So...back to my overwhelming cleaning schedule. I found these guidelines on cozi.com to help with this process. Here's the list of how to set this up for your home.
1. Create a Starter ListI stood in the center of each room and listed all the cleaning and maintenance chores associated with that room, making sure to include even the most remote tasks like vacuuming under the fridge, dusting the ceiling fan, polishing silver, changing the shower filter, etc. If you are looking for inspiration for deep cleaning, check out Cozi's Spring Cleaning Starter List.
2. Break it DownNext to each task I determined the frequency of the task: daily, weekly, every two weeks, monthly, quarterly, six months and yearly. I found that the daily tasks were already part of our routine so I considered those taken care of and focused on the rest of the list.
3. Create Weekly To Do ListsFrom the remaining tasks I started four lists – Week 1, Week 2, Week 3 and Week 4. The weekly tasks hit each list, the twice a month tasks were alternated on Weeks 1/3 and Weeks 2/4 and the monthly tasks got added in turn one for Week 1, one for Week 2 and so on till all weekly, twice monthly and monthly tasks were covered.
Then, I reviewed the lists to make sure logical tasks were paired (such as laundering the dog beds, cleaning their crates and washing the actual dogs…). These four lists got copied for each month and laid out on the calendar. As a bonus, on months with 5 weeks you get a whole week off!
4. Add Remaining ChoresThe weekly and monthly chores fall in place pretty easily but scheduling the quarterly, six month and yearly tasks took a little more effort for me. I needed to try it all on the calendar to “see” where things like ‘clean out garage’ or ‘pot shelves’ should end up.
I used a number of sticky notes and some trial and error, but by and large, I added a yearly task to the first week of each month, a six month task to the second week and a quarterly task to the third week. This worked pretty well once I rearranged to match task to season (like cleaning out the garage in the fall) and took into account if multiple tasks would require the same prep work (like moving the bed frame).
5. Put it on the CalendarAs mentioned, I kept my lists on sticky notes – ones large enough that I could write out all four weeks’ lists…resulting in twelve stickies that I can reuse each year when we start our new calendar. And did I mention Week 5 is an off week?
6. EvolveI don’t know that it is possible to get everything on the lists on the first try but I have found this to be a fantastic framework to add to. It can be an evolving system for your household.
Check in with the family. The first thing my husband said upon seeing “the system” was: what about the yard? Right, that needs care too — so we added it in.
Reassess. Now that you are actually doing tasks on a rotation, is the interval right? Something might need to be done more often and some less often.
Consider changes when they happen. New drapes? Decide where their care fits on the plan. Replacing your flooring? Check out manufacturer recommended care and add it to the calendar.
Now, we haven’t followed our plan to a T, but having the lists done in advance and not having to try to remember the last time we dusted the pot shelves takes a certain level of stress out of caring for the house. Calendaring the chores seemed daunting at first but all in all this took about an hour and a half to accomplish. And since I do love a good to do list, I kind of even enjoyed the process!
I have started this process. I went from room to room in my house and listed everything that should be cleaned. I broke it down to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly and quarterly schedules. I want to start this process in October. However....I feel like I need a clean slate. Which means...everything will have to be done one Saturday and that will be my start date. Since we have our children coming in this week, it will have to begin next weekend. Major cleaning overhaul. At that point, I can begin scheduling the tasks out. Thinking out loud here...I don't think I actually want to do everything at once. So...back to the drawing board. I would like to have at least most of my weekends free from housework! Mind you, there are things on this schedule that I almost never have done. Shamefully I say this. I hit and miss. For the most part, I have a very clean house...but there is that lurking dust bunny just waiting to be found. Trust me, there are plenty!!
I've started my list now! I love my schedule at cozi.com. I haven't even started reading all the ideas they give you. Now...back to the drawing board! Who knew a house had so many things in it to CLEAN?!
Here's the link:
The blog that gave me the cozi web page is: