The Cleaning Schedule in Your Planner That Will Actually Work | Giftie Etcetera: The Cleaning Schedule in Your Planner That Will Actually Work

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Cleaning Schedule in Your Planner That Will Actually Work

When I was younger, I was a history teacher. I was obsessed with the colonization of America. I thought maybe, someday, we'll colonize the moon.

Well, I have now achieved greatness by doing something I've only ever dreamed of doing.

I've colonized my home...

cleaning, cleaning schedule, housework routine, housekeeping schedule, planner pages, with ants. Boo! A great big colony of ants has moved in and taken up residence.

I kill them. They come back. They find crumbs where I would never see them. They are tenacious, vile, and bitey. (Is "bitey" a thing? My ankles and that one that crawled up my pants say "yes, indeed, bitey is a thing.")

I have to get a handle on this. I've been doing clean as I go, with my kids having the daily chore of sweeping the floor. I also clean (shamelessly and quickly) before company visits.

I need a cleaning routine. 

But I've tried cleaning routines. I've printed them, written them in my planner, and thought about them. 

None of them worked.

When I examine the why I don't clean more routinely, a few things occur to me.

First, I am very lazy. 

Let's just get that out there! The truth will set us free! You might be lazy, too. There's a simple test, really. When the day is done, is your house neat and sparkly? No. You are probably lazy. Watched more than three episodes of something on Netflix? No probably about it. You are lazy!

It's okay. You are not alone.

This is important to know. If you aren't lazy, you don't need this. Go read one of my other posts about your planner layout or something!


If you are lazy, keep the duration of cleaning up short each day. I plan to do just 15 minutes.

You can always do more. But aim for 15 minutes so your goal is manageable.

Second, I hate Mondays.

There is so much to do and so much mess lingering from the weekend.


I've decided to do no actual cleaning on Mondays. Instead, I spend 15 minutes putting things away that got left out over the weekend.

This accomplishes two things. First, it makes cleaning on subsequent days so much easier. Second, if I put things away as I go, it might take LESS TIME than 15 minutes. How cool is that for a Monday?!?


Third, when I use a cleaning schedule, it requires me to clean things too often. They just don't get THAT dirty, so I feel like I am cleaning for nothing.

So I divided my Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday schedules up, so I vacuum or wipe down counters (beyond the normal wipe during or after cooking) about twice per month.

You can check out the image above for the schedule. (When I do mirrors, I also do tubs/showers. When I do closets, I do toilets.)

Other schedules made by strangers just don't fit my home (smallish), my filthiness (not that bad for a lazy person as I mostly clean as I go), or my lifestyle (too busy to be constantly cleaning).

Make your own cleaning schedule. List your needs and frequency and depend on that. Mine is an example, based on my needs. Yours are different, so no one else's schedule will work perfectly for you.


Fourth, I need relaxed Fridays.

Organizing relaxes me. 

So I keep a running list of things to organize and pick one (or a 15 minute part of one) on most Fridays.

If you are already organized, purge a little.


Fifth, I have things that I need to keep up with on a semi-regular basis, but not even as often as once a month. Filing, cleaning appliances, that sort of thing.

The 5th week of the month (except Mondays so you keep things put away) is perfect for those sometimes tasks since not every month has a 5th Thursday or Friday or whatever. 

I consider it bonus time. (Yes, if you are wondering, I got the idea because my husband gets paychecks every two weeks, which means an occasional third paycheck in certain months.) Use it to clean your car or your windows or your garage. But only 15 minutes. Big tasks need to be scheduled outside of the routine.

Join my Giftie Etcetera Facebook group and come be accountable for meeting those daily goals by posting your achievements!


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Anonymous said...

SO true about focusing on our own individual cleaning needs rather than someone elses cleaning chart. If I were a SAHW I could probably get more done, but after 4pm and weekends are it and - let's get it out there - when I get home from work the last thing I want to do is clean. Ditto the weekends when we want to have quality time together or work out in the yard.

I did make an Excel chart encompassing everything in the entire house that has to be cleaned with the 'week of' date for each week of the month for 3 months (I have a template of it offered on my blog) With the exception of the kitchen sink, counter and floor (which I clean every night after supper) our house doesn't get that dirty with only two people so things like washing down the paneling/cabinets with Murphy Soap, polishing the furniture, vacuuming, mirrors, area rugs, bedding, etc. can survive getting done every other week.

I put a copy of the chart on the fridge and check off what I've done so and in what what so I know I don't have to do it the following week. Even if it's just scouring the tub, wiping down the washer/dryer or polishing one piece of furniture, if I get something done every night during the week, it's five less things to do on the weekend.

BTW, have greatly missed you as when I first discovered you, you were posting daily. I know you've been busier now that you're homeschooling, but just want to put it out there that your daily posts were the first things I went for. Also hope to see more videos from you when time allows :)

Giftie Etcetera said...

I usually post daily during certain times of the year and slack off in the summer. So you'll see posting increase as we near December!

Elaine Canha said...

I also adapted the routines of FlyLady for my needs. Much better! I prefer a big cleaning (two hours) in one day of the weekend. During the week, only quick missions.

Jaime Barfield said...

Even the cleanest home can get ants depending on the area. Love your cleaning ideas. We use ant stakes outside our home. They are the kind you can buy that you place so far apart around your home, they act as a barrier and the ants wont come in. We get them and then replace them every spring. Love them!

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Anna said...

I agree that "bitey" is a word. Living in Africa, I've had too many up close and personal encounters with ants, some that included running into the house and stripping to remove all the bitey ants.

Having a husband and kids, my house is never going to be as clean as it could be if I were single, but my life is full and rich. I don't think you should say you are lazy, just that you are busy, and it's hard to balance everything. I've been reading a lot about habits, and it really has me thinking about things like that. I have learned over time that I do better with small amounts of things, than if I let them build up. If I have a schedule, then I'm likely to keep up with the things while they are still small. For example, I will try to declutter/ put away things after every meal and before bed. That would drive some people crazy, but I tend to get up to move around at those points anyway, then I can put a few things away.

Right now, I have the cleaning part somewhat easier, since I have someone who cleans the bathrooms & mops the floor 2xs/week- my least favorite part. Plus I have a cook that makes bread & does a main meal 5xs/week, washes dishes and cleans the kitchen. It makes 3rd world life more manageable. I just have to try to stay on top of weekends, clutter and messes that develop when you have kids- and a puppy!

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