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Cleaning our homes should be a very small part of life, but when our homes feel messy and cluttered, it flows into the rest of our lives. If you work outside the home you know how good it feels to come home after a long day, but if your home feels messy and cluttered when you come home it adds to our stress. With a little effort and consistency, you’ll find that the Clean Mama Routine is designed to help you find a daily rhythm that works for and with your schedule.
What’s the secret to the routine? CONSISTENCY – doing a little bit every day is what will help you take your home to the next level of clean. The Clean Mama Routine is intended to be done in the little moments that you have during the day – you know what to do because it’s on a schedule – it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to clean and when to clean it.
A question or comment I get all the time is that is that the Clean Mama Routine and method of doing things seems to be for people that are home all day. If you just glance at the calendar, I can see how you might think that but I am here to tell you that my routine is for anyone and any schedule.
If you haven’t tried my cleaning routine – I always say that anyone can do it with any schedule. But if you are in the, ‘I need convincing’ camp, keep reading. I created the Routine years ago but perfected it in the busiest season of our lives – I was working full-time with a lot of travel, pregnant with our 3rd baby, and starting up Clean Mama. I promise you – with a little commitment and a little time every day, weekends do not have to be devoted to cleaning. What’s the best way to start the routine if you want to give it a try? Start with the Daily Tasks!
Three Ways to Start the DAILY TASKS:
- Start with one every day for a week and add a new task every week – make beds for a week and then add check floors to the next week, and then the third week add wipe counters to make beds and check floors, continue until you have all five tasks incorporated.
- My preferred method is to start on a Sunday and make your bed, then on Monday, make your bed and check floors. Then on Tuesday, make your bed, check floors, and wipe counters. Continue through the week until you have incorporated all five DAILY TASKS. You can do this method while adding the WEEKLY TASKS too.
- If you’re used to doing a cleaning routine and just want to try something different, start with all of them at once.
Once you have the Daily Tasks working into your schedule, you’re ready to start the Weekly Tasks. These are tasks that are assigned to the days of the week.
Quick Tip: Delegate, get other family members involved if you can! With a Routine and specific tasks assigned to days of the week this is easier to implement. Keeping your home clean should not fall on one person, regardless of if you work outside the home or not.
You can see the complete Clean Mama Routine explained on the Start Here page.
Once you have the Daily Tasks down and working for you with your schedule, it’s time to add the Weekly Tasks. If your work schedule doesn’t allow for the Weekly Tasks easily, see some strategies for how to add them in to your routine.
Strategies for Adding the Clean Mama Routine into your Week
- Set a timer before or after work for 10-15 minutes and do what you can. No guessing on what you need to do, just use the Weekly Tasks as your clue and follow long. Concentrate on what you can do today – even if you have 10-15 minutes, do something!
- Monday – Bathrooms Day – Clean counters one week, toilets the next, showers/tubs the following week. Keep going with this rotation as you start and once you get into the rhythm put them all together. Follow my Quick Clean Bathroom Method for my assembly line method for cleaning bathrooms in 15 minutes (it works!).
- Tuesday – Dusting Day – Dust one floor one week and the other floor the next – you can keep this up indefinitely if you’d like or once you start dusting weekly, you’ll find that it’s much easier to dust quickly.
- Wednesday – Vacuuming Day – Vacuum late in the day on Wednesday and wash the floors early on Thursday. Vacuum + wash the floors in one half of your home on Wednesday and in the other half on Thursday (this could be split up by levels or rooms). Vacuum and wash bathroom floors on Monday (when you clean the bathrooms) and split the rest up either by day or by room.
- Thursday – Floor Washing Day – Split up by level or rooms and wash half one week and the other half the next. Spot wash floors during the week if you are able – this might be a better way to start integrating Floor Washing Day.
- Friday – Catch-All Day – Catch-All Day is a day to catch up, get ahead, plan for the week ahead, relax, it’s what you need on any given Friday. Build in a day that accounts for life’s surprises, because you know they’re going to happen. Someone will get sick, you’ll be needed somewhere else, or maybe you just won’t feel like cleaning bathrooms or vacuuming. It’s absolutely necessary to give yourself grace and plan for that list to have more on it than you can accomplish. If you didn’t complete everything this week or left something out, go back and finish it up. When I was working outside the home I stopped at the grocery store on my way home, grabbed a rotisserie chicken or store-made pizza for an easy dinner and did my weekly grocery shopping. Now in the days of call-ahead and delivery groceries, that would be a little easier if that’s something you can utilize and/or have available.
