Setting Up Cleaning Routines

Establishing a routine makes each step doable, and helps keep you on track.


Getting Started

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You won't find a magic solution to maintaining a clean, well-maintained, and organized home. But if you create a routine that works for your lifestyle and cleanliness requirements, you can stay on top of cleaning. When you do, chores don't get out of hand. If you keep your residence reasonably decluttered, clean, and neat, you'll avoid the necessity of marathon cleaning sessions.

Depending on your lifestyle, you may find it easier to perform the basic chores on a daily basis and relegate the big chores to a weekend morning or afternoon. If you enjoy free weekends, tackle one room or one big chore every day, in addition to daily chores, to allow time for leisure.

When your lifestyle is extremely busy with long work days and/or family obligations, it pays to plan your week and plot your course. Your week will go more smoothly if you start each Monday (or the first day of your work week) with a clean, neat home, clean clothes and other laundry, a stocked pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. Your weekends (or days off) will be more enjoyable if you don't have rooms to declutter, piled-up dishes, and mounds of laundry.

Your Own Care Style

Determine your comfort level of neat and clean: Some things, such as a clean kitchen and bathroom, are nonnegotiable, but shelves or door frames that don't always pass the white glove test may be acceptable. Likewise, keeping public rooms -- living and dining rooms -- neat may be important to you, while you may be less vigilant about your bedroom or hobby space.

Check out our suggested daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, and seasonal chores. Establish your own routines. You may find it helpful to make your own filing system or notebook with a similarly organized chore list.

Daily

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Keeping your housework under control means committing to certain day-to-day tasks. The good news? It's simple if you just stick to our daily checklist of chores. For an even easier option, try dividing the list up among your family so everyone shares in the responsibility.

See our daily cleaning checklist

If you work long days or have after-work pursuits -- such as continuing education or children's activities -- basic chores, meal preparation, and some laundry may be all you manage in a day.

Weekly

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Tasks like laundry and grocery shopping are weekly necessities. But, it's important to also remember to give each room in your home a little TLC once a week. These chores don't have to consume your weekend. Try picking one or two of our weekly cleaning chores to do each day.

See our weekly cleaning chore guide

Monthly

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These are the chores that keep your home looking extra neat and clean. Block out time now so they don't slip by.

See our must-do monthly cleaning tasks

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