cleaning schedule ideas/better organization?

Brandi - posted on 09/08/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )




I am trying to get my home better organized. i have an 8 room home (3 bed 2 baths living room kitchen laundry room) all hardwood or tile except 1 bedroom which is finding it very difficult to keep it all clean constantly especially with a dog and 3 kids 3,7&9. my husband works all day everyday and sometimes he doesnt come home til late (roadside assisstance) so does anyone have a great daily, weekly, monthly cleaning schedule ideas? and is it better to do laundry everyday or once/twice a week for a family of 5?? please help im getting frustrated doing everything over and over and never looks it by the end of the day im hoping a set schedule will tame down some chaos and teach everyone a lil responsibility THANK YOU!!!


Alison - posted on 09/09/2010




It really is a thankless job. You must get your children on board, it's best for all of you!

My girls are 2 and 4 and organization and housekeeping are among my weaknesses. My husband found this somewhere on the internet and sent it to me yesterday.

Ages 2 and 3
Many toddlers are eager to help with chores, and while their “helping” may not always be appreciated, keeping their excitement and the habit of helping out alive, should be. Sticker charts are a great way to keep toddlers excited about helping. Their chores may have to be completed with you helping every step of the way, but you are laying the groundwork for children that find chores and helping a way of life.
Some chores 2-3 year olds can do…
Help make the bed.
Pick up toys and books.
Take laundry to the laundry room.
Help wipe up messes.
Dust with socks on their hands.
Mop in areas with help.
Ages 4 and 5
Preschoolers still find helping to be an exciting venture and usually are thrilled when time is taken to teach them new chores. They are ready to do some chores without constant supervision. Rewards at this age are very motivating. A sticker chart that allows you to build up to bigger rewards can be appropriate. For some preschoolers, tying chores to an allowance is a great option and fosters independence in choosing a reward.
Some chores preschoolers can do in addition to the ones above…
Clear and set the table.
Help out in cooking and preparing food.
Carrying and putting away groceries.
How To Use: Use a point system with colored markers!
0 = Not Done (Navy)
1/2 = Half Done (Green)
1 = Completed OK (Orange)
2 = Done Very Well-Bonus Points (Red)
Do not give points for chores that are half finished because the child chose not to complete them. Give half points only if the child is interupted from finishing their task by a parent or other unavoidable event.
Have the chores chosen and written out before you show the chart to your child. If you want to pick out chores with your child, that is fine too. It's up to you. Try not to give them more than 5 chores a day. You can combine chores if you want. For example, you can have setting and clearing the table on one line. Don't combine things that don't go together. For example, raking the leaves and making their bed. Keep in mind that children need time to play and have fun.
Give the chart to your child and let them color it in first. I have provided a chart that gives them room to draw and color their own image too.
Fill in the bottom of the chart with your children. This way you can explain what you expect them to do. You can also take this time to clear up any confusion the child may have with their new points system.
Hang this chart up in a central location. The refrigerator or kitchen bulletin board are great places.
Finally, at the end of the week go through the chart with your child. Add up all the points and talk about the results. If they blew the target out of the water you might want to rethink your system and make it a bit more challenging. Kids like realistic challenges. If they didn't come close to their goal, take a close look at the chores you listed. Perhaps you gave them too many or you set out unrealistic goals. They need to get the reward sometimes or they will not bother trying to compete the charts.
Ages 2-3
• Put toys away
• Wipe spills
• Clear own dishes from table
• Put clothes in hamper
• Choose clothes & dress self Ages 4-5
• Plus lists from ages 2-3
• Make own bed
• Empty garbage in house
• Water flowers
• Set table
• Clear table
• Put away clean utensils
• Fix bowl of cereal

Mary Kay - posted on 09/14/2010




Go to It is a free website with all kinds of organizing ideas to help us keep our homes clean by establishing routines everyday, that oce you get in the habit of doing takes all the stress and worry out of the work. Fly lady is also on facebook and has a free chat room where we help each other get motivated for 15 minutes at a time. It has really helped me a lot!

Kellie - posted on 09/08/2010




My house is a bit smaller than yours. I have two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, kitchen and basement which serves as laundry room/computer room. Because our home is so small our daughter's toys are in the living room and I am constantly trying to keep it picked up and/or organized.

I do dishes every day, sometimes twice a day. I also make the beds every day. Twice a week I do laundry, but you may want to do it three times considering there are five of you. I dust and sweep on the same day usually every five days. I clean the toilet and sink twice a week, but the shower only once a week. I change the linens about once a week. I sweep the kitchen floor four to five times a week because we enter the house through the kitchen and it gets pretty messy sometimes, and I mop as needed.

