Establishing a Cleaning Schedule for Fall

Photo Source: Pottery Barn

One of the things that can really help you manage your home is to have a regular cleaning schedule.

There, I said it. Yes, it’s sad but true. If you put your household tasks on a schedule and actually do them, you’ll be amazed at your productivity as well as how clean your house is.

If you don’t give yourself deadlines or “homework” as it were, you may find that you neglect said cleaning tasks and that they hang over your head, making you feel guilty that you’re a lousy housekeeper.

Ask me how I know.

I am notorious for the latter scenario. While we do regular pick up and chores, scrubbing bathrooms and kitchen floors is not something I love to do.

But, there have been seasons when I had a cleaning schedule and things were wonderful around here. Really and truly. I felt good about my home and I was so much more productive in other areas of life as well.

Fall is an ideal time to do some deep cleaning and get back on a cleaning schedule or start one if you never have before. The holidays are just a few months off, so what better time to get a good habit going?

While I really hate to clean, I love to have it clean. And while it takes a little work to tweak and establish a cleaning schedule, it pays off in the end. Is it a should do? Or is it a can do? In my case — and maybe yours — I think it’s a can.


I’ve got a handy-dandy planning page (of course) to help me keep track of things. Print out this blank Weekly Cleaning Schedule and then plot out the chores that you’ll do on the days that you plan to do them. If you need inspiration for what jobs there are to do, consult this Cleaning Checklist to see what you want to do in your home.

This is what my tentative schedule looks like for the Fall. I’ve tried to plan tasks for when they logically fit the flow of our household. The trash pickup and the gardeners come Monday morning, so Sunday’s tasks fit well. Clipping coupons, planning meals, and planning grocery shopping are easy things for me to multitask during our Friday movie night.

What fits at my house may not fit at yours. So, you’ll want to test and tweak until you find a rhythm that fits your family, your home, and you.

Do you have a cleaning schedule? What works best for you?

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  1. This is a great post! I was just thinking this week how I need to establish a cleaning schedule in my home! Thanks!!!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this post! It was exactly the help that I needed :)

  3. Oh Fishmama–you sing words that make my housekeeping heart hum. Simply hum. And you used a fancy chart. I love charts. I was just thinking I need to put together a chart and set up some kind of schedule–thanks for the reminder. I also love how you say once you STICK TO IT, you might actually get something done. It’s amazing what will happen when you put the laptop down , the TV off, and put some good music ON. Suddenly, that bathroom gets cleaned. Great post.

  4. I’ve been using a cleaning shedule for years (I learned from watching my mother-in-law), and I love it! I am not a huge fan of cleaning, but I love a clean, tidy home. Knowing that certain days have specific jobs is very freeing. Monday/Thursday are laundry days, Wednesdays are floors and dusting, Friday is bathroom day. On the off days, I can relax more, knowing that the work will get done!

  5. You are so right! I have really fallen off of the wagon in this area since my last busybody got here! Two years ago! Ahem. But, I am taking back control NOW! I am finding that if I add chores to my homeschooling planner then I get more done. While my older son is at the table doing seat work. I can sweep, dust, and clean windows. When my boys are in the bathtub then I use that time to clean the bathroom instead of just sitting there. I also have learned to stay on top of my kitchen duties by unloading the dishwasher first thing in the morning! Before I get on the computer. This was a tough one as I would much rather check blogs and comments first! But, by starting out the morning with an empty dishwasher I have really made serious progress in keeping on top of my kitchen through out the day!

  6. Thanks for the reminder. I’ve had a schedule in the past and it was great. Not sure why or how I got off of it. Time to get back on the wagon!

  7. I’vebeen doing something similar for the past few year. I have a “room of the day” plan and what ever needs to be done in that room that day is what I concentrate on. For example, Monday is bedrooms, so I’ll take a look-see and maybe it’s vacuuming, or changing sheets, or clearing out unused children’s toys and clothes on that particular day, or maybe not. It keeps me focused without making me adhere to a rigid schedule. (Oh, and I only work for about an hour. My little dollar store timer helps me know when I’m done.)

  8. Thank you for this post! I really need to get more organized with cleaning the house. I am fortunate that I have two able bodied teenagers but they also need reminders to keep up with their own spaces. Thanks again.

  9. Love the chart- I always assign a day of the week to each room/area like this- Monday bathrooms, Tuesday kitchen, Wednesday bedrooms, Thursday dining room, Friday family room.

  10. I have a similar schedule as one of the above moms. I have a jtwo floor house and break it down by floor & wet/dry areas. I clean the upstairs bathroom & do towel laundry on Mondays. Tuesdays I thoroughly clean the bedrooms and launder the bedsheets. Wednesday I go downstairs and thoroughlt clean the kitchen & the downstairs bathroom & do a load (or 2) of laundry. I also do food shopping this day. Thursday I clean the dinning/front room & family room and a load of laundry. I also do meal planning. Friday I would LIKE to keep up with the financial but have a habit of letting my husband take care of that. Saturday & Sunday I do coupons- nothing else ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. How do you know what to post exactly when I need it? My 4yo had his allergy skin test yesterday and is allergic to dust mites and mold spores. Can I tell you how bad of a housekeeper I feel? So I NEED to ramp up my cleaning skills. And since I’m a total chart person, this is right up my alley. Thanks for the reminder and wish me luck that I get my act together!

