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Whether you are a young, first-time homeowner, a newly married couple, or have a family, keeping your home clean can seem like huge and never-ending housework. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
A cleaning routine is a great place to start when you want to enforce positive habits in your life since it isn’t difficult and must be done either way.
To help you start creating a cleaning routine which suits your living situation, we have put together four examples of routines with downloadable checklists that you can print and follow.
Identify the cleaning tasks
The first step in creating a cleaning schedule is to identify what needs to be done and how often it needs to be done. Take some time to walk around your home and list the tasks for each room.
Once you have a list of all of the tasks, figure out how often each one needs to be completed: daily, weekly, or monthly. Next, choose the best house cleaning schedule for you and the needs of your home and plot out the tasks for each day, week, or month.
Review your schedule once a month. This is important because there is no point in continuing with a particular schedule if it does not work for you and also allows you to plan for quarterly and yearly tasks.
Daily cleaning schedule
Set aside time in the morning and evening to complete the daily cleaning tasks and at least one of the weekly cleaning routine tasks. This method helps you maintain a general level of cleanliness and tidiness, thereby reducing the need to deep clean your home as often as you otherwise would.
An example of such a daily cleaning checklist could look something like this:
- Make the bed;
- Clean the coffee maker;
- Clean the bathroom and wipe sinks and counters;
- Tidy the kitchen and wipe the stove and counters;
- Sanitise the sink;
- Tidy the master bedroom;
- Tidy the kid’s bedroom(s);
- Do the dishes or load the dishwasher;
- Spot-vacuum each room;
- Do clutter tidy up. Go through the house and pick up any clutter that you find.
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Weekly cleaning schedule
In addition to completing the small, daily tasks, do one or two of the bigger weekly house cleaning tasks each day. Weekly tasks include, but are not limited to:
- Doing the laundry;
- Cleaning the kitchen;
- Clean inside of microwave;
- Cleaning the bathroom;
- Hoovering, sweeping, mopping;
- Cleaning bedrooms;
- Cleaning windows and mirrors;
- Change bedding;
- Toss expired food;
- Wipe down kitchen appliances;
- Sanitise sponges.
Monthly cleaning schedule
Try spreading the largest monthly cleaning tasks over the course of 1 or 2 of your free days each month. This will ensure that you will not get overwhelmed when trying to fit them into your regular cleaning routine and they won’t be forgotten.
Things to look out for when identifying monthly tasks include jobs like:
- Deep cleaning washing machine, dishwasher, fridge;
- Dusting ceiling fan blades;
- Changing or cleaning filters in vacuum cleaners and air conditioners;
- Checking smoke alarms and changing batteries as needed;
- Cleaning blinds and curtains;
- Cleaning behind and the tops of appliances and furniture;
- Cleaning upholstery, vacuuming inside furniture;
- Cleaning the skirting boards;
- Cleaning light fixtures;
- Dusting any air vents.
Every home is different, so use the list above as an example and look for the big tasks in your home that only need to be completed once a month.
Cleaning every 3-6 months
- Clean the fridge from the inside
- Wash pillows
- Wash the windows from the outside
- Clean the oven
- Sweep behind furniture
- Deep clean carpets and upholstery
- Wash the drapes and curtains
- Descale the coffee machine
- Clean out the basement and garage
- Clean under the furniture
Cleaning every year
Some quick tips when planning your daily cleaning schedule
- Clean the coffee maker – start by removing any removable parts and washing them with warm, soapy water. If any parts are dishwasher-safe, go ahead and stick them in the machine.
- Clean the dishes – If you’re looking to save time and water, skip pre-rinsing your dirty dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Enzymes in today’s dishwasher detergents work best when attached to food particles, so there’s no need to waste time and water rinsing beforehand.
- Sanitise the sink – Sinks need to be sanitised regularly to prevent the build-up of bacteria and other germs. An easy way to do this is to use an eraser-type sponge to remove marks, then plug the drain and fill the basin with warm water. Add a tablespoon of bleach and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.
