Here’s how to create a custom stay-at-home mom cleaning schedule. There are two methods to choose from: “bite-sized daily tasks” or “theme days.” Let’s find the one that best for you and set you up for success.
Ah, the stay-at-home mom life. Before it happens, you dream of spending your days lovingly polishing bathrooms until they shine, sweeping off your porch while you sing, and hanging laundry in the sun. And then…you actually arrive on the job.
The reality is, so many of us are stuck in a cycle of not really doing much cleaning until we have to. Guests are coming, so we exhaust ourselves cleaning everything, enjoy it for one day, and go back to our old ways.
Let’s break that cycle by doing something each day to make cleaning our home much easier.
The problem with most cleaning schedules
Well, there are a few.
First, they feel restrictive and like they are too much. Just looking at them makes you feel like throwing your hands in the air and not doing any cleaning at all.
Secondly, they are impersonal. Some people do need to scrub the bathtubs every week, but many people don’t.
We don’t need to clean for the sake of cleaning.
And finally, a pre-made cleaning schedule doesn’t take into account all the other things you have going on in your life!
That being said, a cleaning schedule is actually beneficial, especially for stay-at-home moms. But an out-of-the-box solution will rarely work. You have to make your own. Don’t worry. Let’s find some basic methods, then tweak.
So what is a good house cleaning schedule?
A good stay-at-home mom cleaning schedule gives you the structure to feel like you accomplish something in the house every day. This helps you feel purposeful and productive.
It also helps break things down. The deeper cleaning tasks in your home can become overwhelming if you don’t break them down a little. The good news is you have a whole week to get things done. Do a little bit each day, and you’ll get there.
The foundation: your daily cleaning routine
Every day, you should try to get your house back to a state where you would not be embarrassed by someone stopping in—the “good enough” clean. Messy house, begone.
Your daily cleaning will involve:
- Making beds
- Unloading the dishwasher
- Cleaning out the coffee maker
- Tidying up living spaces
- Picking up laundry
- Wiping down the counters
- Sweeping the kitchen floor
- Doing all the dishes
- Taking out the trash
- Throwing out junk mail and other clutter
You get the idea. You may have way more tasks than this or fewer.
If it feels helpful to you to make a house cleaning checklist that you refer to every day with all your cleaning tasks, write one down to make sure you don’t forget something.
The next level: weekly and monthly tasks
Okay. Here’s where you’ll find two different methods. Read them both. Then pick your favorite, or do a trial run of both and see which one you like best.
For either of these, you’ll still have your foundational daily tasks to do, you know… daily. No getting around that one, sorry!
Method #1: Bite-sized deep cleaning
In this method, we break down the bigger cleaning jobs and do a few tasks a day. Specifically, three medium or deep cleaning tasks a day.
This is a great method because it fits into the margins of your day, and you don’t get behind. If you miss a day, jump right back in. It will never leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Every day, do one deep or medium clean item from each of the following categories.
One kitchen task
One bathroom task
One everything else task.
Example kitchen tasks:
- wipe down floors and baseboards
- clean windows
- wipe outside of kitchen cabinets
- organize the pantry, or just a shelf if it is bad
- wash out the kitchen garbage cans
- scrub the sink
- take out one shelf on the fridge and wash it
- quickly rearrange the whole fridge to look pretty
- polish stainless steel appliances
Example bathroom tasks:
- clean the tub
- clean the shower
- clean the counters and faucets
- clean the windows and windowsills
- wipe down the floor and baseboards
- organize under bathroom sink cabinet and wipe it down
From the everything else category:
- organize a dresser drawer
- clean out a closet shelf or hanging rod
- organize china cabinet
- organize one nightstand
- dust and organize one bookshelf, one single shelf if it is bad
- clean windows in one room
- clean out under one bed
Easy enough, right?
The downsides to this cleaning schedule? It’s not super structured, so if you thrive on that, you’ll prefer #2. Also, if you dread certain tasks, you’ll find it easy to keep putting them off.
Despite its flaws, this is my stay-at-home mom cleaning schedule that I use most of the time. I love it.
Want a printable to help you with this? Click on the image below and you’ll get one to download for free!
