It can be hard to keep up with housework, especially when you have a busy schedule. A cleaning calendar can help you stay one step ahead of the mess. Instead of putting out fires as they pop up, make a monthly deep cleaning schedule to dedicate certain weeks different tasks. Keep it loose by leaving yourself in control over when the tasks happen each week, just make sure to completely clean each area at some point during the assigned week.
This simple idea can be tweaked to involve spouses, children, roommates, or other family members. A schedule keeps everyone on the same page and allows responsibilities to be divided in a way that each member feels is fair.
This program won't replace the basic cleaning and tidying it takes to keep a house running, but it can help you turn tasks that otherwise seem hopelessly daunting into casual habits you do almost without thinking.
During week one, tackle the kitchen and the bathrooms. Sweep and mop, scrub down the stovetop and microwave, let the oven self-clean, and clean out your fridge and pantry.
When you clean the bathrooms, make sure to go beyond the basics by checking for mold in the grout, cleaning the baseboards, and scrubbing the base of the toilet. This is also a good time to wash your towels and bathroom linens. You'll have to touch these two areas up during week three, but one deep clean a month with a little bit of maintenance here and there should keep these two areas sparkling.
Week two is all about the bedrooms. Wash all the sheets and other linens, cover the general basics of bedroom tidying, and water any plants. Vacuum, dust, clean the baseboards, spot clean the walls, and disinfect surfaces like doorknobs.
Depending on the number of bedrooms in your home, you may need to enlist a little help to refresh them. Unused bedrooms won’t need as much work—vacuuming or sweeping the floors and dusting in these rooms will go a long way, but take a look for any sneaky grime cropping up—problems in guest bedrooms can go unnoticed for long periods of time if you don’t make a point to check in on them every so often.
During week three, give the kitchen and bathrooms a quick touch up—not as intense as week one, but a little deeper than your daily tidying. You don’t have to do a ton, just look for trouble spots and take care of them. During week three you'll also tackle the common areas like living and family rooms.
Dust, vacuum, clean the baseboards, freshen up the fabrics on couches and chairs, straighten decor and do any upkeep maintenance during this week. You can also take this time to check on lightbulbs, put up or take down seasonal decor, and tackle any big DIY decor or room rearranging projects on your docket. Once every few months during this time, consider doing a DIY carpet and upholstery cleaning.
Week four is all about outside cleaning and miscellaneous tasks. If you have a deck or patio, take this time to deep clean that area. Sweep and power wash if necessary, clean deck chair upholstery, and take care of any outstanding projects in the yard. You can also take this time to weed or mow your lawn. Throughout the month, other deep cleaning and miscellaneous tasks will certainly arise. This is your week to tackle those tasks.
Consider taking on projects like touching up the paint around the house, cleaning your front door, power washing the siding, washing your outside windows, polishing furniture, waxing floors, cleaning vents, replacing smoke detector batteries, resealing grout, and other random tasks. Week four can get out of control fast if you try to tackle all of these tasks, so make a list and prioritize.
As the months go by on this schedule, you’ll find things start to stay cleaner for longer, deep cleans go faster, and you have more time to relax, enjoy the company of loved ones, and tackle a whole new host of homey DIY projects.