One (of the many) major lifestyle changes that came with purchasing our new home was the immense amount of household chores that were added to my weekly “To Do” list. Whether it is taking care of the yard, or cleaning the guest bathroom—the work certainly multiplied from our tiny one-bedroom Silicon Valley apartment.
With a schedule filled with traveling, social commitments and long days in the office/commuting, I have not been able to find a good day to just set aside as my “cleaning day.”
Because I love the feeling of a freshly cleaned house (and loathe the feeling of having a dust bunnies in my hallway), I have had to adapt my cleaning practices to ensure things are getting done on a regular basis.
The first (and most essential) best practice that I am using is my Electronic Cleaning Chart. Yes, I know it sounds dorky, but boy does it keep me on track! For you techies out there, I keep my household chores on Google Drive (but any other cloud-based spreadsheet program will work). For me, having online access allows me to check out my chart from whichever electronic device I happen to be nearest to.
The concept of my chart is quite simple. You list out your what cleaning items you want to track (“Tasks”), how often this should be done (“Interval”), the date you last completed this (“Last Completed”) and a formula, which automatically updates and lists the target date for the next cleaning (“Next Due”).
I have found a number of benefits of this Cleaning Chart. First, the chart can be customized. You can add/delete different chores as they come up in your own household. This has been particularly helpful for me as a new homeowner, because it has taken quite a bit of time for me to realize all the little chores (both inside and out) that we need to do. As you will see on my chart, I still have quite a bit of work to build out the “Outside Chores.”
Secondly, it allows you to compartmentalize your cleaning, by providing an instant “To Do” list from which you can complete what you have time for. With my busy schedule, one weekend I will have only 30 minutes to do some quick cleaning, and on others, I will have the entire morning. The chart allows me to check off what I have time to do, but keeps me on track so I do not lose the “big picture.”
Third, if you have a significant other in your life, this is a great way for you both to synchronize up on household chores. Maybe you add color-coding to mark chores designated for each party. Alternatively, maybe you both just chip away at the list, as your schedules allow. Either way, it keeps your household running, even when the inhabitants are going many directions.
Like most habitual tasks in this world, the key is finding what works for you and your own schedule. Often times this involves testing different methods to see what helps you get in your own rhythm. The great thing is that the world of social media, including Pinterest and personal blogs, have created a library or resources for you sift through.
While not an exhaustive list, here are a few links to other Cleaning Charts that I found interesting (for those looking for a different method).
- Monthly Calendar Printable Cleaning Schedule (from Gone Like Rainbows)
- Printable Cleaning Checklist (from Simply + Kierste)
- Monthly Calendar Printable Blank Cleaning Schedule (from IHeartOrganizing)
Do you have a fabulous cleaning method or process that works for you? If so, we’d love to hear what keeps you on track.