Let's be real, it's hard to keep your house clean and tidy when you have kids. It's even harder to do so if you're out of the house from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. It means you have limited time at home to catch up with chores and quite frankly, who wants to spend their evenings and weekends cleaning, tidying and organizing.
Listen mamas, the first thing to we want to make clear is that keeping a cleaning routine IS NOT about having a perfectly clean house all the time. It's not realistic to be on top of every single room of the house, but what is manageable is creating a regular easy-to-manage schedule that works for you and can become second-nature in your daily routine.
So how do you do that? Start by figuring out a weekly cleaning schedule that makes sense with your life. This should be broken down by day, so you can assign small, doable tasks to each day of the week. The idea is that by doing just a little bit every single day, you'll always be somewhat on top of the mess. Try it out and from there, you can make little adjustments until it works for you.
To help you get started, we did our research and created what we think is a great cleaning schedule for any mom to begin with. Read through our detailed tips for each day below, then CLICK HERE to print this little free daily cleaning checklist so you can hang and reference it whenever you need to!
Let's get started. First, here are some overall tips we've collected from the pros that are sure to help you succeed in having a cleaner and tidier home:
Get the jobs you hate the most done early in the week. And always prioritize the areas that get dirtiest over the weekend and need a little love (ie. bathrooms)
Always dust and vacuum on the same day, so that the dust that settles to the floor gets vacuumed up right afterwards.
Always clean your entryways on a Friday, that way you won’t forget to empty school bags and lunchboxes over the weekend. It will also help you in being prepared with any permission slips for Monday. Tip: Having bins or baskets that are labeled with the names of each family member are a great way to keep everyone's stuff organized in an area that tends to get messy quickly.
Every evening, take 5 minutes to do a quick sweep and tidy of any toys. Do it once the kids are in bed so they can't undo your work! This small daily task will make your evening feel more like adult time and allow you to relax peacefully. Plus, it's nice to wake up to a tidy house in the morning.
Now, for the daily cleaning tasks. These are quick tasks that aren't overly time consuming and should be relatively manageable, even when the kids around. Complete them as you have little windows of opportunity throughout the day. Here's where our research suggests you do:
Daily Cleaning Tasks:
- Make the beds
- Unload and load the dishwasher
- Do a quick wipe down of the counters
- Do one load of laundry, start to finish (if you can manage it. If not, forget this one)
- Sort and file away any mail
While keeping up with those small daily tasks, following a weekly cleaning schedule is an amazing way to ensure that you're able to put enough time into larger tasks and deep cleaning, without it all becoming overwhelming. Here's where we think you should start. Try it out for a few weeks and revise as needed:
Weekly Cleaning Schedule:
MONDAYS - Bathrooms
This is a crappy (pun intended) job so it’s nice to get it out of the way early in the week. Cleaning the bathroom includes: Wiping down surfaces, the tub and tiles. Scrub the toilet, wipe watermarks off the mirrors, put away any clutter on the counter, refill soap, toilet paper, etc.
TUESDAYS - Dusting, Vacuuming and Mopping
Always start with dusting, then follow-up immediately after with vacuuming and/or mopping. The floors are a big job and dragging around the vacuum or mop is hard work. So once the floors are done, you can relax today.
WEDNESDAYS - Kitchen
Your kitchen has likely taken a beating by mid-week (with all the meals and lunch prep etc.) so it’s a good day to clean it. This includes: wiping down appliances, countertops, microwave splatter and the backsplash. Don’t forget to spot clean cupboards, check expiration dates on food, and do a quick tidy and wipe down of the shelving in your fridge. If these tasks are done weekly, the big job of the kitchen feels a lot easier.
Note: Did you know that the kitchen sink is the dirtiest place in your house? It holds more bacteria than the toilet, so make sure it gets a good clean. It’s highly recommended to let it soak with a disinfecting cleaner before giving it a scrub down.
THURSDAYS - Wipe Down Day
This is a good day to grab your surface cleaners and wipe surfaces that often get forgotten, such as kids’ toys, easels, windows, doorknobs, handrails and anything that gets touched frequently and can collect germs. And don't forget to wipe down the actual doors in your house, not just the door knobs. Your kids probably grab the door more often than the actual knob!
FRIDAYS - Tidy and Declutter
By the end of the week, the junk has built up. This is the perfect time to put school bags, lunchboxes and gym bags away (open them up and remove any items that needs washing, or permission slips that need signing). You're more likely to have house guests over the weekend, so having a decluttered home and a clean entryway is more inviting (plus, your guests will assume you’ve got it all together!)
SATURDAYS - Don't Clean! It's Your Day Off!
Nobody wants to clean 7 days a week! Take a break and enjoy your Saturday with your family.
SUNDAYS - Bedding and Towels
Washing all your bedding and towels on Sunday provides a fresh start to the week. There's nothing like crawling into a clean, freshly-made bed to shake those Sunday night blues!
There you have it! A simplified and realistic cleaning routine any mama can follow. Try it out and if it's not working for you, just revise it until it is. Have any other awesome tips on how you stay on-top of the mess in your home?