How to Create a Cleaning Routine AND Stick to it - a Guide for Exhausted Moms with Zero Willpower

Are you struggling to keep your house clean, mama?

Is the mess stressing you out?

Have you been scouring Pinterest looking for a cleaning schedule that will fit your home and lifestyle?

SPOILER ALERT: trying to stick to someone else’s cleaning routine probably won’t work for you in the long run.

So...creating your own cleaning schedule is hands down your best chance of sticking to a cleaning routine.

But how the hell do you do that? Especially with kids hanging off your ankles!

Sit down, relax, let’s go through this together.

How to create a cleaning schedule and stick to it - A guide for exhausted moms with zero willpower

1 | Define Clean

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you. An easy guide for moms.

Before you bust out your vacuum cleaner, let’s talk about ‘clean’.

I mentioned this in an Instagram post recently (by the way, are you following along with me on Instagram yet?)

What does clean actually mean to you?

Completely clear kitchen counters? Fingerprints meticulously removed from fridge door? Three times a week vacuuming? No one getting sick from botulism??

My definition of ‘clean’ probably makes my grandmother turn in her grave. But that’s all I can manage in this season of life. So I’ve learnt to be OK with that.

When I first got married and created my first cleaning schedule, I’ll be honest, it totally sucked. I actually included ‘clean window tracks’ in my weekly tasks. WTFFFFFFFFF?

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So what does ‘clean’ mean for you? These questions might help point you in the right direction.

  1. Where does your house get messiest?
    This will depend on kids, kids’ ages, pets and your lifestyle.

  2. What annoys you the most when it’s not clean?

  3. How do you like the house to be when you get up in the morning?

  4. Which rooms matter the most and which rooms are you happy just to shut the door on?

2 | Choose Your Daily Cleaning Tasks

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you. An easy guide for moms.

Look, there are just certain jobs we have to do daily to keep our homes clean and pleasant to be in.

So think now about your own home and pick the most-important-to-you daily cleaning tasks to your cleaning schedule.

Here are some daily cleaning jobs that you MIGHT want to include:

  • Make beds

  • Start and finish a load of laundry

  • Wipe down kitchen counters after a meal

  • Load and unload the dishwasher

  • Take our trash

  • Sort mail

  • 5-minute declutter

  • Open windows to air out your home

  • 10-minute toy pick up at the end of the day

  • Check floors and clean where necessary

HEALTH WARNING: Only pick the bare, absolute, any-less-than-this and-we’ll-all-get-sick number of jobs to do daily.

Create a list and put the list somewhere prominent. On fridge, on your phone, anywhere you prefer, it’s up to you. I prefer on the fridge then the whole family can see and get involved.

Next step…..

3 | Schedule your Daily Cleaning Tasks

Schedule your cleaning tasks and you'll find it so much easier to stick to your cleaning routine.

When will you do your daily cleaning tasks?

With most of these tasks, it’ll be obvious to you when you need to do them.

Some people like to put a load of laundry on as soon as they get up. But others prefer to do a load of laundry at night so they can start drying it in the morning.

You pick. But be specific.

You don’t need to add exact times.

But choose anchors. For example you might decide that you’ll start a load of laundry before making coffee. So no matter what time you get started making coffee, you’ll still get to the laundry.  

4 | Start to Make Your Daily Cleaning Tasks a Habit

How to create your own cleaning schedule AND stick to it.

Sorry to say this, but creating a cleaning schedule is only half the enchilada. Sticking to it is the other (much harder) half.

You might be tempted to bully yourself into starting your lovely new cleaning routine right NOW and trying to stick to it rigidly.

If that’s you, get ready to say ‘hello’ to disappointment town, population You.

Because you need to work on making this cleaning routine a habit.

So look at your list of daily tasks and choose one.

Let’s say you choose ‘wipe down sink’ and you decide that you’ll anchor that task to cleaning up after dinner.

Set a reminder for yourself to do this task today after dinner. And then give yourself a little pat on the back for taking this momentous first step!!

Do this for a few days and then add in another daily task.

And keep going until you’re doing all the daily tasks.

Set yourself reminders, talk to your family about what you’re doing, and you could even set up a bullet journal style tracker on the fridge door to give yourself a tick when you complete it.

Whatever works for you.

5 | Add in Weekly Cleaning Tasks

How to create your own cleaning schedule AND stick to it.

OK, so we’re nailing those daily tasks.

Let’s look at cleaning tasks that need to be done on a weekly basis.

Think about each room in your home and what realistically needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis. Make a list.

