Feeling weighed down by a cleaning schedule that just keeps falling apart? Daily cleaning for a homemaker doesn’t have to take the entire day or require a set schedule. But it does mean implementing routines that easily become part of your daily life.
One of the things that I’m passionate about around here is encouraging other women to embrace their role as a homemaker. It’s one of those titles that is often looked at as degrading in our modern world. However, I find great joy in homemaking and providing a welcoming place for my family.
But I also know that it can be really hard to see past the messes of everyday life. Creating a beautiful and peaceful home for your family sounds really nice. But how do we do that when the kitchen floor is continually covered in crumbs and play-doh and there is a mound of laundry taller than the kids?
Having a simple daily routine that you can follow even when you have busy schedules is sort of like a life raft in the homemaking world. It allows you to tame the chaos on the days you don’t have much time to dedicate to deep cleaning without the entire house falling apart.
In short, the best way to keep a home clean is by doing certain simple things on a daily basis.
Cleaning Chores to Do Every Day
So, what needs to be done on a regular basis in order to keep a clean home?
- Load of Laundry
- Kitchen Cleaned
- Floors Swept/Vacuumed
- Beds Made
- Whole House Tidy-Up
This is not all done at once. In fact, a lot of these things are happening multiple times a day. I cover each item more in detail a bit below.
You can also find a printable version of the list here. Before long, these items will become a habit and you won’t even need my little checklist 🙂
What about deep cleaning?
I know what you’re thinking after looking at that list – what about all the OTHER stuff that needs done? When are you scrubbing the toilets and dusting?
I set aside time each day for a period of deep cleaning. This isn’t a set routine – it is based on the things that I see that need to be done.
I don’t set specific days for specific items cause well, life. Instead, I have a “cleaning block” worked into my daily homemaking schedule that allows me to tend to whatever deep cleaning needs to be done that day.
(Read more about My Simple Daily Homemaking Schedule in this post)
The amount of time in this “cleaning block” varies a bit each day depending on what else needs to be done. But the beauty of having a good daily schedule, is that even just 30 minutes of thorough cleaning goes a lot further than it would if you weren’t starting with a tidy space.
The important thing is that something is getting deep cleaned each day, big or small.
So how do I keep track of what needs to be deep cleaned?
I utilize a master list – basically a list of all the things I know need to get done. Then every evening, before bed, I review my master list and add a couple of items to my planner for the next day. This way I’m not standing around the next morning thinking “I know there was something that I needed to clean but what was it…”.
I wake up, have my early morning routine, and then I have a pretty clear picture of what I need to work on that day.
I understand this type of cleaning routine isn’t for everyone. You may feel like you need more structure, or you may be thinking there is no way this is sufficient for a clean house. And on its own, this little bit of time each day isn’t enough.
But when it’s paired with the daily cleaning routine, I think you would be surprised at how well this actually does work.
This is why planners are so useful!
Home management requires a certain level of organization. That’s just all there is to it. Even if you are a person who is naturally drawn to organization, there is going to come a point that there is too much to keep up with.
I encourage everyone to have a planner of some sort. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. You can print this weekday calendar out for free or check out this post with some of my favorite Christian Planners!
You just need somewhere you can plan days out and keep a list of the things you need to tend to – all in one spot. Keep it on your counter so that you can reference it throughout the day. There’s no use in a planner if it is closed sitting on a shelf 🙂
Daily Tasks for a Modern Homemaker
These housekeeping tasks are the items on my to-do list every single day. Even on the weekends, I do these tasks. They are just part of my daily rhythm now.
None of these items take a lot of time on their own, and they are easily scattered throughout the day.
Load of Laundry
Every morning, I start a load of laundry during my “morning block” (read more about my homemaking routine here). This is first thing in the morning, while the kids are usually eating breakfast. I like to get it started early for two reasons:
1. It gives me the rest of the day to get it dried and put away and
2. Doing it first thing in the morning while my brain is fresh makes it less likely that I’ll forget it.
If your family is large, one load a day may not be enough. To get multiple loads done, try using natural daily rhythms as reminders for needing to do laundry. Example: I’ve link breakfast time and starting laundry together. You may need to utilize breakfast and lunchtime as reminders. You’ll probably have to write this down in your planner for a bit as a reminder, but before long, it will become habit.
