How To Create a Custom Cleaning Schedule That’s Simple and Realistic

Inside: Ditch the premade checklists and create your own custom cleaning schedule. It’s always easier to do things when you plan first, and a plan is always best when it’s tailor-made for you.

Everyone loves a clean house, but fewer people love the work required to do it. And to be honest, making a cleaning schedule can feel like a whole new level of crazy. Just clean things when they need it, right? Wrong. That is the ticket to everything piling up all at once and a sudden feeling of overwhelm. And it’s guaranteed to hit when everything else in your life feels crazy.

The solution? Tackle this big job with a plan, right now. Make it realistic, make it sustainable, and then, you know… do it!

I’m going to walk you through building a cleaning schedule one level at a time. Maybe you have a pretty good handle on most stuff but need routines for deeper cleaning. In that case, levels 3 and 4 will be the most relevant to you. If you’re overwhelmed by daily tasks, start at level 1. No shame.

Get a piece of paper, and let’s start sketching out a plan. This will be the heart of your cleaning and organizing at home.

A watercolor painting of a cozy living room featuring a white sofa with colorful patterned throw pillows, a rustic coffee table, and a window with sunlight shining through.

Building Blocks

  • Level 1: Declutter, dishes, floors. These are your dailies. They gotta happen.
  • Level 2: Kitchen and bathrooms. These have to happen, but the timing is flexible.
  • Level 3: Living spaces. You can break these down or do them in bulk. Skipping is okay.
  • Level 4: Deep/ seasonal cleaning. I recommend an actual schedule for these.

Level 1: Your Dailies

Life is not the same day after day, and your cleaning schedule shouldn’t be either—except for your daily tasks. These are your foundation. When you have to let everything else go, just focus on these and you’ll be okay.

I recommend doing your kitchen tasks after dinner, and everything else right after getting dressed in the morning. Master this before you move on to building out other parts of your schedule.

Every household is different, so your daily cleaning needs may vary. Consider this a starting point, and adjust as needed to fit your lifestyle and preferences.


  • Run the dishwasher
  • Wipe down kitchen counters and sink
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Wipe down eating areas


  • Make beds
  • 6-minute declutter (papers, packaging, random junk, broken stuff–we are throwing things in the trash)
  • 3-minute straightening (fixing pillows, books, remotes, cups, toys—we are quickly returning thing to their home)
  • Put laundry where it belongs


  • Wipe down sink
  • Wipe down toilet

Remember: These have to be done every day, but you don’t have to be the one doing them! Even very young children can handle 95% of these tasks.

Action Steps

  1. Decide on 2 times per day that you will tackle your dailies. Again, I recommend 15 minutes in the evening for the kitchen and 15 minutes in the morning for everything else.
  2. Assign children their own bedroom and bathroom chores. If they need to wake up 15 minutes earlier and get them done first thing, so be it.
  3. If you would like, assign the kitchen chores to children as well. It’s up to you!

Level 2: Kitchen and Bathroom Medium Cleans

While daily tasks are fairly straightforward, fitting in this part of your cleaning routine requires a bit more strategy.

Here’s where we need to do some thinking and decide which of these methods you like best.

A watercolor painting of a person in jeans and work boots sweeping a wooden floor with a rustic broom, with sunlight casting shadows on the floor.

Time Blocking:

  • Dedicate a specific amount of time each day (10 minutes is enough) to kitchen and bathroom medium cleans.
  • Set a timer and tackle as much as you can within that timeframe.
  • This is great if you have limited time or prefer short bursts of cleaning.
  • You can keep a list and work through it or just do what needs to be done.

Task-Based Cleaning:

In this method, you assign certain tasks to certain days of the week. It breaks up your work but makes sure every area is getting cleaned regularly.

For example:

  • Monday–Toilets
  • Tuesday–Kitchen Appliances (sink, stove, fridge)
  • Wednesday–Kitchen Floor
  • Thursday–Bathtubs and Showers
  • Friday–Bathroom Sinks and Mirrors
  • Saturday–Bathroom Cabinets
  • Sunday–Kitchen Cabinets

Zone Cleaning:

This is a traditional way of keeping your house clean, but it’s not very flexible.

In this method, you pick 2 days of the week: one for your kitchen and one for your bathroom. Since they are both big jobs, I’d recommend the two days of the week you have the lightest schedule.

This is great for people who like a whole room to be clean at once.

Action Steps

  1. Pick your favorite method for tackling your level 2 tasks.
  2. If you’re doing task-based or zone cleaning, assign things to days of the week. If you’re doing time blocking, decide on a general time of day you will do these.

Can’t decide?

  • I like time blocking for anyone feeling overwhelmed by this whole process. All you have to do is set a ten-minute timer and get to work.
  • Task-based cleaning works well for anyone who is assigning these to their kids. Everyone does toilets on Monday and that keeps it simple.
  • Perfectionist types, go for zone cleaning.

