For many, cleaning is an essential task; but most people lack a proper plan for handing cleaning tasks. Sometimes they start in the kitchen, other times they begin upstairs in the kids’ rooms. By developing a solid cleaning routine, you give yourself more time to do other things while spending less time figuring out what to clean and when to clean it.
What Is a Cleaning Routine?
A cleaning routine is a schedule you create for yourself to simplify your cleaning process. The purpose of the routine is to take less time figuring out how and what to clean, and, instead, getting the work done quickly. It’s important to note that what may work for someone else may not work for you. So creating a cleaning routine specific to your home and family while using other routines as a template makes the most sense.
Some questions to ask yourself when developing your routine are:
- What tasks are you completing daily or weekly?
- Are there areas of your home that need more cleaning attention than others?
- What cleaning tasks can be completed solely by you and what tasks can be completed by other household members
- How long does it normally take you to clean your entire home?
How Can a Cleaning Routine Make Life Easier?
Many people live by the fact that a clean home can make you feel more comfortable. When you create and stick to a cleaning routine, you essentially make your home feel like more of a home. It may not seem like much, but once you have a set schedule in place and stick to it, you’ll begin to realize how much different your home feels to you. By doing the below things and others, you’ll help yourself more than you know;
- Weekly maintenance
- Tidying your home
- Keeping things organized
- Putting things away where they go
Tips for Making Life Easier with a Cleaning Routine
If You See It, Pick It Up
When you’re in a room and you see anything on the floor lying around or that does not belong there, pick it up. Don’t leave it for later because it’s just adding to your cleaning. Grab it, take it with you, and put it in its appropriate place.
If It Can Be Done Quickly, Just Do It
If you notice something needs to be done and will only take a minute or two to complete, do the task right away. It’ll cut down on the tasks you need to do later and give you some time back during your cleaning schedule.
Tips on How to Create a Cleaning Routine
Creating a cleaning schedule should help you alleviate the stress of cleaning. By developing an actual routine, especially by putting it on paper, you make the process of cleaning easier and eventually it will become second nature. As you create your cleaning schedule, you’ll notice some tasks are done weekly, some daily, some are completed once per month and others may be done less frequently.
Determine the Tasks to Be Completed
To create your routine, you need to know what needs to be cleaned. The key is to identify the tasks that need to be completed and how often those tasks need to be done. By completing a walk thru of your home, you can create a task list for each room. You can then determine the amount of time to clean each room as well as how often you’ll need to clean it.
Organize Your Cleaning Supplies
Keeping your cleaning supplies organized and refreshed can help you stay on track with your cleaning routine. It will save you time from looking for items you need or having to make a store run during your cleaning schedule because supplies aren’t available. This includes brooms, mops, vacuum cleaner bags, sponges, and cleaning supplies like bleach and dishwashing liquid.It’ll also help your cleaning routine move along if you remove any items you no longer need. Get rid of empty bottles, old sponges, or towels. After a few uses, it’s best to get new ones and start over. You should also put your items in a place where it’s easy for you to grab and go.
Make a Habit of Putting Things Away after Using Them
Once you are done cleaning, your cleaning supplies should be put back in the same place. By putting them away after you’ve finished using them, you make it easier on yourself to find them when you need them on your next regularly scheduled day.
Plan 10 Minutes in the Morning and 10 Minutes in the Evening for Daily Chores
When creating a routine, including time in the morning and evening to complete some tasks can be extremely helpful and alleviate some stress. It also helps you to maintain your home when it’s not your scheduled cleaning day. Some smaller tasks to complete during your daily chores are:
- Clean the bathroom, including wiping sinks, and removing the trash
- Make the bed
- Empty the dishwasher
- Wipe down the kitchen counters and stove after breakfast
- Tidy the kitchen by wiping the stove and counter, washing any dishes, and removing the trash
- Pick up anything you see in rooms that can be quickly put away or thrown out
- Make sure worn clothes for the day are put in the clothes hamper for washing
Schedule One or Two Larger Tasks Each Day of the Week
Once you have your smaller, daily tasks scheduled on your routine, you should look at your larger tasks that can be completed each day during the week. The breakdown of these tasks weekly make them easier to tackle and will take less time to get done than if you left them to complete at one time.
- Completing the laundry
- Complete cleaning of the kitchen
- Complete cleaning of the bathroom
- Dusting all rooms
- Cleaning all bedrooms completely
- Wiping down baseboards
There may be tasks that can be done monthly. Some of these tasks may take a little longer, but the good thing is that once they are done you generally won’t have to worry about them again until the following month.
- Clearing out and cleaning the refrigerator
- Checking smoke alarms and if needed, changing the batteries
- Cleaning carpets
- Changing filters for your vacuum cleaner, vents or air conditioner
- Dusting ceiling fan blades
- Cleaning light fixtures
- Waxing and cleaning wood floors
Involve All Household Members
Some people think that it just makes sense to get the tasks of their cleaning routine done themselves so they can endure it’s done correctly. If you don’t have to overwhelm yourself, don’t. Ask the members of your household to assist and assign the tasks that will be easier for them to complete.
Whether it’s your children cleaning their own rooms or bathroom, assigning someone to collect and take out the trash daily, or giving everyone the chore of washing their dish after they use it, just handing out these smaller tasks will free you up and give you more time.
