As homemakers, having a neat and tidy home is a goal for most of us… however far we fall short, I imagine that most of you would love to come home every day to a home that is warm, inviting, and tidy. Today I’m talking about how to create a house cleaning routine that works for you – no matter whether you work outside the home or stay home full time.
Originally written April 2018. Updated April 2021.
30 Days Of Intentional Homemaking: Day 14
Families need women who make home a special place to live, learn, and grow. There is no other job that presents as many opportunities for shaping (for the good or the bad) the future of our country – of our world – than that of a homemaker.
Each of us is a homemaker. Whether you work outside the home or stay home full time, you are a homemaker. Whether you live with a big boisterous family or it’s just you and a couple of children – or just you and your husband – or even just you -, you are a homemaker. We’ve all been called to the ministry of homemaking.
You can find the rest of this series here.
First of all, if you are struggling to keep your home neat and clean, you are probably battling one or more of the following:
- a (too) busy life
- too much clutter
- poor sleep habits
- depression or discouragement
4 Reasons Why Your House is a Mess
So before we talk about how to creating a house cleaning routine, let’s address these four reasons why your house is a mess.
#1 You are Too Busy
I’ll be honest. The last couple of years my life has been sooooo busy. I have two teens still at home who are involved in activities that keep us on the road most days of the week.
Add in my husband’s ministerial travel, vacations, conferences, and other things like traveling to see family and friends on a regular basis – we spend hours upon hours in the car every week and roughly half the year staying in hotels or in other people’s homes.
My 17-year-old is a serious figure skater. Those of you who are long-time readers know that we spend three to four days every week out of town for her skating.
My youngest daughter is an equestrian/ YouTuber and we stay on the road the other days of the week traveling to and from the barn, videoing, and attending occasional events.
If that wasn’t enough, we do travel for my husband’s pastoral/ ministerial work several times a year and we stay in hotels at least once a month. Sometimes I feel like we’re never home.
Now, my lifestyle and schedule are probably extreme. But, as you can see, I know full well what it means to be busy.
Being busy makes homemaking a challenge, but it is possible to stay on top of chores and home maintenance if you plan well despite a busy schedule.
Creating a routine that works for you will help you determine what’s important during this season of your life so that you can live your best life right now. When circumstances change, so can your schedule.
#2 You Have too Much Clutter
The number one thing, in my opinion, that will keep you from ever feeling like your home is neat and tidy and easy to maintain is clutter. Clutter is soul-sucking. It makes you feel more stressed, more irritable, and can even cause depression.
I’ve heard from so many of you who have told me that clutter is one of your main struggles. I understand because I’ve struggled with it too!
If you’ve ever felt like you just move stuff around or have piles of stuff everywhere or even just have no more closet and drawer space left in your home then you know what I’m talking about.
Clutter is your #1 enemy when it comes to housekeeping.
related: A Time to Clean 30 Day Challenge
Piles of paper, magazines, children’s artwork, bills, junk mail, and other “stuff” can quickly fill every corner and top every surface of your home. I can’t stress enough how life-changing it will be if you just purge your home of excess and keep only what you really use and need.
We live in an age where clutter has become a national epidemic.
Creating a routine that works for you will be made easier if you spend time decluttering your home and purging the excess stuff from your life. I promise you will feel happier and lighter in the long run!
#3 You Have Poor Sleep Habits
Of course, being tired often comes with the job of being a mom. I wake up way earlier than I’d like to and often go to bed way later than I need to. I take a lot of naps!
Getting enough sleep is important for your health.
- poor sleep habits can cause you to feel more hungry and therefore eat more calories and gain weight
- good sleep improves brain function which makes housekeeping, budgeting, and planning easier
- poor sleep habits can lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- poor sleep habits can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes and is linked to depression
- good sleep strengthens your immune system
- poor sleep is linked to mood swings and an increase in anxiety and irritability
Sleep is important not only for your health, but when you feel rested it’s much easier to deal with small irritations, housekeeping, children, and husbands.
When it comes to homemaking, getting good sleep means you’ll have the energy you need to tackle all the tasks demanded of you in a given day. Creating a routine that works for you should include adequate sleep time!
