A question or comment I get all the time is that is that my homekeeping routine seems to be for people that are home all day. If you just glance at the calendar, I can see how you might think that but I am here to tell you that my routine is for anyone and any schedule.
If you haven’t tried my cleaning routine – I always say that anyone can do it with any schedule. But if you are in the, ‘I need convincing’ camp, keep reading. I created my homekeeping routine years ago but perfected it in the busiest season of our lives – I was working full-time, pregnant with our 3rd baby, and running Clean Mama. I promise you – with a little commitment and a little time every day, weekends do not have to be devoted to cleaning.
I created my cleaning routine years ago out of necessity. I was sick of cleaning all weekend long and living with the crazy during the week. Once I started using a simple routine I realized that just a little bit every day was helping me keep things clean most of the time. Then came three kids, different work schedules, traveling for my job, running a business…..and guess what? It still worked.
Put aside any misconceptions you have with cleaning. My routine is different.
Every home and every family has its own set of challenges and hurdles to work through. Let’s be honest, if you can choose between sitting down and reading a book or folding a basket of laundry, you’re going to read the book, right?
I will also say that every situation is difficult – if you are home with your kids all day or at work until 6pm, this post isn’t about what is or isn’t difficult, it’s about figuring out strategies to make it work for you and your family. The goal is a clean home most of the time in the least amount of time.
WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOME
If you work outside the home and get home late or leave early (or both!) and are exhausted and have no energy to put a cleaning routine into place, my best suggestion is to start with 5-10 minutes before you leave for work and 5-10 minutes when you get home. Start with the daily tasks and work on completing them every day. If the daily tasks are overwhelming, just start with one – one load of laundry from start to put away, pick up clutter, check floors, or wipe counters. Add one every week and before you know it you’ll have built a little routine into your schedule. Once you feel like you’ve got a good handle on daily tasks, start adding the weekly cleaning tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is Dusting Day, etc. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and do what you can in that amount of time and forget the rest. Keep going and before long you’ll have added this step to your routine as well. If you feel like you can add more time, and get more accomplished, increase your time to 15-20 minutes.
Here’s the secret: If you keep up with the routine (even if it’s half-way done every week), by keeping up with it consistently you’ll be making progress and after a couple months (or less) you’ll not only have a routine but you’ll have a clean home most of the time.
IRREGULAR WORK HOURS/SCHEDULE
An irregular schedule is difficult for so many reasons. Some irregular schedules are overnight shifts, 3 days on and 3 days off or it might even be that you work 12 hour shifts. My best advice? A cleaning routine can be accomplished, but give yourself grace while you’re trying to figure out what works best for you. You might need to double up tasks and tackle two or three on your days off so you don’t have to do much on the days that you are at work. For instance, if you work on Thursdays but have Wednesday off, do Wednesday’s task (vacuum) and Thursday’s task (wash floors) on the same day. Some weeks might be weeks where all you do are the basic daily cleaning tasks (make beds, one load of laundry, wipe counters, clutter, and check floors). Some weeks you’ll be able to conquer the world and get everything done. Take it all in stride and remember that something is always better than nothing.
This post has tips for any schedule – stay-at-home, work-at-home, limited mobility/illness, and getting family involved. And this post has tips for when you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Want to see some videos? Here’s my weekly cleaning routine and my daily cleaning routine, and my rotating cleaning routine for those deep cleaning tasks.