Weekly cleaning schedule tips
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the cleaning that needs to be done, take a deep breath and tackle one room or job each day. You can make Monday your kitchen day, Tuesday your vacuuming day, Wednesday your bed-changing day, and so on. Breaking up the cleaning into manageable tasks will help you get through it all without feeling too overwhelmed.
- Clean the microwave – To clean the inside of your microwave, start by heating a bowl of water and vinegar on high power for several minutes. The steam will help loosen any dirt or grime that’s built up inside. Let the bowl cool for 5 minutes before opening the door, then remove it and wipe down the inside with a sponge.
- Sanitise sponges – Sponges need to be sanitised every so often to ensure that they are free of harmful bacteria. One way to do this is to soak the sponge in a mixture of bleach and water for five minutes, then rinse it off.
Monthly cleaning schedule tips
- Clean the dishwasher – If your dishwasher isn’t cleaning dishes like it used to, descaling it may help. To descale your machine, fill a large glass measuring cup with 2 cups of vinegar and place it on the top rack. Then run the dishwasher without detergents.
- Clean the vacuum – A clean vacuum is essential for strong suction and a thorough clean. To keep your vacuum in top condition, change the bag when it’s three-quarters full and replace the filter if it’s very dirty or torn.
Tips for cleaning every 3-6 months
- Wash the pillows – Put them in the washer and launder them two at a time on a gentle cycle. Be sure to use warm water and add an extra cold water rinse and spin cycle. After that, you can tumble dry them on low heat with a few rubber dryer balls.
- Clean the oven – When it comes to cleaning your oven, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, wipe down the inside of the oven with a damp sponge to remove any loose bits of food. Then use the self-cleaning function on your oven to remove burnt-on grime. Wash your racks in the sink with warm, sudsy water and a heavy-duty scrub sponge.
- Wash shower curtains – If your shower curtain liner is made of plastic or vinyl, you can clean it in the washing machine at the highest water level. Add a couple of bath towels for extra agitation and launder as usual.
If these tasks sound daunting, or you simply don’t have the time, consider getting a professional deep cleaning service. You can combine it with carpet or upholstery cleaning and clean the whole house in one go.
Tips for cleaning every year
- Deep clean the carpets – Your carpets see a lot of foot traffic and they can get pretty dirty. A deep clean will remove all the dirt and stains that have built up over time. You can either rent a special machine or book a carpet cleaning service.
- Deep clean windows – To clean your windows without leaving streaks, start by wiping down the dirt and dust. Once the surface is clean, spray a glass cleaner onto the window and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
With all of this in mind, as you move through life and its various stages, your cleaning needs will change dramatically. If you have just started a family, it will only be a few years until your little ones start attending school, and your cleaning schedule will have to change to accommodate your new job as a chauffeur as you drive your children to and from school and activities.
Then, as they get older, the moment you have been waiting for will arrive and you will be able to start delegating cleaning tasks. Your cleaning schedule will then change once again as you adapt it to include your helpers. Eventually, your children will leave their home, reducing the amount of mess and your schedule will be shrunk back to that of pre-children days.
By establishing a cleaning routine, and more importantly sticking to it, you will find that maintaining a clean and tidy home is not as daunting as you once thought. Creating a schedule allows you to stay on top of the cleaning game without becoming overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks and ensures that you will not be embarrassed to invite people into your home, even if they are unexpected visitors.
This also gives you peace of mind as you will no longer have to think or worry about the cleaning you put off for another time, not to mention that this habit will significantly improve the hygiene in your abode.
The benefits are not limited to your home, either. By creating and sticking to a routine, you are able to plan your days ahead of time and give yourself a sense of control over various aspects of your life. Successfully sticking to the routine will lead to your willpower being strengthened and this can then be applied to all other areas of your life, whether this involves spending more time with your family, advancing your career, or getting in shape.
Basically, your cleaning schedule will need to be adapted to fit each new phase of your life. If you get a head start and establish a cleaning routine as early as possible, it will be much easier for you to adapt the schedule to your changing life.
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