As far as organizing things, I try to purge as much as possible and I am constantly cleaning out my daughter's drawers ridding it of clothes she no longer wears or cannot fit into anymore. I am also "training' my daughter to bring her dishes into the kitchen, throw her wrappers away, make her own bed, fold some laundry and put some dishes away. Some days she is really good about helping and remembering and other days I have to stay on her. I figure it's all apart of learning so I don't get frustrated and I figure the more I make the experience enjoyable the happier she will be to do it.

Also I go grocery shopping once a week. It's quite the adventure since I go to four different stores to save money. I also plan out at least five meals. I don't really decide what days to cook what, but I at least have a general idea of what I want to cook and shop accordingly.

The house is never "clean" considering I have a four year old and a cat and a husband who drops things where he stands. I do the best I can each day and that's about all I can do. I used to get really uptight about the house and how I would clean something, go back and it would be dirty again and I finally asked myself who I was trying to impress? Me? or people who never come over and even it they did come over unannounced, they get what they get. Try not to be overly concerned about "appearances" and if people are going to judge by how clean your home is you may want to reconsider who you hang with. Just saying. :)

I hope this has helped.

Roxie - posted on 01/12/2012




I have a rotating schedule that i use at home, where i spot clean two rooms a day and deep clean one. After a few weeks of sticking to it the deep cleaning only takes me about 30 mins to do now. Also, the kiddos can pitch in to help mommy buy giving them some "age appropriate" chores that maybe assist you in your daily cleaning schedule. The 9 year old could help you with the laundry and use that time as bonding time it takes away the feeling of doing chores.

i only have 1 child and he's 10 months old. But i just remember growing up my mom had 4 kids and she had us all do our part to help. She made ground rules for my dad, to pick up after himself so she could focus on herself and us. She did laundry twice a week and when i was 8 she started to monitor me to wash my own clothes. By 10 i didn't need her help and that was one less person she had to wash for.

I have templates and charts ( i know i'm a little anal, my parents were military) if you are interested shoot me a message and i'll be happy to email you everything i got!

Betty - posted on 09/26/2010




I have 5 in my family as well. My girls are older now but have had chores to do as far back as I can remember. When they started washing dishes they had to stand in a chair. That sounds bad but I would. wash the hard stuff like pots and pans and let them handle the easier stuff. They should learn as early as possible because the older they get the harder they are to get the habit going. As they have gotten older chores have been switched around and now we have a set schedule for 6 days of week per child. But the list of chores they do include. Gather dirty clothes; clean bathrooms including sweep, counter tops, and empty trash; Living room including straighten up everything sweep or vacuim dust; Then when I do laundry I fold all clothes and put back in a laundry basket and they have to seperate the clean clothes on my bed and put up their own clothes. I clean showers & toilets once a week, change my bed sheets once a week (they change their own now), wash dishes sweep(daily) and mop kitchen(once weekly). The girls each have a day to help me in kitchen which will consist of putaway clean dishes and sweep. I know this may not work for you now with your kids so young but they can help you. Remember what I said if you do not get them in the habiut now it will be harder later.


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Angela - posted on 01/14/2012




There's a website called FLYlady which a few of my friends really like. It advises on how to get your personal and housework schedules up to optimum level so you "fly" through your chores and tasks.

It's a Christian website too - though the first person that recommended it to me wasn't actually a Christian. It will appeal to ANYONE who needs motivational guidance in getting their home sorted!

Do you know what it means when your home is in CHAOS? Well, "CHAOS" is an acronym which stands for "Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome".

You'll find it here:

Hope you enjoy it!

Dusty - posted on 01/10/2012




I find things to go much smoother if you do things everyday. Such as dishes, I wash & put away after every meal, so it only takes a few minutes each time. Laundry gets done every day (we have 3 children, & you wouldn't believe how much laundry they go through!) If I put something off for a day or 2, it ends up piling up, & then it just takes 10 times longer to get it done in the end. I would rather only take a few minutes to do dishes/sweep the floor, etc.

Dilini - posted on 09/18/2010




a friend suggested an organising method for me which i found very useful. It marks the days of the week with chore:

Monday: Maintainence: reparing, fixing broken stuff, polishing vacuuming...

Tuesday: Tuning: fine tuning areas around the house, rearranging, changing sheets, curtain etc

Wednesday: Weeding and washing: sorting out unnecessary stuff around the house and throwing out whatever isn't wanted &. laundry

Thursday: Time for oneself. After daily chores like making the beds and cooking.

friday: Filing & Folding folding clothes, filing bills.

Saturday: Shining : Polishing and wiping around the house and this could be another laundry day.

