How to create a weekly cleaning schedule with defined tasks for each day of the week to help you know exactly what to do for a home that’s always clean enough.
Smooth and shiny bathtubs, gleaming polished furniture, and crystal clear windows. We can all agree we love to have them and don’t really love to get them that way.
So many of us are stuck in a cycle of not really doing much cleaning until we have to. Guests are coming, so we exhaust ourselves cleaning everything in our home , enjoy it for one day, and go back to our old ways. Or we get into a spring cleaning frenzy, start attacking a spring cleaning checklist, and quit halfway through.
Let’s break that cycle by doing something each and every day to make cleaning our home much easier.
The problem with most cleaning schedules
Well, there are a few.
First, they just feel restrictive and like they are too much. Just looking at them makes you feel like throwing your hands in the air and not doing any cleaning at all.
Secondly, they are impersonal. Some people do need to scrub the bathtubs every week, but many people don’t. We don’t need to clean for the sake of cleaning.
And finally, a pre-made cleaning schedule doesn’t take into account all the other things you have going on in your life!
That being said, a cleaning schedule is actually very helpful. But you have to make your own.
So why bother making a weekly cleaning schedule?
Some people are naturally clean. They effortlessly move through their homes, cleaning almost without realizing it.
Now, most of us are not so lucky. We go through phases where we sit around and do nothing, and phases where we clean everything in sight (often before company comes!).
The solution to this, obviously, is to do a little bit each day.
Here’s where a schedule can be helpful. The deeper cleaning tasks in your home can be become overwhelming if you don’t break them down a little. The good news is you have a whole week to get things done. Do a little bit each day and you’ll get there.
What cleaning should be done daily?
Every day, you should try to get your house back to a state where you would not be embarrassed by someone stopping in. Just a reset to an acceptably clean and tidy condition. The “good enough” clean.
Your daily cleaning will involve:
- Making beds
- Unloading the dishwasher
- Cleaning out the coffee maker
- Tidying up living spaces
- Picking up laundry
- Wiping down the counters
- Sweeping the kitchen floor
- Doing all the dishes
- Taking out the trash
- Throwing out junk mail and other clutter
You get the idea. You may have way more tasks than this, or fewer.
Everyone will have their own tasks that are daily essentials for a clean house. If it’s something you feel like you are doing every darn day, then I have news for you: you have it to it every day.
If it feels helpful to you to make a house cleaning checklist that you refer to every day with with all your cleaning tasks, write one down to make sure you aren’t forgetting something. (I have a blank one you can grab here.)
How to create your own
Have you ever heard the saying “it is easier to loosen the screw than tighten the screw”? It’s actually about raising children. (Sounds a bit dark doesn’t it?). Anyway!The basic principle is this: if you start out strict, you can relax down the road. But if you start out relaxed, it’s hard to become stricter.
And a cleaning schedule is a bit like that.
The more you struggle with keeping your house clean, the stricter you should be with yourself to start. As you develop good habits, you can loosen up a little and switch to a more flexible system.
But to get started with a good amount of structure, try a system that tells you what to do each week.
Here’s an example. (Feel free to mix it up, totally change it, whatever works for you. The key is to give yourself a lot of structure in the beginning, and a little more freedom as time goes on.)
Want your own printable version?
Click to download this schedule PLUS a blank version for you to fill out.
Sample weekly house cleaning schedule
Monday is perfect for laundry day. You tend to be home most of the day after a weekend out, and the new week feels like a fresh start.
Read more about adding a laundry day to your cleaning routine here.
- Do as much laundry as you have time for
- Wipe down washing machine and dryer
- Organize any storage in this space
- Set things aside to be dry cleaned
- Tidy up laundry room
- Mop laundry room floor
There is nothing as cheerful as a shiny, clean kitchen. Kitchen cleaning day is one of the most satisfying days of the week. This is a great day to go to the grocery store (or get your groceries delivered if you’re tired from cleaning), because the fridge is cleared out.
