Cleaning can be a hectic, seemingly never-ending chore. Remembering every task during a thorough home cleaning can be difficult. Further, after dusting, washing, brushing, and scrubbing every bit of filth out of a house, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to do it all over again. How can you manage this chaos?
The key to helping solve this problem is to create a house cleaning schedule. With a proper schedule, you can break down tasks into smaller chores that can be completed on a regular basis. Instead of procrastinating and having extremely busy cleaning days, you can manage a home’s cleanliness in a more orderly and stress-free fashion.
Whether you clean homes professionally or you simply want to make your home a more hygienic and inviting space, a house cleaning schedule can lead to major improvements. Read on for practical advice on how you can create your own schedule for this purpose.
List All the Tasks
To understand how you should prioritize and schedule your cleaning tasks, you must first list out all of them. This can give you some perspective when it comes to assessing what you can complete on any given day. While every house is different, and it’s impossible to provide a comprehensive list of cleaning tasks that applies to each one, here is a list of some common household cleaning tasks that you should consider including:
- Dust and wipe down surfaces: This should include furniture tops, baseboards, chair rails, door panels, ceiling fans, blinds, window sills, picture frames, mirrors, and any other surfaces. Homeowners will want to dust at least once a month, though cleaning services will generally opt for more frequent dusting.
- Vacuum carpets and rugs: With the exception of rugs with fringes or delicate rugs, be sure to vacuum carpets and rugs at least once a week.
- Mop hard-surface floors: Mopping is vital for maintaining the cleanliness of a home. Mopping once every couple weeks should be appropriate for homeowners, though high-traffic areas should be mopped more frequently. Cleaning businesses will want to mop even more often.
- Empty and remove all trash: Be sure to remove any trash lying around, as well as empty trash containers in the kitchen, bathroom, or any other areas. You may also need to sort recyclables. The frequency of this chore will depend on the size of the household and the amount of trash produced.
- Disinfect doorknobs and switch plates: Areas that come into frequent contact with hands should be regularly disinfected.
- Clean and disinfect sinks and showers or tubs: This should be done at least once a week to avoid mold or mildew, which can impact the health of the household.
- Clean and disinfect kitchen appliances: This includes both the exterior and interior of all appliances in the kitchen. Be sure to follow relevant manufacturer guidelines on properly completing this process.
This should help you get started with your own list. Just be sure to add any additional tasks that apply to the home in question! This includes any additional rooms not discussed here, as well as lawn care. On this second point, you may be able to get insight and help online — just be sure you know the signs of a trustworthy lawn care website.
Once you’ve completed your list, you can begin labeling and sorting them. Depending on your preferences, you can sort your list by room or by type of task. You can include information such as how long you expect the task to take and what equipment you will need. This will ensure that you have the time and essential cleaning supplies to keep a home clean.
For instance, if you can only dedicate one and a half hours to cleaning on a given day, it can help to know that cleaning windows will take one hour, vacuuming takes around 15 minutes, and mopping takes another 15 minutes. Knowing ahead of time that these tasks will fit in your schedule will help guide your efforts and ensure you have the right tools for the job when that day comes.
Sort Tasks by Frequency
There are many variables that can impact how often a task must be completed. For instance, areas that are not frequently inhabited or used may require less frequent cleanings. However, high-traffic areas may require more frequent maintenance to keep them hygienic. Another consideration is the presence of kids or pets. As any parent or pet owner can attest, these can greatly contribute to the amount of upkeep required.
Some tasks don’t need to be completed every day — or even every week. As you see in the tasks provided above, different tasks can be completed at different intervals. Here are some examples:
Daily Cleaning Tasks
Examples of tasks that could be completed on a daily basis include:
- Decluttering living areas;
- Making beds;
- Cleaning toilets;
- Wiping down countertops and tables.
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
Some tasks that can be completed on a weekly basis include:
- Dust and vacuum;
- Cleaning windows;
- Sweep and mop floors;
- Cleaning kitchen appliances;
- Lawn care.
Monthly Cleaning Tasks
Other tasks can be done on an even less frequent basis. These examples can generally be done on a monthly basis:
- Cleaning shower heads and faucets (though cleaning companies may do this more frequently);
- Steam cleaning carpets and rugs;
- Sweeping out fireplaces;
- Cleaning return air vents.
These examples illustrate how different tasks can be completed on different schedules.
Assign Out Tasks
You should avoid overloading yourself with tasks. If you have other household members or employees who can help with them, you should be sure to assign out tasks appropriately. Once you know which tasks you need to complete, as well as the amount of time and resources required for each, you can delegate tasks to others. Doing so effectively can reduce redundancies and improve overall efficiency.
If certain people are particularly effective at performing specific tasks, you can save a lot of time overall by delegating those tasks to them. Conversely, if some individuals struggle with certain tasks, you can delegate tasks in a way that avoids this mismatch. Alternatively, this information can be used to pair experts with those who are struggling so that the former can teach cleaning best practices to the latter.
Assigning out tasks is a great option when dealing with special projects or handling dangerous cleaning chemicals that require expertise. As fewer people in your group are likely to have these skills, such projects should be left to the experts, while the rest of the group can focus on more general tasks.
Put the Schedule In Writing
Once you’ve designed a house cleaning schedule, it’s important that you write it down or print it out. You can also create a cleaning schedule using cleaning scheduling software to streamline this process. This ensures that everyone involved in maintaining the cleanliness of a home — whether they are family members or employees for a cleaning business — is on the same page, and important tasks don’t overlap or duplicate work that is already being handled by someone else. Such lists can be particularly helpful for new homeowners or new house cleaning employees.
Hold Yourself Accountable
By breaking down your objectives into smaller, more manageable tasks, you can efficiently keep a home clean. However, failing to complete those daily, weekly, or monthly tasks can lead you to be unable to keep a home clean. Indeed, missing a few days of tasks can cause a ripple effect that can lead to an unwieldy amount of work to catch up on. This can make homes unhygienic and affect the health of its inhabitants. For cleaning companies, it can result in lost business and even potential legal action.
Of course, straying away from your schedule for one day isn’t too bad — but you’ll need to modify your schedule going forward to ensure that you don’t neglect any cleaning tasks for too long.
To hold yourself accountable for sticking to your schedule, you can practice the following tips:
- Don’t Multitask: Trying to multitask can result in subpar work. Take your allotted time with each task and complete them one at a time.
- Reward Yourself: As you get used to your new schedule, take some time to treat yourself to small rewards or indulgences that you’d normally avoid. This will help motivate you in the early stages of adapting to a new cleaning schedule.
Continually Assess Your Performance: Are you completing tasks to your satisfaction? Or does your cleaning schedule leave too little time for you to do so? Routinely asking yourself such questions will help you optimize your schedule and maximize your cleaning efficiency.