You have a million things going on at once. How are you supposed to maintain a cleaning schedule while balancing all of your other responsibilities? The truth is, most people don’t have a cleaning schedule that they can stick to. This is because, societally, we’re led to believe that the cleanliness of our home is a direct reflection of our character. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
On top of all the pressure to keep our houses clean, many people are taking an eco-friendly approach to cleaning. This may sound like something that’s out of reach, but it’s as simple as tossing your reusable paper towels in with your laundry once a week.
Why Creating a Cleaning Schedule Is Important
How often have you gotten so caught up in cleaning that you’ve lost track of time? You intended to clean the bathtub, but realized that while you’re in there, you may as well clean the toilet, too. Then, you looked down and saw all those dirty towels and remembered you needed to do laundry. One thing led to another, and suddenly you looked up and it was 9 p.m., and you hadn’t eaten in hours.
Creating a reasonable cleaning schedule that fits your routine will prevent you from neglecting your well-being and keep your life in balance. Plan out your schedule around the other things that matter in your life. If you’re exhausted when you come home from work on Fridays, don’t schedule chores that require too much energy (or any at all). Plan to toss your eco-friendly laundry detergent in with whatever laundry you have and have a relaxing evening. If you know you usually have lots of time and energy on Sundays, plan for your more intense chores like scrubbing the bathroom to be done then. This will ensure you feel less overloaded and allow you to stick to your schedule much more easily.
Step 1: Set Your Priorities
When you’re setting up your cleaning schedule, prioritize the spaces that are most important to your well-being. Your daily tasks can be organized in order of importance so that if you don’t get to everything, it’s no big deal. Make your main focus on tasks that have a good return on investment. Take care of the spaces you spend the majority of your time in first. For example, if you struggle to relax in a chaotic and cluttered area, tidy up the room you prefer to wind down in. This will allow you to relax and not focus on the things you didn’t have time to accomplish during the day. If you can’t cook in a messy kitchen, load up those dirty dishes, pop in one of your environmentally friendly dishwashing tablets, and clear any clutter. Then, you can enjoy your meal in peace, without thinking about all the dishes that need to be done when you’re finished.
Step 2: Let Go of Other People’s Standards
Let’s face it, there is not enough time in the day to keep your house spotless. It’s just not realistic. There’s no shortage of influence on our thoughts when it comes to how we should maintain our homes. Social media, advertisers, and even family members have a huge impact on the way we view ourselves and our spaces. Letting go of what we feel is the standard for cleanliness is vital when it comes to working out a schedule you’ll stick to. Find a standard to hold yourself to that is attainable and works for you. Whatever you decide, it will never look like someone else’s, and that’s okay! The important thing is that you feel good about what you’re accomplishing without overworking yourself.
Step 3: Figure Out Your Cleaning Style
Do you work more efficiently by completing tasks or cleaning entire rooms? Some people prefer to do one task across multiple rooms at a time. For example, you might want to do all the vacuuming across the entire house so you only have to drag the vacuum out once. Alternatively, you might be someone who prefers to clean all of one room before moving on to the next one. Make sure when you’re planning your cleaning schedule, you take this into account. If you’re planning to do whole rooms, it’s a good idea to break each room down by task and rank them in terms of importance.
Step 4: Plan Your Time Appropriately
Planning your time is the most important step. Creating a reasonable schedule will determine whether or not you stick to your schedule. Setting smaller, attainable goals will keep you from feeling hopeless and wanting to give up. Create a daily schedule that includes the things you do on a weekly or monthly basis. Next, add in designated amounts of time or specific time-frames for relaxation or activities you enjoy. This balance will keep you from feeling burned out. Then, you’ll want to fill in the time for your most important tasks. Once you have those in place, you can designate less important tasks to certain days or weeks when they won’t be a burden if you don’t have time to complete them.
Prepare for Change
As you test out your new schedule, you may find there’s something you miscalculated. Perhaps you have the time and energy to do more on Mondays than you initially thought. Maybe on Wednesdays, you have far less energy to do bigger tasks. That’s all part of the process. Adjust your schedule as you discover what your needs are.
No matter how much you try, it’s inevitable that there will be times when you can’t adhere to your schedule perfectly. Perhaps you or the kids get sick. Maybe work gets crazy, or something else comes up that requires your time and energy. Not completing every single thing on your to-do list doesn’t mean that you failed in some way. Success isn’t about following your cleaning schedule perfectly. What matters is that you’re organized and have some form of structure to make your life a tiny bit easier. With some practice, you may even start enjoying your cleaning routine!