cleaning schedule and routine for working moms
16Nov

The Ultimate Cleaning Schedule For Working Moms | Plus 7 Essential Keys To Make It Fail-Proof

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THE ULTIMATE CLEANING SCHEDULE FOR WORKING MOMS

Hey girl, I’m glad you’re here.  Taking the time to create a cleaning schedule is a fabulous way to show yourself a little love!  Desiring a cleaning schedule means that even though you are ridiculously busy working mom, you are serious about creating the clean home & life you truly deserve!  

But…I want to be frank.  I’ve seen so many moms get stuck downloading one cleaning schedule after another in search of the one that will finally help them turn their house around.  This can go on for months. And as a working mom myself, I know that you don’t have time to waste! 

To be honest, that doesn’t have to be you.  So here’s the deal. I am going to give you a ridiculously solid cleaning schedule to download at the end of all this!  But first, I am going to give you something powerful — something no one else is sharing.  

Below are seven simple keys so that any working mom wanting to create a cleaning schedule can use to basically guarantee you will have a clean house!  And what’s even better is with these keys, instead of just having a clean house  — you’ll learn the secrets that will allow you to have a clean house most of the time! And yes, it can be done even with kids or a full time job.

PART 1 | SEVEN KEYS TO MAKING YOUR CLEANING SCHEDULE WORK

Key 1 | Declutter Your House Every Day

What is clutter

Clutter is a random pile of mess — look around.  Do you see any? If you see lots of clutter around your house, that’s the first thing you’re going to want to tackle before actually starting a cleaning schedule.  

Decluttering your house does not have to be considered some big ceremonious event.  You simply need to add decluttering to your everyday routine and consider it a way of life from here forward.  

Getting started 

Whether you start with the bedrooms first or common areas, the most important thing is to have a plan or focus point.   Pick a room and spend 15-30 minutes a day (definitely more if you’ve got the time) decluttering it. Once done, move on to the next room.  Start in an easy room first so that you can get some momentum & motivation to keep going. 

Power Tip | Don’t collect bags and bags of clutter that need to be tossed and let them sit around for weeks at a time.  Keep the ball rolling by collecting clutter & tossing it either the same day or within 24 hours.

Keep this in mind

Decluttering is something that you should plan to do regularly for the rest of your life.  It’s one of the secrets to a clean house for life. Plus a decluttered house looks clean even when it’s not!  That’s a huge win for any working mom! 

Key 2 | Prevent avoidable messes

Why you should do this

You’re already short on time so why spend it cleaning messes that could have been prevented in the first place?  Simple things like house rules & boundaries can help with these types of messes drastically! 

Examples of avoidable messes

If you’re cleaning crayons off the walls in your house every week — you can totally let your kids be free or creative yet have boundaries.  Crayons are for paper not walls — unless you have those cute chalk walls of course!

Dishes left in the sink overnight — prevent this by unloading the dishwasher each morning so that all the dishes throughout the day can be placed in the dishwasher.     

Ask yourself which messes can be avoided in your home

Where are the worst messes made in your home?  What annoys you the most to have to clean? What do you spend most of your time cleaning?  Once you have answers to those questions, think about what can be done to prevent those messes from happening.  Kicking everyone out, while tempting, is not an answer! 

You may want to read my post How To Have A Clean House For Life.  It’s a huge list of simple ideas & habits you can start using literally today to help you have a house that virturally stays clean forever!

Key 3 | Make Cleaning Easier & Enjoyable

Why is this important

Think about your job — your real job.  A crappy computer can be frustrating to work with — it can decrease your attitude, efficiency & overall productivity. 

But a new computer can turn that bad attitude around instantly & solidify your spot as employee of the month! That is exactly what good cleaning products can do for your attitude towards cleaning!

Don’t make cleaning harder than it has to be 

Invest in cleaning products & tools that you will actually enjoy using — and ones that can get the job done. Stop penny-pinching on vacuum cleaners  — buy the one that really sucks (in a good way) and excites you at the thought of taking it for a spin!   

You may want to read my post How To Clean Your House Like A Pro if you don’t know where to start cleaning your house or if you’re unorganized and need a little direction.

Recommendation for a vacuum cleaner

Key 4 | Be smarter with your time

Why you should do this

As a working mom, the one thing you must do is use your time wisely.   Again, time is always limited for you. If you want to follow a cleaning schedule & feel accomplished, you’re going to have to adjust other areas of your life so that you actually have time to clean.  