  12. I use Motivated Mom’s cleaning schedule. Have for the last five years. I began using this when my daughter, who is 5.5. yrs old, was just a few months old. Being in the brunt of post-partum pit, I had to find something that helped me to know that I was accomplishing something during the day, but wasn’t overwhelming. It works for our family. My hubby even looks at it to see what I haven’t marked off, in order to help me. It’s been easy to assign the kids chores, too, specific to the day, which are age-appropriate for them. It’s nice, too, b/c I like seeing the tasks marked off the list. Or, if we have a busier-than-usual week, most often, I can get all things done in a day, or so.

  13. When we moved into our home about a month and a half ago and I became full time at home I started out with your daily chore chart and a weekly calendar like you have shared above.

    As I got more comfortable with my workload I tweaked both lists into one using a template I found from MS Office online. In order to focus on my productivity and to track efficiency I made the chart have a space for notes and time completed. {I don’t have kids yet, but want to get the house on lock down before I try to balance my next role!} That way if I notice something is taking too long or one day is long or short I can adjust.

    I just changed laundry day from Monday to Friday because I noticed that my weekly workout clothes & my husband’s work pants were needing to be done before Monday morning.

  14. “Devise a cleaning schedule” as been on my to do list for three weeks now. As if putting it on the list is actaully getting it done! I am somewhat of a pro at adding things to the to do list. Thanks for the post, for some reason creating ths schedule has felt overwelming to me. You made it seem pretty easy and doable! I am going to get mine completed tonight.

  15. okay, totally surprised to see you have a gardener – don’t know why, just thought you did it yourself! :) it leaves more time for the rest of life, so I totally understand!!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @angie, we don’t PAY for a gardening service. LOL. Since we rent, the gardeners are included in our lease agreement. It’s fairly standard here since owners/management companies want to make sure lawns and yards are well-maintained. It’s one of the hidden perks of renting.

      We’ve always done it ourselves in every other place we’ve ever lived. Sorry for the confusion!

  16. great tips! thanks :)

  17. I was just thinking about getting on track with my cleaning. I am going to give this a try instead of taking a whole day to get it done. Thanks for the great post.

  18. We moved almost 2 months ago. About a month in, I realized I hadn’t been following my cleaning schedule (or any schedule!) and was feeling behind on everything. Now that I’ve got my schedule going again, I feel so much better knowing that I’m at least doing something!

  19. I struggle with scheduling as well. It makes me feel so good when my house is clean. When I neglect it I dont’ know where to begin and put it off for another day. It only gets worse after that. I’ve started trying to schedule things recently. This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing it.

  20. I’ve been thinking about cleaning schedules lots lately. I’m struggling to get anything more than the basics (dishes, laundry) done on a regular basis. I always wind up spending lots of time frantically cleaning before we entertain (as we did today). It looks like you’ve got a great (and realistic system)! I’m slowly incorporating some FLYLady routines, but I feel like I struggle even with those!

  21. Hi,
    I use Motivated Moms and let me tell you it has really helped with me and my cleaning!! It takes just a couple of tasks each day which probably take no longer than 15-20 minutes to do and it really helps with keeping up on everything from cleaning to paying bill to even cleaning out my purse. It is great!!

  22. FlyLady is my mentor! Hubby comments often how nice it is to come home to a happy family and a clean orderly house. That’s all the motivation I need.

  23. This is exactly what I needed…the Cleaning Checklist is going to help!! Quick question…why are there three rows rather than one continuous column for each day?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I put three rows to designate morning, afternoon, and evening. I guess that I should have made that clear. Sorry! Great question. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. Hi,
    Looks like you have your schedule down pat. I am not saying my situation is more complicated, just different. You obviously have small children to care for. I have two floors and pets to care for. Pet hair can be a problem if left for a week. I don’t keep a schedule for cleaning particular rooms. I homeschool for six hours a day and then work online for about four. So I just clean for two hours each day on week days. Sometimes I break it up. I might take a thirty minute break and clean a bathroom. It seems like a break to me because I am doing something different in between. I also cook two meals a day. Snacks and lite fare are provided for lunch. I make sure I keep a tray of raw veggies and other healthful snacks,like fruit, in the fridge. One day a month on Saturday, I cook for the freezer, to save time. I enlist family members to help with grocery shopping. I give them a list and instructions, since I am the one who keeps track of all this. I also have one grandchild who lives with me (12). Believe it or not he still likes helping with chores. He helps take care of our two dogs and is pretty good at keeping his room picked up. He also helps with laundry.I usually get up a little early on the days I need to check ads and coupons. This is also the time I use for exercise.(Early in the morning when everyone is sleeping)
    This way, I have my week-ends free for family and self, stress free. You obviously have your hands totally full, all the time with so many children to care for. I taught my daughter and my grandson how to fold laundry and do light vacuuming by the age of six. If it is made to be fun, they will enjoy. I have noticed that if I enjoy something and am grateful to have things to clean in a time when some people don’t have anything, it is contagious. If I complain about having to do, that is also contagious. I really enjoy your blog. You provide a really valuable service. I am sure this takes a good deal of your time.

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