Over the past month with our family increasing in size, I've been working on simplifying our routine. I've been looking for ideas that give me more time to spend with the kiddos, less stress, and freedom from laying awake at night thinking of all the things I need to do. Meal planning and a Cleaning Schedule were both things I was already using, but with two extra kids I've been looking for ideas that will help me organize better. I've been noticing on Pinterest a lot of pins about freezer cooking, meal planning, once a month shopping and cleaning schedules. So I must not be the only wife/mom that looks for better ideas...
Recently I looked at a cleaning schedule that claimed you could keep your house clean with 15 minutes a day. This sounded great, the suggestion was to dust the whole house one day, vacuum/sweep the next, etc., each day doing one specific task throughout the house. Another suggestion was to make a list of daily tasks, weekly tasks and monthly tasks. Both of these ideas had good points, but I honestly find the schedule I'm using to work better with my time.
So I'm going to share. First, understand this works for our family, kind of like how me staying home, kids going to public school, fostering to adopt, etc., etc. works for our family. It doesn't mean that it will work for yours.
Kate's cleaning schedule in a nutshell...or a novel.
First I made a map of our house. Our home has two bedrooms, one bath, laundry, kitchen, dining and living room downstairs. Then upstairs we have master bedroom/bath and a loft. I divided our house into five areas to clean for Monday - Friday. That way my weekends are free to play.
My schedule ended up looking like this:
Monday - Downstairs bathroom and laundry room
Tuesday- Upstairs bathroom
Thursday - Downstairs bedroom (kid bedrooms)
Friday - Master bedroom and loft
Each of the five days I focus on one or two rooms. I vacuum, mop, dust, organize, etc. that one specific space. That one room will get all of my attention, or whatever attention I can spare. For instance, yesterday the master bathroom got its toilet, sink and counter cleaned. I didn't have time to scrub the shower and mop the floor. I didn't feel bad about it either. Next Tuesday I may have time. I still felt accomplished knowing that I had cleaned the toilet and sink. Last Thursday I had lots of time, so I really scrubbed my kids rooms. I washed their sheets, sorted their closets and removed clothes that don't fit them anymore. I was able to totally focus on their bedrooms and not worry about the other rooms.
Now you may be wondering about general cleaning. I will say that everyday I do at least one load of laundry, a load of dishes, and declutter around the house. Mostly picking up toys, books, and shoes. These are also tasks that my kids get involved in, but I'll save my kids cleaning schedule for another day.
You also may be wondering about my dining room and living room. Well, after dinner each evening I wipe down the table and clean up the floor, so that room stays fairly clean. About once a month I'll get ambitious and mop the floor and scrub the chairs. But it might take company coming over or something. The living room gets vacuumed and dusted on a day when I have more time. It really only takes a few minutes to clean that room, as long as it isn't cluttered. (I hate clutter, I only state this because with more kids in this house I have really cracked down on it. No piles, no piles on counters or beds or floors.)
This schedule works for me because after I've cleaned my designated room I feel like I can do other things that I enjoy like baking, crafts, and playing with the kids. I may notice that the fridge needs to be cleaned out, but I know I'll get to it on Wednesday. I feel less stress when I only focus on one or two rooms instead of the whole house.