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  • Allison

Helpful Tips for Creating and Maintaining an Effective Cleaning Schedule

Updated: May 25

I am quite surprised when I find out that people do not have a proper cleaning schedule. I mean, think about it: a cleaning schedule promotes order and stability in the house, motivates you to actually clean, and ensures you do not forget what things to clean as well as how often to clean them. All of those reasons should be enough to encourage everyone to develop a cleaning schedule.

I think a big issue, though, with cleaning schedules is that people somehow assume that "one size fits all". This is not true because everyone has a different lifestyle; some are messy, some are clean; some have jobs, some do not; some have kids and/or pets, some do not; etc. All of these factors determine what you clean and how often you clean it. It seems like this is common sense, but yet I see the internet flooded with cleaning templates that, while they may work for some, are useless for others. So, the simplest thing is not to provide you with free printables but rather to guide you into developing your very own cleaning schedule that fits your lifestyle.

So without further ado, let me show you how.


How to Make a Cleaning Schedule:

Make a list.

Take the time to sit down and write down everything you want to get done. I mean EVERYTHING. Make sure to include bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and even "as needed" tasks as well. Go and look around each room of your house if you have to, assessing the tasks that need to be done.

Do not be lazy about this; I know it can be overwhelming at first, but you need to start somewhere, and that somewhere is the list.

Decide on room vs. task cleaning.

I personally like to have a mix of both, but I find that a lot of people agree that cleaning everything by "room" can be easier.

Some tasks make sense to clean by room (bathrooms and kitchens for example), but certain other tasks (like dusting) can be done throughout the entire house in a day. Example:


Monday: Kitchen cleaning day (clean the entire kitchen)


Tuesday: Dusting day (dust the entire house, not just certain rooms).

Divide it into categories.

You want to divide your cleaning tasks into daily, weekly, bi-weekly (if applicable), monthly, quarterly (if applicable), and yearly categories.

Choose the days you want to clean.

You will, of course, have stuff to clean every single day, but you do want to pick certain days to clean your weekly stuff. I have learned, after many times changing up my cleaning schedule, that you will most likely have to do some tweaking to it as you figure out what days work best for certain tasks. There is nothing wrong with changing up your cleaning schedule, and, in fact, it is a good thing because you are proving that you are sincerely trying to work more efficiently in providing a clean home for you and your family.

You should have about 4-5 days of cleaning in the week. Ideally, they should be weekdays so that your weekends are open for either family time, your time, or yard work. I would suggest that you do have an extra day (which I will explain below), which could either be a day on the weekend or the fifth day of the week. Example:

Monday - Thursday: Regular cleaning days / Friday: Extra day / Weekends: Open


Monday - Friday: Regular cleaning days / Saturday: Extra day as well as kind of open / Sunday: Open

I talk more about this in one of my other blog posts, which you can view here.

Choose when to do your monthly tasks.

It makes sense (and is probably far easier) to follow the method of picking a day in the week to do 1-3 monthly tasks instead of the weekly cleaning. This ensures that over the course of 4 weeks, you should have completed all of your monthly tasks without having to do it all at once. The same thing applies to your quarterly and yearly tasks. I would do about 1-2 monthly tasks and maybe 1-2 (if needed) quarterly or yearly tasks on that day.

BUT, for some odd reason, I cannot bring myself to do that. I think it is the fact that my OCD is very satisfied to get all of the monthly tasks done over the course of a few days around the beginning of each month. It is like I enjoy having the entire house deep-cleaned all at one time. I know, I know, it is not the most practical solution for like 99% of people, but for the 1% like me, doing it this way is an option for you. It involves long hours of cleaning each day for about a week, but it is so ridiculously satisfying to me that I cannot stop.

Now do what is on your list!

It is literally that simple.


Tips for Maintaining Your Cleaning Schedule:

Rewrite that list (if needed).

Yes, you read that right: you may have to rewrite the list.

This is because 99% of the time, when people write down a cleaning schedule, they are often too ambitious and put way too much workload on them that does not necessarily have to get done when they want it to. This inevitably leads to failure because when something comes up and they cannot get a certain task done that they wanted to, they give up on their cleaning schedule and assume that there are none that work for them.

What is a good solution for that? Take a look at your list and only think about the necessary things you need to get done. Do those necessary things, and then, if you are consistently following your schedule, you can add some of the extra things you want to get done.

Have an "extra day".

I have an extra day, which is Friday, and it is SO mentally relieving to me to know that if I get busy on a certain day and cannot finish my daily and/or weekly cleaning tasks, I always have Friday to do it on. This is a perfect tip for anyone really, but especially for those who lead busy lives and find themselves not able to complete every task they have on certain days.

I talk a little bit more about this in one of my previous posts, which you can read here.

Make it easily visible.

