When I first became a wife almost seven years ago, I had no idea how to clean and keep a home. Like zero, zip, not a clue. It overwhelmed me to work all day just to come home to a house that needed tending to, and it was JUST the two of us. Fast forward three years, I became a stay-at-home mom to our oldest and was laying flat on my face trying to keep up with the housework, cook and take care of a baby. But out of the three, the hardest by far was keeping up with cleaning the house.
I was embarrassed to have friends over, I always felt like I was in a rush to pick up clutter and I never felt comfortable in my own home. And I loathed spring cleaning. I desired a perfectly clean home all year round—but we all know how unrealistic that is. One day, I decided that enough was enough; I had to get a plan together. With my Type-A personality, I knew I needed something that gave me a scheduled sense of responsibility and a feeling of clean comfort in my own home, and a place where my number one priority was being with my family, not crazy cleaning.
So the 30-Minute Mommy Cleaning Schedule was born.
The schedule runs on a 4-week rotation: kitchen and dining room; living room and porch; master bedroom/bathroom; kids and guest bedrooms/bathrooms. The idea is for you to have 30 minutes of scheduled cleaning each day, plus one day a week of “power cleaning” which adds an additional hour to that day. The goal in designing this plan was for there to be as little housework as possible that would interfere with my staying home while raising our kids and loving on my husband, but this certainly is doable for those of you who work outside the home, as well. My other goal was for our home to not be perfect, but to be picked-up, presentable, and comfortable—not having to hide in embarrassment behind closed bedroom doors and to have a home that was regularly organized (there’s nothing worse than not being able to find anything). I’ve explained my method to many of my friends, and they have said it has worked wonders for their frazzled cleaning hearts.
It may all seem a little overwhelming at first, but if you will just hang with me for a month . . . give me four weeks of breaking it down 30 minutes a day . . . I promise you it will change your home. It will bring you the joy and comfort that you’ve been looking for without being “that crazy cleaning lady”.
So here we go. But before we start, put on your favorite music, light a yummy candle and grab your apron. Because those things make cleaning happier.
- I normally run my dishwasher at night, so the first thing I do in the mornings is unload it while my coffee is brewing.
- Make the beds.
- Start a load of laundry. I try to do one load of laundry per day and “wash” my washing machine once a month.
- Quick toy and clutter pick up (I usually do this before or after lunch).
- I spend about five minutes each night doing a quick pick-up of the girls’ rooms and the living room. This is basically toy pick up, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, etc. This is not detailed cleaning, just putting things where they belong so we can find them the next day.
- I wipe down my bathroom surfaces. Again, this is not a super detailed clean, just enough to get all the hair, toothpaste and gunk off the vanity, sink, and toilet. It only takes about two minutes but makes all the difference in the world!
- I sweep my floors every evening. It’s such a yucky feeling walking across my floors and crunching on crumbs early in the morning. This is also great because I have a toddler who still puts everything she picks up in her mouth.
- I wipe down my kitchen countertops and cabinets with a wet rag and make sure my sink is empty and washed out. I hate waking up to a messy kitchen, then having to start making meals for the day amongst dirty dishes.
- Run the dishwasher.
- Re-pack diaper bag.
- Tidy closets.
Weekly Routine (these take about 15-20 minutes each)
Monday: Sheets and towels day, clean the bathrooms
- Strip all the beds in your house, gather the towels, rags and hand clothes and get them washed. So many ladies I have talked to rarely wash their bedding, not knowing what a wonderful feeling it is to have regularly clean sheets. And there is no better way to bless your family than with a clean, comfortable place to sleep. I also clean my bathrooms on this day.
Tuesday: Errand and outing day
- Sometimes, taking care of our homes require us to get OUT of them. If I can, I try to plan one day a week to do as many of my errands as I can. This includes making a list of what needs to be done, trips to the grocery store, doctor appointments, haircuts, trips into the city. For some people, I understand that this doesn’t work, but for our family this seems to work the best and gets in the way of nap time the least.
Wednesday: Scrub the floors
- I prefer to hand scrub my floors once a week. To me this is something I’m very particular about, so I know that not everyone will be as excited about it as I am. But for me, I like walking across my floors and not having them all sticky and goopy. I use a 4:1 ratio of water and vinegar for my maple hard wood floors and it cleans them beautifully! I also wipe down my baseboards in my hallways, kitchen and dining room while I’m on the floor. If you aren’t so into hand scrubbing, a spray mop will do just great! If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of lavender or lemon oil gives a yummy smell.
Thursday: Power Cleaning (one hour of cleaning)
- This can be done any day of the week, I simply chose Thursday because it’s the day that we host Bible study in the evenings at our home. This hour of cleaning includes cleaning the bathrooms and their floors, vacuuming the bedrooms and living room, emptying the trash cans, wiping down the trash cans, wiping down living room furniture, sweeping the floors and scrubbing our dining room table.
Friday: Rest day
- Just being honest—I’m tired by Friday. I like to take one day a week and not have anything scheduled. I still do my load of laundry, but sometimes it’s just nice to not have anything to do. On this day if it’s nice out, I like to open the windows and let the fresh air in.
Saturday: Outside and the van
- On Saturdays, I like to sweep off the deck and front porch, wipe down my front and back entry doors and pay a little attention to my van. With two toddlers (and a husband) our van can get really messy really fast! This is a good chance to get rid of trash, clean up the toys and find whatever might be looming in the back seat. We all know how bad those back seats can get.
Sunday: Fridge clean out
- Yep, the part that no one likes to talk about happens on Sundays at our house. Once a week I go through the fridge, throw out what doesn’t belong and wipe down the surfaces, inside and out. No one likes a gross fridge!
4 Week Rotation Schedule
In addition to daily cleaning, these items can be done all in one day (not recommended) or slowly add them into your daily schedule one at a time. Most of these take about 5-10 minutes each, but you will find that as the months pass, the time it takes to complete them becomes significantly shorter.
Week 1: Kitchen and Dining Room
- “Wash” dishwasher, clean stovetop, hood vent, microwave and oven, vacuum out lower drawers, check and restock cleaning supplies, wipe down baseboards, remove everything from countertops and scrub them, scrub backsplash, deep cleaning of table and chairs, wash kitchen and dining room windows, clear cobwebs from corners and light fixtures.
Week 2: Master Bedroom and Bathroom
- Pick one or two drawers in bathroom per day to purge and organize, scrub toilet from top to bottom, clean mirrors, wash bedroom and bathroom windows, dust bedroom furniture, wipe down baseboards, remove clutter from bedside tables and dressers, clean TV if you have one in there, wipe down all doors and door knobs, vacuum fan and vents.
Week 3: Living Room and Porch
- Wipe down baseboards, move couch and chairs and vacuum under them, wash living room and front door windows, purge toys in the living room and THROW OUT the ones that are broken, clean TV, organize DVD’s, dust furniture and picture frames, wipe down all doors and door knobs.
Week 4: Kid’s and Guest Bedrooms and Bathrooms
- Wipe down baseboards, pick one or two drawers in the bathrooms per day to organize and purge, scrub toilets from top to bottom, clean mirrors, wash bedroom and bathroom windows, wipe down furniture, purge toys and books, wipe down all doors and door knobs, vacuum fans and vents.
So there you have it, the 30-Minute Mommy Cleaning Schedule. Taking 30 minutes a day doesn’t seem like much, but if you stick with it, you WILL notice a huge change in your home and the way it feels. I hope it changes your life like it has mine. Happy cleaning!
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