I’m not sure about you, but if I walk in my kitchen and the sink is loaded with dishes, I automatically feel like I have a messy house. So, first thing in the morning, before or during breakfast, I am unloading the dishwasher and putting away the dishes in the drying rack.
Having an empty dishwasher and drying rack to catch the new days dishes makes a huge difference. After each meal and snack, dishes are rinsed and loaded in the dishwasher (bonus points if you can get your kids to load their own).
At the end of the day, right before I head to bed, I start the dishwasher so that it is ready for me to unload early the next day.
This is another one that only takes a few minutes to do but makes a big impact on the atmosphere of your home. Work with your small children to also develop of habit of making their beds each day.
I know it sounds crazy, but if you’re not in the habit of making your bed, try it out for a while. I bet you’ll notice that your bedrooms feel more “put together” than they did previously.
I think I spend more time in our kitchen than I do any other room of our house. And if you’re a homemaker, I’m betting you do too.
This is why it is so important that it stays cleaned. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning, or going to make a meal, and your kitchen being a wreck.
So throughout the day, I am doing my best to keep the kitchen cleaned up. I wipe the kitchen counter multiple times a day and clear it of clutter. I give the floor a quick sweep after each meal and wipe down the kitchen sink after loading dishes.
If I haven’t managed to clean throughout the day because something came up (sometimes it just happens that way), I make sure that I do this area before I go to bed.
If you haven’t picked up on it already, morning times are when we are really diligent about getting things done. This is setting the stage for the rest of the day.
Main living area floors
Keeping a clean floor in our high-traffic areas is another chore that usually gets done multiple times throughout the day. Especially our kitchen, dining room, and entry ways. Those areas tend to collect the most dirt and crumbs, so I give those a quick sweep after each meal.
At the end of the day, I usually need to vacuum our living room rugs as well. With us being a homeschooling family, there are usually little pieces of paper stuck to the carpet or maybe even bits of crayon.
Tidy Up – Multiple Times a Day
This is the most important part (in my opinion) of being able to keep a clean home. Tidying up needs to be done multiple times a day, every day.
Without a tidy home, a simple cleaning routine like the one we’ve been talking about probably won’t work.
Being able to walk in a room that is already tidy means that you can get to deep cleaning quickly. But if you have to spend 20 minutes putting things back where they belong before you can start cleaning – well, you now have less time to spend on the actual cleaning.
What do I mean by tidying up?
It means that things are continually being put back where they belong and things straightened up. If you see something scattered or left out, don’t just walk past it. Take a few seconds to grab it and return it to where it belongs.
In our home, we have tidying up worked into our morning, afternoon, and evening routines. Since it is done so frequently, it only ever takes about 5-10 minutes each time we do it.
Here are the things that we do every day as part of our tidy up routine:
- Toys are cleared from the main living areas and put back where they belong. This keeps the living room floors clear from clutter.
- Blankets and pillows are straightened and put back on couches.
- Checking the hot spots in the house where things always get dropped or left. For us, that’s the kitchen counter, by the back door where the kids come in and out, and bedside tables.
- The bathroom counter is straightened, and everything put back where it belongs.
- Homeschool supplies and curriculum put away.
Some of these things are done multiple times a day. Others, like straightening the bathroom counter and bedside tables, are usually just done in my morning tidy-up.
So how do you keep a tidy home?
- Have regular times set for tidying. Multiple times through the day, have times scheduled for this. First thing in the morning, after lunch, and again in the evening is how we do it in our house. It’s not a set time, but really just set by the normal rhythms of life.
- Don’t leave an activity without putting everything away. Training your children to do this early on is a huge help.
- Keep the flat surfaces clear. If you walk in a room and see things sitting on counters or shelves, gather them up and put them in their place.
- Keep the floors clear. My kids toys are frequently scattered throughout the living room and dining room. I make sure all the living area floors are cleared of messes.
There you have it friends! I hope you’ve found some tidbits of helpful information in this post.