Sure, a weekly cleaning schedule leads to a more livable home, but did you know it also works wonders for your mental health? Surveys have found people who clean regularly are happier, more relaxed and more productive. Clutter can lead to procrastination and even poor diet decisions. So, if you do one thing this month, create a weekly cleaning schedule. Your future self will thank you. Here’s how to create one, along with a sample cleaning schedule we’ve created—feel free to make it your own (or just steal it outright).
First, what are you dealing with?
Before you can create a weekly cleaning schedule that works for you, you’ve got to know what you’re dealing with. The same schedule will not apply to everyone, since we’re all juggling different work, school and at-home demands. Plus, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms will dramatically increase the time you spend cleaning. Also: pets. A two-dog household might require extra vacuuming than say, a one-goldfish household. Start with what we’ve outlined below and tweak as needed.
Second, organize your supplies
Honestly, the biggest trick to maintaining a consistent weekly cleaning schedule is having the right supplies in an organized spot. When it’s time to mop the kitchen floor, it’s much easier if the mop, bucket and soap are easy to find and a cinch to put away. If you spend too much time searching for the gear you need, it’ll create frustration and likely discourage you from cleaning in the future. Make sure you invest in high-quality items, too. No use in buying a vacuum that isn’t equipped to handle your rugs or that will break down after a few months.
Third, identify your daily chores
According to Rescue My Time Cleaning Service, some tasks should happen every day if you want to maintain a clean home. These shouldn’t take more than a few minutes each. We like to call them “As You Go” tasks, because they can pretty much be completed as you move through your normal routine. For instance, in the mornings, toss dirty clothes into a hamper and make your bed. Wipe down the bathroom sink and hang wet towels. Put any dirty breakfast dishes into the dishwasher. Take out the trash on your way out the door. Wipe down counters and load the dishwasher as you cook dinner (this is a big one!).
Spending 10 minutes to remove clutter when you get home from work (or any outing) can dramatically improve your home’s cleanliness (and your mood). Just like cleaning supplies, have designated spots for items like toys, shoes, gloves, keys, blankets and others that are often tossed on a chair and forgotten about. When you know where everything goes, it makes clearing up clutter infinitely more doable and less time-consuming.
Our Sample Weekly Cleaning Schedule
Focus on the dining room
Ryan Kahn, a career coach, told Forbes it’s best to keep Mondays light when it comes to workload. We think that sounds like a good idea when it comes to housework, too!
Remove clutter in the dining room
Wipe down dining room furniture with a microfiber cloth and/or a vinegar cleansing solution
Lightly dust china cabinets, hutches, etc.
Focus on shared living spaces
Go wild on dusting, vacuuming and Windex-ing shared living spaces. This is also a good opportunity to clean small bathrooms (powder rooms) or guest bedrooms that rarely get used.
Vacuum shared living spaces (living room, dining room, kitchen, hallways, mudroom)
Dust knick-knacks and books on shelves
If you have a powder room, wipe down the sink, toilet and other surfaces
Vacuum guest bedroom and dust as needed
Use Windex or vinegar and newspaper on mirrors and glass*
*You don’t have to go wild on windows all over the house. However, wiping down windows in doors or above sinks is a good idea.
Focus on high-traffic areas
Mid-week is a great time to tackle high-traffic areas or zones that have a tendency to accumulate lots of… stuff. We’ll split this up over the course of two days so it’s not overwhelming.
Clear living room of clutter
Dust television, console, gaming systems, baseboards, etc.
Wipe down coffee table and side tables
Fold blankets and stack them in a basket or drape them on a blanket ladder
Vacuum living room again if needed, especially under and behind large furniture
Do a load of laundry
Wipe down surfaces in the laundry room as the cycle runs
Fold clean laundry
Distribute clean laundry to its rightful home
Clean lint traps after every dryer cycle
Focus on high-traffic areas
Day Two of tackling high traffic areas! This time, you’ll want to focus on hallways, entryways, mudrooms and bedrooms. According to Merry Maids, these are the spaces that have probably taken the biggest hit over the course of the week. If you’ve got kiddos, make it a bedroom cleaning party night and blast music!
Do a load (or two) of laundry with bedding and other linens
Change bedding in all bedrooms
Vacuum floors, including the areas behind bedside tables, behind dressers, halls between bedrooms
Remove items on bedside tables and dressers, wipe down everything, put everything back
Declutter entryway tables, coat racks and shoe racks
Mop entryway (especially in winter, when salt stains accumulate)
Focus on home office
Friday is a great day to give yourself some time off from bigger cleaning endeavors. It’s the end of a week you’ve got a fun weekend ahead of you, and you might want to ignore the clutter for a few hours.
If you want to tackle something on Friday, make it your home office. Kahn told Forbes preparing your office for Monday on Friday will make life a whole lot easier when you return to the office (or your work-from-home nook) the following week.
Remove everything from your desk and wipe it down
Dust your monitor, keyboard and desk lamps
File papers appropriately (To Do, Completed, etc.)
Vacuum floors, upholstery, chairs
Plug in any devices you’ll need fully charged come Monday
Focus on deep cleaning the bathroom
Even though the weekend is all about deep cleaning, once you’ve got a system down, these rooms fly by. Plus, if you’ve been keeping up with those simple, daily cleaning tasks, a more intense scrubbing won’t require as much elbow grease.
Disinfect bathroom sinks, counters, knobs, cabinets and toilets
Remove soap scum from bathtubs and showers
Use toilet bowl cleaner on all toilets
Take out bathroom trash
Sweep and mop floors
Clean your showerhead with baking soda
Focus on the kitchen
Meal prep is often reserved for Sundays, so why not tackle the kitchen at the same time? Remember to clean as you go!
Wipe down counters, cabinets, stove top and all other surfaces
Clean inside and outside of the microwave
Wipe down all handles (cabinets, fridge, microwave, oven, sink nozzle)
Clean coffee maker and/or Keurig
Clean interior of oven and dishwasher (Note: you can get away with doing this four times a year, rather than every week, but it’s good to have on your radar!)
Toss old, expired food
Again, if this schedule doesn’t suit your lifestyle, home or family, adjust it! Weekly cleaning schedules work best when they take your unique needs into account.