Sunday: Scheduling for the next week. Ironing, children's books timetables etc. and the grocery shopping

Bethany - posted on 09/17/2010




I am in a similar situation with 4 kids 3,4,6,&12 and a husband that i honestly think could live in a forest and not care. From what I have found the only way to keep up with laundry is to do it daily. Best idea I have is to gather laundry out of bathrooms after you take a bath and throw it in the machine, have each child gather there laundry from there rooms and do the same. We do 1 to 2 loads a day so if I were to leave it to once a week I would never get it done. Dishes wait until after dinner and throw them in the dishwasher. Have your oldest put the clean ones up either afterwards or if it's to late the next day when they get home from school. The oldest two are certainly old enough to help pick up the living room and you can take care of everything else as you see needed. Bathrooms once a week unless of course they need it more often, sweeping daily and mopping once a week. I actually can clean my living room and within a couple hours it can look as though a tornado hit. So I sweep everything into a pile and everyone comes and grabs the toys, shoes, ect. that belongs to them and puts it up. Lastly realize there's no way to keep everyroom perfect. You have kids so if someone doesn't like a little mess tell don't bother coming over. Hope it helps.

Carla - posted on 09/17/2010




My husband is a neat freak about his basement and tool shed--this is how he works things, and it helps me put away his tools as well.

He takes peg board, nails it to the wall, places the pegs according to whatever he is hanging then outlines in marker what goes there. There's a place for garden rakes, one for lawn rakes, one for clippers, etc. I can go in the basement or shed at any time and find where a hammer goes, or a screwdriver. If you do something similar for the children, it will be like a game to find where everything goes. It also helps greatly to FIND something you are looking for!

God bless, honey

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oh i just saw the thing about your inlaws, thats sad. Some ppl can be very judgemental and forget what its like to have a home bustling with activity! Dont get mad or feel like your not good enough, just pray for them and ask God to give you inventive ways of keeping your house presentable! if you know there coming over, make sure the basics are done, dishes washed and put away, table and benches wiped. Toys in toy box or hidden in a washbasket under beds until they r gone. random things that are out and need to be gone so that living area looks clean, need to dissappear quickly. thats where washing baskets come in handy...whatever it is, wherever it is, shove it in that basket, and shove that basket in the spare room. you might find that clothes, pegs, plastic cups, dirty tissues, dog toys, broken toys and other random items are all in there... but u can sort it out later and it means if you get a call that theyll be here in 5 mins, or even see them roll up the driveway, youve just de-cluttered the areas they will be in within 60 seconds!

also, if all beds are made, rooms already look WAY neater, so make sure this gets done first chore in the morning for everyone no matter what.

as far as bathrooms and toilets go. If you only have ten mins notice, get a disinfecting wipe or two and go over surfaces (so hairs and toothpaste etc are no more) and squeeze some toilet cleaner into the loo, but instead of waiting for it to set and all that, give it a quick scrub with the toilet stick, flush, and itll be clean enough, and smell clean too. all that will only take a few mins.

you can get your house "presentable" with only ten or 15 mins notice. it might not be perfect, but your in laws wont step into "Pig quarters" or "chaos" when they walk in.

i know appearances arent supposed to matter... but they do. plus, we should take pride in our homes! but these things take time, practice and a few shortcuts when you have fussy visitors! lolll.

if the house smells good, its a bonus. so air freshner spray is your friend. and having a few windows open for fresh air. especially if you have a stinky dog.

