Four-week cleaning schedule

Confession: This is the time of year when I usually am deep into spring cleaning, but this year my spring will not include any deep cleaning. Judging by the snow that keeps getting dumped on us, I am not sure that my year will include any spring either. But I digress…

I do not enjoy housecleaning. I enjoy only the afterglow.

In fact, I have almost resolved to spend as little time housecleaning as possible for the rest of my life. But I do not enjoy a messy house either. In light of these facts, I tried an experiment that I just completed: my first month on a four-week cleaning schedule rotation, where I scrub for a few minutes each morning and that’s it. I found a sample schedule on this website (How to Clean Your House in 20 Minutes a Day for 30 Days – along with some great general cleaning tips), and it guided me in creating my own ongoing Four Week Cleaning Schedule. I am really loving it!

The monthly schedules I saw online were 30-day, and included no rest days. I planned mine as a 28-day schedule to follow a recurring weekly pattern, and I added days of rest on Sunday, because believe me I don’t love cleaning that much.

I had several misconceptions heading into the monthly schedule thing.

First, that cleaning more often would probably be worse than cleaning less often. On the contrary, I find it empowering (and even pleasant – don’t tell) to clean less, more often. I have only one or two focused jobs to do each day, and it’s power-forward cleaning, not deep cleaning. In 15-20 minutes, first thing in the morning, I can get it over with,* and I am freed from the haunting feeling of always more to be done, with a pileup waiting at the end of the week.

*That is, in my ideal world. Some days I achieve it, some days not.

Second, that my house would never be “all clean.” While this is partly true, it is also hiding the flipside of the coin, which is that my house will never be “all dirty.” I live in a big house, and cleaning the whole thing at once is daunting, to say the least. This past month when guests were due, it was easy for me to target the one or two areas that needed touching up.

Third, that my whole house needs to be cleaned every week. My schedule frequently revisits the areas I care most about: scrubbing the bathrooms, sweeping the downstairs floors, and dusting our main living areas. But the rest can be cleaned every two weeks, or even every month, and get by just fine. The schedule aims to catch the worst of the dirt and call it good.

Fourth, that I would feel too much pressure to keep up with a schedule. But I don’t. If something isn’t dirty, I don’t clean it. If my “first thing in the morning” cleaning window gets filled with other things, I clean later. If I don’t get to cleaning at all that day, I catch up on Saturday, or sic my big kids on the task when they get home from school. Hehee. I’m mean that way.

And so, in a nutshell, I’m sold.

If you choose to use a cleaning schedule, you’ll have to adjust it to fit your own house and habits. Mine is included in the link above only as an example.

How do you make cleaning manageable? If you actually like cleaning, can you share your tips?

Special thanks to my friend Renee Shafer for her “Clean first!” advice.

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Mom Coblentz
5 years ago

You are so ingenious!! You come up with the neatest ways of keeping yourself, your kids, and your house happy. Ryan seems to be doing ok so he must be getting the right amount of attention too. ?.
You are a busy mama and you have my admiration!

Andrew Schmucker
5 years ago

I love your plan because it creates a way to keep cleaning a fractional part of your life rather than the whole, as it can feel so quickly. Jolynn

5 years ago

Confession: we pay the neighbor girl to come clean for me every Friday. I am spoiled, I know, and I thank God for the gift.

Janae Martin
5 years ago

And I love a clean house so I try to clean every week whether it’s quick or thorough. But since we moved to a bigger house, (our other house I could clean in 2 hrs), I had to get a better system. So I clean the upstairs on Thursday n wash the sheets. And if I have time I sometimes will do the dusting downstairs. Then Friday’s are more relaxed and I can do my laundry, finish the cleaning, and make some food for the weekend if we have a big weekend planned. And I’ve learned to like that system.

L. Baer
5 years ago

Confession: I have a 17-year-old daughter who hates filth and clutter. I don’t know what my house would be like without her. I expect I shall find out some day, and I will remember your schedule!!!

Linda Stoltzfus
5 years ago
Reply to  L. Baer

I have a 12 year old who is like that. One thing is sure, I don’t deserve her. 🙂

5 years ago

I love this idea! Think I am going to adapt it to fit us!!! We have a small house and the dirt is quite concentrated. Every morning before school I have my school boys take turns vacuuming the living room (extremely high traffic area) and clean their bathroom which doubles as a guest bathroom. I had to chuckle the other day when the bathroom duty boy found out a social worker was scheduled to visit that day and went at the bathroom with determination declaring that “this room REAKS!!” he would never have even smelled anything a couple years ago before cleaning it regularly brought it to his attention 🙂

5 years ago

I always tune in when there’s talk on how to have a clean house with less cleaning. I’ve always dreamed of a self-cleaning house. Thanks for sharing. I’m struggling to view it, but will definitely look at it.

5 years ago

Hmm I love lists and right now I’m struggling with keeping a clean house since my only daughter got a job, and I have boys that aren’t really into cleaning. ? so think we will try this! Thank you!

5 years ago

Hmm. I may consider this idea since you addressed the misconceptions that I’ve also had about small, continual cleaning. I do find that a) decluttering and surface cleaning makes my house feel much cleaner and b) that routine is a big deal. Having a plan makes me get up and do it, and it also helps me to look the other way because I know when I plan to get to it.

5 years ago

I also do not enjoy cleaning. I found myself avoiding it if at all possible. But then the clutter and dirt hung over my head. Listening to loud music didn’t cut it for motivation. I spread it out throughout the week so I didn’t have to feel grouchy every Friday morning upon awakening because there was too much to do to hope to be successful. I also realized the reason I did not enjoy it, is because it is so boring/monotonous/ routine. I have started listening to my favorite podcast every Thursday (which is our clean bathrooms day) while I’m cleaning. Now I look forward to cleaning our bathroom every week! Also watching cleaning, decorating videos has inspired me on how a corner of our house could look like…

5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this! I too, like the ‘little bit every day’ cleaning schedule – I had come up with one a while back that I plugged into my ‘ToDoist’ app. But I should look more closely at your list to see what I’m missing (scrubbing appliances/cleaning vacuum caught my eye on first glance).

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