Setting Up Cleaning Routines

Establishing a routine makes cleaning easier and helps keep you on track. Learn the secrets to designing a custom cleaning schedule—and sticking to it!

Make a house cleaning schedule that works for you—not the other way around. With a simple cleaning checklist or two, a little bit of planning, and a few smart strategies, you can learn how to keep a house clean by falling into a cleaning routine that meets your needs.

Okay, let's be clear: there isn't a magic solution to maintaining a clean, well-maintained, and organized home. It would be great if a quick shout out to your virtual home assistant would scrub the floors and pick up all the clutter. But until that technological advance arrives, establishing a cleaning routine that meets your needs and fits with your housekeeping philosophies is the next best thing. Cleaning routines are not one-size-fits-all, so before you bust out the duster and rags, take a little time to strategize.

How to keep your house clean—the speedy way.

Establish a Cleaning Game Plan

Before you sit down to make a cleaning planner or break out the poster board to make a cleaning chart, take a little time to reflect on what a clean house means to you, the reality of where you're at in life, and what is feasible for your calendar. You're not here to keep up with someone else's home. But if you crave cleanliness and top-notch order, you can get there, without letting chores take over your calendar (that's what kid's soccer practice and party invites are for).

As you put together your house cleaning schedule, keep that sentiment in mind and use it as a guidepost to check yourself, asking "does X approach really match what a clean house means to me?"

Determine your comfort level of neat and clean. What is on your nonnegotiable list? A clean kitchen and bathroom might be a must, 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.

Get Into Your Cleaning Routine

Nine times out of ten, a little bit of daily cleaning will help keep your cleaning goals on track. Clean up messes as they happen, put things away after using them—all those things Mom asked you to do are indeed effective. If your weekdays get hectic, concentrate the bulk of a weekly cleaning schedule to the weekends. By doing a little cleaning during the week, chores won't consume your weekend plans. If the thought of devoting even a single moment to cleaning on a weekend makes your cringe, tackle one room or one big chore every day, in addition to daily chores, and you can still make Saturday yoga and Sunday brunch.

Editor's Tip: Think of housekeeping checklists as the road map for your cleaning routine, providing direction and a guide. Look for cleaning schedule templates and charts that you can customize to fit your needs. You can find checklists for the whole house, individual rooms, your home's exterior, individual family members, and more.

Pretty (and printable!) cleaning lists.

Cleaning Schedule Timelines:

Daily Cleaning Schedule

Keeping your housework under control means committing to certain day-to-day tasks. The good news? It's simple if you just stick to this daily checklist of chores and modify it to your needs.

If you work long days or have after-work pursuits—such as continuing education or kid's activities—basic chores, meal preparation, and some laundry may be all you manage in a day, and that is okay (really, it is). Just do what you can each day.

The super simple daily cleaning checklist.

Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Tasks like laundry and grocery shopping are weekly necessities. But it's important to also 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, such as mopping, dusting, or vacuuming, to do each day.

No matter when you decide to tackle these weekly chores, you can be more efficient by adopting some speed cleaning techniques, like corralling cleaning supplies into a caddy you can tote from room to room.

Get our weekly cleaning checklist.

Monthly Cleaning Schedule

Monthly cleaning chores keep your home looking extra neat and clean. Tasks like washing windows, cleaning your stove top, and replacing air filters can take a bit more time but keep your home in top shape. Add them to your calendar now so they don't slip past you. It's up to you when these chores go on your cleaning list; perhaps do one during each weekly cleaning session, or block a few hours of time once per month to knock them all out.

Must-do monthly cleaning tasks.

Seasonal Cleaning

Seasonal chores are often the most daunting: cleaning gutters, exterior power-washing, and deep cleaning appliances. Remember, these chores typically only need to be done once or twice a year—you can power through this. Like with a monthly or weekly chore list, schedule these to-dos on your cleaning routine planner so they don't get overlooked.

Our ultimate fall cleaning checklist.

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