A couple weeks ago, I offered an opportunity for you to share any blog post ideas, topics, or tips you’d like me to write about in the coming months.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but there were 2 overwhelmingly “popular” topics that were requested over and over again.
- More posts about our farmhouse
- More posts about my cleaning schedules and routines
I shared a fun farmhouse decorating post earlier this week… and today, I have a LOOOOOONG post detailing our current cleaning schedules and routines.
A few things I want to mention before I get too far into this post:
We don’t have any pets — hallelujah!
We have 3 small children who spill A LOT.
The kids clothes are small, so I probably don’t have as much laundry as you might think. I also don’t wash our sheets nearly as often as most people I know.
We rarely wear our shoes inside.
I don’t usually do certain cleaning tasks on certain days of the week; however, I do have a general rhythm to when I clean certain areas of our home to assure everything gets cleaned fairly regularly.
I am MUCH more proactive about cleaning the clutter in my home than cleaning the dust or dirt. I know many of you might be totally opposite of this — which probably means you do a lot more cleaning than I do. In fact, some of you might be shocked by how infrequently I clean certain areas of our home (and some of you will probably breathe a sigh of relief knowing you’re not the only one who hardly ever mops their floors!)
In general, my cleaning motto is Quantity over Quality. I always stay on top of household chores, but I move quickly and don’t spend a ton of time meticulously deep cleaning on a regular basis. Also, I will rarely clean something unless I can see actual dirt, crumbs, or dust (with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms which I clean regularly whether I see the grime or not!)
Like I mentioned earlier, today’s post is LOOOONG; but I’ve tried to organize it in a way that makes it easy to skim through and pick out the pieces you’re most interested in.
The tasks below are broken up by how frequently I do them (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) and I’ve included a few extra non-cleaning “home maintenance” tasks that still fit with the overall theme of the post!
Daily Cleaning Tasks:
Make the beds
Change out the kitchen towels and washcloths — (More about that in this post)
Pick up and Declutter — we usually declutter 2 times every day — before naps and before bed
Dishes (or as needed) — we don’t necessarily do this EVERY day, but basically whenever there are dishes to wash or whenever the dishwasher needs to be cleaned out
Sweep the kitchen floors — I honestly do this after every meal, out of sheer necessity!
Clean up any spills — we try to do this immediately when possible
Wipe down counters and clean the kitchen — again, I do this multiple times a day, as needed
Clean out the car — literally, every time we get home, we quickly remove any trash or anything that doesn’t belong in the car.
Enter expenses — this isn’t a cleaning task, but it does relate to household maintenance and many of you ask about it. I honestly do try to enter any expenses we incur at the end of every day. It takes me 2-3 minutes to open my spreadsheet, enter any receipts or payments, press “save”, and close the document again. (More about my finance tracking workbook in this post)
Semi-Weekly Cleaning Tasks:
Vacuum the main floor — I try to vacuum the living room, the mudroom, and the kitchen 2-3 times a week (or as needed).
Laundry — I usually do 2-3 loads one morning during the week and 2-3 loads on Saturday evening
Bathrooms — I usually just use a couple disinfectant wipes to quickly wipe down the toilet and the counter/sink area for each bathroom twice during the week, or as needed. (When I say “quick”, I mean “quick” — less than 2 minutes per bathroom!) I never did this before having children — but their bathroom hygiene is not quite up to my standards, so I like to use the disinfectant wipes in there a couple times every week in addition to my weekly bathroom cleaning (see below)
Change out the bathroom hand towels and cloth napkins — or as needed
Weekly Cleaning Tasks:
Bathrooms – I do a more thorough cleaning of all the bathrooms on Friday or Saturday (but not the shower)
Trash — we usually empty all our trash cans on Wednesday, since our trash is picked up on Thursday mornings. We often need to empty the kitchen trash more than once a week, but all the other trash cans can wait a full week. Also, I should mention that any stinky diapers go directly into the outside trash so they don’t stink up the bathrooms.
“Swiffer” the hard floors — Along with sweeping the kitchen floors multiple times a day, I use washable microfiber pads to “swiffer” all our wood and other hard floors once a week, sometimes more if necessary. (More about our hard floors in this post)
Sweep the garage floors — I try to sweep them out every week; usually just while the kids are playing outside.
Iron — I actually NEVER iron, but Dave faithfully irons EVERY SINGLE week. I know, he’s a keeper!
Wash Toys — again, I don’t do this EVERY week, but most weeks I chose a handful of toys to wash (with Nora’s expert help). Sometimes I toss a load of stuffed animals and doll blankets in the washing machine, sometimes I put a handful of toys in the dishwasher, and sometimes Nora and I wash all the play kitchen food and utensils in the sink (this is one of her most favorite things to do!)
Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning — I realize this isn’t a cleaning chore, but I wanted to mention that I almost always plan our menu for the week (and make my grocery list) on Sunday afternoon. Then I often get groceries on Monday. I try really hard to only get groceries once a week because it saves so much time, energy, and money.
Monthly Cleaning Tasks:
Showers & bathtubs — we squeegee our showers and bathtubs every time we use them, so they aren’t a ton of work to keep clean — but I usually scrub them once a month (while taking a shower or right after giving the kids a bath). (More information in this post.)
Wash sheets — yup, I only wash our sheets once a month (and to be perfectly honest, I’m not grossed out by that at all!) I HATE washing sheets, so we all take showers or baths right before bed and I regularly wash our PJ’s and pillow cases throughout the week (or as necessary). I usually wash our sheets one week, Nora’s sheets one week, Simon and James’ sheets one week, and then rugs one week (see below for the rugs). This way, I always have one “extra” thing to wash each week in addition to the clothing.
