Raise your hand if you like having a clean house. Now raise your hand if you like cleaning your house. Anyone? Anyone at all? I guess not. Well, never fear my friends, because today we’re starting the 2nd and final part of our easy-breezy clean house series. The first part was Simplify Your Home, which you will definitely need to complete before starting on this.

Growing up, cleaning house was a major chore that took nearly all day just to do something pretty simple, like dusting. It was not fun and the house rarely got cleaned. In high school I started working once a week at the home of an elderly woman doing cleaning, gardening, and various odd jobs. I continued working for her through college, marriage, and up until 1 month before Little Miss was born.  This lady kept a nearly spotless home (2 cats + everything white = impossible to keep totally spotless) and taught me most everything I know about cleaning. Today, chickas, I get to share that knowledge with you. Oh, and don’t forget to download the handy worksheet to help you figure out your easy-breezy cleaning routine!

clean house

Tools and Supplies for a Clean Home

Let’s keep it nice and simple, shall we?

Tools:

  • Rags or Sponges
  • A Broom
  • A Dustpan
  • A Vacuum (if you have carpet)
  • Possibly a Bucket
  • A Mop (optional if you only have a small amount of wood, tile, or linoleum floors)
  • Toilet Brush

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Bleach
  • Optional: Ammonia
  • Optional: Bleach-based gel cleaner for the toilet

4 Tips to Make Cleaning Even Easier

  1. Clean your tools before putting them away  It’s very hard to motivate yourself to clean if you have to start by cleaning your cleaning supplies. Empty the vacuum, rinse off your tools, pull the fuzz off the broom. Make it easy to get started cleaning by removing this little roadblock.
  2. Simplify your home – Read it, do it.
  3. Teach your family to pull their weight – Each family member needs to put their clothes in the hamper, put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, clean the sink out after brushing their teeth, etc. Everybody should also have their own chores that they are “in charge” of. We assign and track points for Little Miss, which she can then exchange for certain things (cash money, out to eat, electronics time, etc).
  4. Start high and work down – As you clean you knock dust and whatever bits of dirt down. So save yourself some trouble and leave the floors for last.

Batch Cleaning: Assigning Chores to Days

As a little girl I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie series. One thing from those books that always stuck with me is that Ma had certain chores she focused on each day of the week:

Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.

Obviously our lives are not nearly as hard as Ma’s was. It no longer takes us all day to wash laundry or churn butter. Technically we should now have even MORE free time in our lives than our ancestors did (’cause they sure didn’t have much spare time back then). You should be able to spend roughly 15 minutes or so of active time on cleaning your house most days. I have to admit, I get a real kick out of someone with a washer and dryer saying they spent their entire day doing laundry. Oh really? What were you doing for the hour or so that it takes the dryer to run?  🙄

So, on to batching your cleaning. I want you to think about your typical week. Which day is the most hectic? Which day is the least hectic? Do you typically spend your weekends trying to catch up on house and yard work? If you were to assign 1 major chore (or 2-3 smaller chores) to a day what would your week look like?

Grab a piece of paper and your preferred writing utensil. On the left side of the paper write down each day of the week. Now write down 1 major chore or 2-3 smaller chores for most of the days. 

I like to assign few or no cleaning chores on my most hectic days (Monday + Wednesday for me) and multiple smaller chores on most other days (Tuesday, Thursday, + Friday). I like to reserve BIG things that need more dedicated attention to Saturdays. On Sunday I like to take it easy and work on hobbies or read, so I do the relatively minimal chore of washing laundry.

Here’s my batched cleaning list:

Monday – Business, No Chores
Tuesday
– Pick Up, Vacuum, Dust + Polish
Wednesday
– Wash Laundry
Thursday
– Bathrooms + Bedrooms
Friday
– Kitchen, Dining, + Entryway
Saturday
– Outdoors + Bigger Projects
Sunday
– Wash Laundry

Try out your new batch cleaning schedule and see how it works for you. This is not something that’s set in stone – feel free to move things around if they aren’t working for you.

Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Chores

Besides the daily batched chore(s) I have what I call “dailies” (done pretty much everyday) as well as weekly (done 1-3 times per week) and monthly tasks (done 1-3 times per month). If you’ve read my previous post on how to make yourself have a productive day, then you know that unloading the dishwasher is one of my dailies. I have a small handful of dailies that I have to do everyday besides the daily batched chore.

These dailies currently include:

  • Make the bed.
  • Feed + water the poultry & livestock.
  • Refill waterfowl baths.
  • Bottlefeed the alpaca cria. (Temporary – Only until weaning age in October)
  • Water the garden.
  • Prepare meals.
  • Spanish lessons for yours truly.
  • Pull orders for our primary business. (M-F, usually not on the weekends)

My weeklies include:

  • Wash bedding and pjs.
  • Deep clean and/or organize 1 area.
  • Weed the garden.
  • Grocery shop.
  • Write posts (like this one).
  • Write the newsletter, which you should totally sign up for.
  • Create content for social media.

My monthlies include:

  • Weigh poultry and fowl for records and selection.
  • Schedule content for social media.
  • Plan future content for blog, newsletter, and social media.
  • Plan and evaluating goals for the coming month.
  • Review the past month.
  • Go to the library.

