Cleaning. It’s like the adult version of “The Neverending Story” isn’t it. You can spend hours cleaning a particular room of your house and then just a few short days (or minutes in my case in a home with three young children) it just has to be done all over again. And then, while you know it HAS to be done, you find yourself asking “Why? What is the point? It won’t stay that way anyway.”
And you know what, you aren’t wrong. It won’t stay clean. Dirt and dusty will get in, things will be used and not put back in the correct places, kids will make messes, and at the end of the day, it still has to have something done with it all.
For several years I worked really hard as making sure that I did some sort of cleaning in every single room of my house. I just had this idea that I had to make sure that every room was perfectly clean every day. Can you say “unrealistic expectations”? Then one day all the wheels just came off. I just couldn’t continue to live with the pressure that I put on myself. So I set out to figure out a better way to make it work. One of the things that I remembered from when I was a kid was that my mom talked highly of a system created by a woman who calls herself “The Fly Lady”.
So off I went in search of The Fly Lady and I attempted to put her system into action. Her instructions were to divide the home in to “Zones” and you focus on each zone for a week. A little bit here and there every day for a week and by the end of the week you have done a solid through deep clean of that area. The next week you move on to a different zone, 5 in total for the whole home and then circle back around to the beginning. I tried this for about a year. You were also supposed to spend 15 minutes per room a day decluttering and cleaning up “hot-spots” and completing from start to finish at least one load of laundry. I tried this for around nine months to a year and I came to the conclusion that it just does not work for me.
But what I did learn is that breaking the house down into areas is not a bad idea. I just needed to be moving to a different room more regularly. Thus entered the “Room a Day” plan
A Room a Day
How does a “Room a Day” cleaning schedule work? That is a great question.
When I set up my cleaning schedule I always start with my calendar. I look at the week and the month to see just what days are the busiest and what days have less of a demand on my time. From there I am able to determine which room will get the focus on which particular day.
For example in my life Mondays and Wednesdays are Library day. I know that I am going to be out of the house for a minimum of 2 hours in the middle of the day so I attempt to schedule less demanding rooms on those two days. In our house Monday is my bedroom (including our laundry) and Wednesday is the livingroom/dining room. This means that on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the rooms that require a bit more attention get dealt with.
Keeping Track of the Schedule.
Once the house has been divided up by which room will get cleaned on which day it is time to write it down and hang it up somewhere that everyone in the house can see it. In our house our cleaning schedule (which is an old mini-loaf pan that my mom painted and re purposed)hangs on the wall in the kitchen. It has each day listed on it as well as the room and a checklist of tasks that are to be done for each room. We also have a section for “daily tasks” and one for “laundry”. We have it displayed in a prominent place in the house and everyone (the adults that is) has access to know what needs to be taken care of throughout the day.
When I was living in Fort Worth I had a different chart and a different system but because I was already set in the routine of heavy cleaning one room a day it has been easy for us to fall into the routine that is already in place here. We have been able to adapt and adjust things as needed but the overall idea of the system is still in place.
So you may be thinking “If this is one room a day then why the section for daily tasks?” And again I would say that is a very valid question. And the answer to that question is that in order to maintain the house a few minor things still need to be done each day. This is especially true when there are small children living in the house. I mean, could you imagine what life would be like if you only cleaned the kitchen one day a week? It would be a mess. Meals would never get cooked or served. So the kitchen- dishes, counter tops, stove top, and the floor- need to be washed and cleaned up after each day (probably more than once). There also might be some areas, such as rooms where the kids spend a lot of time, that might need to be tidied up after a long day of play. So that means there should always be a place on your schedule for tasks that get done on a daily or at the least a regular basis.
A Fun Freebie
One of the best ways to remember what is to be done each day is to write it down. As I have mentioned before, in our house, the cleaning chart is posted up on the wall where everyone can see it. It always seems like even when I have the best of intentions if it’s not written down then it just won’t get done. That is why I have created, just for you, a printable cleaning chart. It is my hope that you can use this resource to help get you on the way to creating a cleaning schedule for your home that is simple and manageable so that you can get to doing the things you would rather be doing each day.