cleaning so you can do things you really enjoy?
I think so, too.
The fact is, by taking a short amount of time to create a cleaning schedule in advance, you will save yourself hours in lost productivity.
No more searching for scattered to-do lists or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done.
I’ve scoured Google and Pinterest for the perfect cleaning schedule that would work for me, but sadly, it doesn’t seem to exist. The cleaning schedules I found online required a few hours each weekday and very little on the weekend. I’m a working mom and have to stick to the quick hitters during the week and save the big stuff for the weekend.
I figured I couldn’t be the only working mom in this situation (please tell me I’m not the only one), so I created a cleaning schedule template for all my working-mom sisters out there who are looking for a cleaning schedule tailored to their specific needs. With this printable template, you create the cleaning schedule that works for you.
I’m also giving you 3 super easy steps to create your cleaning schedule and I’ll show you EXACTLY what I do as an example.
Ready to get started? Here we go.
Step 1. Analyze your time, be realistic.
First you have to decide when and how much time you can dedicate to your cleaning schedule. Identify a specific day and time and write it down. For example, Monday from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and so on for each day of the week. This is the beginning of your cleaning schedule template and will be different for everyone depending on your work schedule, commute, kids activities, etc.
For me, Tuesdays are really tough because my daughter has dance and my son has Cub Scouts…AT THE SAME TIME. It feels like my husband and I are professional chauffeurs at this point. Tuesday is also one of our scheduled bath nights at our house so I basically have no time to even think about my house until after the kids go to bed.
The most important part of this step is to be very realistic about how much time you can dedicate on a daily basis.
I recommend starting with a shorter amount of time and if you find you can do more, simply adjust your schedule. If you overdo it at the beginning, it will be harder to stick with it in the long run.
Step 2. Make a list, check it twice.
Once you’ve determined how much time you have available for your cleaning schedule, it’s time to make a list of all the cleaning, decluttering and organizing tasks you want to accomplish.
Next, decide how often each task needs to be completed. Some will be daily, others weekly, monthly or quarterly. There will also be some that are seasonal for cold and warm weather maintenance items. I’ve included a list of the most common tasks in a printable below.
When making your list, think about what makes the most sense to you as far as dividing up the tasks. Do you prefer to work on one room at a time, or complete one task throughout the whole house?
I like to work on one task at a time. For instance, I do all the bathrooms together, all the dusting, windows, etc. This makes the most sense to me because I’ve already got the cleaning supplies out for each task so I just go around the whole house and get it done.
Once your list is complete, it’s time to build your cleaning schedule by deciding which activities will be completed on each day based on the time needed for each task, and the time you allotted for each day in Step 1.
Use the printable below to create your list. I’ve also included a list of common cleaning tasks and recommended time frames for completing each task. Just keep in mind that the frequency needed will depend on your specific home and your family (including those furry friends).
Now that you’ve identified how much time you have available for your cleaning schedule each day and you’ve made your cleaning list, it’s time to build your schedule. Choose one of the templates below or download both!
And voila! You have your very own customized cleaning schedule built around your home and your life.
The picture below shows you my personal cleaning schedule so you can get an idea of what yours might look like. I scheduled my cleaning time around my normal work schedule of 8:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (including commute) Monday through Friday, kids activities and other commitments.
For me, the weekdays are about doing a little each day to stay caught up on laundry and reduce or eliminate clutter. I really don’t have time for major cleaning on these days so I reserve a good chunk of time on the weekends for cleaning. But guess what? Sometimes it doesn’t happen the way I’d like. Maybe we have plans to be out of town on the weekend.
There’s often things that derail my plan. But rather than feeling defeated, I simply adjust my schedule which keeps me from feeling overwhelmed and helps me stay in control of my time.
Step 3. Implement and adjust.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Now that you have your cleaning schedule all laid out, it’s time to get busy and test it out.
Don’t worry if it doesn’t work perfectly at first. The idea here is to get your schedule started so you can really figure out what works best for you. Then you make adjustments and refine your plan. It will get even better and faster with time.
Tips for Sticking With It:
Let’s face it, this is the hardest part. Making a cleaning schedule takes some time, but it’s also kind of fun, right? The vision of a sparkly clean house is good motivation to keep you going. The actual cleaning part…not so fun.
So how do you actually stick to your cleaning schedule?
A Little Bit of Prep Goes a Long Way
It’s very important to use the right tools to get the job done quickly and easily. The key is to be efficient so you can get your work done and move on to other things in your day.
Sure, you could use a broom on those wood or tile floors, but is that the best tool? In my experience, hard surface floors get cleaner faster by using a dust mop or small vacuum. No more back and forth relentlessly sweeping only to have half of the debris go under the dustpan anyway.
