Simple & Realistic Cleaning Schedule For Working Moms

When you’re a working mom, you have to balance your career with taking care of the kids and the house. That means taking the kids to their after-school activities, helping with homework, planning and cooking dinner, doing the laundry, and cleaning the house. Just thinking about everything can feel overwhelming.

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cleaning schedule for working moms

The key to getting everything done without going crazy is staying organized, and a big part of organization is intentional planning with scheduled time for each activity. 

This article will give you a realistic cleaning schedule broken down into daily, weekly, and monthly chores so that nothing gets missed. We’ll also give you tips on keeping a clean house without feeling overwhelmed.

Daily Cleaning Schedule For Working Moms

As a working mom, there isn’t enough time in the day to spend hours cleaning to achieve a spotless house.

Instead, you can split the chores into before-work and after-work hours to give yourself a schedule that’s easier to keep up with and doesn’t take so much time away from what really matters when you’re at home.

Before Work

empty clean dishes from the dishwasher

1. Empty The Dishwasher

As soon as you get up in the morning, empty clean dishes from the dishwasher so you and your family members can put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher as you use them throughout the day.

2. Clean Up From Breakfast

Since you emptied your dishwasher first thing in the morning, you’ll be able to load your breakfast dishes right away.

3. Make The Beds

Making the bed only takes about 5 minutes and will make your entire bedroom feel tidy. If you have older kids, you can have everyone make their own bed.

Otherwise, you can help little ones make their beds. Since there are fewer decorative pillows on children’s beds, they should only take 2-3 minutes to complete.

4. Gather And Start A Load of Laundry

Grab a laundry basket and empty each hamper, then put the laundry you collect into the washing machine and run it (be sure to separate delicates).

After Work

folding laundry

1. Switch Laundry To Dryer

When you come home from work, go to the laundry room and move the laundry you started in the morning from the washer to the dryer and run it.

2. Clean Up From Dinner

When you’ve finished cooking and eating dinner, put your dishes in the dishwasher right away. If you have older children, you can let each child be responsible for rinsing their own dishes and putting them into the dishwasher, reducing your workload.

3. Run The Dishwasher

If your dishwasher is at least half full, you should run it when you’ve finished loading the dinner dishes. That way, your dishes will be clean and ready to be put away in the morning.

4. Wipe Down Kitchen Table And Countertops

After you’ve finished with the dishes, spend about 5 minutes wiping down your table and countertops to get rid of crumbs or small spills or splashes that occurred during dinnertime.

5. Fold Laundry

When the dinner dishes are finished, your laundry should be finished too. If so, you can get the laundry out of the dryer, fold it, and put it away.

If your children are old enough, you can lay each child’s folded laundry on their bed and have them put it away to save yourself a little bit of time.

6. Daily Chore

Once you’ve taken care of the dinner dishes and the laundry, it’s time to move on to your daily chore. This will be a chore that you take from the weekly cleaning schedule.

You’ll probably want to pick shorter tasks for work days and leave longer chores for the weekend when you have more time and energy to spare.

Before Bed

quick vacuum of the house

1. Speed Cleaning Challenge

For the cleaning challenge, you can set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle a chore you need to complete. This can include other items from this list, like vacuuming or organizing paperwork, or a few small tasks from the weekly or monthly cleaning lists. 

Pro Tip: Set the timer for 30 minutes on the weekends when you have more time available. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in just half an hour. 

2. Fast Family Pick-Up

This is similar to your speed cleaning challenge, but this one is shorter and meant for the whole family. Set a timer for 5 minutes and have everyone run around the house and declutter.

You’ll soon discover that it doesn’t take long to make a home look tidy when everyone pitches in.

3. Quick Swiffer and/or Vacuum

We’re not talking about a thorough vacuuming where you clean the furniture or drapes, but you should take 5-10 minutes to run the vacuum and Swiffer through the main living area of your house to remove as much loose dirt as possible.

4. Organize Paperwork

If you didn’t tackle this chore during your speed cleaning challenge, you should set aside a few minutes before bed to go through the mail, work papers, and school papers each night before bed.

Weekly Cleaning Tasks For Busy Working Moms

While there are a few chores that you should complete every day, most of your home should only need to be cleaned once a week. You can choose one of your weekly tasks and put it in your schedule every day after work.

