This is the last printable cleaning schedule that you will ever need. Why many cleaning checklists and weekly schedules fail, and how to create an easy and realistic cleaning plan for your home.
Cleaning schedules. Cleaning rotations. Cleaning calendars or checklists. Whatever you want to call them, they have never worked for me, until now. I’ve got a new printable cleaning schedule, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
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Why Your Current Printable Cleaning Schedule Doesn’t Work
Why haven’t they worked? I suppose you could chalk it up to good old perfectionism. I’m a neat-and-tidy, spreadsheet, everything-in-it’s-place kind of gal. If things don’t fit into a tidy system, then I go to the exact opposite: chaos. No, it’s probably not normal or productive, but it’s how I operate.
Here’s why I haven’t been able to find a cleaning rotation that works: What if I print off a checklist that says the bathroom gets cleaned on Wednesday each week.? What if things get busy, and I don’t get around to it until Friday? What if I only have time to clean half of the bathroom? What happens when next Wednesday rolls around? My anxiety level is already rising over this hypothetical cleaning checklist.
See, most cleaning schedules don’t allow for much customization or flexibility. This adds serious pressure for perfectionists like me, or for any other normal person juggling more than one item on their to-do list.
3 Steps to Design the Right Cleaning Routine
It’s just like so many new diets or workout plans that inevitably fail. You can start with the best of intentions, but when you miss a day, you lose momentum. When cleaning rotations and tasks have strict assigned days, you’re more likely to completely fall off the wagon when you get behind or miss a day. Without knowing how to get back on schedule, you’re more likely to say “Oh well. I’m already behind.” And scrap the whole thing.
We shouldn’t be married to our cleaning schedules, and life surely shouldn’t revolve around them. Life first, cleaning second.
So, how to we achieve this balance, and keep a clean house? Simple:
Step 1 – Set aspirations, not hard targets.
First, trash the set-in-stone weekly/monthly/quarterly cleaning checklist. Then think about how often you want to clean certain areas in your home, generally speaking. Set aspirations, not hard targets.
By setting aspirations, and not set-in-stone tasks, your new cleaning schedule will allow for flexibility when any one of the following may occur:
- You fall behind by a day or two
- You have company coming, so you clean the whole house top-to-bottom
- You go on vacation for a week, and the house doesn’t get dirty
- You get off schedule for any other reason, and you can’t remember where you are in the rotation
Step 2 – Print off the Cleaning Rotation Checklists
Think about those cleaning aspirations above, and set a goal frequency for each cleaning task on the list. Bathroom tub and toilet every week, but dusting base boards every two months? Great! Add additional cleaning tasks to suit your home. There’s also a blank room sheet for any that aren’t in the printable pack. Click the button below to automatically download your own printable cleaning schedule:
Here’s what you’ll need to use the sheets:
- paper trimmer
- a thermal laminator or else you can buy self laminating sheets that don’t require a special machine
- hole punch
- small, pointed dry erase markers for writing on your laminated sheets
- suction cup hooks (dollar store) or 3-M hooks and tabs for hanging
Step 3 – Strategically Place and Use the Checklists
Find a location for your checklists in each room of your home. That’s right, each room gets it’s own checklist. If you prefer, you can bundle some rooms together (say all bedrooms), but I strongly encourage you to keep at least the bathroom and kitchen checklists in their respective locations, next to the cleaning supplies.
Hang the checklist along with a dry erase marker using 3-M hooks or tabs, so you don’t damage your surface. I prefer hang the checklists in a discreet location like the back of a closet door or inside a cupboard door. Tossing the checklist in a drawer don’t seem to work so well, since I find that the checklists are more likely to get lost in the shuffle with other items.
Now get cleaning!
If you only have time to clean half the bathroom, that’s fine. Just erase the old date, and add the new date to the tasks you completed. If you clean all of the bathrooms and the kitchen at once, that works too. If you go on a two-week vacation, and you can’t remember where you left off, this system will remind you. Quarterly and semi-annual tasks (like baseboards and trim) keep track of themselves on this system as well.