It is officially past time for me to actually write my housekeeping schedule down so I can follow it a little better (babies tend to throw things off a bit—who would have guessed!). Since I really benefit from reading about how other people keep their house clean, I decided to post it on here in case it can help any of you!
For a weekly housekeeping schedule to work, you have to have some daily chores, too. My philosophy is clean the house a little bit at a time, every day, so that I don't have huge messes to clean up. The reasons are pretty simple, too. For one, I'm of a melancholic temperament, meaning I get very overwhelmed by big tasks and have trouble starting them. Breaking up things into little pieces really helps me. Like most moms, I typically only have short spurts to work with, anyways, making an 8-hour cleaning spree a physical impossibility. Plus, doing this just keeps the house clean regularly. I try to have the house always ready for unexpected guests. I find I think more clearly and am happier with a clean house, and I know my family is, too.
For a full run-down of my daily routine, check out my post with my Rule of Life. Chore-wise, here's what I do each day:
Dishes/Clean kitchen. My mind is typically as jumbled as my sink is, so I try to keep it empty, even if it's the last thing I'm doing before hitting the hay. I always scrub it with some soap when I'm done, too, so it stays nice and shiny.
Make up my bed. As I said in a tweet this week, my daily productivity is directly traceable to how soon after I wake up I make my bed (and get dressed, but I talk more about this here)!
Pick up the living spaces. Before my husband gets home from work (okay, let's be honest, it's almost always pushed to before I get in bed), I try to have the house clear of clutter (toys, clothes, books, etc.). It might occasionally mean a small pile of things to go through the next day, but I find I spend much less time total cleaning if I just do it every day.
I try to keep the day-specific chores to a minimum. If I have something that's too dependent on a set schedule, one random doctor's appointment can throw the whole thing off. For me, flexibility is key; I need something that I can still work with a little bit of external unpredictability.
Saturday: Deep Clean**
*During the week I vacuum the main-traffic areas only! It takes me about ten minutes.
**My Saturday Deep Clean is not as deep as it sounds. This usually involves getting the house ready for Sunday guests (if no guests are coming, I pretend they are, to make myself clean thoroughly—I talk more about this here). Since I keep up with things during the week, this means I spend no more than two hours on my Saturday deep cleans. It involves surfaces (wood, glass, counter tops, and toilets/tubs) and floors (vacuum entire house and mop). Since I'm vacuuming the entire house this day, this is usually the day I tidy up the other bedrooms I neglected during the week (the only bedroom I do daily is my own.) (One caveat—I don't always do both bathrooms fully on Saturday. I normally pick the dirty one, or do a quick wipe down on both. It all depends on how dirty they are and how much time I have.)
So, what about the things not included? There are other, deeper cleaning projects that I do throughout the year (baseboards, vacuuming under furniture, removing books and dusting bookshelves, cleaning cabinets, etc.). I usually just do them as I have time and as needed. What I'm working on now putting them all in a list with my other chores that don't need to be done weekly (ironing, canning, mending, etc.). My goal is whenever I have some free time during the week (you'll notice my daily schedule has lots of room to add things if I don't have anywhere to be), I just get started down that list, doing the most pressing things first.
Set Your Own
If you want to make some version of this, it's pretty simple. Make a list of things that get dirty daily, ~3 times a week, weekly, and beyond. Do your daily stuff daily, rotate every other day for the next category of chores, pick a day with more time (like Saturday) for your weekly list, and get to the other stuff on your free time throughout the month or year. It's as simple as that!
And that's it! That's how I keep the house clean enough for the unexpected visitor daily. I'd love to read about your housekeeping schedule in the comments!