My whole life seems to run more smoothly when my house is clean, organized, and tidy. Having my house orderly makes me feel like I have everything under control and can accomplish anything. Plus, waking up to a clean house is just so much more pleasant!
Why My Housework Is My #1 Priority
Because I see such an amazing difference in my life when I’m able to stay on top of my housework, I choose to make it my #1 priority each day. Sure, paying the taxes or getting an oil change might actually be more pressing, and writing the next chapter of my book might actually be more important in the long run. Regardless, I choose to make keeping my house tidy my priority, because I know that it allows me to do all of those other things so much more effectively and with much less stress.
Planning for Housework (and Life) Success
I’m sure you’ve heard the often quoted sentiment, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” I find this to be so true in my own life! Carefully laid (but simple) plans make things get done. Since I really, really want my chores to get done, having a game plan is a non-negotiable.
The plan that works best for me is a routine of one, designated chore scheduled for each day, repeated one week to the next. I get the advantages of a strong
My Personal Weekly Chore Routine
Sunday: Wash the Laundry
My housework “week” starts on Sunday with a chore that I find easy and very low stress: sorting and washing the laundry. I actually find it quite fun because it seems to produce such great results with such little effort.
In the morning, before we leave for church, I spend 5 - 10 minutes sorting the laundry, and then I start the first load. Throughout the day, as each load finishes, I transfer it to the dryer, then into laundry baskets after that. I normally do about four loads of laundry each Sunday, and each time I switch a load it takes around five minutes.
If we happen to have company coming for dinner I might spend 5 - 10 minutes vacuuming the floors as well. That’s all the chores for Sunday!
Monday: Put Away the Laundry
Monday’s chore is simpler, but a little more time consuming. It takes me about 40 minutes --- sometimes a little less --- to hang or fold and put away all of the laundry for our family. There are three things that help this go much faster: 1) Listing to a podcast, music, or audiobook while I work, 2) doing it all at one time, 3) sorting my clean laundry into piles such as “fold,” “hang,” “Dad’s socks,” “Towels,” etc.
Tuesday: Clean the Kitchen, Sweep the Floor
While I do a quick cleaning of my kitchen every day as part of my evening routine, on Tuesdays I do a much more thorough job that involves spraying everything down (including the inside of the refrigerator) and really scrubbing. I change the towels, thoroughly wipe down the table, and make sure the counters are 100% free of clutter. I also put away anything that’s been collecting in the dish drainer.
All the kitchen cleaning generally only takes about 20 minutes, so I also “sweep” the floors on Tuesdays. (As I’ve mentioned before, I’m actually vacuuming… but call it sweeping…) Sweeping the entire house takes about 15 minutes.
Wednesday: Clean the Bathroom; Mail & Bills
Cleaning the bathroom used to be my most hated chore, because not only was it dirty, but it seemed to take forever. However, now that I sweep and mop on different days, cleaning the bathroom is actually very quick, and because I do it every single week it’s never even really dirty. I actually enjoy this chore now!
Cleaning the bathroom involves just three steps: toilet, counter/sink, and mirror. All told this takes me right around 20 minutes to complete.
Because cleaning the bathroom has become so easy, I now deal with the mail and bills on Wednesdays as well. Every time we get the mail I sort through it immediately (you can read the details of this process in this article I wrote about my paperwork organization system) and deal with everything that I can. However, there’s always a couple
On Wednesdays, I completely empty the tray and take care of everything. This takes anywhere from three minutes up to an hour (if some of the mail involves driving somewhere or getting put on hold on a phone call).
Every Thursday, I partake in what I like to think of as “practical yoga:” I get down on my hands and knees and mop the floor. Yes, there are easier ways to mop the floor. However, I figure it does my body good to move around in a different position than I am in the entire rest of the week, and getting a little bit of exercise never hurt!
Yes, my toddler went through a phase where he thought this meant he should try to climb aboard and have a “horsey” ride. Now, he helps me scrub.
The kitchen takes about 25 minutes, and the bathroom another 5 - 10. I enjoy listening to podcasts while I
Fridays: Clean the Kitchen, Sweep the Floors
Fridays’ chores are pretty much identical to those of Tuesdays’, with the only exception being that I do less
Saturdays: Deep Cleaning Zone
Each Saturday, I spend half an hour on a cleaning “project.” I focus on a different area of the house each week, rotating through about ten different zones (such as, “front entryway,” “dining room,” “children’s toys,” or “bathroom storage”).
My goal for these cleaning sessions isn’t to make that area perfect, but just to spend half an hour doing some deep cleaning or decluttering that isn’t part of my normal cleaning routine. Sometimes that means I get out a scrub brush and really go to work in the corners, other times it means we sort through the toys and pack up all those that we’ve outgrown.
This is the one chore/day that I am not 100% consistent with. Sometimes we are out of the house all day on Saturday, or out of town for the weekend. I choose to not stress about missing these deep cleaning sessions and consider them somewhat separate from the rest of my regular chore routine. However, most of the time I do the deep
Keeping Chores Simple
One of the aspects of my weekly chore routine that I love the most is that each day I have just one or two easy chores to do, and it’s a simple enough list that I can easily remember. Yes, I have it posted on my refrigerator to remind me, but most of the time I do my daily chore without even thinking.
As a former chore hater, having a system that keeps my entire house clean and organized with only about 30 minutes of work each day feels AMAZING. Chores used to seem endless and so tedious. These days, I feel a whole lot more like June Cleaver, smiling while I sweep my perfectly clean house. 😉