A Cleaning Routine

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Creating a Cleaning Routine @ AVirtuousWoman.org #ATimeToClean

A Time to Clean: Day 20

You can read the rest of the posts in this series here. 

I’ll be honest. There have been years where I stuck to my cleaning routine and daily tasks. Lately… well, it’s an area I could definitely improve in! My personality naturally gravitates to being messy. You know, the messy, artsy, creative, writer type. I mean, in some ways I’m pretty organized. I have certain ways of doing things and definitely have a place for everything that’s important in my house.

I’m pretty predictable. I always put my keys in the same place. I always put the first aid kit in the same place. I always put the dishes in the same place. Aside from my battle with clutter, things I use on a regular basis have a place in home and I’m pretty good about putting those things away.

That’s the problem with clutter. Remember how I said clutter was really just piles of unmade decisions? That’s why getting rid of clutter is so freeing to your mind and soul! I’ve been so excited to see the clutter leave my house for good!

[Tweet “It’s so much easier to keep a neat and tidy house clean! #ATimeToClean #30DayChallenge”]

Anyway, so back to the whole cleaning thing. It’s so much easier to clean a house that is neat and tidy. Just by the very nature of having less stuff means you’ll have less stuff to clean. Imagine only having enough laundry to get you through the week. No more mountainous piles of laundry hanging over your head! If you only have enough dishes for one meal you’d be forced to clean them before the next meal rolls around!

It’s so much easier to keep a house neat if you don’t have too much stuff because everything has a place. And if everything has a place, it just requires a little self discipline to follow this timeless adage:

Don’t put it down, put it away.

Creating a Cleaning Routine

There’s more than one way to clean house. You could just clean whatever you deem necessary when it starts looking dirty. I’m not going to say that’s the wrong way…. just maybe there’s a better way.

Daily Chores

This type of cleaning system is age old. Remember the song from childhood:

This is the way we wash our clothes
Wash our clothes, wash our clothes
This is the way we wash our clothes
So early Monday morning.

Basically, you assign a different major weekly chore to each day of the week. For instance:

  • Monday: Laundry
  • Tuesday: Baking Bread
  • Wednesday: Scrub Bathrooms
  • Thursday: Vacuum and Dusting
  • Friday: Mop Floors

Zone Cleaning

The other way to divide up your chores is to focus on one area of your home each day for deep cleaning. For instance:

  • Monday: Living Room
  • Tuesday: Kitchen
  • Wednesday: Bathrooms
  • Thursday: Bedrooms
  • Fridays: Laundry Room

You could divide your home into zones however you see fit. I used Zone Cleaning for years. When all five of my children were still at home we had the house divided into zones and each afternoon everyone went to their zone and cleaned. It worked really well. We have a large house and in order to get every room done, it’s essential we all work together.

Nowadays I do a combination of Zone Cleaning and Daily Chores. For basic straightening of the house each day, I assign each of my kids who are home to tidy up certain rooms. Then for the deep cleaning, I clean certain areas on certain days.

The exception to this, is that I do laundry on an almost daily basis – unless I don’t feel like it. 

Which brings me to my next point. Do you need to clean everyday?

Well, maybe. Maybe not. I’m not going to say I do my routine perfectly everyday. I don’t. My house is not always super clean or even always neat. There are times when I need a break and some things don’t get done. That’s okay.

I prefer our home to be neat – especially the main living areas. It’s nice when the house stays neat because we tend to have people drop in on us on a regular basis. Does a home have to be picture perfect to be warm and inviting? Absolutely not.

But a really messy or dirty space is may not feel comforting to your guests. Chaos does not invite peace. If you’ve ever been in someone’s home that felt dirty, you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, there is a difference between cluttered, messy, and dirty. That’s why a good cleaning routine is helpful.

Living clutter free is only possible if you make a concerted effort to stay on top of clutter. It takes a fair amount of self-discipline to do that!

Which cleaning routine do you prefer? Do you need to make changes to your cleaning routine?