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i think different things work for different families, houses, personalities etc etc etc so what works for you might not work for the next person etc. But getting everyone elses way of doing it certainly helps you to take bits here and there to put together your own way of doing the house!
your two older kids must be given full responsibility for there bedrooms. there is no reason why they cant make there beds, tidy there rooms and put there dirty clothing in the wash basket. If they have never had to pick up for themselves, or have never made beds or whatever, then at first, you will have to help them. youll have to SHOW them how. we cant just all of a sudden say "go clean your room. make your bed, put everything where its meant to be in your room"... they will not know where to start, which leads to either embarrassment or anger or discouragement. so the first few times, you will have to help them out, show them exactly what to do, what goes where etc. another way of making it easier for them, is the saying "a place for everything and everything in its place". if you ask them to clean there rooms, but they have nowhere to put anything and there room is just a pile of clutter, then your setting them and yourself up for failure, there has to be a simple storage system in place. nothing intricate and fancy, it can be as simple as colourful plastic tubs lined up against one wall... or a large bookshelf or a toybox and a few boxes with lids in the wardrobe.... you can be creative with your budget, kids taste and room theme and so on. then they can shove all there loose toys in one box or tub or drawer (neatly as possible if its a drawer lol) and all there books on the bottom shelf or in a square basket/box or something, if they have a study desk you can get little cups or trays to put pencils, rulers and so on into.. so that they arent strewn out across the table or rolling onto the floor all the time. If everything has a place, then your children will learn where that place is, and be able to very easily tidy up there rooms. If they have rooms that are sized large enough, you could even put a small, cheap clothing hamper into each room, so that they can just ditch all dirties into it, and you can collect from each hamper, or get them to put there hamper into the laundry room however often is necessary, and you return it to there room empty. The hampers arent too big, cost around $5 from discount stores and usually come as a wooden frame and plain white cotton sack as the hamper part. you could get them involved and in anticipation to use it, by letting them tye dye the plain hampers colours that suit ther room. tye dying is easy and can be done outside. itll be a fun activity and will set in there minds "this is MY hamper" which will prompt them to make use of it, more than some foreign thing being placed in the corner of there rooms one day hahaha. there are heaps of ways you can encourage your kids to keep at LEAST there bedrooms tidy. As for your little three yr old, cant really do all that, but can certainly start learning! and watching the bigger kids do it your lil one will WANT to join in! but do encourage your 3 yr old to do simple things like put his or her toys back after playing with them, and stacking books in little piles ready for you to shove in the bookshelf. things like that.

also, your older two are definately the right age for specific chores. 9 yr old can take out the trash, do the dishes, clean up dog poop from the yard (when taught the hygenic and efficient way), etc. Obviously you dont want to overload with too many chores but one chore a day is DEFINATELY not too much to ask if its something simple like those are. 7 yr old can help you with weeding when the time comes around...can put dishes away carefully, or load the dishwasher if you have one. Can do dusting, can go around the house and find items that need to go in the correct room and do so. for example. theres a rubber ducky in the lounge room, that belongs in the bathroom toy bucket... so they go do it...and while doing it, showing your 3 yr old the concept which will be grasped very quickly! or theres a mobile phone on the living room floor, mum usually has that on her bedside table! (goes and puts it there) this also teaches your kids to be more thoughtful and pro active. it takes only a few seconds to do the whole, put it where it belongs thing, but is really helpful, and good for them to grow some common sense in the simple things.

and thats also a good way to start out cleaning your house. Put everything you see, back in the room it belongs in. Books and toys that belong in a certain kids room, pile up and place either on the bed in there room, or use a wash basket and put them in that, in there room on the floor for them to sort out. Things that are in the dining room or lounge that belong in your room, quickly put in your room on the bed, things that are in the rooms that should be in the kitchen, shove on benches.... etc... just a quick, go thru the house and put stuff in the correct room... THEN do the sorting. put everyhting where its meant to be properly. once STUFF is out the way, its easier to do things like mop, sweep, vaccuum, dusting, organising and so on. Also, this quick sorting thing, is great to give the house an INSTANT lift from chaos to somewhat neat.

Dont try to do too much in one day, spread out what you need to do over the week. keep a large organiser on the kitchen bench, or wherever is convenient, and write in it each days "must do's" and "would like to do"s (if time allows). having it where the whole family can see it may help with getting your kids in on it. When they see how pleased you are when they put all there washing in the laundry basket on the day that says "washing" on the organiser, theyll want to please you and most likely do it again and again... or at least when they notice lol. but it is mainly to help you see the week or day right in front of you, so that you dont plan to do more than is possible, or waste your day with things that dont need doing etc.

one note, spring cleaning is definately a family event. Kids need to know, spring cleaning day is family cleaning day, so be ready! hahaha. you can always make it fun with good music, a lunch that isnt the "usual" and ends with desert, things like that.

just persevere. Clutter does damage to the peace of a household, but with patience, perseverance and self discipline, all families, all types of houses, can be sparkling... or at least, shining. hahahaha.

Shelley - posted on 09/13/2010




i have a close friend and we started to do a day at each others house she'll come to my house and the kids play outside and we get into then i go to hers the kids play and we get into this way we keep each other accountable and enjoy the chat and a nice lunch and do it in half the time.

Carla - posted on 09/12/2010




It's very easy as the parents of adult children to look at their houses and groan inwardly. But we quickly forget what our houses were like when we had kids, dogs, cats, etc runnin' through creating chaos! When I am at my childrens' houses, I throw a load of clothes in, sweep the floors, dust the furniture, etc. If you can't help them, DON'T CRITICIZE!

God put us on this earth to encourage and uplift each other.

God bless, all!

