“Oh my God, Rachel, you’re crazy!”
“How is your house always so clean?”
“You must spend all your time cleaning with four kids!”
“I could never do what you do!”
“Relax! Take a little time for yourself. You don’t have to clean all the time.”
From the outside, I must look a little OCD, but the truth is I just have a manageable routine which I stick to. I am NOT cleaning all the time, and I have plenty of time to enjoy life. Would you like to know how?
I have been asked so many times to share my secret to keeping a clean house, and I want to share it with you now. It is actually a very simple process, and once implemented is very easy to stay on top of.
- Write down ALL of your regular tasks and how often they should be done. Start by taking inventory of everything in your house that needs maintenance cleaning. This will include vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathroom, emptying trash, laundry, etc. Then make a note next to each item indicating how often it should be done (every day, every other day, once per week, etc.)
- Create a 4 Week Schedule. I have found most tasks need to be done at least every four weeks. This means you can create a rotating schedule. Each week will have a different set of chores needing to be done.
- Split up tasks amongst days of the week based on your schedule. If you know Wednesday is heavily loaded with other activities, make it a light cleaning day. The beauty of my plan is you can customize it to your needs and your schedule.
- Try to have a couple days with no more than one chore. Better yet, schedule an “OFF DAY.” I have only one task on Fridays (vacuuming) and no tasks on Saturdays.
- Delegate tasks to members of the family. If everyone is contributing, the daily chores will take no time at all. Obviously, if you have very small children, you may be waiting a few years to reap these benefits. As the kids get older, teach them age appropriate tasks. Once they get the hang of it, have them do it regularly. My goal each day is to have no more than 30 minutes of cleaning per person after dinner.
- Make a separate list of larger / seasonal tasks. There are some tasks that may only need to be done only once or twice a year (window washing, deck cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc.) We schedule two weekends a year (one in the fall and one in the spring) where we tackle these larger less frequent tasks. The whole family contributes, and we reward ourselves with a fun night out at the end of the day.
- If you can afford it, hire out larger tasks. There is nothing like being able to have someone else wash your windows or clean your carpets.
- Be flexible! We try to stick to the schedule 90% of the time, because it works best when done regularly, but we allow for some flexibility. The nice thing about having a schedule is if we miss something one week for whatever reason (vacation, date night, kids’ activities, etc.), I don’t sweat it. I know there will be another “Tuesday” coming up to catch it.
Once I created and implemented this cleaning schedule in my family, I was hooked! I can relax every night knowing my house is clean (clean house = less stress). I hope this helps your family as well.