Put your schedule on the fridge for all to see, set reminders on your phone, tattoo it on your forehead--just do what you've gotta do to ensure that you do not forget to fulfill every task on your list. Tell someone else your cleaning schedule and ask them to keep you accountable to it if need be.

Another option is to start using a planner. I use my Erin Condren planner for practically everything, including reminders, planning and organizing my day, writing out my cleaning schedule, keeping track of budgets and goals, etc. I highly recommend getting one, as it just makes life a lot easier.

Set a timer.

If you are still struggling to get everything done on your list, I recommend setting a timer for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day and cleaning as much as you can until it goes off.

For some reason, this tip seems to work really well because people tend to go into "focus mode," where they do not get as easily distracted.

You can also set 10-20 minute timers multiple times throughout the day and apply the same concept of getting as much done as possible before the timer ends; it is almost like a fun and challenging game.

An Example of a Cleaning Schedule:


Make bed(s)

Do 1 load of laundry

Wash dishes or load them in dishwasher

Wipe down counters (including bathroom counters)

Sweep floors

Do general tidying up

Take trash out

Throw out junk mail

Do a 5-minute organizing of the fridge

Quick wipe-down of all sinks (Here is my all-purpose cleaner recipe to use for virtually any cleaning task)

Vacuum (if needed)

Wipe down phone/device screens (computer can be wiped down every 1-2 weeks)



Clean and sanitize sink

Clean drains/garbage disposal

Clean microwave

Thoroughly clean stovetop

Deep-clean countertops (take everything off, wipe the whole thing down, and disinfect it)

Wipe down tabletop and chairs thoroughly (disinfect tabletop)


Take out the trash cans (if applicable)

Wipe down outside of trash cans

Refill + restock items

Wash dish towels and/or rags

Living Room:


Vacuum at least 2-3 times a week (depending if you have kids, pets, a lot of carpet, etc.)

Do a quick organizing of the house (should not take too long if you keep up on it)

Disinfect doorknobs, switches, and surfaces

Wipe down mirrors and/or windows



Wash and/or change out sheets and pillowcases

Wipe down mirrors and/or windows


Clean bathroom(s) (including the showers/tubs, the toilets, refilling any toiletries, mopping the floor, etc.)

Iron clothes


Scrub down shower/tub

Scrub sink

Clean drains and hair catcher (if you have one)

Clean toilet thoroughly

Wipe down mirrors

Wash and/or switch out towels

Disinfect surfaces


Refill + restock items

Other (foyer, hallway, office, etc.):

Tidy up


Vacuum and/or mop

Wipe down mirrors and/or windows

Disinfect doorknobs, switches, and surfaces


Clean the washing machine (read about appliance maintenance here)

Rinse out dryer lint screen

Deep-clean oven

Deep-clean refrigerator

Change out air filter (should be done no less than every three months if you do NOT have pets)

Vacuum upholstery (Should be done every 1-2 weeks if you have pets)

Dust door/window trim, light shades, baseboards, blinds, or anything that is not dusted weekly.

Clean utensil holder

Vacuum under furniture (Can be done every 2-3 months if you do NOT have kids or pets)

Wipe down window tracks (I do mine weekly as they get pretty dirty, but monthly should be fine too)

Descale coffee pot

Wipe down cabinet/drawer fronts (if you have kids and/or messy pets, I recommend wiping the front of the bottom cabinets every 1-2 weeks or at least spot-treating them).

Clean dishwasher

Wash pet beds (if you have any)


Clean vacuum (find out how here)

Dust ceiling fan

Wash shower curtain (can also be done monthly if it gets dirty enough)

Clean range hood

Wash pillows

Clean inside of trash cans

Clean bathroom exhaust fan (can be done every 6 months)

Vacuum and wipe down insides of cabinets/drawers (mainly in the kitchen)

Organize closets, cabinets, rooms, etc.

Vacuum behind kitchen appliances (fridge, oven, and anything else that can be pulled out from the wall)

Dust walls and wipe down doors


Clean out dryer hose

Deep-clean carpets, upholstery, area rugs, etc.

Clean curtains (can be done every 6 months as well, especially if you have pets)

Clean out gutters

Clean mattress(s)

Deep-clean windows (Can be done seasonally)

I only listed these as EXAMPLES to give you a general idea on what kind of tasks to clean as well as how often they need to be cleaned. Remember, the whole point of this article is to guide you down the right path for creating/maintaining a cleaning schedule, but everyone's lifestyle is different, so you have to make one that fits YOU. I cannot develop a "perfect cleaning schedule" for you because there are so many factors that determine what kind of schedule you need.


I hope this article helped you create or maintain your cleaning schedule, or both. Please let me know in the comments below if it did. And if you have any cleaning tips, do post them below!

Remember, cleaning is something we will always have to do, so we might as well make it as easy as possible for ourselves!

See you next Wednesday!


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