Jill - posted on 09/11/2010




Brandi the bad thing about us humans is we all have an opinion on how other people should do things , behave , keep their houses, raise their children etc.... but never take into consideration other peoples feeling, their circumstances, or what is going on in their lives....myself included .. it takes along time to learn the art of keeping a clean and tidy house... i can make my house look clean but i am sure by other peoples standards it is messy.... do your best for you and your family and of course for God... and that should be good enough.... pray that God will show you simple ways to keep your house tidy.... God bless you...

Brandi - posted on 09/11/2010




ty all so much for the advice i think ima mix match all the ideas i got from u all =) my biggest problem is that my father in law thinks i live like a "pig" and me my husband and his daddy got into it over my cleaning so unfair sometimes...and the only time they seem to come visit is when ive decided to take a break so needless to say up to their standards when he come over...whatever i do what i can to please my family not my inlaws so ty all so much God Bless =)

Jill - posted on 09/10/2010




1. clean as you go.... if you see stuff out of place as you walk through a room pick it up and put it where it is supposed to be ...

2. i vacuum everyday... i am the first one finished with dinner so while everyone else is finishing i start vacuuming the living room and dining room... and when they are finished i send them in the living room so i can do the kitchen and the bathroom...

3. in the morning while the kids eat breakfast i go up and make the beds...

4. i only do laundry like every 5 days... it is usually 5 loads though... i put it all away the following day

5.i have 5 in my family also...

6. i get up 1 hr before the kids get up so i am showered and ready before them and when they get up i make school lunches and feed them breakfast

7. i never go to bed with a mess or anything really out of place....everything has its place..

go easy on yourself.... a 5 person family gets overwhelming ... i hope you are a stay at home mom... i can;t imagine working and doing all this too..

also i try to start some dinners in the afternoon so its easier at dinnertime... prepping for dinner i guess it is called...

Carla - posted on 09/10/2010




Wow, Alison, you put a LOT of work into your answer! I'll bet your house runs well.

Sue, you are right, I spent most of my kids' lives trying to have House Beautiful, spotless with 3 kids and working full time. It made me nuts! The best advice I can give is RELAX! Yes, pick up the clutter, because you can fall over it (my 85 year old mother fell over the cat dish yesterday!). I had certain days when thorough cleaning was done (once a week, because I worked it was Sat), but during the rest of the week it was throwing in a load of clothes if something happened like swimming, where we used all the towels. Also, watch the kids with their changing clothes every 1/2 hour. My kids were allowed the change their clothes after coming home from school to go play, then jammies, and that was it! I would dust if the furniture looked nasty, etc. If your floors are all hardwood, a dustmop with static spray on it helps keep the dust down (when Mom waxed, she would buff the floors by pulling us around on a towel. Great fun!). Buy stackable totes for the childrens' toys and label them (dolls in one, cars in another, etc. Cut out pix of dolls, cars, whatever goes in the tote). Also, as Alison said, teach the children to pick up after themselves! We raised the children in a small house, and one thing on the floor was disaster! They played with one thing, put it away, then got out another. As for hubby----we have been married almost 40 years, and I STILL have to pick up his stinky socks out of the living room! Don't know what to tell you about that one----

We shopped every two weeks, made out a menu and then a shopping list for that. This cut down immensely on the chaos of 'what do we have for dinner?'. Also I keep a magnetic pad and pen on the frige, and as soon as I start running low on something, I write it on the shopping list. This cuts down on running to the store for one thing, which never ends up being just one thing! Keep a towel at the door where pooch comes in, and wipe his feet before he comes in, make the kids take off their shoes at the door. As Alison said, little kids love to help, so let them! Maybe they won't do it to your liking, but at least they are trying.

Sit down and make a list of what you have to do on a regular basis, and what you need to do once a week. Have a checklist for yourself! It doesn't matter if you don't get it done that day, don't stress yourself! Raising kids SHOULD be fun!

God bless, honey,

Sue - posted on 09/09/2010




What a great reply Kellie. A niece of mine got her 4yr old cleaning the toilet as she is so heavily pregnant with no.4!! Suggest you could try making a game of it and ask advice like "hey kids suggestions as to what we do with this (& that)", 1 room at a time, jobs for each and treats when job done (maybe not to your standard) Ask them how u can manage the home? I did everything myself (2 sons & a hubby like yors) and felt like a slave to the home (cos thats the way we were brought up) - now in middle yrs, I'm more chilled about stuff as I haven't got same energy. Realised when son was @ 9yrs that teenage yrs start to hit, so treated him like an equal adult (even tho I didn't do all he suggested) and we have a g8 relationship. Persevere and try not to lose your rag if the day is not "going to plan" - wish I had had this advice when mine were little ...

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