Get more time by creating a balance between home, work & life

Let’s say you want to spend one-hour a day cleaning.  How can you get that hour? Here are some areas you of your life you should review: 

  • You may need to get up a little earlier or go to bed a bit later in order to make time to clean.  We’re just talking 30 minutes to an hour. However, still ensuring you get 7-8 hours of sleep is a must!  
  • Cooking every day takes up so much time.  Meal prep for the week whenever possible.  
  • Are you and your family heavily involved in extracurricular activities?  If you had to let one go, which one would it be?
  • If you truly cannot make time, perhaps you should look at hiring a cleaning service to assist you.

Key 5 | Clean as you go

Why this is important

Cleaning schedules, no matter how thorough, still leave a lot unsaid.  To get the results you’re looking for — a spectacularly clean house without spending all of your time cleaning — you will have to fill in the blanks with good cleaning habits that are built into your everyday life.  

How to clean as you go

When you use the bathroom, the secondary action that — hopefully — allows follows is you wipe yourself.  You don’t put off wiping yourself to some more convenient time. You do it right then and there.  

That is cleaning as you go at it’s best!  Basically, whatever you touch, you must follow through by cleaning it, putting it away or throwing it away right then and there.  The immediate follow-through is the key.  

Easiest ways to put this into practice

Here are a few more examples of how to practice cleaning as you go: 

  • While cooking — once you’re done prepping & everything is on the stove, start wiping counters and surfaces.  Empty the dishwasher. As food finishes, transfer items to tupperware and wash the pots. 
  • When you undress, place your clothing in a hamper or wherever they actually belong.  Not on the floor. Not on the bed. Not on the chair.  
  • After you brush your teeth, spray and wipe out the sink.  It takes 30 seconds.   
  • When you get out of the bed you need to (fill in the blank)!  You guessed it — make the bed right then & there! Now I understand this may be a source of conflict between you & whomever you may share the bed with:-)

If you train yourself to clean as you go, eventually, it will become a way of life.  It’s one of the easiest, yet most powerful things you can do to always have a house you’re proud to say is yours! 

Key 6 | A little goes a long way

Why this matters

Let’s be honest  — you’re not always going to have time to follow your cleaning schedule.  As a working mom, it’s to be expected. When your cleaning schedule gets interrupted, just do what you can until you can catch up.   Some days you can do a little, others you can do a lot — it all adds up to a win!

How to put this into practice

If you can’t get to the bathrooms on bathroom day — just ask yourself, is there anything you can do instead?  Start one load of laundry, shred some old papers, or donate some clothing — all good ideas.

So what you didn’t get everything done.  Today got real crazy real fast so the one thing you did get done is a win! 

KEY 7 | Work with or around your family

Why this is huge

This is so important because when you have a family, it can really seem like the only person that cares about having a clean home is you.  That can make you want to quit trying all together but don’t. You deserve a clean home and you will get it. One way or another.  

How to work with your family

Have a conversation about the state of the house and how you’d like to fix this.  Let everyone know that they can easily do their part by doing easy things like their chores or simply cleaning up after themselves.  

Set clear expectations and let them know you need them to follow the program so that you can have more time to do things for them when they need you.  Major key alert. Provide gentle, loving reminders at first. We don’t want to start off in crazy mode — we’ll save that for later! 

How to work around your family

So you’ve had the conversation and you’re not seeing anyone even attempt to try after a week or two.  That’s fine. Stick to your schedule but now is the time to let them feel the burn!  

You know your family best but here are a few ideas to help you along:

  • Personal items left around the house for you to pick up are now yours.  Hold them for a day or two the first time. Release the items and let them know next time there won’t be such a quick release.
  • You would if you could but you’re just too tired from cleaning after everyone — this is your new response when your family requires your time and attention for the leisurely things they want to do that require your time. 
  • Dig deep for patience.  Things won’t turn around magically overnight but if you continue to press on, the reward of a clean house you can actually live in and enjoy is totally worth the fight.  

If you have small children, now is the time to teach them to clean up after themselves.  My two-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twin boys know where their toys can and cannot go. It’s never too early!

PART 2 |  THE CLEANING SCHEDULE FOR WORKING MOMS

Your house needs certain things done daily, like literally every day, and then there are other things that you only have to do a few times a year.  There are three sections to this cleaning schedule to help you easily remember what to do, when and how often.

Just remember that you know your house & time constraints better than anyone so use the cleaning schedule below as a foundation for the one you create.  Be prepared to change your schedule periodically as life changes.

1 | Daily cleaning tasks

These specific daily tasks are the ones that allow you to keep a house that stays clean most of the time.  If you want to enjoy a well earned weekend without a single thought of your dirty house creeping in, pay attention! 

