How To Use A 5-Day Plan To Stay On Top of Your Housework

Did your messy house spin out of control in 2011? Have no fear. Sharon from Mom of 6 is here today to share with us how to implement a house cleaning schedule that is easy to maintain and will have your house spic and span in no time!

So let’s just say that you are a blogger. And a stay-at-home Mom. Who doesn’t have a once-a-week or twice-a-month or even an every-so-often cleaning lady come to visit her house. And let’s just say that in the few hours you have “to yourself” when the kiddos are in school (which are very few if your young ones are only in preschool), you need to find time to write, to exercise, to get a few items crossed off of your long-running “to do” list…. AND to clean your house.

House Cleaning Schedule

You sound like a woman who needs a plan.

Lucky for you…. I’ve got one to share. But it’s a two-parter. Keeping your house “clean” involves a regular schedule of de-cluttering AND dirt removal… and you need to tackle both to stay ahead of the game. I cover the down and dirty (pun intended) basics of Daily De-cluttering in today’s post over at Momof6. But SITS-tahs…. Once you’ve got that clutter under control, you need a real plan to tackle the dirt- without feeling like you are devoting the better part of your day (every day) to it.

My plan of attack involves spending an hour or so each day (excluding laundry time- which in our family of 8 is quite substantial!) taking care of the dusting and vacuuming and general cleaning while the kids are in school. I prefer to tackle one area of the house each day, and completely clean that area- moving onto a new area the next day- rather than dusting the entire house on Monday and vacuuming the entire house on a Tuesday, etc. Tackling a piece of the house at a time gives me that “aahhhh” feeling at least in one or two completely cleaned rooms… which gives me the inspiration to continue the next day!

So here it is….

My 5-Day Plan to Stay on Top of Housework!

House Cleaning Schedule

Mondays-When the kids get up in the morning, I have them remove the sheets from their beds… because Mondays I tackle the linen laundry (sheets and towels) and then re-make the beds.

Tuesdays-This is the day that I tackle all of the bedrooms, the upstairs hallway and the laundry room. While the kids are involved in my daily de-cluttering plan, on Monday nights I remind them to make sure that their desks and bookshelves in their bedrooms have been cleaned up, which makes dusting these areas a quick task. I also vacuum and mop the floors, using a long handled duster to get to all of those bunnies that like to hide under the bed!

Wednesdays- I dedicate my cleaning hour to the delightful task of cleaning the bathrooms (I’m not going to go into details here, but let’s just say that with four young boys in the house, this is not my favorite job!). Mirrors are cleaned, sinks, countertops, and showers are scrubbed down, and toilets are swished. ‘Nuf said.

Thursdays- To keep my daily workload limited to one hour, I divide our first floor into two sections- saving the kitchen for Friday since it takes more time to properly clean. On Thursdays, I dust, vacuum, and mop the entryway, the family room, the dining room, and the hallway. And I spot-clean the windows to remove little hand prints and doggie nose prints!

Fridays-This is the day that I tackle the kitchen, and even though I clean the table and the countertops after each meal throughout the week, on Fridays I really deep-clean the countertops (moving all of the appliances to clean under and around them), and I scrub-down the stove top, the kitchen chairs, and tackle the sticky floors (you know, to clean up anything that the dog might have missed!)

Some Things DO Fall Outside of the 5-Day Plan…

Now there is housework that I do outside of this one-hour a day schedule. On Sunday and Thursday evenings, the kids gather and sort all of the clothes laundry- which I then start that evening and then fold and deliver to their rooms the next morning. On Sunday evening I also plan our family’s meals for the week and map out my grocery shopping- making a list of what to purchase, pulling coupons, and looking up deals and deciding what to stock up on. Watering plants and paying bills are also weekly tasks that I tackle outside of this one-hour a day plan.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Of course, there are weeks when the whole thing is thrown out the window (during school breaks for example), and I just do the bare minimum- such as cleaning the bathrooms and doing some laundry, and ignore the rest. When I skip a week, I know that I can always get back on track again the following week and all will be fine!

