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A cleaning schedule. Over the years, that phrase has sparked excitement and fear at the same time.
As a newlywed, I realized within a month I wasn’t the naturally clean woman I wanted to be. Instead of a neat and orderly home, I battled piles of laundry and a sink full of never ending dishes.
When I stumbled upon Flylady, I just knew her cleaning schedule and message of hope for cluttered people was for me. Finally, this was the ticket to a cleaner home I had been looking for!
However, although her homemaking methods are wonderful and spot on, I could never seem to make it work for me.
Here’s why your cleaning schedule is actually hindering you and how to finally kick messy habits to the curb without a strict homemaking schedule.
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3 ways your cleaning schedule is holding you back
Life happens and you will get off course
When you first create a cleaning schedule, it’s customary to decide which chores you’ll do each day. However, like many families, our schedule and routine changes often.
Add in an extra school project here or an important work deadline there, and suddenly your perfectly crafted cleaning schedule has gone awry.
While most would simply catch up on their homemaking routine the next day, for me, it became a trap. Suddenly I felt behind and dreaded knowing I had more chores the next day. This left me feeling overwhelmed and helpless.
In fact, seeing how far behind I became each day eventually led me to give up my cleaning routine altogether.
You’re unrealistic about the time it takes to do each chore
The day that I sat down to make a new cleaning schedule, I was always a bit out of touch with reality. It was easy to make a plan each day, but another to actually get it done!
Often I would underestimate the amount of time each task took, just to feel like giving up once again I was way off course.
(This all changed when I started speed cleaning, though! Honestly, I was shocked that this homemaking hack worked so well, but it did!)
You have to have a plan before you get started
Alright, I confess. I am a big planner but struggle with follow through. Therefore, I loved every second of creating a new cleaning schedule, but implementing it was another story.
If I’m honest, I simply didn’t want to actually start implementing it!
Ditching my cleaning schedule has been such a huge breakthrough for my role as a homemaker. Instead of being chained to a plan I would never do, I finally found something that works WAY better!
How to create a flexible cleaning schedule (you’ll actually use!)
One day I had a breakthrough. I grabbed a scratch piece of paper and jotted down all the homemaking tasks I usually do each week.
I didn’t worry about making this list pretty or put a ton of thought into the order of it.
- Instead of crafting a perfect list, I did a massive brain dump of all the homemaking tasks I did each week.
- Then, I grabbed my planner and looked at my schedule for the week ahead.
- I figured out how many chores I could get done per day and on that given day, when I had room for a chore.
- After that, I started color coding my schedule with a blue box in my planner for the approximate time I would do my chores.
Basically, I plugged in chores from my weekly task list when I had time each day.
Eventually, I simply chose a chore from the list when it was time for me to get to work or I had a few extra minutes. If I only had 10 minutes to spare that day, I chose shorter tasks.
And if I was on a roll, I would knock out as many chores as I felt like.
Then, I would check of the chore as complete for the week from my master chore list and move on.
This non-cleaning routine freed me from the guilt of a strict homemaking schedule and I found I enjoyed cleaning a lot more. There’s no more feeling of irritation or being boxed in by a cleaning schedule I hated, but could actually enjoy blessing my family with a clean home.
Plus, when I discovered how easy it is to clean an area that wasn’t as dirty as it used to be, that made me want to keep it from getting crazy dirty again.
Now that’s a win!
Variations of a flexible cleaning schedule
Try speed cleaning instead
If you’re looking to burn some extra calories while cleaning your home, speed cleaning is for you!
This free speed cleaning checklist helps you make cleaning your home a breeze and in just minutes a day. Basically, choose a chore that meets the time limit you have and work on it as fast as you can. It’s a great way to get some extra light exercise at the same time.
Have the family pitch in with your cleaning
Now that my kids are getting older, chores and household responsibilities have become a gift. For the kids it’s a necessary lesson on managing their belongings and how to properly pick up after themselves. And for me, It’s been a blessing to have the extra help and be able to check off cleaning items on my list quicker than before.
Pro tip: Make a game of it! Have a family race to see who can be the chore champion for the day or week.
As you dive in and try this variation from a typical cleaning schedule, you’ll discover how freeing it can be!
Give yourself lots of grace as you try a new way to tackle the homemaking chores. It’s a great, low-stress approach to homemaking that’s sure to leave you with plenty of time to spend with those you love most.