- Saturday – Sheets & Towels Day – Clean towels take priority – start the Weekly Tasks with towels and then as you get that part down, move on to changing the sheets on Saturdays. I have this on Saturday intentionally to get help from other family members. Keep beds easy to make so kids can take care of making their own beds and eventually learn to pull sheets off their beds, toss them in the wash, and re-make their beds. Make this easier by rotate through bedrooms and doing one a week for the first month or change them every two weeks – make it work! You can also have two sets of sheets and do a quick change of sheets and take care of the washing on Sundays.
What happens if you don’t get to your tasks on Friday and aren’t able to catch up?
Save it for the next week! Everything will still be waiting for you – think of every day as a fresh start and every week is one too.
The Clean Mama Routine was developed through a variety of life stages and work situations and is designed to give you flexibility and a clean home in minutes a day.
I created the Clean Mama Routine years ago out of necessity. I was sick of cleaning all weekend long and living with the crazy during the week. Once I started using a simple routine I realized that just a little bit every day was helping me keep things clean most of the time. Then came three kids, different work schedules, traveling for my job, running a business…..and guess what? It still worked.
Put aside any misconceptions you have with cleaning. The Clean Mama Routine is different.
Every home and every family has its own set of challenges and hurdles to work through. Let’s be honest, if you can choose between sitting down and reading a book or folding a basket of laundry, you’re going to read the book, right?
I will also say that every situation is difficult – if you are home with your kids all day or at work until 6pm, this post isn’t about what is or isn’t difficult, it’s about figuring out strategies to make it work for you and your family. The goal is a clean home most of the time in the least amount of time.
TIPS TO GET STARTED
If you work outside the home and get home late or leave early (or both!) and are exhausted and have no energy to put a cleaning routine into place, my best suggestion is to start with 5-10 minutes before you leave for work and 5-10 minutes when you get home. Start with the Daily Tasks and work on completing them every day. If the Daily Tasks are overwhelming, just start with one – one load of laundry from start to put away, pick up clutter, check floors, or wipe counters. Add one every week and before you know it you’ll have built a little routine into your schedule. Once you feel like you’ve got a good handle on daily tasks, start adding the weekly cleaning tasks – Monday is bathrooms day, Tuesday is Dusting Day, etc. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and do what you can in that amount of time and forget the rest. Keep going and before long you’ll have added this step to your routine as well. If you feel like you can add more time, and get more accomplished, increase your time to 15-20 minutes.
Here’s the secret: If you keep up with the routine (even if it’s half-way done every week), by keeping up with it consistently you’ll be making progress and after a couple months (or less) you’ll not only have a routine but you’ll have a clean home most of the time.
IRREGULAR WORK HOURS/SCHEDULE
An irregular schedule is difficult for so many reasons. Some irregular schedules are overnight shifts, 3 days on and 3 days off or it might even be that you work 12 hour shifts. My best advice? A cleaning routine can be accomplished, but give yourself grace while you’re trying to figure out what works best for you. You might need to double up tasks and tackle two or three on your days off so you don’t have to do much on the days that you are at work. For instance, if you work on Thursdays but have Wednesday off, do Wednesday’s task (vacuum) and Thursday’s task (wash floors) on the same day. Some weeks might be weeks where all you do are the basic daily cleaning tasks (make beds, one load of laundry, wipe counters, clutter, and check floors). Some weeks you’ll be able to conquer the world and get everything done. Take it all in stride and remember that something is always better than nothing.
Do you work outside the home? What are your struggles? Best tips? Share them in the comments! Looking for more? This post has tips for including kids in cleaning and this post has tips for when you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
If you’re looking for tools to help you, the undated Homekeeping Planner includes the complete Clean Mama Routine and is a great way to keep track of the Routine – it has plenty of space for keeping track of your work and home tasks too!