Reap the Rewards

Back when I was a working-outside-of-the-home Mom, I used to pay for a cleaning lady to come into the house once a week and tackle all of this for me…. and I loved walking in the door and breathing in deeply and inhaling that freshly-cleaned-house-smell, knowing that the dirt and dust were gone once again. And I thought that I might lose that feeling by tackling my housework bit-by-bit in this manner. But you know what? I still get that “ahh…..” feeling at the end of the week when my house is clean and feels restored to order! AND I gain all of the satisfaction that comes with having done it myself!

More From Our How To Series

Check out some of the posts our SITStahs have published previously!

About the Author

Mom of 6 My name is Sharon and I am the busy Mom of six children ages 11, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 6. People often ask me “How do you do it?” I tell them that my key to success lies in planning ahead, with a whole lot of creativity and organization thrown in! Momof6 is the place where I share all of my tips and techniques to inspire you to tackle your own busy life! blog: www.momof6.com, facebook: SharonMomof6, twitter: @sharonmomof6

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Comments

  1. Great cleaning ideas, and a fun article on how to make around the house cleaning more manageable.

  2. Thank you very much, I have a feeling this will come very handy if we move to out new house. I was already “panicking” how i will hold it clean! : )

  3. Wow this really made me depressed, how in the heck to you stick to all that cleaning. I feel inadequate. **sigh**

  4. Wow! I’m really glad to have had this email delivered to me!!!
    Thanks.

  5. That’s how I used to clean. I loved doing it that way.

    I’m currently doing a once a week schedule but I find I’m not cleaning as thoroughly as I used to. And I hate spending all that time in one block! I’d rather space it out. Plus you spend all that time and then watch everybody mess it up. And by the next cleaning day, the house can get pretty bad.

    When I cleaned a room or two a day, I felt like the house was always pretty clean and company ready. I’ve been thinking about going back to doing it that way and your article was just the push I needed to make the change.

  6. Love the breakdown! I am currently a work in progress, so it’s always good to get more ideas of how to break down the chaos :)

  7. Thank you for these tips! This will be a post that is printed.

  8. Helpful post. I do pretty well with keeping on top of the cleaning, but the clutter is what bogs me down. I need to organize some nightly clutter missions.

  9. Thanks for sharing your Housework Plan–it makes me feel better knowing others struggle with fitting this ongoing task into a hectic schedule.

  10. Just what I needed. I feel like all hell broke loose since having my fourth son and he is now almost one. Little Miss Semi organized with a spic and span house is raising her white flag. I like the idea of delegating around one hr a day to cleaning. That is possible. We all
    do need to cut ourselves some slack! :) Thanks!

    • I completely agree! We are all way too hard on ourselves-myself included! “Good enough” is the new “spic and span”…. besides the kids are just going to dirty-it-all up again next week!

  11. This is a lady after my own heart. I don’t like just dusting one day or just vacuuming one day because I never feel like the house is clean. Doing it room by room does it!

  12. Great tips!

  13. Sharon, as a mostly flustered mom of 1, I am seriously impressed and in awe of you. 6 kids? You deserve a cape. Thanks for the tips. I think the idea of breaking it down little by little each day is key for me. If I think about trying to have one “cleaning day” my eye starts twitching :)

    • A cape? Hmmm… I might have to get working on that one! :) I can’t stand the idea of trying to get it all done in one day- it leaves me exhausted and cranky!

  14. I hadn’t thought of cleaning 1 room per day in it’s versus all one chore per day. I might try that instead and see if it works better. Although working full time 3 days a week I can probably still manage something similar.

  15. I’ve learned that that the details of when and how you do housework aren’t as important as having a plan or system that works for you right now.

    Homeschooling 4 kids means I never have an uninterrupted hour to clean. But it also means my children are home to help with the housework. So we all have daily chores – wipe down bathroom, sweep, vacuum, dishes, dust. I’m slowly integrating weekly chores. Right now Monday is laundry day. My 8 yr old does his laundry and his 7 yr. old brother’s laundry. The ALL sort, fold, and put away their own laundry. I re-evaluate chore assignments 3 times a year: when school starts, January, and summer vacation.

