The last time we moved, we went from a small 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom townhouse to a 4 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom house. Talk about a lifestyle change! One thing that worried me was how I was going to keep my new, larger house clean. Let’s face it, I had trouble keeping the townhouse clean. What in the world was I gonna do with the extra square footage?
But then, I sat down a few days after moving in to brainstorm a cleaning schedule that would work and I came up with my East Peasy, 15 Minute a Day Cleaning System. I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been talking to a lot of people about it because I just can’t believe how simple it has been to keep my house clean! Read on to learn how to make your own Easy Peasy, 15 Minute a Day Cleaning System, why it has been working for me, and what I use that helps my cleaning happen so fast.
I sat down with only an idea of figuring out something that worked for me. I’ve tried and even posted about cleaning schedules before, but I could never quite stick to them. They usually had an entire day devoted to cleaning the dining room (which my townhouse didn’t have) or jobs like “Clean ceiling fans” that I just didn’t feel like doing weekly. So I was determined to make something that fits me.
The first thing I did was make a list of absolutely every I thought I needed to do on a regular basis. That meant things like laundry, dishes, and cleaning bathrooms. It did not mean cleaning ceiling fans, dusting the trim or polishing doorknobs. I mentally walked through my house and thought of everything that could pertain to every area. Here is what I came up with.
My list included the following: dishwasher, hand wash dishes, wipe kitchen counters, wipe kitchen table, deck door, sweep main floor, vacuum upstairs, vacuum downstairs, guest bathroom, check garbages, main floor windows, downstairs windows, kid bathroom, master bathroom, change sheets, red load, white load, towel load, dark load, diaper load, upstairs windows, fridge clean out, dust main level, dust upstairs, and downstairs bathroom.
The thing about making a list like this is that it is personal for everyone. I cloth diaper, so I wash them at least twice a week. Not everyone will need that in their cleaning rotation. You might also have rooms I don’t have at my house or things you really want cleaned frequently that I don’t mind only doing occasionally. The list needs to be your own.
After my list was complete, I went back through the list and decided how often things needed to be done. There were a few daily items and a few monthly or twice monthly items, but most things needed to be done weekly. I marked the items “D” for daily, “W” for weekly, or “M” for monthly. If an item needed to be done twice in a time period, I made sure to mark that also. Here is what I marked.
It was pretty easy to figure out frequency. Dirty dishes bother me. I wanted to make sure that they were cleaned everyday. My mom always talked about how doing a load of laundry a day was what kept her sane when we were little. Instead of Mount Laundry pile up and trying to get through it every weekend, a load of day kept the monster at bay.
I don’t think vacuuming needs to be done as frequently as sweeping the hard wood floors.
I then arranged the tasks into days or weeks. Every weekday got a load of laundry. Since I have 4 bathrooms, I distributed those among the days next. Then I just plugged everything else in. It ended up that each day I had three things to do. I also took the monthly and twice monthly tasks and put those in a 4 week rotation. As you can see, the carpeted levels of my house are vacuumed every other weekend.
Most of the tasks I didn’t put much thought into assigning. I debated if I’d rather clean a bathroom on Monday or Friday. I decided to take it easy on Mondays and instead do a bathroom on Friday.
I also made sure to space out tasks that I would do twice in a week. Obviously there is no sense is sweeping the main floor on two consecutive days. Same with washing diapers too close together.
The next step is either the easiest or the hardest: follow the list! Each day, make sure you do the few tasks you have allotted for that day. I usually do mine while my husband cooks dinner, but I’ve also done them in the morning before anyone else wakes up or also after my daughter is in bed.
I made a nice copy of my schedule and put it on the fridge so that my husband would also know what he could do to help out. (I had to write in print because he has a hard time reading my cursive.) I didn’t make it fancy, I just wrote it out again on lined paper.
I made myself a cleaning caddy with everything I needed to clean (minus the vacuum and toilet brushes since I figured I would rather each bathroom have their own.) Each day I grab the caddy and carry it along to wherever I am cleaning that day. Here are the things I have in my cleaning caddy:
I have been able to follow this system for way longer than any other of the schedules or routines I’ve tried. There are a few reasons why I think that it is working.
Technically, the laundry takes time to go through the wash and dry cycles, but it only takes me 15 minutes to put it in, take it out, fold it, and put it away along with the other tasks for the day. Honestly, who can’t find 15 minutes to spare?
Some days I do a few things in the morning. Some days I do it right before bed. Sometimes I end up cleaning right after work with some “help” from my toddler.
Because I clean things regularly, I don’t have to spend an entire day scrubbing down the house. My husband thought I was a little crazy when I said I was going to clean each bathroom once a week. Then I pointed out that if I cleaned them consistently, they only took a minimal amount of cleaning instead of waiting until they are filthy and needing a lot of time and elbow grease to get clean.
There have been some times where I have skipped a few days. I’m currently pregnant and occasionally have days where I’m not feeling good. I’ve also had days where I’ve worked overtime and just don’t have the energy. But catching up the 15 minutes isn’t too overwhelming. I can simply do 30 minutes the next day or tack on a bathroom cleaning on the weekend.