Cleaning Schedule for the Overwhelmed

Okay folks, as promised in last week’s goal post, I have made a cleaning schedule.  First of all, let me give you a little insight into why I even need a cleaning schedule, because if I could have helped it, I wouldn’t have done it.

As I have mentioned before, the Touch it Once Rule just does not work for me.  The combination of mothering a toddler, working from home, and having a billion other things going on in a day means that I just don’t have the focus on a single task to clean it up before moving on.  Pre-motherhood, I would just spend a day cleaning the entire house at once, and it worked well.  Now, the house gets messy faster and there’s rarely and entire day I can devote to cleaning.  Furthermore, when the house is really messy I suffer from a lack of focus and (mild) anxiety over the state of things, which makes it hard to complete cleaning tasks in an organized and efficient manner.

Enter the schedule.  It’s divided into daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly tasks.  Each month, I’m going to allocate all the tasks to a calendar and print it out.  Since I can allocate the longer running tasks each month, I can work around any commitments or things that would take me away from the house.  Focusing on just a few things a day has completely eliminated any anxiety I had about cleaning, which makes it much easier to devote all my attention and mental energy to each task.  All right then, here it is, Cleaning Schedule v 1.0:

Every Day

  • Kitchen – dishes washed or in dishwasher, counters and sink clean
  • Living Room – toys put up at bedtime, coffee table clean
  • Bedrooms – clean clothes put up, dirty clothes in hampers
  • Bathrooms – toiletries put up, obvious messes cleaned


  • Living Room – declutter, vacuum, sweep


  • Put out recycling in the evening
  • Dining room – declutter, sweep


  • Handle paper, anywhere in the house


  • Office – declutter, organize
  • Sweep upstairs


  • Work on a specific goal


  • Bathrooms – Deep clean
  • Iron


  • Kitchen – move permanent items to thoroughly clean countertops, declutter, sweep
  • Laundry

 Additional Items

  • Every other Friday – mop living room/hall
  • Every other Friday – mop kitchen and dining room
  • Once a month – clean windows, dust, mop upstairs

A few things to keep in mind:

  • This is version 1, so I’ve probably missed some stuff.  For example, I had to add laundry after I had already printed the April calendar.
  • Sometimes, Bad Things® happen (especially with kids!).  Obviously these things get cleaned immediately.
  • If I feel like something needs attention sooner, I can swap items out.  For example, if the laundry is completely backed up on a Wednesday, then I would just move “handle paper” out to Sunday for that week.

I think I have something here that is flexible but effective enough to work and last.  Am I the only one that’s had to go to these extremes?  Believe me, I’ve tried a ton of other things, and this is the only thing I’ve had any confidence in.  I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

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2 Responses to Cleaning Schedule for the Overwhelmed

  1. Pingback: In the Moment | Jessie : Improved

  2. Pingback: Priority One | Jessie : Improved

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