I’ve had a really tough time lately when it comes to cleaning our home. [Insert excuse] I can barely keep my head above water with my three kids as it is. Between cleaning markers off walls and minimizing the damage of diaper blowouts and nursing around the clock and the billion other things that need done on a daily basis, cleaning is definitely not what I want to do during nap time.
But it needs done! Just the other day I finally made myself throw away the collection of cleaning service flyers I’ve been collecting. Yes, I collect them and hang them on the fridge so I can fantasize about how wonderful it would be to have someone else clean my home. It really would be, but it’s not in the budget right now.
I’ve tried different methods.
There was “survival mode” cleaning that I deem completely appropriate when there’s a newborn in the house (or any other crazy busy season of life).
When life is somewhat normal, there have been a couple methods that worked well. One is to divide up the tasks into chunks and assign one to each day of the week (so for example Tuesdays would be “clean bathrooms”). More recently I’ve done a big deep clean once a month and then touched up as needed the rest of the month.
But here’s why these methods aren’t working.
Where we live now has more to keep clean than there are days of the week. And doing it once a month is MISERABLE. It takes me about two days to do it, and the rest of the month I spend dreading those two days. The end result is an overwhelmed mama and a dirty house. Not good!
Can you tell I needed a solution? But not just a solution–a manageable cleaning schedule.
After thinking about it for a while, I came up with this—and it is really working so far:
The “One thing a day” rule
It is really very simple. I made a list of all household “chores” that are involved in a thorough house cleaning, and I do one of them a day. That’s it.
Why does this work?
This method is totally manageable. A chore can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour. On busy days I might do something easy like dust or clean mirrors. On days when I have a bit more time I might tackle the downstairs floors. But on any given day I only have to do one thing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with household chores, I would encourage you to give this method a try. Just make a list of all the things you’d do if you were giving your house a good, thorough cleaning. Hang it up so you can see it, and do one thing a day. Or use my printable and just cross off/add what is specific to your home.
If you have other tips for getting it all done, I’d love to hear them!