I've tried various "systems" when it comes to cleaning.
First there was the one I learned as a kid: spend hours and hours on Saturday cleaning the whole house, getting the whole family involved. That doesn't work for us now because Erik and the kids would much rather play on the weekends, for example: in the summertime we're usually off camping. Also, with me being the at-home-mom I see no reason to ask Erik for help cleaning on the weekends, it's something I can get done during my "work hours" during the week.
So, that led me to wondering if there was another way. I googled cleaning schedules and came across Flylady. It seemed to be the answer and I jumped in headfirst, creating a binder, cleaning lists, etc. But it got to me too much for me and all the focus on decluttering just plain didn't apply to me. (Remember, I'm the anti-hoarder. I don't have clutter.) So after trying it for a few months it kind of sizzled out.
First, I brainstormed the "big/major" jobs that needed to be done every week, similar to the Flylady's "house blessing". I came up with:
-Bathrooms: sinks and counters, toilet, shower cleaned. Shower curtain bleached as needed.
-Kitchen counters wiped down thoroughly, microwave wiped out, sink cleansed and stove top cleaned
-Main traffic areas vacuumed (which assumes the main areas are also picked up)
-Laundry as needed (who's kidding who, this is more like a DAILY job!)
-Mop tile as needed
-Downstairs as needed
Then I decided to tackle the more detail oriented jobs monthly, with my goal being that at least once a year these things would be completed if I stuck to my schedule. I figured I could focus on one area each month and within that month would be able to complete the task, since some weeks are busier than others. Here's my monthly breakdown:
January: Entrance, Stairs and Living Room (since Jan is when we put away Christmas decorations, this worked perfectly here) I will do more detailed vacuum and dusting, clean out/organize the closet and drawers, wash walls and baseboards, clean the inside of windows, wash blankets that we keep on the couch and vacuum/fluff couch cushions. Also, vacuum/dust ceiling fan. Basically anything in these areas gets cleaned in detail.
Clean frig inside and out, blow out back of frig, clean stove/oven, wipe all exterior cupboards/counters, insides of drawers/shelves cleaned, vac/shake/shampoo rugs, mop floor really well and dust up above cabinets.
March: Kids Bedrooms
Straighten/organize closets, drawers; wash all bedding, wash curtains, clean windows, walls/baseboards, dust pictures, clean light fixtures/fan, vacuum under beds etc
April: Windows--inside and out including screens, front porch
May: Master Bedroom & Closet
The same as kids bedrooms, basically
June: Hallway and Linen Closet
vacuum, dust, walls, baseboards, pictures dusted, clean out/organize closet
July: Shampoo carpets upstairs
Vacuum, dust, Straighten blankets, craft areas, file if needed, bathroom deep cleaned, windows, rugs, trashes out, spider traps discarded/rotated, stairs vacuumed
September: Bathrooms (upstairs)
Wash rugs, straighten drawers/under sinks; cull towels, supplies, etc; clean windows; scrub floor; clean light fixtures; walls,ceilings,baseboards; shower/curtain
October: Dining Room
straighten/organize hutch; windows/sliding door; wipe down all chairs and stools; baseboards and walls; floor mopped; dust/clean fireplace; dust/clean dried plant; organize "command center"
November: Laundry Room
Wipe down washer/dryer/shelf; clean out behind washer/dryer; clean floor well; clean out bench (it holds hats, scarves, miscellaneous junk); window; walls,baseboards
December: Downstairs Closets
Organize wrapping supplies, vacuum, cull/organize, dust
I had my plan, so I typed it up and printed it out and slid the 2 pages into a plastic sleeve. I keep it in my command center and every month as I move through the tasks, I use a dry erase marker and cross off the things I've done. Forgive this upside down picture, but wanted to give you an idea of what that looks like:
That way I know what I got done or not so I can try to get to it before a whole year rolls around if it's needed. So far this year I've done a pretty good job of sticking to this plan and I hope I can stick with it for the long haul! I like that I'm not killing myself cleaning every single day, but the house is still getting clean. It's totally doable for me and still leaves me time for other things during the day, like writing or volunteering at the kids' school-two things I'd rather be doing anyway!
Do you have a plan/schedule for your household chores or do you just wing it?