Create and Print Out Cleaning Checklists
Writing your cleaning routine down will help you stay on task. Putting your tasks in a checklist will also help you stay on point with your cleaning and minimize the risk of forgetting anything. Your checklist should include:
- Your daily tasks
- Your weekly tasks
- Your monthly tasks
- Your cleaning schedule with the date you plan to complete the tasks
The checklists should be very specific, including being broken down by room as well. By setting your checklist up this way, you are less likely to miss a room or an item that needs to be cleaned. You can even include the supplies needed for each room to ensure you have enough.
Find an App for That
They say there’s an app for everything, and cleaning is no exception. What better way to keep up with your cleaning tasks than to have an app on your cell phone or tablet to remind you of your schedule and what needs to be done? There are also apps that help you keep track of your tasks through the month and take the guesswork out of the process.
If you need an app for the family to use and keep up with their cleaning responsibilities, OurHome may be the app for you. It allows you to enter chores for your family and then assign them, keep track of the task completion and provide rewards to your family as tasks are completed, all from the app. You can also send reminders and send messages about tasks.When looking for an app that helps you keep track of cleaning tasks, House Cleaning could work for you. In the app, you create a checklist for your tasks and your family can view the list to ensure the complete the tasks you requested. Once someone completes their task, they check it off and move to the next one.
Get Help If You Need It
There is nothing wrong with asking for help cleaning your home outside of your household members. If you’re a single person, work a lot, or have smaller children, it may be difficult to complete cleaning tasks all by yourself. Hiring a professional cleaning company could help you stay on track with your cleaning routine. Determine the schedule for your cleaning service and then develop your cleaning routine around their scheduled days.
Make Cleaning More Fun
For some, cleaning may be an annoying task that has to be done; but you don’t have to view it that way. As crazy as it sounds, you can make cleaning fun, which will make the tasks easier to complete, and sometimes even move the process along faster. So how do you add fun to your cleaning routine?
1. Turn Up the Volume
Grab your iPad, cell phone or whatever electronic device you use to listen to music or your favorite podcast. Turn it up and complete your tasks while listening. You can even create a list of your favorite songs or podcast episodes and name it your “cleaning playlist” if it’s what motivates you to get your tasks done.
2. The More the Merrier
Depending on the cleaning tasks you are completing, invite your friends by to help you complete your cleaning tasks, especially during spring cleaning or winter updates. If you have friends that are great at cleaning and organizing, see if they’ll be willing to help and offer a meal and wine for their help. Maybe just having a friend come by to keep you company can help the time tick by quicker, even if they don’t help clean!
3. Return Those Missed Calls
If there are follow-up calls you were supposed to make to family or friends, cleaning time can be the perfect time to get this done. It’s also a great time to catch up with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. The call will keep you so preoccupied; you won’t even realize how much time has passed and cleaning tasks you’ve completed.
4. Get Your Steps In
For those that workout or keep up with their daily steps, cleaning can be the perfect way to do both. Cleaning rooms, lifting items or even washing using floors and walls by hand, you’ll be moving and stretching a lot, giving you your needed steps and keeping your heart pumping and burning those calories.
5. Turn Cleaning Into a Game
When cleaning with your family, especially children, making cleaning a game can be a great way to make it fun. Give them specific tasks to complete and offer rewards to the winner. Games could include a competition for the first person that collects the trash and takes it out or the first one to clean their room correctly with things put away in its rightful place wins.The prize could be pizza for dinner or choosing the location for the next family outing. It will make them feel like cleaning is less of a task and more of a fun activity.
6. Get Comfortable
Wearing comfortable clothing while cleaning can make the cleaning process a lot easier. It’ll make you a little happier because you can complete your tasks better so even a lot quicker. What’s more fun than getting your work done earlier than you expected?
7. Reward Yourself
Once cleaning is done for the day, treat yourself to something, especially if it’s one of your longer cleaning days. Whether it’s dinner with friends, a glass of wine, your favorite movie or buying yourself a gift, reward yourself for completing your cleaning tasks. It may seem minor but giving yourself rewards, similar to rewarding your family, is a motivating tactic and will help you stay on track with your cleaning routine.
Other Tips for Creating a Cleaning Routine
If you get rid of or add new furniture or appliances or if you move, your cleaning routine should reflect those changes so you are continuing to stay on point. Also, if certain times of the year are different than others, make a note of that in your schedule. If summer is busier than fall, your routine checklist may look different.
While most rooms in the house will have the same cleaning routine throughout the year, different seasons may require different forms for cleaning. For winter, you may need to update your home with different curtains or rugs that may need to be cleaned.When spring rolls around, you may need to do spring cleaning, which could include decluttering. Planning for the seasons in advance can help you stay on track with your regular cleaning schedule.
Updating your routine if it does not work for you should be done if needed. Maybe there is a time of day or days of the week that work better for you or you accepted a new job which will change the time you’re available to clean. Be flexible enough to adjust your schedule accordingly to keep your routine on track.
Cleaning is a task that can not be avoided in anyone’s home, but it’s possible to get a handle on the process. By developing a cleaning routine with a schedule or timeline, you are creating a plan that both you and your family can follow. Keeping a cleaning routine will help you feel less overwhelmed and stressed and instead stay on track and get your time back.
With a degree in engineering, Kathryn Hansen loves to write about how things work. Having her own dilemmas on how to pick the best vacuum cleaner for her large family (with a handful of furry four-legged members as well), Kathryn decided to help others in the same situation. After all, vacuum cleaners are critical to a healthy lifestyle and people have a hard time choosing the best one for their needs.