When the weekend rolls around, you can finish whichever weekly tasks you didn’t have time for throughout the week. Tackling your housekeeping like this will help keep your home clean without dedicating an entire day to straightening it up.

deep cleaning the kitchen

1. Clean Bathroom Countertops And Mirrors

Cleaning countertops and mirrors in your bathrooms each week will keep toothpaste and hairspray from building up into a sticky nightmare.

If you have small children, you may need to wipe toothpaste out of the sink more often than once a week to keep your bathroom tidy.

2. Dust All Surfaces

Dusting every surface once a week is a quick, easy task that should only take about 5 minutes to complete. 

3. Wash Towels And Linens

Once a week,  gather sheets and pillowcases from the beds and towels from the kitchen and bathrooms.

Separate them into two loads of laundry: one for towels and one for linens. Wash the towels in hot water and use the sanitize cycle on your dryer to eliminate odors and bacteria.

Check the labels on your bed linens, wash them in the warmest water, and dry them on the hottest cycle that their fabric can withstand to get them as clean as possible.

4. Deep Clean The Kitchen

Set aside 20 minutes or so every week to give your kitchen a thorough cleaning. That means you’ll want to move everything on the counters and clean behind it, scrub out the microwave, clean stains off the stovetop and inside the oven, and wipe down the oven door, dishwasher door, and refrigerator doors.

5. Vacuum/Swiffer And Mop Floors

Vacuuming and/or Swiffering should be part of your daily chore list, so you shouldn’t have too much loose dirt on your floors when it’s time to do the weekly deep clean on your floors.

Start by vacuuming any upholstered furniture so that any crumbs or pet hair that gets knocked onto the floor can be swept up in the next step. When the furniture is clean, you can vacuum or Swiffer your floors.

Finally, mop all hard floors throughout your home, including the bathrooms and laundry room.

6. Scrub Bathtubs, Showers, And Toilets

You may have noticed that we split bathroom cleaning tasks across three days. That’s because cleaning the bathroom takes a long time and can feel daunting if you try to clean the whole room at once.

With clean countertops, mirrors, and floors, you won’t feel so overwhelmed when it’s time to clean the bathtubs, showers, and toilets. If you keep up with them every week, this step should only take about 15 minutes per bathroom.

7. Organize The Refrigerator 

Each week, you should set aside time to go through your refrigerator, throw away leftovers that didn’t get eaten, and check for other expired food. 

Monthly Deep Cleaning Tasks For Busy Moms

Last on our housekeeping schedule is our monthly tasks. These areas of the home don’t need constant upkeep, but having everything on a monthly rotation will keep your home feeling fresh and tidy all year.

dusting light fixtures

1. Vacuum or Swiffer Under Furniture And Cushions

Every month, you should remove the cushions from your chairs and sofas and vacuum the base of your furniture to remove any crumbs or pet hair that has sunk down between the cushions throughout the month.

You should also use a long hose with a floor attachment to vacuum underneath all beds and sofas. If you have a lot of kids or pets, you may need to do this task every other week rather than once a month.

2. Dust Blinds, Baseboards, Ceiling Fans, And Light Fixtures

Although you dust things like coffee tables and tv stands every week, you should set aside some time each month to dust the things you don’t often think about, like your blinds, baseboards, fans, and lights.

You may be in for a nasty surprise when you discover how much dust and how many cobwebs can accumulate in those areas over time if you don’t clean them regularly.

3. Wipe Down The Outside of The Kitchen And Bathroom Cabinets

Although countertops should be cleaned regularly, you can usually get away with only cleaning your cabinets and cabinet handles once a month.

If you have small children or someone in your home gets dirty at work, you should increase the frequency of this task to biweekly rather than monthly.

4. Clean Trashcans And Hampers

Most people might not think about cleaning trashcans. After all, that’s where we put our garbage, so it will never actually stay clean.

However, trashcans can get pretty nasty if you never clean them out. Once a month, when you empty the garbage, you should scrub out the inside of each can and let it dry before putting a new bag in it. 

You should also clean out all your hampers monthly because crumbs, loose change, and bits of paper can accumulate at the bottoms, especially if you have hampers that have cloth liners.

