I had never been “that” mom, the one that always has to have a perfectly clean spotless home. I always just loved having fun way too much. Plus my kids were just too wild. It has always been a never-ending battle to keep up with 4 kids, trying to do everything from cleaning, cooking, running them around for sports, shopping, couponing, reading to them, and just trying to find alone with them.
There were some days where I had the house super clean, but it only lasted for a few days (with me on attack mode telling everyone “don’t mess it up!” or “pick that up, I am not your maid” ect.). When the mess got too great, I would feel stress, and fight to keep up.
I know I am always happier when my house is clean. I love that feeling when you are done with your “to-do list” and your house is clean. When you are able to put on a candle and your clean house smells so good. I feel free for a moment – relaxed. I know I can go and read a book or play with my kids and have some peace. Unfortunately those moments never seemed to last long.
A year ago an amazing Mom shared with me her magical plan that really worked for her family. I’ve been wanting to tell you all about this amazing home cleaning routine but wanted to make sure it worked. I have tried my fair share of different routines, schedules and chore charts with no luck. Something always went wrong or just didn’t fit my schedule. This ultimate happy home routine really worked for me and it changed my life. I have less stress, I feel so much more accomplished and I am able to do the things that I have been wanting to do. This routine will work with families of all ages (small children to teenagers). Lets breakdown my own personal schedule first and then talk about my cleaning routine.
Truman Family Schedule
6:00am – I wake up and make a real breakfast for my family. You can see my breakfast schedule below. Kids make beds before school and a specific child unloads dishes.
6:30am – Assigned child sets table. Everyone eats breakfast while eating my husband reads from the scriptures and we have family prayer.
7:00 am- Teens off to school, I start my cleaning schedule and help younger children get ready for school.
8:30am – Smaller kids off to school. I am done with my list of cleaning to do’s for the day.
8:30-12:00 – If I work out I do this now, and then start blogging (thus burning calories while sitting on my butt). Sometimes I go coupon shopping or run errands (if I had little kids I would play, read stories, make snacks ect.) Basically this is MY time to do what I want to do.
12:00 – 2:30 – Kindergartener comes home. Make lunch. Spend time with him (go to parks, read, play, walks ect.) Think about dinner here – if crockpot I get it started now. Or pull out a freezer meal – they make me really happy.
2:45 – 8pm. Older kids get home from school, homework first + snack. Evening routines start with soccer practices, ballet, wrestling, baseball, and all other mommy taxi type jobs. PS – I use the free cozi app to keep my crazy schedule – it’s amazing. Dinner sometime in there too, depending on schedule.
8:00 – Bedtime routines. Kids must clean + pick up their rooms before going to bed. I will wipe down kitchen counters/dining table before bed and pick up my room. Stories, showers, teethbrushin’, prayers and bedtime.
My Breakfast Schedule
I used to just have my kids eat cereal a lot, but I find so much joy in making breakfast and having them sit down to read scriptures with me. Not only does it make them have a great start to a long school day, but I feel like a better Mom for cooking something special for them. It shows I care. Every day during Monday through Friday I make whats on the schedule. On Saturday and Sunday its cereal, or make what you want day (aka – Mom’s day off..ha!)
Monday – Pancakes
Tuesday – Sausage, eggs + Orange juice
Wednesday – Oatmeal
Thursday – Homemade Muffins + fruit
Friday – Fun day – I mix it up here (Cinnamon rolls, Corned beef hash/eggs, French Toast, Bacon & Omelets, Waffles, Smoothies ect.)
Saturday + Sunday – Cereal (or aka – you are on your own..Tee hee)
The Kids Chores
The kids chore schedule seemed at first like the kids were getting off easy. I was raised with a whole room to take care of (like a living room, or bathroom) every day growing up and I was thinking my kids should also be doing that. With all the evening sports and school taking up so much time or leaving them exhausted, I was often just doing it for them. Then I was at my wit’s end guilting them with the fact they hadn’t been doing their jobs.
I have 4 children. Their ages range from 6-13 but basically you just look at what your kids can do. I would start a little toddler with something like picking up their own toys, or helping with small jobs. I started my 4 year old off with just putting away silverware from the dishwasher. I also let my 4-5 year old clean the sliding glass doors with window cleaner. But as kids get older they can do more work. Once they get going to school though life gets busy and there isn’t as much time in the evenings as you would like. So with this cleaning schedule here are the jobs the kids do:
- Unloading dishes : One child is in charge of unloading all the dishes from the dishwasher for the entire week on a rotating schedule.
- Setting the table: One child is in charge of setting the table for all meals for the entire week on a rotating schedule.
- Making their beds in the morning. They don’t have to be super perfect, but they need to try. If I notice they didn’t make the bed, when they get home they get to “practice” making their beds 4 more times.
- Cleaning their rooms before going to bed. They need to have it picked up.
- Washing their own laundry + putting it away. Every child has a laundry day. In each of their rooms they have a laundry hamper. Each of them gets one day a week to do their laundry from washing to drying to folding and putting away. I taught my 7 year old daughter to use the washer and I trust her, however my 6 year old son still needs so we do this task together. I think it’s important for children to learn how to do laundry all by themselves. I have also gotten rid of my “sock basket” by having everyone do their own laundry.
- Saturday – Deep clean one big room day. This is mostly so they grow up knowing how to clean. They have to clean one main room that they are assigned for a month or so. Examples I have used: Bathroom1, Bathroom 2, Vacuum stairs + Hallways, Put shoes away. They also help with outdoor chores today if needed.
For my 3 older children I have them rotate through the dishes, setting the table and one get’s a week off (which they love). Also on my calendar is their laundry day. So my calendar looks like this:
Week 1 -
Setting Table: B
Week 2 -
Setting Table: C
Then repeat.. Here is what my chore calendar looks like (Note: I am using this amazing free editable 2012 calendar download from 505design.com) – she now has a 2013 version, but you have to buy it on etsy.
For my younger 6 year old I have him unload silverware everyday for his main chore. For his Saturday chore he takes everyone’s shoes by the front door and takes them to everyone’s rooms. He is almost ready to learn how to unload the dishwasher too. So he does his part too!
My Weekly Cleaning Routine
So what is my routine you ask? Basically everyday I do a few daily cleaning items. I load the dishwasher, wipe counters and do quick pick up around the home. But everyday I also have a special room to clean that I focus on. I have my own personal cleaning routine printed up that I can check off each day. I make sure and tell myself I just need to do the room on my list today – which really reduces my stress levels, and makes me feel accomplished. Once I am done…I am DONE for the day! I have free time, time to do everything else I want to do. You will also notice on my cleaning routine there are a few items at the bottom of each day that are italicized – these are deep cleaning items that if I have extra time I will try to tackle. I try to choose one of them every week or two. Note: If you find you are spending too much time give yourself a time to work. I would say 30 minutes would be plenty of time to do your normal cleaning in that particular room. Also if you get out of your routine, just start on the day it is and begin again. Don’t worry about catching up if you miss a day.
Here is my Weekly Cleaning Routine – I am offering it up here FREE as a download for you! Just click on the picture to print it off as a PDF. If you would like it as a photoshop element file where you can change it around just shoot me an email: karrie @ happymoneysaver (dot) com and I would be happy to share it with you.
I hope you will get some relief from this schedule. Time is precious and its been a lifelong struggle for me to be able to organize it they way I want. This schedule has definitely helped me live happier and be less stressful.
Do you have a cleaning schedule that works for you or any other tips?Image credits: themommymethod.wordpress.com and istockphoto.com and www.northcraig-cottage.co.uk/accommodation.html