advice organize real life

Creating a schedule- phase 1

My house is a wreck.  Not that you would think so from first glance.  I try to keep up with the obvious surfaces.  But in a house with 5 children- often just picking up takes all day.  You put one away, they take three out- and repeat.

It can feel overwhelming to think about all that needs to happen to keep a home clean.  Then, a few years ago, I had a revelation.  I was watching a show on public television- I can’t remember the name of the show- but it was about a mother of 7, who was also a professional organizer.  She would go into the homes of overwhelmed mothers and help them get a handle on their lives.  One of the things she taught them was that it didn’t all have to be clean at the same time.  This was a huge eye-opener to me.  There is nothing more frustrating to me than to spend all day cleaning the house, only to have it undone in the next 20 minutes.

If the jobs are broken down into small chunks of time, you don’t feel overwhelmed, and if you have a schedule, you eventually get everything done and still have time to live the rest of your life.

This is how I start mine.  I start in one room and write down everything that needs to happen in that room at some point in the course of time.  Take the bedroom- it needs picking up, dusting, vacuuming, organizing- dressers, closets, under beds; baseboards cleaned, windows washed and blinds/ curtains cleaned.  You get the picture.  Then, I go through with multi-colored pens or markers and put each job in a category based on how frequently they need to be done- weekly, monthly or yearly.  Then comes the fun part- the spreadsheet.

Here’s where I get really nerdy. 😉  I took each of the weekly jobs and assigned them a day.  On days when there aren’t as many tasks, I add a monthly job.  There are three categories of monthly jobs, so they are each assigned a week during the month.  Then the fourth week I will tackle yearly or one-time jobs.  

The next step for me is figuring out how to assign out the jobs each week to the person responsible.  I don’t want to have to write them out each week, but I also want it to be flexible enough that they can be interchanged at will.  I’ll let you know what I come up with.

Feel free to download my spreadsheet- you can modify it to fit your own home and needs.  And if you have any job assigning ideas, feel free to share them- I’d love to know what works for you.

Happy Cleaning!

You Might Also Like

  • Rachel
    January 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Great way to organize this! We recently moved and doubled our living space, I've been having trouble figuring out a new routine without being overwhelmed.

  • Kristie
    January 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    This is an awesome idea. And something that is easy enough that it could be done, instead of completely overwhelming.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Oh, where is the spreadsheet? Did I miss a link?

  • Lynne Tilley
    January 4, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Oh yay! Another organizing nerd. I had charts and chore lists when I was young with three kids, and it was great. And a housecleaning schedule much like yours. It really does help!

  • Debra Hawkins
    January 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    How awesome are you? I am trying to get my house to recover from a week of being sick.

  • glenda torrence
    January 8, 2013 at 1:30 am

    I did not see the link. I really want to do this! Thanks.

  • Amy at Ameroonie Designs
    January 8, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    The spreadsheet is the second image. If you hover over the icons at the bottom you will see you can download, print or view it full screen. Let me know if you have trouble seeing it and I'll add the direct link.

  • Michele Pacey
    January 10, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Oh man. I could use a cleaning schedule. Something that is the opposite of the non-existent, haphazard "method" I'm using now. Is this the year to adopt one?… I'll have to consider it for sure. Thanks for the strategies Amy!