A Working Mom’s Cleaning Schedule
In Part 1 of this series, we offered recommended cleaning tasks and frequencies to ensure your home looks good, maintains its value over the long term and promotes a healthful and safe living environment for your family. However, the checklist comprises some 40 tasks, many of which break down into smaller tasks, pushing a typical family’s cleaning checklist well into the thousands for a given year. Weekly tasks alone, which are embodied in MaidPro’s 49-Point Checklist™, add up to some 2,500+ individual cleaning jobs per year!
To get it all done – while also preserving leisure time and avoiding frustration – scheduling is a must. Three important rules are to,
- Understand ahead of time what needs to be accomplished and approximately how long it should take to do a job well,
- Know best practices, tools and solutions for doing a cleaning task both quickly and effectively, and
- Assign reasonable – yet ambitious – completion times and match them to available time blocks.
So, for someone who works full time outside the home (say, from 8:30-am – 4:30-pm), MaidPro’s Chief Cleaning Officer (CCO), Melissa Homer, shares her home’s daily, weekly, monthly and annual cleaning schedule to keep her home in tip-top shape.
When scheduling bigger, less frequent cleaning jobs, MaidPro’s Chief Cleaning Officer (CCO) considers how each one will fit with what is happening at a particular time of year – back-to-school, seasonal weather and lifestyle changes, plus other factors such as holidays and vacations. A few of her seasonal guidelines can be found below:
- As winter heads into spring, plan to clean long-term storage areas – attic, basement, and garage – so you can pack and/or donate unwanted items for yard- and rummage sales that typically occur in the spring.
- As spring transitions to summer, finish heavy indoor tasks – buffing and restoring floors after mud season, cleaning your oven and cooking ventilation systems (which are typically going from heavier to lighter use), vacuuming and flipping mattresses, cleaning and storing winter bedding.
- As summer moves to fall, focus on tasks that will support your family’s transition back to a more hectic work, school and fall sports schedule – for example, make plenty room in your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer for fast, healthy meal options.
- And, finally, as winter approaches, focus on important annual maintenance around safety of cooling/heating appliances and chimneys, indoor air quality (air ducts and filters), and the overall brightness of your home (walls, ceilings, windows and window treatments, lighting fixtures) as days are due to become shorter and darker.
MaidPro’s CCO schedules her quarterly, semi-annual and annual cleaning tasks as follows:
- Deep clean/defrost refrigerator and freezer – Aug, Nov, Feb, May
- Clean oven and cooking ventilation system – Aug, Nov, Feb, May
- Shampoo or steam clean carpets and furniture upholstery – Aug, Nov, Feb, May
- Clean/dust permanent light fixtures – Aug, Nov, Feb, May
- Remove lint from back/inside of dryer venting system – Sep, Dec, Mar, Jun
- Vacuum, flip and rotate mattresses – Sep, Dec, Mar, Jun
- Deep clean and treat hardwood and tile floors to protect from etching – Sep, Dec, Mar, Jun
- Clean out and purge food cabinets, storage drawers and bins, bureau drawers and closets – Jul Oct, Jan, Apr
- Clean curtains, window treatments – Jul, Jan
- Wash windows inside and out – Oct, Apr
- Vacuum screens and window frames (between window and screen) – Oct, Apr
- Wash ceilings and walls – Sep, Mar
- Clean electronics (use compressed air to blow dust out of keyboards, backs and insides of computer towers, etc) – Dec, Jun
- Clean/inspect chimneys and flues – Aug
- Clean/inspect heating and cooling appliances – Sep
- Inspect air ducts for mold/dust buildup (clean as needed) – Oct
- Clean basement, attic, garage and other long-term storage areas – late Mar or early Apr
Regardless of whether or not you are able to complete each task exactly as scheduled, you will be – at very least – consistently aware of what ought to be accomplished without having to expend a lot of mental energy thinking about home maintenance. If you keep track of how long various cleaning tasks take to complete, you can refine your schedule over time to ensure both effective cleaning and a maximum amount of free time for leisure activities and general enjoyment of life.
Learn how to delegate, outsource and use modern technology to make your home cleaning run on autopilot in Part 3 of our series.