- Clean out the fridge
- Wipe down the front of appliances
- Clean the cooktop and vent hood
- Deep clean appliances as needed
- Organize one cabinet (over time you’ll get every cabinet done)
- Clean the counter, including underneath small appliances
Cleaning the bathroom isn’t fun, but it sure is necessary. If you have children enough to do this job themselves, have them do it. Just because it’s your cleaning schedule doesn’t mean you have to do everything on it.
- Clean toilets, tubs, sinks
- Clean mirrors
- Mop bathroom floors
- Wash bathmats and the shower curtain as needed
- Wipe down walls and doorknobs as needed
- Empty trash cans
Thursday: Office and Bedrooms
These are places that are easy to neglect because you can shut the door when people come cover.
A lot of us have a tendency to shove other stuff we aren’t really using in rooms like this. (Ahem.)
And, since we don’t cook in them, it seems easy to just put off cleaning them. It never really feels like a cleaning emergency. The result? Dusty, cluttered rooms that we don’t enjoy being in. The best way to deal with this is to give these rooms their own spot in the weekly cleaning schedule.
- change sheets
- tidy and dust bookshelves
- organize office desk
- declutter paperwork
- vacuum and dust office and bedrooms
Friday: Polish and Shine
- Dust and/ or polish your living spaces
- Vacuum and mop your living spaces, kitchen, and hallways
- make sure living areas are neat for the weekend
Many of these tasks are very physical and demanding. If you can afford a house cleaning service, these are great tasks to hire someone for.
- sweep the porch and deck
- wipe down outdoor furniture
- power wash house as needed
- clean windows as needed
- wash and clean out car
- organize garage or shed
Sunday: Rest and Reset
- Check your calendar for the upcoming week
- Make next week’s meal plan
How much time should you spend cleaning?
Right. Tough question. I understand that a lot of people work full time outside the home, and cleaning for two hours a day is just not realistic.
But keeping your home clean is about more than writing down a schedule. You have to do the work, and that takes time.
First, thing about your daily cleaning tasks. How much time do they take? Mine take about an hour a day, and are part of my morning routine and evening routine. I also have kids who do a lot of these, which helps. These little chores can be time consuming, but they can also be delegated. Moree kids means more mess, but more help.
Then, look at the bigger jobs on your schedule. They could not take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. But here’s a secret: if you have all day to do something, you’ll make it take all day.
If your time is limited, just work fast and efficiently. Do what you can in the time you have, and come back to it next week.
Everyone has twenty minutes a day they can spend on doing the tasks on their cleaning schedule. Start there.
Making it stick
House cleaning schedules are only helpful if you do the work.
Remember, it’s hard to tighten the screw. When you’re first getting started with a weekly cleaning schedule, be strict with yourself.
Don’t start switching up days, making deals with yourself, or putting things off. Set a specific time for your weekly cleaning. If you do it in the morning, it’s not hanging over your head and it’s more likely to actually get done.
Set yourself up for success at home by keeping cleaning supplies in easily accessible places: in every bathroom, in the kitchen, and anywhere else that would be helpful.
Try to reframe your thoughts about cleaning. You take pride in a clean home. You love being able to make your home clean and cozy for your family. You love how your home looks when it’s clean.
Say it until you believe it!
Set a timer, do the work, and then be done and move on with your life.
More on cleaning and routines
- Looking for a more flexible home routine? If you already have a reasonably clean home, try this method of three deep clean or medium cleaning tasks a day from any area of your home. (I often bounce back and forth between these two scheduling methods depending on how busy I am and how much work my house needs.)
- Of course, cleaning is not the only part of a house schedule. Here’s how to set up a routine for every aspect of managing your home.
- Having trouble picturing how all of this will fit in to your day? Try time blocking to make sure you know exactly what you are doing with each hour of your time.
You can do it!