#3 You Feel Discouraged
Discouragement and a messy house go hand in hand. I’ve written about depression and clutter before. It’s a vicious cycle. Your house is messy and cluttered and you feel discouraged or depressed about the situation. And then because you feel depressed you may even feel too overwhelmed to tackle even the most basic housekeeping chores.
related: How to Clean When Your Feel Overwhelmed
Oftentimes, clutter or a messy house is a symptom of discouragement, discontentment, and depression. A lack of energy or excitement about home is a classic reason why it’s so hard to keep it neat and organized.
We shop for new things because we are unhappy.
We hold on to things because we are unhappy.
We find it hard to let things go because we are unhappy.
And we’re unhappy because life seems harder than it should be
If you have a habit of shopping a lot, love snagging a bargain even when it’s something you don’t really need, love to go “junkin” to the point where your home looks like a flea market, you may need to evaluate your reasons and do some soul searching.
related: The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Whatever the reason, decluttering your home can have a huge impact on your mental health and overall happiness.
How to Create a House Cleaning Routine that Works for You
Creating a routine gives purpose to your day. It adds a gentle rhythm to your day that makes your life easier. In fact, when you create a daily routine, it frees your mind so that you don’t have to think so hard about what you need to do. You just do it.
That’s why creating a house cleaning routine is so important – it makes your life easier even if you don’t see how right now!
When you have a house cleaning routine in place, chores and household tasks become second nature. You’ll find that having a cleaning routine actually makes cleaning easier because it’s easier to clean a tidy house than it is to clean a really messy house.
Wiping down the bathroom every morning is much easier than cleaning a month’s worth of grime and build-up. Mopping the floors weekly is a lot easier than scrubbing dirt and spills days or weeks after they have settled in. In other words, maintaining a clean space takes less elbow grease!
There are chores you need to do daily to maintain a clean space. The kitchen should be cleaned after every meal, beds should be made daily, laundry should be attended to, and floors should be swept.
This means that whether you stay home full time or work outside the home full time, you will need to do some chores daily in order to keep your house clean.
Tomorrow we will talk about my daily plan of action and what you should clean when.
Determine What Kind of House Cleaning Routine Works for You
If you are a stay-at-home mom or full-time housewife and spend a large portion of your time at home, you may want to try Daily Cleaning.
If you have a busy schedule during the week or work outside the home full time, you may find it’s easier to take one morning each week and tackle the major house cleaning jobs all at once. However, daily cleaning can work well for women who work outside the home, too.
What’s important is that you take some time and decide what your daily and weekly schedule looks like so you can decide what type of house cleaning routine will work best for you.
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27
#1 Daily Cleaning
Some chores need to be done daily as I mentioned above. If you prefer to spend some time each day cleaning, you will probably find one of these two methods work best for you:
- deep clean one room each day
- have each family member assigned to clean one zone or area daily
When you deep clean one room each day, you will assign a different room to each day of the week and spend an hour or two cleaning that one area each day. I have a large house and more rooms than days of the week so this doesn’t work for me, but I’ve known a number of women over the years who love this method.
In zone cleaning, you will assign children or family members a section of the house and during “chore time” each family member will get things picked, polished, and cleaned.
I’ve used this method for years with my five kids and love how it makes my life easier when everyone is involved in the house cleaning routine.
You may also want to tackle other chores in your daily house cleaning routine – things like monthly chores, weekly chores, or annual chores. Just add in these chores to your daily to-do list as needed.
#2 Weekly Cleaning Day
Some women prefer to save one day to do most of the major house cleaning. In this particular house cleaning routine, you’ll choose one day of the week – often on weekends or perhaps a weekday if you have a different schedule.
You might want to tackle all of the laundry, scrubbing bathrooms, mopping floors, cleaning out the fridge, dusting, decluttering, and other major chores for this one day. This can also work well if you have children and want to get everyone involved.
When it comes to monthly and annual chores, you can add one or two of these to your weekly cleaning routine.
We’ll talk more tomorrow about how to implement your house cleaning routine and what to clean when tomorrow.
Do you have a house cleaning routine already established? Let me know what works for you – or what you think might work for you in the comments below. If you have any questions, let me know!
Action Steps to Take Today
- Pray and ask God to show you where you can make improvements in your homemaking.
- Download today’s workbook pages and fill out the worksheets.
- Decide which type of cleaning routine will work best for your lifestyle.
- Make a commitment to stick to a cleaning routine until it becomes a habit – at least 28 days.
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