Tasks By Room

Bathroom

  1. Take any mats out and shake them outside.
  2. Put cleaner of choice into the toilet and shower/bathtub to soak.
  3. Empty trash can.
  4. Refill liquid soap dispenser.
  5. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  6. Wipe the mirror.
  7. Polish the faucet. (Tip: Use the hand towel that’s hanging in your bathroom right now to easily buff the faucet to a shine.)
  8. Wipe the vanity counter.
  9. Wipe down the door.
  10. Wipe off the light switches and door handles.
  11. Wipe off any marks on the walls.
  12. Dust the outside of the cabinets.
  13. Wipe outside of toilet from top to bottom.
  14. Wipe baseboards.
  15. Clean inside the shower/bathtub and the shower door (if you have one).
  16. Clean inside the toilet bowl and both sides of the seat.
  17. Replace the towels with fresh ones.
  18. Sweep and spot mop the floor.

Some Occasional Bathroom Tasks:

  • Wash mats.
  • Clean and organize under the sink.
  • Clean and organize in the vanity drawers.
  • Clean and organize inside the medicine cabinet and/or storage cabinet.
  • Mop entire floor.
  • Clean blinds.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash walls.

Kitchen

  1. Take any mats out and shake them outside.
  2. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  3. Check fridge for forgotten/expired food and dispose.
  4. Empty toaster crumb tray.
  5. Empty trash.
  6. Wipe door knobs.
  7. Clean inside of microwave.
  8. Wipe down cabinet fronts.
  9. Wipe down counter tops.
  10. Clean stove top.
  11. Wipe fronts of appliances.
  12. Polish faucet.
  13. Scrub sink.
  14. Sweep and spot mop floor.

Some Occasional Kitchen Tasks:

  • Clean inside oven.
  • Clean inside fridge + freezer.
  • Clean inside dishwasher.
  • Clean and organize pantry.
  • Clean and organize cabinets.
  • Clean and organize under sink.
  • Clean and organize in drawers.
  • Mop entire floor.
  • Clean blinds.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash walls.

Living Room

  1. Take any rugs out and shake them outside.
  2. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  3. Wipe off any marks on walls.
  4. Dust all surfaces.
  5. Polish all wood surfaces.
  6. Tidy up cushions and pillows on soft furniture.
  7. Wipe light switches.
  8. Wipe baseboards.
  9. Check under furniture for lost toys, etc.
  10. Vacuum or sweep and spot mop.

Some Occasional Living Room Tasks:

  • Use a carpet cleaner or mop entire floor.
  • Move furniture to clean underneath.
  • Clean blinds.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash walls.

Dining Room

  1. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  2. Wipe any marks on walls.
  3. Wipe chairs.
  4. Clean place mats.
  5. Polish table.
  6. Vacuum or sweep and spot mop floor.

Occasional Dining Room Tasks:

  • Clean blinds.
  • Wash windows.
  • Wash walls.

Bedrooms

  1. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  2. Take any rugs out and shake them outside.
  3. Wipe off any marks on walls.
  4. Clean mirrors.
  5. Wipe light switches.
  6. Wipe baseboards.
  7. Pick up and tidy.
  8. Dust and polish any wood furniture.
  9. Clean under furniture.
  10. Vacuum or sweep and spot mop.

Some Occasional Bedroom Tasks:

  • Rotate mattress.
  • Wash/clean bulky or decorative bedding.
  • Clean and organize dresser.
  • Clean and organize bedside tables.
  • Clean and organize closet.
  • Carpet clean or mop entire floor.
  • Wash walls.
  • Clean blinds.

Other Rooms

  1. Knock cobwebs and dust down from the ceiling, light fixtures, and tops of any upper edges.
  2. Take any rugs out and shake them outside.
  3. Wipe off any marks on walls.
  4. Wipe off light switches.
  5. Clean and organize any storage.
  6. Dust and polish any wood furniture.
  7. Wipe off baseboards.
  8. Vacuum or sweep and spot mop.

Hey, I thought this was supposed to take me 15 minutes?

While I know the lists look long and overwhelming, most of the items take very little time (like less than 30 seconds) once you’re just maintaining the cleanliness. On average, our bathroom takes me maybe 10 minutes to make spic and span and that’s moving at a relaxed speed.

My house is reeeaaaallllllllly messy, where do I even start?

First of all, just start. It doesn’t matter where or how. The only thing that’s important is taking that first step and doing something. Anything! Getting the ball rolling is the hardest part of all of this, once you’ve got it going then it’s so much easier to maintain the momentum.

If you truly want my recommendation on where to start when your house is really dirty, then here it is:

Start by picking 1 or 2 areas to simplify each day so cleaning will be easier. Already did that? Great!

Go ahead and download the checklist from the Resource Library to work through your home. You did that too? Awesome sauce!

  • Now go to your bathroom and do steps 1-6.
  • Pick 1 other step to do in the bathroom.
  • Next week while cleaning the bathroom, do steps 1-6, the extra step you picked last week, and 1 new step.
  • Keep adding 1 step each week until you’re doing all of them.
  • Once you’re just starting to get comfortable doing all of the steps, add 1 of the “occasional tasks” to work on each week for the bathroom.
  • Then add another room and so on until your whole house is being cleaned each week.

It’s important to take your time. Don’t feel like you have to do it all perfectly right now or even that you have to do it all. Just. Get. Started.

Do you batch any of your chores?