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 etc.) 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, time 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 what’s on the schedule. On Saturday and Sunday its cereal, or make what you want day (aka – Mom’s day off..ha!)
Monday – Pancakes or Green Smoothies
Tuesday – Sausage, eggs + Orange juice
Wednesday – Oatmeal
Thursday – Homemade Muffins + fruit
Friday – “Fun Friday” – I mix it up here (Cinnamon rolls, Corned beef hash/eggs, French Toast, Bacon & Omelets, Waffles, Fruit Smoothies etc.)
Saturday + Sunday – Cereal (or aka – you are on your own..Tee hee. Hey, I like my days off from coooking.)
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: Bathroom 1, 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.
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.
UPDATE!!! I have many skills in photoshop and blogging, but I do NOT know how to make a pdf form editable for everybody. So I asked Justyna over at her Etsy shop DIVart if I could pay her to do this, and bless her kind heart – she read the post and decided to do it for FREE! Isn’t she just so nice??
Here is the FREE Editable PDF My Weekly Cleaning Routine Checklist. Just click on it, then right click – save as and download it to your computer. You will be able to edit it under each category to your liking.
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?
Comments & Reviews
How fortunate you are to have such a late morning! My kids START school at 7:30 am so sadly I don’t think this kind of breakfast ambition is possible for us.
Great article. Thanks for the info, it’s easy to understand. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a 941 schedule B, I found a blank form here.
Thank you for sharing this! I used to be an excellent house keeper but my third child threw me for a loop! We are in a new house and he is now a year old so I feel like it is time to get my butt back in gear! I needed a jumping off point because I just feel like I can’t get it all back together. After looking through many cleaning checklists, yours is perfect for our schedule and it just doesn’t feel too overwhelming! Thank you!
This is fantastic! We have a housekeeper come every three weeks, but we are totally lacking a system to keep the house maintained on the off weeks. It would be great if we could edit which days we clean the different areas to better accommodate our family schedules (ie. Sunday – Kitchen & Dining).
Thank you for the editable lists. I am a novice at this and was really struggling.
Thank you so much! The weekly cleaning checklist was exactly what I was looking for. I too am going to print and put it in a picture frame with a dry erase marker. Funny that I did something similar for the kids months ago, but never thought to make one for myself. Getting organised – one step at a time 🙂
Kristi at Disney Insider Tips says
This is perfect! I am printing it and going to frame it in glass so I can use a dry erase marker to mark what I do each day! Thanks for sharing!
Sugar Free Like Me says
Oh this is just what I need to go with my “get organaized” new years resolution! Thank you so much for this!
Melanie C says
I just found this post. It is excellent! Thank you for the fantastic examples and freebies. Your specific examples are EXACTLY what I look for when reading through posts and looking at printables.
As an older person like Anne Lazarus above, I too appreciate your sharing the checklists. Many years ago I found some very similar online somewhere, but they couldn’t be changed to fit my life. They quickly fell by the wayside. I would really appreciate it if you would share the template with me. Thanks!
Love the editable version of the daily checklist. Cute design and super helpful! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Ok, soooo.. I notice how majority of comments are of women who are genuinely busy and need a schedule to help them organize their hectic schedule. I am not one of those women. My background is: I was raised by very hardworking parents who worked very long hours and just didnt have the energy to clean up much themselves, so they never pushed it on us. We never had chores. Never had responsibilities. So now, as a stay at home wife and mother of a two year old girl.. I have a very, VERY hard time teaching myself housework type responsibility. So just letting you know, this list is SUCH a blessing for me!! It helps me understand what I should be cleaning and how often these things need to be cleaned! I’ve been searching for a list like this for a while, but the lists were always so short and vague. “Monday- Clean living room.” Okaaayyy, there are no toys on the floor.. is that considered clean? How often should i dust? how often should i vaccuum?Your list is much more detailed, much easier for me to understand the basics of what every woman my age should have already known. It’s disappointing. But hopefully I will learn, and become a better mother so that my child will know these truths when she becomes a mother. Thank you again for this list. And know that God is using you not only in ways for the super busy mother, but also for the brand new wives/mothers who need guidelines and help in these areas as well. 🙂
Here is a poem that I found years ago and I just thought you would appreciate it. I found some cute paper and printed it on and then I hung it on a wall in my house as a reminder to myself. I have 8 kids and life gets crazy and nuts, but I just remember my little poem.
Excuse This House
Some houses try to hide the fact
that children live there.
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
the signs are everywhere.
For smears are on the windows,
little smudges on the door.
I guess I should apologize
for the toys all over the floor.
But I sat down with the children
and we played & laughed & read.
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I’m forced to
choose the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife,
but first of all a mother.
Have a great day!
I LOVE that!! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing this editable printable! This was the perfect chore chart for me to use for my son and my household.
THis is a great idea…I’ve been looking for a systematic way to allow the kids to do small jobs throughout the week instead of loading it all up on the weekends. I do wonder, though, how they have time to do these jobs plus their laundry on days when there are after school activities and homework. How do you juggle all that in there?
Stumbled across your blog through pinterest – just wanted to share my appreciation for your technique! I have a similar list for cleaning; however, I usually have one day designated for everything (since I do not have any kiddos yet!). I love your ideas about responsibility and rotating chores – as well as teaching each child how to do laundry. These are great life lessons and keep everything fair in the household! One tip for the cleaning checklist – you can laminate the sheet and use a dry erase marker to check things off as you go! This makes you feel even more accomplished and can also allow you to add things in and change them on the blank lines. Thanks for the post – I will keep the kiddo activities in mind for when our family expands!
Hello Karrie, I just downloaded both the calendar and the weekly cleaning routine! I have two girls ages 3 and 6. I have been looking for a printable that was already filled in with daily duties so that I could use it immediately. You are a life saver. Stress is leaving and peace is taking its place! I am also going to start my girls on scheduled chores. We will start small and build up to greater responsibility. I am also looking for ways to save money on weekly meals and snacks. I cannot believe how much we eat! I am going to check out your site for more ideas! Just by searching on google, I know that I can do better than I have been.
Thanks for sharing,
Anne Lazarus says
Thank you. Please share any other tips, lists, etc., that you are comfortable sharing with an older person, who is attempting to make major life changes. New perspectives can be very motivating.
Thank you so much for sharing! Hopefully your weekly cleaning plan will help me keep my place clean and organized.
This is awesome! Your website is too! I’m so excited to find it. I have just now started spreading my chores and my children’s chores over the entire week and feel like I’ve struck gold. I really can’t believe that I have this much time left over and are still getting the same amount done (if not better and more). If you are still doing this, I would love to have the pdf of this. God bless you and thank you.