If you’re in a particularly busy season of life, be realistic. Go back to section 1 above and decide what clean means to YOU.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Living room Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Tidy away anything left out

  • Vacuum floor

  • Vacuum sofa and spot clean

  • Recycle any newspapers, magazines etc

  • Dust

  • Clean windows

  • Wipe over remote controls, switches and door handles with an anti-bac cloth

  • Dust blinds and fans

  • Shake out rugs

Kitchen - Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Declutter counters

  • Wipe down and sanitise counters

  • Wipe down all appliances

  • Wipe over switches and door handles with anti-bac cloth

  • Clean cupboard doors

  • Clean stove top

  • Clean windows

  • Dust

  • Shake out rugs

  • Dust blinds and fans

  • Throw away any out of date food in fridge

  • Wipe out fridge

  • Clean dryer rack and sink

  • Clean out microwave

  • Wipe out bin

  • Check fire alarms

Bathroom Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Clean toilet

  • Clean bath and shower

  • Clean sink

  • Brush and mop floor

  • Wipe down switches and handles with anti-bac cloth

  • Empty trash

  • Replace towels and mats

  • Clean windows

  • Dust

  • Clean and polish mirror

Bedrooms Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Change bedding

  • Dust

  • Vacuum

  • Clean windows

  • Tidy away anything left out

  • Wipe down handles and switches with anti-bac cloth

  • Clean any blinds and fans

Entryway Weekly Cleaning Tasks

  • Dust

  • Wipe down handles and switches with anti-bac cloth

  • Vacuum

  • Tidy away anything left out

  • Shake out mats

6 | What Type of Cleaning Schedule Do You Want?

How to create your own cleaning schedule AND stick to it.

Now we need to decide if we want to do some of our weekly tasks everyday. Or if we’ll do one big house clean once a week.

And there are pros and cons for each one.

Cleaning Daily

Great because:

  • Tasks are done in more manageable chunks,

  • Potentially less overwhelming

  • Even if you miss a day, the other weekly jobs will get done

But, not great because:

  • It can feel that you’re constantly cleaning

  • Can be inefficient to drag out the vacuum and only do one room. And then drag it out again tomorrow to do one more room.

  • House is never completely clean all at the same time.

Weekly Cleaning

Great because:

  • You don’t feel like you’re constantly cleaning

  • Can be more efficient use of time

  • You get that ‘totally clean house’ feeling and a boost of satisfaction

  • You can forget about cleaning during the week (apart from daily jobs, obviously)

  • Someone might be able to take the kids out so you can clean without interruption

  • You can crank up the music or a podcast and get ‘in the zone’.

Not great because:

  • If you miss a clean, like when you or the kids are ill, the whole house is a mess

  • It’s potentially overwhelming

You decide what works for you!

When do you want to clean:
Do you want to clean a little bit every day? Or do you prefer one big weekly cleaning session?
— Choose your own cleaning adventure!

7 | Schedule Your Cleaning Time, But Stay Flexible

Do you feel like you're constantly cleaning? Get organized with a cleaning schedule that works for you.

Cleaning weekly or daily, it’s up to you.

But you must schedule your cleaning time otherwise it just won’t get done.

Take a look at your weekly tasks and decide when - specifically - you’re going to do them.

Again, you can use the anchors we talked about in section 3.

For example, you might decide to do some cleaning every day when you’ve finished lunch or while your husband gives the kids their bath.

Make a note of this on your cleaning plan.

8 | Check Your Cleaning Supplies

OK. So this isn’t essential. But take a moment to reflect on your cleaning supplies:

  • Are your cleaning supplies doing the job you need them to? Or do you need a new mop or a better scourer?

  • Are your cleaning supplies conveniently stored? (or do you have to move a whole bunch of crapola to get to them)

  • Are your cleaning supplies safely stored? Because kids and bleach don’t mix.

  • Are your cleaning supplies as non-toxic, eco-friendly as you’d like? Or do you need to research more natural cleaning products? Or even make your own?

  • Are your cleaning supplies pretty enough to motivate you to clean? (Yep, this one is totally important.

9 | Kids and Cleaning

Do you feel like you're constantly cleaning? Get organized with a cleaning schedule that works for you.

I get it.

You don’t want to clean because you want to spend time with your kids.

I really get that.

But have you considered getting your little ones involved?

After all it’s an important life skill.

And let’s be clear: you, your husband and children are a team keeping your home a safe and pleasant to be in!

Easy ways to get children involved in cleaning:

  • Talk to them about what you’re doing and why

  • Play some music and make it a PAR-TAY!

  • Give them some supplies: a small dustpan and brush, a cloth to dust with

  • Use rewards and stickers - what kid doesn’t like stickers?

  • Link chores to pocket money and screen time

  • Start getting kids to clean their bedroom

How to Set Up a Cleaning Routine

Cleaning isn’t going to be the most fun part of your day.

But a cleaning schedule that works for you is going to change your life. Literally.

Because a good cleaning schedule can reduce mess and stress and make you feel like the winner you are!

Take some time to work through these steps and remember to add in tasks to your daily life slowly - not all at once.

And don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your routine when you need to.

You got this, mama!

A cleaning routine helps keep your home clean and organized. But creating one can be tough. Check out these 7 easy steps for moms to create your own cleaning routine that you can actually stick to!