    • My kids also help a lot more with the laundry. My oldest two started folding and putting away their own laundry when they were 6 & 7. Can’t wait until my 4 year old can start doing his, too!

    • Ver smart woman! When my kids are out of school for the summer- they all have a chore list of things they need to do to help me clan the house too!

  16. Love this post. I’m a TERRIBLE housekeeper. This gives me some hope =)

  17. One of these days I’m going to get organized and stop living with CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome.) This has inspired me to start thinking about a plan.

  18. If we ever find our floors and surfaces so that we can use this plan, I’m all in. But I fear that we are just about to lose the battle of the home and turn into hoarders. If you see me on TV, it will be for my disasterous house.

    • ha ha ha! Be sure to check out my companion post on decluttering your house! Yesterday I had a local charity come by and pick up about 20 bags of “stuff”…. and this was at least his 4th trip in the last few months to my home. I imagine he’s wondering if we have anything left inside our house. And sadly- we still have WAY more than we should!

  19. I am failing miserably in this area. Le sigh. Okay I need to get off the computer and clean…!

    • It is so hard to get off the computer and actually accomplish anything around the house lately! Even I am having trouble sticking with my plan this week!

  20. Great tips! I live in a dorm, and I still have to have a plan…the dust in these old buildings is unreal!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com/

  21. I absolutely LOVE this. I’ve been thinking hard about how to create a cleaning schedule that works for me. Love that this time of year lots of useful info is pouring in!

  22. This is a great way to plan it all out. And like you said, if you miss a week it is not terrible. Having a certain room for each day of the week ensures they get done. May I make a suggestion? If you miss cleaning the bathrooms one Wednesday, don’t try to cram them in on Thursday, just roll it over to the next week. Nobody is going to die and the health inspector won’t close you down. Just be sure that you don’t miss more that a week or 2 at the most!
    Having a routine like this helps keep it easy and you don’t have to think about it much!
    Great post!
    Bernice

    • I love your suggestion Bernice… but with 6 kids- 4 go which are boys under age 12, my bathrooms are the one thing that I cannot let go 2 weeks- the dust and the dirt elsewhere in the house- definitely!

  23. Sounds promising!

  24. I just fired my old maid and need a new one…I have back issues so I can’t clean the way I need to, but I did purge this weekend and it felt great. :)

  25. I had a fabulous schedule like this… then I went back to work… it’s been two years and I still haven’t worked out a new schedule… most of the cleaning gets done on weekends.

    • In the summers when all of my kids are out of school- I usually change up my schedule so that all of my house cleaning shifts to weekends too…. and I also assign certain jobs to the kids to do as part of their summer chore schedule.

  26. Great post! I have three under five and I do the same thing! We tackle the de-cluttering about once a month and that alone feels fantastic!

  27. I need to do something! Wednesdays would be my least favorite day!

  28. My BIG DAY to have my guest post featured on SITS…. and the companion piece on my blog is nearly impossible to access because my hosting company seems to be having issues this morning! Grrr….. ! Sorry SITS-tahs! Working hard to resolve it so that you can see my post on Decluttering Daily too!
    Warmly,
    Sharon at Momof6

  29. I’d like to add one tip: Shut off the computer and hide the smartphone. They come between me and my housework. Great tips for breaking it down by days. It appears smaller that way and easier to handle.

    • Lisa- you are SO right! I have to get rid of all of the distractions if I am actually going to focus on knocking out the housework!

      • handyandrea says:

        DON’T leave the kids alone in the car. A Woman I knew left her two toddlers alone at a gas station to pay (days before debit!) And van caught on fire with tragic results. Although very rarely things like this happen, the price to pay can be much too high.
        In a less fatal incident, my husband left the 11 year old and the 2 year old alone for five minutes-in our standard transmission car-and the car rolled backwards while he was gone. A passerby helped push the car back with the two kids inside and properly applied the parking brake. My husband was aware of nothing until he got home and I asked the kids how it went on their little excursion. That’s when the 11 year old spilled the beans! Thankfully no one was hurt and no property was damaged!
        The potential for disaster is too high. Besides, I believe it is illegal-for good reason!

  30. Great ideas! I’m always looking for ways to streamline housework

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