5. Clean Out Freezer, Pantry, And Cupboards

Though you should organize your refrigerator every week to eliminate spoiled food, you only need to go through your freezer, pantry, and cupboards monthly.

Throw away anything past its expiration date and reorganize, making the most of your space once the old food has been removed.

6. Scrub Out The Refrigerator

Set aside time each month to remove everything from your refrigerator and scrub the shelves and the walls to remove any spills or old food particles.

7. Clean Inside And Outside of The Washer And Dishwasher

Since they are made to clean other things, you probably don’t think about how dirty your washer, dryer, and dishwasher can get. The truth is a lot of gunk can accumulate inside your appliances which can smell, so they can benefit from a monthly cleaning.

You can buy commercial cleaners for your machines or make a homemade cleaner from vinegar and baking soda.

10 Cleaning Tips For Working Moms

Now that you can see how often you should clean the different areas of your home and how quickly you can finish your chores if you stay on a schedule, we want to give you a few more tips to make housekeeping feel less daunting than before.

cleaning tips for working moms

1. Start Small

If you’ve noticed that your home has become a dirty, cluttered mess, it can be tempting to go all out and try to clean it all in one shot. While this is a good method if you have the time, starting small and building a schedule is more beneficial.

Otherwise, you risk burning out after dedicating an entire day to housekeeping and will be tempted to let the cleaning go for a while again and land yourself in the same mess time after time.

2. Stay Focused

Staying focused while working on my daily chores is one of the most challenging parts of housekeeping for me.

I like to set a timer for each task to keep myself on track so I don’t bounce from one thing to another without actually getting anything done.

3. Clean As You Go

Cleaning as you go will make your life much easier when it’s time to do your weekly tasks. For example, I keep a daily shower spray in my shower and use it every time I finish washing up.

I also keep Clorox wipes under the bathroom sink so I can wipe toothpaste out of my sink when I’m finished brushing my teeth.

4. Carry A Caddy

When it comes time to do your weekly and monthly chores, it will save a lot of time if you gather the supplies you need into a caddy and carry it with you to each room you want to clean.

5. Use The Right Tools for Each Job

Using the right tool for the task at hand will save you tons of time. For example, cleaning mirrors and shower doors is much easier with a squeegee, while microfiber cloths are the way to go for scrubbing out bathtubs and wiping down countertops.

6. Clean Spills As They Happen

If you take the time to clean up spills when they occur, you won’t have to worry about trying to scrub your way through a sticky mess later.

7. Clean From Top To Bottom

Cleaning from the highest point to the lowest will help you get your housekeeping finished quickly. For example, when it’s time to clean your ceiling fans, clean those before you clean any furniture underneath them.

Next, dust the furniture beneath the fans, letting excess dust fall to the floor. Finally, vacuum or Swiffer the floor beneath the furniture to remove the last bits of dust from the room.

8. Remove Objects From Surfaces Before Cleaning

As a former professional cleaner, I can tell you that you’ll save a lot of time if you remove everything from a surface before you clean it rather than picking things up one by one.

My favorite cleaning method is to take everything off of a surface, clean the surface, then dust each item as I put it back where it belongs.

9. Keep Extra Bags In Trashcans

When it’s time to empty the bathroom trash, you will make your life much easier by keeping a few extra bags underneath the current bag.

That way, you can remove the full bag, replace it with a new one, and walk away rather than returning to the bathroom to replace the bag after disposing of the garbage.

10. Ask For Help

The best time-saving tip for working moms is to ask everyone in the household to pitch in on the chores. If you have a partner, you can delegate big monthly tasks like setting the self-cleaning cycle on the oven or running a cleaning cycle on the dishwasher or washing machine.

If you have older children, they can help out by making their beds, loading and running the dishwasher, and wiping down surfaces. 

Conclusion

When you’re a working mom, you often don’t feel like you have enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Luckily, by following a daily cleaning schedule, you can get your housekeeping done quickly and easily, leaving more time to focus on the things that really matter.

Remember to start small and get into the rhythm of your housekeeping routine. Taking on too much too fast can cause burnout and keep you in an endless cycle of losing an entire day to housekeeping. Doing small tasks throughout the day makes it easier to keep your home looking tidy.

Create a weekly cleaning schedule that works best for your household and ask your partner and children for help keeping up with it.

Shauna Stone
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