If cleaning your home is a project you postpone until winter is back, then this list of cleaning hacks everyone should know is just what you need.
Put cleaning on auto-pilot with these tips and make more time doing things you love to do.
Spring cleaning. One of my least favorite things to do in the entire world.
Spending a weekend cleaning a house from top to bottom is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Lucky for me (and you), there is a way to avoid it and still have a clean home. By breaking things down into smaller steps, you will save yourself from spending a beautiful spring day inside scrubbing walls.
These are my cleaning hacks everyone should know, and they are going to change your life.
Before we dive into how to clean your home with my cleaning hacks, let’s first decide what needs to be done. This might be the hardest part of this entire system.
SLCG PRO TIP: Grab yourself a large mug of coffee (or wine) and set aside a good hour to do the prep work. Yes, this part does take some time, but if it keeps you from having to spend days cleaning your home each year, then it might just be worth it!
make a cleaning list
Before you can start, you first need a list of tasks that you want to get done. This is not a once-and-done list; this is your annual cleaning that you will refer to every time.
Make a list of every single thing you need to do (in every room) to keep your home clean.
Step #1. Write it all down
Grab a tablet and a pen and walk your home.
Go into each room and write down everything you need to do to clean that room. From the ceiling to the floor, under the bed, and inside of the closet, list it all out on paper.
You may consider this an annoying step in this process, but I urge you not to skip over it. Take your time and try to be thorough as well. You can always combine chores later on, but for right now, you need to be thorough for this system to really work.
Once you have your list all written out, you can move on to the next step.
SLCG PRO TIP: Do not move on until your list is complete. If you miss anything, this system will not work as well, so take your time and list out everything you want to have cleaned in each room at least once (or twice) a year.
Step #2. Break down your list
Sit down with a different colored pen, and next to each task on your list, choose how often you need to perform that task.
So, for example, if “WASH THE CEILING FAN” is on your list for the family room, then next to it, write the word “Monthly” or “Bi-Monthly,” depending on how often you want it to be cleaned.
Continue through your list, assigning a time frame to each task.
Again, do not move on until this task is completed in full. These small steps now will make the scheduling so much easier later on.
Step #3. Set up a planner
For me, having a list and a plan just for cleaning my home is a huge help. Yes, it will take some time to set up in the beginning, but once completed, you can use this list year after year.
How to set up a cleaning planner:
- On a clean sheet of paper, write the month at the top.
- Write the names of the rooms you will clean on this plan, leaving space to list chores underneath.
- Referring to step #2, write down the tasks that need to be done in the month it belongs to under the room where it will happen.
Let’s look at how this works:
• Back to our ceiling fan example. This is set to be cleaned every other month, so on your cleaning pages, you will want to write that task down under every other month for the entire year.
• Be sure to only write this task in the rooms where there is a fan that needs to be cleaned.
• As you write a task on your monthly pages, be sure to cross it off your master cleaning list. This will avoid accidentally writing a chore down twice.
Step #4. Map out Home tasks for batch cleaning
If you would rather do a task in every room of your home in one go, then batch cleaning is a good way to go.
So, for example, if “WASH THE BASEBOARDS” is listed for every room, you can list “WASH THE BASEBOARDS IN THE HOUSE” as a chore for a particular month.
Step #5. Be sure to choose an appropriate month for your chores.
The beauty of this system is you can pick and choose what gets done and when. Remember the weather and how busy a month is before you finalize your schedule.
So, if you have “CLEAN OUT THE ATTIC” as a task, you will NOT want to list it in an extremely cold month or an extremely hot month.
Work with your schedule and with the size of the chore.
Step # 6. Adjust where needed
Once you have set up your monthly cleaning plan, go back to your pages and make sure you do not have any months that are overly scheduled with cleaning chores.
Balance things out so you are even throughout the entire year. This is the key to a stress-free schedule.
SLCG Pro Tip: If you know you have a month that is always busy for you, such as December for example, then adjust your list there to give you a little breathing room.
Once you have your monthly pages completely filled out and your original cleaning list ceremonially tossed into the trash…. we can move on.
Again, do not continue until you have completed all the steps above or you risk this system not working.
Cleaning Hacks Everyone Should Know
Now, for the fun part. Shortcuts that you can use to really take this system and turn it into a lifestyle.
Step # 1. Location
Keep your Cleaning Planner with your regular calendar.