  • Make your bed |  It transforms your room and makes it seem put together even if it’s not.  It’s an underappreciated yet powerful way to start the day. [AM task]
  • Unload the dishwasher |  Do it while the coffee is being brewed…it only takes 7 minutes tops.  Now there is no reason to leave dishes in the sink after breakfast. [AM task]
  • Run the dishwasher |  Every evening before you go to bed, turn it on so that you can unload it first thing in the morning.  [PM task]
  • Complete one load of laundry |  Either wash, dry & fold in the same day or wash & dry one load but save the folding for the next day.  This is THE best way to keep laundry under control. [PM task]
  • Clean kitchen counters |  It is used everywhere by everyone so keep your kitchen tight by wiping off surfaces & the sink before things have a chance to dry & become harder to clean.  [PM task]
  • Sweep & vacuum hard floors |  Focus on high traffic areas like the kitchen and entryways into the house.  [PM task]
  • Declutter high traffic areas | Spend 10 minutes picking up items that are out of place.  If you don’t know where to put something, store it in a box for “lost” items.  Deal with it later. [PM task]

2 | Weekly cleaning tasks

Each of the following cleaning tasks should be completed once per week.  You should rearrange the tasks in a way that makes sense for you and your current schedule.  Create time so that you can complete the required cleaning task without being interrupted.  

  • Bathrooms | A high traffic area that should be a priority.  Clean all surfaces, fold hanging towels & don’t forget the baseboards. 
  • Kitchen | Wipe down cabinet faces & knobs, pantry doors & remove old food from the fridge & freezer.  Spot clean the inside of the oven and fridge.
  • Vacuum, Sweep & Mop Floors | Breeze through this task by vacuuming/sweeping all the floors at once and then mopping all the floors directly after.  
  • Dust |  Wipe, clean or polish furniture and decor.  Use this time to quickly wipe clean doors as well.  

Above are the four major tasks you need to complete over four days.  However, feel free to break down any of those tasks & complete over two days if that makes it more manageable. 

Remember, getting everyone to chip in or get out of your way all together are the best ways to get the cleanings done faster. 

3 | Monthly cleaning task

Once per month or every 4 weeks, these tasks need to be on your calendar to be completed!  They are easy to forget but are the things that make your house seem brighter & cleaner when done regularly.  

How to easily add-in your monthly cleaning tasks

Every week, add in a different one of these monthly cleaning tasks to complete.  Or just choose one weekend a month to knock it all out!

  • Dust high corners & along the ceiling for cobwebs
  • Dust light fixtures
  • Clean baseboards 
  • Clean doors and door trims 
  • Clean blinds & windowsills
  • Clean the shelves & drawers inside the fridge & freezer
  • Clean the oven (self-clean is a great option, but be prepared to wipe out the ash)
  • Wash your bath mats and shake rugs
  • Vacuum under the sofa cushions
  • Clean dust from vents

If you want to learn the secrets to cleaning your entire house fast, you should check out my post: how to clean your entire house in 2 hours! It’s a game changer!

4 | Increase your chances of making your cleaning schedule work for you

A few more tips to you boost your chances for success

  • Add your cleaning tasks to your phone’s calendar & set a reminder. For example every Monday, there should be a reminder to do “blank”.  
  • Print out multiple copies of your cleaning schedule.  Post a copy on your bathroom mirror, the main door you use to go in and out of your home and of course, somewhere in the kitchen.  You gotta keep this thing in your face!
  • Decide on something you can do to reward yourself each week for knocking out all of your cleaning tasks.  
  • Get outside help when needed.  You can hire a great cleaning service to come in monthly to handle all your monthly tasks or get a family member or friend to watch your children.  
  • Headphones. Listening to music or a book is a fantastic way to make your time spent cleaning a little more enjoyable!

BEFORE YOU GO

Remember that your cleaning schedule is just a tool to help you organize your time and home.  However, if you commit to using it as intended, it can be the most powerful tool in your belt. 

And of course, if you found this content useful, I’d love it if you share this by pinning it on Pinterest or your favorite social media spot. It’s kind of like giving me a virtural high-five! You’re the best, XO — Victoria!

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I’m so glad you stopped by today!
I’m Victoria!

My mission is to help you find & unleash your hidden cleaning superpowers so that you can stop wishing for a clean house & finally create one instead!  And yes, it can be done inspite of your wild family or busy schedule! 

P.S.  I also run this cleaning service so if you’re in Columbia, SC & would rather book a cleaning instead, you’re definitely in the right spot!