I bet you’ve heard many parents say “it’ll never be clean until they’re gone” referring to the kids but I have to say I’m not sure I am convinced by the statement. Maybe it’s my Type A personality that gives me anxiety when the house is dirty? Just the thought of laundry not complete, dirty dishes piling, dust piling, dirty floors, etc makes me uneasy. I can’t sleep as well or even fully enjoy my time playing with the girls. Is anyone else like this? I’ve even wondered how people keep a clean house with little ones around? What chores are the most important? How do you find time to clean when trying to balance work, cooking, kids, cleaning, school, and all the other demanding things in life?
We’ve tried many things over the years-cleaning on the weekends, trying to “maintain” the house, doing what needs to be done when we had time—our most successful approach was using a cleaning calendar. It has shown the best results and hubby has a chance to help out when he can just by glancing at the calendar and choosing whatever he’d like to help with. Before, many things went unnoticed like dusty window sills and base boards, gunky oven, etc. I couldn’t keep track of it all until I created a cleaning calendar. We’ve gone through a few versions of this calendar and have tweeked it over the years.
We’ve gone through chapters in life when it worked better and other times, when I could barely get 4-5 things done each day. Currently, our house is not quite where I want it to be (and it won’t be until I can sleep longer than 2-3 hours at once)–it’s just that chapter in our life where dust accumulates for a few days before I can get to it again but we’re almost there! Keeping track of what has been cleaned and what hasn’t been cleaned for a while really helps though.
The original calendar had so much detail that I’d feel overwhelmed if I couldn’t get to everything (like wiping down the bathroom sink counter DAILY–seriously? What was I thinking?) You may wipe yours down daily which is great but it’s just not a necessity for us to wipe it so frequently at this point in life. So if you create one, keep it realistic. I’ve minimized our cleaning calendar so that it takes under 15 minutes to keep the house clean daily with the exception of the once a month chores (which sometimes I can go a few months not doing them–oven, fridge, etc). Most importantly, the goal isn’t to get EVERYTHING checked off. Aim for checking off a handful of the daily chores and prioritizing “the chore of the day”; this way, the house will still stay clean. There’s always a chapter in life that is more difficult to maintain the house so take it easy on yourself, start small. We’ve learned over the past 3 years how much this calendar has helped us-so feel free to use it as needed!
Word file that you can edit and change accordingly for your own family:
I typically print it, laminate it (thanks to hubby for the gift!), and use a dry erase marker. I used to just print a new copy each week, then moved to using a paper protector which worked great and now a laminator.
In response to the comments 🙂
—“all-W” means I collect all garbages in the house on Wednesday which is the day before garbage pick up. Kitchen one gets taken out daily or every other depending on when full.
—-Cleaning the floor: When we had carpet, for the chore of the day, I dusted on one day and vacuumed the other (currently dusting is split in 2 days). Now, we actually have hard wood floor all through the house with only 2 rugs so we have been blessed to be able to save up for a roomba. I would recommend doing anything to save up for one. It saves hulling the vacuum up and down stairs and mopping/brooming up. At times, the roomba can’t keep up with the crumbs under the table so I’ll use the hand vacuum for that when finished eating.