While it may shock my mother (who graced me with the childhood nickname “Messy Missy,”) I actually grew up to be a pretty tidy adult. Add in a hyper-organized military husband and our home is probably on the more extreme side of the spectrum when it comes to cleanliness. I remember mentioning to a neighbor when my oldest was just a baby that I vacuumed my entire house every day and she told me those days were numbered once once I had more children and it got me thinking just how often should you be cleaning your house?
I think the answer is different for everyone depending on your home, it’s size, and your household. I’m a work at home, homeschooling mom to three young boys with two pets-our house gets put through the wringer on a daily basis and requires a lot more cleaning than it did when my husband and I were newly married living in a small apartment in Italy. Today I’m sharing my personal guidelines for how often we do various tasks to clean our home and minimums for those who might not have the same dirt producing craziness we have!
Our absolutely essential daily task is keeping the dishes clean. We don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counters. I run our dishwasher over night and empty it as I brew my coffee in the morning so that it is empty and ready for dirty dishes throughout the day. My children-even my three year old-know how to clear their place at mealtimes and rinse their dishes (sometimes with help of course) and load them into the dishwasher. This keeps our counters clear and reduces any problems with insects from food left out-if you’ve ever lived anywhere with ants or other less pleasant creatures you know how important that is!
The other daily must-do for our family is to declutter. We are a “place for everything” type of family and take a few moments several times a day to tidy up the main living areas-all the kids walk through and gather their toys to take back to their rooms and my husband and I return any stray items we may have gotten out as well. For our household, this is a very fast task but if you’re trying it for the first time or don’t have an organizational system in place it can be challenging at first-stick with it, you’ll be thankful later at how much easier it makes life!
While I don’t vacuum my entire house every single day anymore I do vacuum about three or four times a week. Three kids under age 9 make a lot of crumbs and we have a golden retriever that sheds a chihuahua worth of fur each day-if I don’t vacuum at least every other day it shows in a very bad way! For those without the crumb generating brood or without pets once or twice a week should be sufficient. Don’t wait until you can see debris on your carpet, please! I once visited a friend whose carpets looked fine but a quick walk across the house in bare feet left the soles of my feet dirty-yuck!!
Laundry-for me this falls into an almost daily task but I’m keeping up with a family of five. For most people laundry can be delegated to a weekly task-but please, please, please change your sheets and wash your linens weekly too! This is one of those things that really irks me due to a microbiology class in college-wash sheets in hot water weekly to remove sweat, dead skin, dirt, and hair. Seriously-yuck y’all.
Dusting is another chore that should be done weekly. I do a surface dusting every week-this is a great chore for kids to help with-and once a month I do a full, thorough deep dusting job removing all items from shelves, etc.
Bathrooms are my least favorite chore in a very BIG way. I’m the first to admit that I will easily slack off cleaning them left to my own devices. Luckily my husband is a sweetheart who does most of the dirty work with the bathrooms and has taken it upon himself to start teaching our boys to clean them as well. I recommend wiping down the bathroom counters and fixtures every day or every other day either with cleaning wipes or simply a damp washcloth and cleaning the toilets and tubs/showers once a week.
I like to add in monthly tasks here and there through the month but when I worked outside the home I usually did these in one weekend morning along with my general cleaning. These tasks don’t take too long and keep your home looking good between seasonal deep cleanings. At least once a month clean windows as needed, vacuum upholstery, clean any carpet stains and do that deep dusting I mentioned earlier (don’t forget the baseboards!)
If you can keep up with these routine tasks then you’ll have a much easier time when it comes to Spring Cleaning and Fall Cleaning deep cleans! And if you are running behind on your spring cleaning-check out my 7 day spring cleaning challenge to help you get up to speed! For all of my cleaning and homemaking tips click here!