In addition to using the right tools, you have to make sure your cleaning supplies are easily accessible and ready for you to pick them up and get right to work.
Clumsy Homemaker Pro-Tip:
A lint roller is a very useful cleaning tool. Use it to remove dust, lint and pet hair from upholstered furniture and lamp shades!
Having a caddy ready to go with all your cleaners, cleaning cloths, toilet brush and the all-too-important rubber gloves will keep you from having to hunt for these items or go room to room collecting them.
Here are a few of my favorite tools:
I also recommend checking out Grove Collaborative for healthier alternatives to traditional cleaners. There’s enough toxins in our house as it is, no need to add more when we’re just trying to get our homes clean.
Some rooms warrant having their own supplies already in them. For example, I keep a container of cleaning wipes under the sink in the kitchen and each bathroom in case I need to do a quick wipe down in between deep cleanings. Because I have a 6-year-old son, and well, he can be messy in the bathroom.
So be sure to take some time to prepare your supplies beforehand to help you easily stick to your cleaning schedule.
Accountability Is Key
I recommend going over the schedule with your family. Get your significant other and your kids in the loop and on board. Set a family goal to stick to the plan and keep each other accountable.
For kids, it’s important to explain the time commitment. When they look at a whole list of tasks that need to be done, they’ll probably think it will take hours everyday and they’ll never have time for anything else.
Explain that if everyone pitches in and does a little bit everyday, you will all have time to do the things you enjoy and spend more time together.
Clumsy Homemaker Pro-Tip:
Implement family pick-up time. Designate 15 minutes each day when the whole family picks up, declutters or organizes for 15 minutes. If four people work for 15 minutes each, that’s an hour’s worth of work done in only 15 minutes!
Then post the schedule in a prominent area where everyone can see it everyday.
Someday, as hard as it is to think about, your kids will have homes of their own. Teaching life skills needed for home maintenance starts when they’re young. Kids learn from the example you set for them.
Maintaining a home is not just for moms and dads. It’s a family effort.
Make it a point to have the whole family pitch in to make your cleaning schedule really work. Once everyone gets used to the routine, it’ll just be part of the norm and no one will think twice about it.
If you do get some not-so-helpful attitudes when you’re first starting your new routine, let the cleaning schedule be the boss. Tell your kids you’re following the schedule you all agreed on and it’s important for everyone else to follow the schedule, too. This approach helps them see you’re all in the same boat together and it’s not “mom” giving direction, it’s the schedule. Remind them you’re a team and everyone has to do their part.
When I was a kid, I’ll admit I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities around the house. I lived with my mom, sister and grandparents. Between my mom and grandma, pretty much everything was done for me. Seemed great then, but as I grew up, I realized how much I missed out on.
I remember calling my mom to ask how to do laundry, bake a potato or boil an egg. For real. And it’s not just learning how to take care of myself and my house that I missed out on, it’s the time we could have spent together, too.
I’m not proud of it, but I am proud of how much I’ve learned since then and how well I keep up with my house now. I’m not perfect by any means, but my home is clean and we eat mostly healthy meals cooked by me or my husband.
Make It Fun
You know the saying “time flies when you’re having fun?” It’s so true! Working some fun into your cleaning schedule will definitely make it more enjoyable.
Turn on some music or create a cleaning playlist so everyone can sing and dance as they get their work done. This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m cleaning because I always end up focused on the music and it makes the time go by much faster.
Implementing a point system or sticker chart for little ones so they can earn rewards is another fun way to keep kids motivated and helps them see that good things come from hard work.
If your kids earn an allowance, you can allot different amounts for different tasks. The harder tasks like mowing the lawn would earn more than dusting, for example. This gives kids an opportunity to earn some extra cash and also learn the concept that money is earned, not given with nothing in return.
Give Yourself Grace
Starting something new and developing new habits is hard. The easy thing to do is what we’re already doing. But you can’t make improvements if you don’t change.
It’s very important to give yourself grace and flexibility as you implement your cleaning schedule. Remember, it’s not always going to work out the way you plan. It happens to everyone!
But don’t give up. Instead, make adjustments.
If you didn’t have time to get to all the dusting that needed to be done, try to squeeze in a few extra minutes on another day or spread it out over a few days until it’s done.
Ran out of time to mop all the floors? Focus on the areas that need it most knowing you will get to the other areas next time.
Most importantly, don’t focus of what you DIDN’T get done, focus on what you DID get done. Feel proud of what you accomplished! You deserve it!
Don’t forget to comment below to let me know how your cleaning schedule is working for you. I’d love to see a photo too!
If you like what you read, check out my organization tips for working moms that will help you develop a plan to transform your time, my recommendations on 5 very practical subscription boxes that save me some major time, and my post about my most favorite mom-hack that saves me hours every month.