This easy cleaning schedule is the first place I point to when people ask me about keeping a house clean. I hope it transforms your family the way it has transformed ours!
With four children, I have given up on having a home that looks like it could be on the cover of a magazine. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t want it to look that way. I want it to look like a home that our family loves to be in, to hang out in, to play in.
I love to look at spotless homes in magazines, but even more, I love to look at the play dough masterpiece on the table. I love to look at the kid-painting that is hanging on my refrigerator. I love to look at the LEGO fort that our son built in his room. I love a CLEAN home. I love an organized home.
Can you have both even when you have a busy family? Yes.
Our home is organized, clean and there aren’t big messes on the floors or tables. I like it to be tidy and I just don’t tolerate it not being clean. I want our kids to know that if they build their fort on the floor, it is clean. If they build that masterpiece on the table, it is cleaned and sanitized. And, if that snack drops on the floor, I feel safe calling ‘5-second rule’!
With four kids, picking up after them constantly would be like brushing your teeth while eating chocolate cookies… next to impossible. So instead, we just have a cleaning schedule and everyone helps out. With the house cleaning schedule, we even have our kids earning screen time by doing chores!
Our Daily Cleaning Schedule
We have made a room by room cleaning schedule that includes our daily tasks. It takes around 20-minutes a day for our family of 6 and it works really well for us. You can download our schedule here but here are some tips to get you started:
- Cleaning the toilets that get used a lot. Yes, every single day. Did I mention that I have four kids and three of them are boys? Giving a quick wipe down every night makes it so easy to keep clean.
- Spraying the kitchen countertops after meals. Takes just a few seconds. For kids, even just some vinegar and water with a rag can be a great (and safe) way to get them involved.
- Sweeping the floors in the kitchen. I like to do this right after wiping down the countertops.
- Make beds. In our house, everyone does their own!
- One load of laundry every day. This keeps the piles under control and let’s be honest, it feels like all we do is fold clothes anyway!
- Put clothes away. Doing a load every day isn’t as helpful if you let it pile up for the weekend! Everyone is responsible for putting their own clothes away.
- Wipe down bathroom countertops in the main bathroom. I just leave Clorox Disinfecting Wipes in the bathroom, under the sink. I wipe it down and toss it into the garbage.
- Unload the dishwasher before bed. I’ve heard others prefer to just run the dishwasher overnight. Either way, don’t start our next morning with a mess or with dirty dishes in the sink! (We clean any pots/pans before bed, too.)
- Clear off any “hot spots”. These are areas in the room that collect stuff. It might be a basket, it might be your mail, it might be a bench where you lay stuff as you walk by. Clear it off at the end of the night.
- Five Minute pick-up twice a day (before lunch and before dinner). Set the timer for five minutes and everyone rushes to clean what they can.
- Optional: We have to clean our front door glass daily because it is full glass and the kids put their hands on it all the time.
- Put toys away. If they complain that another child made the mess, I will follow up with “well- what if I only wash my own clothes, make my own dinner, drive myself places, etc? We all help each other in this family.“
- Prepare for tomorrow. The kids all get their shoes and backpacks ready for the day. I am teaching them to be responsible adults.
- Chores for kids. Every day they pick an age-appropriate chore (easy chores that they can handle- cleaning the steps, picking up toys, sweeping the front porch, wiping the sinks in the bathroom, cleaning up under their bed, etc…). You can get them to earn things like screen time through chores! I also have this post for more on kids’ chores…
Weekly Cleaning Schedule:
- Outside toys pick-up. Clean up the outside toys and bring them in or put them away.
- Deep clean all bathrooms. Be sure that even the guest bathrooms have been cleaned – I just keep spray cleaner & paper towels in the bathroom to make it easier.
- Clean up closets. Just hanging up shirts that have fallen, putting away toys, etc.
- Appliances. Wipe down the microwave and stovetop. Don’t forget to clean any small countertop appliances like mixers, toasters, etc.
- Fridge/Pantry clean. Toss out old food and give any ‘spots’ in the fridge or pantry a quick wipe (I do a deep cleaning once a month to clean up spills, etc.. with some warm water and soapy water and I just scrub them down.). This is also a good opportunity to bring any food towards the front that you want to remember to use before it goes bad.
Monthly Cleaning Schedule:
- Mop the floors. We clean the wood floors every week or two. This means using a cleaner with a mop and then applying a coat of shine for the top-coat.
- Clean and organize the garage. We have to reorganize the garage every month (with 4 kids, it gets to be messy in no time!) This is also a great time to wipe things down as it’s easy to get dusty in the garage!
- Deep clean refrigerator/pantry.
- Ceiling fan dusting. This can be done quarterly if no one at home has allergies, but I find monthly is easy enough.
- Wipe down baseboards.
Click on the image below to download the full cleaning checklist:
Cleaning Tools That Work Well:
- A broom
- My robot vacuum (yes, really – when I say “sweep daily”, I put it into a different room every morning)
- Clorox Toilet Wand
- Disinfecting wipes or an all-purpose cleaner.
- Glass Cleaner (we like this one – it works great. I’ve heard it’s great on countertops when you clean your kitchen, too.)
- Dusting Wipes (I’ve heard great things about these ones)– they are similar to a feather duster with a handle, but they are individual & disposable (I love using these to clean any ceiling fans!) I like them better than microfiber cloths for fans and light fixtures. I also clean lamp shades with them from top to bottom, then I just toss the wipe.
Cleaning Resources to help get you started:
- Here is my book, Freed From Clutter… it is a month-long book where we go through each room of your home decluttering, cleaning and organizing.
- Cleaning Tips
- Whole-home makeover course – This is a course that will transform your home from cluttered to your dream home. I’ll send you the book above as a freebie for joining!
- Spring Cleaning Guide
Joe Hall says
I love your idea to just leave some cleaning wipes under the sink that you can quickly use to wipe things down. My sister has a pretty big home that she hasn’t been able to keep clean at all times. She doesn’t have the time to do it alone so she needs to find a professional cleaning service to work with this month.