I made some cleaning charts that go along with my schedule. I'll post a pic of the one of mine that is filled out. Of course, some of you who work outside the home won't need to include a lot of the things on my chart. That is why I have left the printable versions blank. Here is a picture of my personal daily chart.
Get your customizable printable here!
Ok, so let me start by going through my every day list, which is on the left hand side of the page and segmented out into Before Breakfast, After Breakfast, After Lunch, Before Dinner, and After Dinner.
Before Breakfast I require myself to do these four things: Devotional, Get Dressed, Make Bed, and Put in a Load of Laundry. I find that if these four things don't happen, the rest of my day gets derailed. You may have a different set of things that are important to you in the morning. These are mine. You can write in anything you want on your printables as the spaces are empty. Typically this is my pre-breakfast routine: Get out of bed and immediately make the bed...it is always easier to take time to do this if you do it immediately. If you need to go to the bathroom first, fine...the key is to do it while the sheets are stil warm. (this helps with sheet wrinkles too if you are one to worry about that...I am not) Then I get dressed. As a stay at home mom, I have to be honest, if I don't get dressed first thing in the morning it'll never happen. I love my pj's...I don't need to excuse myself to live in them. Next I head into the bathroom to wash my face and do my morning routine, but on the way out I make sure to grab a load of laundry to throw in. I don't know about you, but in a house with two adults and three children, I often end up doing at least two loads per day. If I get behind...more. Once I have thrown the laundry in, I grab my Bible and devotional book and settle in for at least a 15 minute devotion. I try to get up early enough in the morning that I can get all of this squared away before I have to wake my oldest up to catch the bus, but more often than not this all happens while she is getting ready for school.
Phew....now I can have my coffee and enjoy breakfast with my babies. Don't get too comfortable...that after breakfast list is coming.
After Breafast I unload the dishwasher from the night before and begin loading it for the day by throwing in the breakfast dishes. I typically do one load of dishes per day in the dishwasher. That load consists of our breakfast, lunch, and supper dishes as well as any pots and pans used preparing meals that day. After I have finished unloading and putting away the dishes, I move on to an organizing task. For me, these tasks come from a Declutter Calendar, which you can find here. I love a lot of the ideas. Some days I don't end up having to actually do the item on the calendar...because....well....I don't have some of the issues on it...such as piles of stuff in the hallways. The kiddos are typically watching either Mickey Mouse Club House or Your Baby Can Read while I do this. Once I am done with the organizing task of the day, I do a learning activity with the kids. Some days this is really elaborate, planned, and thought out. More often than not, this is grabbing whatever we have around us and turning it into learning. We do colors, numbers, letters, whatever I think of when the time comes. I would love to claim to be one of those really intentional parents with a plan...but I am just not. Typically I give them some type of snack while we do this. Usually string cheese or fruit is on the menu. After our learning activity, we do a 10 minute quick clean. These are my favorite things. I get the kids involved as much as possible. Obviously, my almost one year old doesn't help much....BUT she eventually will, so getting them started early doesn't hurt. In a 10 minute quick clean, we basically run through the main part of the house like a whirlwind picking up and putting away anything we possibly can within 10 minutes. For me...it is more important that the kids are just helping than what we actually get accomplished. If you do this for yourself, great. If you do this with kids, I urge you to keep it at 10 minutes and make it game or competition like so that they stay interested in helping out. At this point, we have free time. If time has gotten away and it is close to lunch time, I let the kids free play while I am preparing lunch. If we are completely on our game, we have free time to spend together. Typically this is our lazy around, cuddle time. While we have a routine, we don't have a timed schedule. I plan to work on that. Leah (almost 1) usually either goes down for a nap now if there is considerable time before lunch or she will sometimes nap after lunch. I just let her nap when she wants for now.
Lunch at our house can be quite an event. After we are done make our lunch mess, I look outside praying for sunshine. If there is sunshine, I make it my goal to go outside, soak up some sun, and let them run off some energy. Leah really just sits with me at this point, but Silas really enjoys running around wild in the yard. If it is rainy or still wet from rain (like today) I bust out our tent from Discovery Kids...I think it was about $20. My kids absolutely love that thing. We completely wore one out and are on our second. They love climbing in and out of the tunnel. After about 30 minutes of running wild in the yard or free play inside, I settle them in for reading time. I cannot begin to tell you how important it is to read to your kids if you don't. I so value the time my parents and grandparents spent reading to me. I read between 3 and 5 books depending on how long they are. Typically this is the time of day Silas (just turned 2) naps. I always pull for Leah to nap at this time too...it just sometimes doesn't happen that way. After reading time I finish my weekly chores that are assigned to that day. We'll go over those in a minute. Usually by this time I have completely forgotten about the load of laundry in the washer. That is why I made a point to add it to my list...so I would remember. Once I get the laundry switched over I do one more 10 minute quick clean sans children...assuming they are still napping. I'm going to be honest with you. At this point, if I have free time before Laney (7, second grade) gets off the bus...I SIT....you heard me...I SIT! On my bum! And do NOTHING! Typically by the time the bus runs the babies are awake. When Laney gets off the bus I help her with any homework and then start my before dinner list.