Method #2: Weekly Cleaning Schedule
This method gives you something to focus on each day. It requires longer blocks of time to focus, but it lets you stay in one place and work efficiently in various rooms. If you love the satisfaction of having one area of your home that’s clean all at once, you’ll enjoy having weekly cleaning tasks.
Try setting a timer for 15-20 minutes for cleaning and work as fast you can to get it over with.
If your time is limited, work fast and efficiently. Do what you can in the time you have, and come back to it next week.
Monday is perfect for laundry day. You tend to be home most of the day after a weekend out, and the new week feels like a fresh start.
- Do as much laundry as you have time for
- Wipe down washing machine and dryer
- Organize any storage in this space
- Set things aside to be dry cleaned
- Tidy up the laundry room
- Mop laundry room floor
Kitchen cleaning day is one of the most satisfying days of the week. There is nothing as cheerful as a shiny, clean kitchen. This is a great day to go to the grocery store (or get your groceries delivered if you’re tired from cleaning) because the fridge is cleared out.
- Clean out the fridge
- Wipe down the front of appliances
- Clean the cooktop and vent hood
- Deep clean appliances as needed
- Organize one cabinet (over time, you’ll get every cabinet done)
- Clean the counter, including underneath small appliances
Cleaning the bathroom isn’t fun, but it sure is necessary. If you have children enough to do this job themselves, have them do it. Just because it’s your cleaning schedule doesn’t mean you have to do everything on it.
- Clean toilets, tubs, sinks
- Clean mirrors
- Mop bathroom floors
- Wash bathmats and the shower curtain as needed
- Wipe down walls and doorknobs as needed
- Empty trash cans
Thursday: Office And Bedrooms
These are places that are easy to neglect because you can shut the door when people come over.
Many of us tend to shove other stuff we aren’t really using in rooms like this. (Ahem.)
And, since we don’t cook in them, it seems easy just to put off cleaning them. It never really feels like a cleaning emergency. The result? Dusty, cluttered rooms that we don’t enjoy being in. The best way to deal with this is to give these rooms their own spot in the weekly cleaning schedule.
- change sheets
- tidy and dust bookshelves
- organize office desk
- declutter paperwork
- vacuum and dust office and bedrooms
Friday: Polish And Shine
- Dust and/ or polish your living spaces
- Vacuum and mop your living spaces, kitchen, and hallways
- make sure living areas are neat for the weekend
Many of these tasks are very physical and demanding. If you can afford a house cleaning service, these are great tasks to hire someone for.
- sweep the porch and deck
- wipe down outdoor furniture
- power wash house as needed
- clean windows as needed
- wash and clean out the car
- organize the garage or shed
Sunday: Rest And Reset
- Check your calendar for the upcoming week
- Make next week’s meal plan
Is method more up your alley? I have a free printable for this one too.
How Much Time Should You Spend Cleaning?
Keeping your home clean is about more than writing down a schedule. You have to do the work, and that takes time.
First, think about your daily household chores. How much time do they take? Mine takes about an hour a day and is part of my morning routine and evening routine. I also have kids who do a lot of these, which helps. These little chores can be time-consuming, but they can also be delegated. More kids mean more mess, but more help.
Then, look at the bigger jobs on your schedule. They could not take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours. But here’s a secret: if you have all day to do something, you’ll make it take all day.
Everyone has twenty minutes a day they can spend on doing the tasks on their cleaning schedule. Start there.
Making it stick
Cleaning schedules are only helpful if you do the work.
Here’s how to really motivate yourself and keep your house looking good:
- Set a short timer (5 minutes) and get started. As you get more motivated, increase the time.
- Set up a habit tracker and give yourself a check every day you do your cleaning. At the end of every week or month, get yourself a small reward!
- Don’t forget to enjoy your hard work. A clean house is nice for everyone else of course. But as a stay-at-home mom, you get to enjoy it the most!
Customizing all of this
Of course, busy mom life is about more than cleaning. There’s grocery shopping, cooking, driving around, and, of course, the kids.
You might bounce back and forth between these methods or have one you love and stick with forever. I hope you’ve realized there is big power in a small task and that it’s important just to keep moving.
A little bit every day will take you very far. Enjoy your new, tidy home.