Dust — I’ll be honest… I do NOT dust very often. It might even be somewhat optimistic to say that I dust once a month! I’m positive there have been times when I dust less frequently, but at the same time, I feel our home does not get super dusty or require frequent dusting. Also, I am personally not bothered by a little dust, so I probably just don’t notice it 🙂
Kitchen Appliances — I do quick “spot-cleans” of the kitchen appliances regularly as needed, but usually once a month I’ll really clean them well. I’ll take all the grates off the stove and clean around all the burners, wipe down the fridge (inside and out), and clean out the microwave.
Shake out / wash rugs — I vacuum most of our rugs during my semi-weekly vacuuming, but every few weeks, I shake out the bigger rugs and wash the smaller rugs.
Power wash the garage floors — we don’t do this in the winter, but during warmer weather, we like to keep the garage very clean since we use it ALL the time. It usually takes less than 15 minutes to do this (More information in this post)
Weed the garden — Since we use Preen and mulch, we hardly have any weeds; but I still like to stay on top of any little weeds that do pop through. If I see a weed while I’m playing with the kids or watering my flowers, I just pull it right away, however I also try to do a once-over of the entire yard every month. I just did it last week and it only took 40 minutes to quickly walk through our entire 1-acre property with TONS of planting beds. (More about how we keep weeds at bay in this post).
Enter Business Income and Expenses — although I record our personal expenses daily, I enter all my business income and expenses monthly as it just seems to work better that way
Work on my photo digital photo albums — For the past 3 years, I have diligently updated my digital photo albums every single month to assure I never get too far behind! (More about my digital photo books in this post)
Quarterly Cleaning Tasks:
Change furnace filters — sometimes I do it more regularly, sometimes less. It just depends on how much we’re using our furnace or air conditioning. (More information about our furnace filter delivery service in this post)
Dust “extra” areas — every few months I try to get the baseboards, window sills, door frames, ceiling fan blades, and other random areas I don’t normally dust in my “monthly dusting” times.
Purge closets — I don’t do many big purging sessions anymore. Instead, I’m constantly pulling out clothing that is too small for the kids, removing anything I don’t like from my own closet, and tossing anything that’s ruined or stained. However, every few months (usually as the seasons change) I like to do a quick purge of every closet and dresser. It takes me about 10 minutes per person to flip through all their clothing and pull out anything I know we don’t need, use, want, or love anymore.
Vacuum out the cars — Dave and I are not great about washing the outsides of our cars (we usually just run through a carwash a couple times a year!) — but we do keep the insides very neat and tidy on a daily and weekly basis. We also vacuum out the interiors of our cars every couple of months (we use our shop vac in the garage).
Semi-Annual Cleaning Tasks:
Wash all blankets, pillows, and comforters — I usually do this in the spring and fall and it is a pain but I want to do it. We have very nice pillows and they stay SO much nicer, fluffier, and better if I wash them a couple times a year. I usually wash the kid’s pillows and blankets more frequently — but I for sure do it AT LEAST twice a year.
Clean the oven — honestly, our oven hardly ever needs to be cleaned because I’m not a messy cook and I use a washable liner at the bottom of the oven to catch any spills. We do have a self-cleaning oven, but I’ve never used it. A couple times a year, I use Easy Off Oven Spray to clean any stains or residue on the oven, but that’s it. (More about how I clean the oven in this post)
Mop the floors — see… I told you I hardly ever mopped my floors! It is truly NOT an exaggeration to say that I only mop our kitchen floors a couple times a year — and I realize that might gross some of you out. As I mentioned above, I do sweep our kitchen floors daily and vacuum them weekly. I also spot-clean them on a very regular basis (especially around the dishwasher and the kitchen table). However, I very rarely mop the entire floor in one swoop. I don’t really know why, I just hate doing it and our floors are so dark that dirt doesn’t show!
Annual Cleaning Tasks:
Clean out the gutters — Most of our gutters are covered with “gutter helmets” but we have a few areas that we need to clean out every spring. It only takes Dave about 15-20 minutes to do this and then we’re done for the year.
Power wash the house and both garages — we usually pay someone to do this for us and they almost always come in early May so the house is nice and clean all spring and summer!
Declutter the basement –– Since our house is 125 years old, we don’t have a great basement and we DON’T store much down there. However, it can still get a little messy so once a year (usually when I’m putting the Christmas decorations away) I make a point to declutter, purge, and go through anything in the basement.
Wash the windows — this is another one of those things that I do as-needed throughout the year. I often clean the windows in the kitchen, dining room, and living room anytime I see tiny fingerprints or water spots because I look out those windows ALLLLL the time. However, I can guarantee that I only clean the window in our kids’ bathroom once a year!
Clean the carpets — we have professionals come in once a year to do this.
I’m sure there are things I’m missing — but this post is getting WAY too long and I think I hit on most of the major home cleaning chores.
One thing I do want to mention is that I do NOT have any sort of written ‘schedule’ or cleaning checklist I cross off as I do these tasks. They are just in the back of my brain and I get to them when I remember to do them (or when I see the dust piling up!)
Besides the kitchen, bathrooms, and floors, I’m actually quite relaxed about cleaning. I ALWAYS keep my house picked up and decluttered, but I’m perfectly content to let a little bit of dust and dirt sit around until I get a chance to clean it up!