Finally, I’ve learned that cleaning schedules aren’t for me. I’ve learned how to keep a home clean–without them!
Would you believe it if I told you that I never really cleaned until I got married?
It’s sad, but true. I once told my husband I grew up with a maid.
“I didn’t know you had a maid,” he said.
“I did,” I hung my head low. “Her name was ‘Mom.'”
My poor mother did it all, but when I began making a home of my own, I realized that cleaning was not my forte.
It’s not that I didn’t want a clean home; I absolutely did. But I simply didn’t know how to balance it all.
For years, I combed the internet for the perfect cleaning charts and schedules. I would print them out, put them in binders, and get to cleaning.
My enthusiasm for my new cleaning schedules would last for a few days, and then I would be right back to square one–frustrated with cleaning and feeling like I couldn’t keep up with it all.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized I had been trying to clean around someone else’s personality and not my own.
While those who thrive on structure and regimented routines would excel on cleaning schedules, homemakers like me, who prefer spontaneity and change, would feel boxed in by charts, schedules, and spreadsheets.
Embracing my personality and realizing it was OK to kick cleaning schedules to the curb was a complete game changer for not only my cleaning habits but also my stress levels!
I stopped beating myself up for not conforming to someone else’s ideal.
So how do I clean without a cleaning schedule? These three things have been essential for maintaining my home.
Note: If you need help creating a cleaning approach that’s unique to YOU and YOUR home, check out My Own Clean, a self-paced online course to help you build a personal cleaning strategy.
1. Each day, I focus on completing just 3 tasks–one load of laundry, one load of dishes, and dinner.
My friend Holly taught me that these three tasks are the key to running your home like a well-oiled machine.
Even if I complete nothing else all day long, I feel accomplished when I’ve completed one load of laundry, one load of dishes, and have gotten dinner on the table!
2. I do other chores on the weekends.
When I first became a stay-at-home mother, I thought I had to fit my cleaning into each day. But motherhood called, and I found that I much preferred taking care of my children to scrubbing toilets.
When I looked back to my newlywed days, when my husband and I were both working full-time outside of the home, I realized that we had worked together to complete the cleaning on the weekends.
We gave this a try and have been catching up on cleaning on the weekends ever since.
The three tasks I mentioned in the first point keep the house from getting chaotic during the week, and it’s less pressure to do deeper cleaning on the weekends.
In addition, there are some tasks that I only complete right before we have company over (I’m keeping it real, y’all!).
Dusting? That only happens when guests are en route. Don’t worry too much, though–my husband and I love to have guests frequently!
3. I’ve enlisted the help of our children.
As far as I’m concerned, I have the best mom in the entire world. I do wish I had helped her clean, though. I must have been a very lazy child!
My husband and I are determined that our girls will learn how to cook and clean when they are young.
They are now 3, 5, and 7, and we started regular chores with them this year.
I’ve found that this approach to cleaning is very manageable! Knowing myself and knowing what works for me has made all the difference in keeping my home under control!