I learned a tip a very long time ago from a wise friend. Treat your home as a Corporation, and you are the CEO.
That one tip changed everything for me.
When I began to look at my home as a business, I realized I needed a schedule to keep things running smoothly.
My home running schedule is not the same as the family calendar. My home running schedule is what keeps things running smoothly and what keeps our home from getting out of control clutter-wise. For that reason, it needs to be kept where I always know I can find it.
I keep mine in my home hub, and that means I can find it whenever I need to refer to it.
HOME HUB RESOURCES:
Step # 2. List each cleaning task on your calendar
As you are filling out your calendar for the month, you will want to refer to your cleaning planner for the chores you have listed there.
Go down your list and fill in each chore on the days when you have sufficient time to do them.
As you see a chore on your list, note the time it will take to complete. If it is just a few minutes, you can incorporate it into your daily schedule.
Here are a few ideas:
- Wash out the inside of the dishwasher – Complete while making dinner.
- Wash bed linens – Do on laundry day.
- Wash the shower – Clean while you are showering yourself.
Multitasking is key to this becoming routine rather than overwhelming.
What if the task is a big one?
Then be sure to choose a day and time that will allow you to complete it without the overwhelm.
So, for example, if you have to “WASH LIGHTS IN THE KITCHEN” on the cleaning list, you will want to assign this to a day when you have the time and the help needed to do this task. Like Saturday morning when you have your kids home to help get the lights down and help to put them back up.
Step # 3. Learn to delegate without guilt.
Before we dive in here, let’s go back to the CEO comment because nowhere is this going to impact things more than this step right here.
I used to live in my home as if I were the maid, and I found myself resenting all the things that needed to be done to keep my home running smoothly. Once I changed my outlook, I realized our family was a team, and we needed to work together in order for things to run smoothly.
And just like that, the resentment disappeared.
When you act like the CEO of your home, you are not only running your home, but you are also delegating things to others to ensure everyone is doing their share. That means instead of you being the housekeeper running around cleaning, washing, and cooking for the entire family; you are instead the organizer of daily activities that now get delegated to those who can best handle the job.
Okay, probably just a fancy way of saying give your kids (and your husband) cleaning chores, but when you make that small mental shift in your outlook, it really does make a difference.
You can find a great list of age-appropriate chores. Becky has a great list, along with tips on how to encourage your kids to chip in. She includes a list of daily chores (she calls these daily responsibilities) that children should do each day.
Again these subtle mind shifts on how you view things can make all the difference for not only you but for your children as well.
By giving your children daily responsibilities and chores, they are learning to work as a team, and you are, in turn, raising responsible children.
That is a valuable trait they can take with them into adulthood.
Step # 4. Delegate.
This right here might be my favorite step.
There are going to be so many things on your cleaning planner that your children and husband can most definitely do.
A few examples are:
- Wash the baseboards – Children
- Take down curtains for washing – Hubby
- Wash light switches – Children
- Repair holes in the walls – Hubby
- Wash the dog’s dishes – Children
- Clean off the top shelf in the closet – Hubby
- Wash the windows and screens – the entire family
Write these items on your calendar on the days you know they will have the time to complete them. Next, let them know (well, asking might work a bit better) that you have a few things you need them to do this weekend. Remind them again the day off and help them get started with the chore if they are young.
This works better than you might think.
Each year my youngest son washes my baseboards for me, and even though he no longer lives at home, he will still do this task for a home-cooked meal.
This is a huge chore checked off of my list, and it’s so much easier for him to do than for me.
Step #5. Rinse and Repeat
Do this process like clockwork each month.
- Fill out your calendar with cleaning tasks.
- Delegate and list the name next to each task on your calendar.
- Ask and then remind your family of tasks they need to complete that month.
- Give yourself enough time (and help) for any big tasks for the month ahead.
And just like that, you are cleaning as you go rather than cleaning all at once.
My favorite way (if there is one) is to clean a home.
I have done this system for under a decade, and it has been life-changing for my family and me. No more working all weekend to clean our home on beautiful spring days. Now it is spread out into small and easy tasks that we incorporate into our schedule throughout the year.
Do you have any cleaning hacks everyone should know? Leave a comment below, and I might add it to this list!
More Cleaning Resources:
- Put Cleaning on Auto-Pilot
- 50 Things to Declutter When You’re Stuck
- Spring Clean Hacks You Need to Know!