Level 3: Bedrooms and Living Spaces

These areas get cluttered, but there isn’t so much of a gross factor as your Level 2 @paces. That is why they are less urgent. Remember, your daily tasks include a quick declutter and straightening up. All you have to do here is vacuum and dust.

Tip: If you haven’t mastered the 6-minute declutter and the 3-minute straightening every day, this job will feel harder. Go back and sort that out.

A watercolor painting of a cozy living room featuring a white sofa with colorful patterned throw pillows, a rustic coffee table, and a window with sunlight shining through.

Just like Level 2, You have some options for working these tasks into your routine.

  • Time Blocking. Set aside 5 minutes a day to clean living spaces. Honestly, 5 minutes will be enough if you do it every day!
  • Zone Cleaning. Do you have a kitchen day and a bathroom day? Give yourself a bedroom day and a living room day. (Thursday and Friday are nice because they’re easier, and everything is pretty for the weekend.)
  • Task Based. Make one day a week a dusting day and one day a week a vacuuming day. These should take about 30 minutes each.

This should feel easy! Your foundational steps were all the hard work.

Action Steps

  1. Pick your favorite method for tackling your living spaces and bedrooms.
  2. If you’re doing task-based or zone cleaning, assign things to days of the week.

Can’t decide? Pick zone cleaning! These are simple, satisfying chores and having them done all at once feels nice. Dust and vacuum your living room on Thursdays, and dust and vacuum bedrooms on Fridays. If you want to give yourself a Friday off here and there, no big deal.

Level 4: True Deep Cleaning and Seasonal Cleaning

Well I hope you enjoyed that, because now we’re back into the misery section. We’re talking windows, scrubbing grout, washing couch covers and doing baseboards. Sigh.

The problem with these tasks is that they really, truly require a list and a schedule because you will never, ever (did I mention ever?) feel like doing them. You need to make a list of seasonal cleaning tasks and just work your way through them.

I know. I know.

A watercolor painting of a farmhouse bedroom with a neatly made bed, white bedding, and sunlight streaming through the windows with sheer white curtains.

I hate these tasks and I’m assuming you do too. There are a few ways to handle them, like anything else in life. Break it down or batch it.

  • Break it down. Every week, do a few tasks on the list, however many it takes to make sure you’re hitting all the ones you need to do.
  • Batch it. Have a quarterly deep clean weekend and knock ’em all out.

If you’re a break-it-down type, you need to decide how much you’re breaking it down. Will you do a tiny amount of deep cleaning once a day? Pick one day a week and work for 45 minutes or so?

You’ll need to come up with all the seasonal tasks you do. Here is a sample list, but some might not apply to you, and some you might pay to have done.

Seasonal Schedule:

  • Spring Cleaning: Declutter and organize garages and sheds, clean deck and patio furniture.
  • Summer Cleaning: Clean grills, pools, outdoor accessories, clean fireplace.
  • Fall Cleaning: Deep clean carpets and rugs, wash curtains and blinds
  • Winter Cleaning: Clean and declutter holiday spaces.

Monthly or Quarterly Tasks:

  • Baseboards: Dust and wipe down baseboards throughout your home.
  • Light Fixtures: Dust and clean light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Vents and Filters: Clean air vents, replace air filters, and vacuum refrigerator coils.
  • Behind Appliances: Clean behind the refrigerator, oven, and other appliances.
  • Windows: Wash windows and window sills inside and out.
  • Mattresses: Vacuum and flip mattresses (if applicable).

Action Steps

  1. Make a list of all your seasonal tasks.
  2. Decide if you’re a break-it-down or batch-it person.
  3. Breaking it down? Pick a plan. Do you want a weekly deep cleaning day where you work your way down the list? Ten minutes a day more your style? Can you hire someone (a neighborhood teen?) to do any of these?

What You Should Have Now

Okay! Let’s zoom out. You might have days that look the same every day, with bite size tasks peppered through. You might have a weekly schedule with zones where some days are harder than others.

But facts are facts, and keeping a clean house takes time. No way around it.

Here’s the time we’re talking:

  • Level 1: 30 minutes a day
  • Level 2: 10 minutes a day
  • Level 3: 5 minutes a day
  • Level 4: 10 minutes a day

This is…ahem… an hour a day, on average, of cleaning. Remember, you should not be the only one doing it. But it has to get done. It’s better to know this and understand it rather than set unrealistic expectations.

For the Time-Crunched

Not everyone has an hour a day to clean, even when you try to break it up, and even when you delegate. That’s okay.

Scale back a level and just hang out there. That’s why the levels exist!

Start Small, and Keep Working!

And there’s your step-by-step guide to creating a cleaning schedule that’s not just effective, but actually works for you. No more crazy checklists that leave you feeling overwhelmed or guilty. Go throw those out.

I love you, and I’m rooting for you, no matter what your fridge looks like.

A watercolor painting of a farmhouse bathroom sink with wooden accents, a vintage-style faucet, and a vase of fresh wildflowers on the counter.
How To Create a Custom Cleaning Schedule That\'s Simple and Realistic

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