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Cleaning Schedule: Housekeeping Made Simple

December 9, 2015 | By | Reply More

cleaning scheduleI am in the middle of a subtle shift in my life and priorities. Recently, I pondered whether frugality and the everyday decadence I love so much can co-exist. I am starting to feel certain they can.

When I think about my busy career, some things strike me as ironic. For instance, people work hard to buy late-model cars for a luxurious commute and nice professional clothes, and both would be unnecessary if it wasn’t for that very office job. Expensive conveniences become part of the budget because we spend so much time working and feel we “deserve” them. We spend hard-earned money on vacations so we can feel an escape from our jobs. In our home, we are putting a halt to this work-spend cycle so that we can achieve more financial freedom.

One of the luxuries we recently gave up was our twice-a-month housekeeper. She would come every other Thursday, usually on the day I was traveling home from my week in our company’s home office on Long Island. I would arrive home to a sparkling clean home and she would even pluck flowers from our yard and arrange them in vases all over the house. It was a lovely “welcome home.” And then, by Saturday, I could barely tell that she had been there. Cat hair tumbleweeds would start collecting in corners, the dresser got dusty, and the flowers wilted.

Mr. President and I decided that we’d rather save the money we paid for the housekeeper and find ways to make cleaning as easy as possible. The first step was a slight change in our standards. Rather than expecting the entire house to be spotless all the time, we decided that having the house be clean enough was good enough. Our house doesn’t need to be sterile or look like a museum. We took back some of our time and we also stopped spending money on all sorts of chemical-laden cleaning products.

The result is an easy-to-manage cleaning schedule with cleaning tasks each day that take just a little time. We have created a two-week schedule that is adapted to my arrangement of being away from home every other week and home every other week. When I’m working from home, it’s easy for me to pick up more of the chores. I can get them done early in the morning – well before my workday begins. On the weeks I’m away, Mr. P. picks up the chores. Our home is now in a steady state of “clean enough” and we don’t have to spend our weekends getting it done.

This cleaning schedule works for us. We do not have kids, so our house stays pretty clean with this regime. You may decide that you absolutely need to scrub showers and toilets every single week because they are in heavy use. We clean a little extra if company is coming and sometimes we notice that something not on the list needs attention.

Sample Cleaning Schedule

Week One:

Monday: Dust living room, dining room, vacuum downstairs

Tuesday: Dust bedroom, office, clean upstairs cat feeding areas, vacuum upstairs

Wednesday: Clean master bathroom, including shower and floor

Thursday: Clean hall bath and powder room, including floors

Friday: Clean sunroom

Saturday: Vacuum upstairs and downstairs

Sunday: Wipe down stairs/risers

Week Two:

Monday: Clean kitchen range hood, clean downstairs cat feeding areas

Tuesday: Dust kitchen shelves, wipe down cabinet fronts

Wednesday: Vacuum upstairs and downstairs

Thursday: Wipe down appliances, clean microwave

Friday: Clean sunroom

Saturday: Vacuum upstairs and downstairs and mop floors, change sheets

Sunday: Wipe down stairs/risers

Tips for Creating a Cleaning Schedule

  1. Begin by dividing up your entire cleaning routine into smaller chunks that can be done in as little as 30 minutes. Keep it big picture and without tons of detail – you can add the details in later as you get more experience using your schedule.
  2. Decide how often certain areas of your home need to be cleaned. Don’t worry about what other people say, make it real for your family’s needs. For example, our sunroom is the place we hang out most often with our four cats and all their hair. For us, that’s the one room that must get cleaned every single week. We also need to vacuum up after our cats often so that appears several times on our schedule.
  3. If most areas of your home need attention every week, you may end up with a one-week schedule. Otherwise, go with two weeks since the tasks are more manageable.
  4. Give thought to your weekly schedule. If you typically work late certain days of the week, plan light chores for those days. Or if you have days that are light, you can schedule some of the bigger tasks on those days.
  5. Use your mornings. Since I work at least full time, I try to knock out my chores early, easily and without distraction.


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Category: Enviable Ideas, General, Home and Garden

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