Once I have looked over Laney's homework, she starts her afternoon routine (I'll do this in another post) and I start mine. I go ahead and sweep and or vacuum. We have hard floors throughout our house, but I find that the floor really gets cleaner vacuuming. If I have time, I go ahead and put away laundry from the day...if not that gets pushed back. When the time comes, I begin prepping dinner or putting the finishing touches on if it is a crockpot meal. This is about the time the hubby rolls in and feeds up the dog and chickens. When he comes in I try to make any phone calls that need to be made while I am finishing up supper and he is playing with the kids. Once he walks in, I am dead to them! Lol. These are some daddy loving babies. Wow, is it dinner time already?!?! Let's eat!
After dinner, we clear the dishes and add them to the dishwasher. I run the dishwasher and wash whatever doesn't fit. After that I give the countertops a good wipe and the whole family does one more 10 minute quick clean before we start baths and bedtime routines.
I didn't realize how much of a whirlwind life is until I typed that out...hrm....if anyone ever tells you that stay at home moms don't do anything, have them come read this post...haha!
So that covers my every day routine. Now let's get to my weekly schedule.
Monday is for dusting baseboards and furniture. I run a swiffer duster (stay tuned for DIY tutorial on how to make your own) around the baseboards absolutely every week so that they don't have to opportunity to get gunky. If yours are starting out gunky, you will have to scrub them first before you settle into a weekly routine. I dust the furniture with just a rag and dusting stuff (will have a homemade version posted soon as well). This is a fairly quick day, so I try to squeeze in a monthly task or two on Mondays as well if I get a chance to.
Tuesdays I tackle bathrooms. I start in with the toilets. I use the Clorox toilet wand with the pads. I know that is neither economical nor eco-friendly, but that is what I feel works best for me. Then I wipe the rim, seat, lid, and outer areas down with a Clorox or Lysol wipe. Make sure you get the sides where all the dust builds up...your toilet should always look as close to new as possible. Nothing says I love you like a clean toilet. After that I move on to tubs/showers. I make my own bleach cleaner which I use in combination with a sponge or rag and an old toothbrush. I use the toothbrush around the drain or on any hard spots to clean in the textured bottom of the tub. I also use my bleach cleaner, a rag, and toothbrush in the sinks. I use windex on knobs and spouts and clean the mirrors while I'm at it. Then, once I am sure the bleach cleaner has dried, I use my homemade multi-purpose cleaner on the countertops, making sure to wipe the switchplates down with the damp rag as I work. Lastly I make sure the floors are clean. For the two smaller bathrooms, this means getting down with my multi-purpose cleaner or disinfectant and wiping the floor with my rag. For the master bath, this means mopping with a Swiffer Wet. About once a month I will go in and steam mop the bathroom floors with my Shark. Make sure that you are getting often forgotten places when you clean your bathroom...like the top ledge of the tub/shower insert, the cabinet knobs, door handle, ledges underneath body wash and soap bottles, the fan/vent filter cover....etc. I also water plants on these days. I have some vines in the kitchen and living room as well as several plants outside.
Wednesday is bedroom cleaning day. If my seven year old has done her routines properly, this is very minimal in the girls' room...vacuum, wipe window ledges, and just fluff the place up a bit to make it pretty. In the two year old's room, I have a little more work...nothing too major. Usually I have to straighten the clothing drawers, pick up scattered toys, etc. In our room, because I do live with a thing called a husband, I typically have some stray clothes to pick up, some clutter to put away on the dresser tops, and shoes to put back into the closet. I also will try to get a monthly chore done on these days if the rooms are not too wrecked when I go to clean them.
Thursdays have tratitionally been my grocery days. Now that I shop only once per month, I use Thursdays to run errands and get any unfinished monthly chores done.
Fridays are kitchen days. I clean inside the microwave and stove, clean out the fridge, clear the kitchen counter of any clutter, wipe down appliances, etc. If I have time I try to add in a monthly kitchen task per week, such as wiping down cabinets, deep cleaning fridge, deep cleaning freezer, etc.
Saturdays are for outside chores. Any planting, porch sweeping or other outside tasks get done when there are two adults around to laso the kiddos.
Sundays after church and lunch, I try to sit down and clip and organize any coupons. Honestly, I haven't done this lately. I have been busy and the coupons in my area haven't been great. I do plan to get back with the program though.
You have, by now, heard me talk several times about inserting my monthly tasks. I'm not going to go into great detail about each of them, but here is the list.
Monthly: Dust blinds and fixtures, Deep clean fridge/freezer, Vacuum under furniture, Clean windows, Wipe down cabinets, Clean door handles, Clean inside stove, Clean porch overhead.
Every 3 Months: Go through house & purge, Take a load to charity, Clean out vehicle
Every 6 Months: Clean and Organize Deep Freeze, Scrub Walls & Touchup Paint, Change Out Family Photos in Frames
That is it! I promise it sounds like more work that it really is when you get into the routine of it. If you stick with this, your house is sure to stay fabulous all the time. It is much easier to do a little bit each day than to try to clean it all at once.
Did you miss the printables? Get them here.
Have you tried implementing this at your house? Have questions? Have a different way to doing things? Let me know. I would love to hear from you!