P.S. This is My Life Planners help you stay on top of your daily chores and weekly chores with the weekly planning pages!

Today’s Goal

  • What does your weekly cleaning routine look like? Do you need to make changes?
  • Pray about making hard decisions – about what things you should keep, preserve, or let go.
  • Pick up a journal and write down your thoughts about what He has shown you or print my free prayer journal.
  • Choose an area in your home you want to tackle. I’ll be working in upstairs today.
  • Fill at least one bag or box full of stuff to give away. You can donate to our Appalachian Community Center if you’d like.
  • Take a picture of your bag. Share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram – use hashtag #atimetoclean {optional}
  • Leave a comment below about what you chose to get rid of and anything else God has laid on your heart.
  • Do your best to wake up early tomorrow and spend time in prayer. Use your prayer journal. I’ll be waking up around 6:00 am.

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  1. Thank you for the daily emails. I have been following you only for a couple of days and I've been motivated to try your daily routines and it has made a huge difference in my home and how I feel. I'm so glad I found you!
      1. The other day I were reading your emails and one of them had a how to clean your bathroom section but now I can't find it.
      2. Hi Tania, I think this is what you're looking for: http://avirtuouswoman.org/cleaning-bathroom-day-46/ I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions. :)
  2. Hi Melissa, I am really enjoying your series on a time to clean. I live alone and I've found that I can tolerate a lot of messiness when it's just me looking at it. But the Lord is prompting me to get my home in order so I'm in a season of getting organized and setting a schedule for cleaning and I thought I would share a system that I've recently started using. I began with paper sheets in a binder detailing out what major cleaning chores to do each day of the week. But I found that with me, out of sight is out of mind, and the tasks still weren't getting done. So I printed out the daily chores in blocks of text that would fit on a business card and then laminated them using self-adhesive laminating pouches from an office supply store. And I hang them on my refrigerator using a clothespin magnet so I can easily rotate each morning and move the current day to the top. I also created tasks to complete during each of the weeks of the month because not everything needs to be cleaned once-per-week and I have a set of those pinned to my refrigerator. Likewise, I established tasks to complete monthly, like washing windows or baseboards, and they are on my fridge as well. So for example, today is Tuesday in the second week of December so my daily card has bathrooms, my weekly card has cleaning the entry and back patio (to be completed sometime this week) and my monthly card has deep-clean the oven, refrigerator, and microwave (to be completed sometime this month). I do the monthly chores 2x per year. So far it's working for me. It helps that I'm only looking at bite-sized pieces of the whole cleaning to be done. When I look at all of it on paper I'm reminded that there is so much to do and I feel tired before I even start! The chores don't always fit into my schedule but each day I scan the cards to see what needs to be done and decide what I can do that day. And even if I don't have time to clean both bathrooms thoroughly today, I can clean parts of them (maybe just the toilets or floors) and know that this task will come around again next week for another try! Thanks for letting me share. And thank you for being so transparent in your blog. It helps to know not only what other people struggle with but also how they overcome. May God richly bless you and your family!
    1. Connie, I appreciate you sharing your cleaning routine/system with us! It's always helpful to hear what is working for others and maybe someone can glean ideas for their own home from hearing your routine! Thanks!
  3. I have a problem with clutter. I have a good housekeeper that comes every week. I moved out of 3800 sq ft into less than 1800 sq ft and we didn't get rid of enough things. We also no longer have a garage so I lost a lot of storage there. It's very difficult to get rid of things, especially when they are good things, but still they are just things. I need to do a major "get rid of" so I can put things away. Then there's my back. I really am more frustrated than my housekeeper.
  4. Hi....I am very new to the site and I am so happy I found more info about cleaning! I am so trying to figure out a way to have some kind of a system to get everything clean. I do ok with daily pick-up but not so good with things such as when I should mop the kitchen, or change sheets, or sweep the porch...that kind of stuff. Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you! Cindy