Jan 13 11
by cara
at 7:17 PM
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CLEAN: Home Routines and Cleaning Calendar

It’s already 13 days in to the New Year, can you believe it?!  I’m making baby steps in my CLEAN journey, and I plan to share some of what I’m doing to CLEAN in weekly or biweekly posts. Today I wanted to focus on what I’m doing to create a CLEAN Home.  I’m very much a routine and “system” oriented person, but I’ve had trouble finding a cleaning routine that has worked for me.  So I decided to create my own, consisting of Daily, Weekly, and less frequent Zone routines.


Remember my list of Dailies?  Those are the things I need to clean each and every day.  Well, I’ve revisited that list and simplified it a bit.  Here are my current dailies:

  • Dishes
  • Spot Sweep
  • Make beds
  • Clutter Control
  • Laundry
  • Wipe surfaces

I’m more or less staying on top of these.  I’m particularly proud of how clean I’ve been keeping the kitchen on a daily basis.  I know most or many people already do this, but it was something I struggled with!


My Weekly routines include the things that are done once or twice a week:

  • Menu Planning
  • Grocery shopping
  • Change sheet and towels
  • Vacuum (2x a week)
  • Sweep
  • Mop
  • Dust (2x a week)
  • Clean bathrooms
  • Clean kitchen
  • Throw out old stuff

Instead of trying to do all of these on one day, I’ve spread this list out over my week in a way that works best for my schedule.

You’ll note that I’m vacuuming and dusting twice a week now, due to my severe dust mite allergy. (I probably should be doing this daily or every other day, but that just isn’t going to happen…not yet anyway!)  I just ordered a new vacuum (highly ranked by Consumer Reports), and I’m looking forward to using it!

The Picky Apple asked why I included Menu Planning and Grocery Shopping on my list of cleaning tasks.  Well, I feel like those are a vital part of household maintenance (and yes, I realize this argument could be made for other things as well, like bill paying and budgeting), and they take up a big chunk of time on the days I do them.

Zones, Deep Cleaning and Decluttering

Lastly are the Zones for deep cleaning.  A concept used by FlyLady and others, but I’ve adapted this to suit my needs and my home.  My zones are:

  1. Entry/Hall Closet/Dining Room/Living Room (I realize that’s quite a bit for one Zone, but the Entry is small, the Dining Room mainly sits unused and empty.  It’s the Hall Closet and Living Room that will be the focus here!)
  2. Kitchen
  3. Loft/Playroom/Office (all upstairs)
  4. Bathroom Zone: Powder Room/Master Bath/Finn’s Bath
  5. Bedroom Zone: Master Bedroom/Finn’s Bedroom (I realize some of you may have more bedrooms than us.  We’ve got 4 but currently using 1 for the playroom and 1 for the office!)

I’ve seen the deep cleaning done in several different ways.  Some jump from room to room in the same day (for instance, clean the toaster, declutter the bathroom sinks, clean the top of the washer).  But once I get in a room, I want to focus on THAT room for a while, so each week my deep cleaning will be focused on a particular zone.  Many systems also tend to declutter a room first then clean.  And while I wholeheartedly agree that you can’t clean clutter, I’ve mixed in a little of both based on the things that are bothering me most about each room at the moment.

Right now I’m keeping  Zone work to 30 minutes or less, 3-4 times a week.  As much as I need to do some serious deep cleaning and decluttering in certain rooms like the office and hall closet, I’m easing my way in to this.  I’ll add more as I get a better grip on the routines themselves and have a better feel for long each task on my Master Cleaning List actually takes (I’ll share that another time).  For now, I’ll be completing one or 2 Zone tasks on days when The Littlest Apple is in school or with the grandparents.

Cleaning Calendar for January

I thought I’d go ahead and share my cleaning calendar for the rest of January.  I LOVE To Do Lists and love the feeling of crossing things off as I complete them.  Several things to keep in mind….I’ve got a decent handle on my Dailies at this point.  I get most of the Weeklies done, but up until recently it’s been as needed, not on specific days (for example, “Ew!  This towel is STINKY!  Probably time to wash towels again!”).  Zone work is going to take some getting used to.  Right now it is all about forming good habits!

So that’s just a little sneak peek into how I keep a CLEAN Home!  But don’t be fooled for a second into thinking that my home is spotless.  Far from it!  Right now the counters are cluttered, there is apple juice on the floor, and toys all over the living room floor and clothes in the dryer that need to be put away.  (It’s been one of those days!)  BUT those things will all be taken care of at some point this evening so I can start tomorrow morning off right!

Now I’m interested in some feedback from you….I’ve got plans to share more details about how I clean, products I use for cleaning, and cleaning resources.  This is NOT going to become a cleaning blog, but it will be the focus of a few posts this year as I CLEAN in 2011.  What would you like to hear about from me?  Any questions?

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  1. Jackie Koll permalink

    I love your calendar idea. I’m a Flylady “peep” also and learned, after years of not being able to do what she does, that you have to take her ideas and make them work for you. Like you, once I get into a room, I want it cleaned so I assign one room to each week of the year for deep cleaning. I have 9 “areas” including the garage and outside that I deep clean once every 9 weeks (obviously) This helps keep the de-cluttering in check. I

  2. Jackie Koll permalink

    (oops – hit the wrong button) I love seeing your cleaning ideas – it helps give me ideas to better keep up with my own home!

  3. great post. I really like your calendar idea!!

    i’ve really struggled with keeping my house clean for the last 4 years but this year i’m really focusing on making my house a sanctuary. i’m doing a 21 day organizing callenge and blogging about it

  4. Love these ideas, lists and charts. I am like that in my head, but never have time to get it on paper. I’m doing a weekly hotspot cleaning. I’m choosing an area each week to purge, declutter and organize. I’m due to have another baby soon and I need this house clean. I like your dailies. I need to make a list. Also, I need to do a weekly list. This is so great!

  5. Cara,

    What vacuum did you get? We really need a new one and Brooke has an idea of what to get. Just curious what you found and how you like it.

  6. Looks good! The only thing I recommend is each month evaluating so that you don’t get burnt out! Anyway you have inspired me to really look into my schedule and get in gear with my house!

  7. I have a similar (but, not half as organized) version of this that I do at my house. I LOVE LOVE that you put your grocery shopping etc. on there because some days just work better than others– and it IS important for it to be convenient, NOT a hassle. Looks like you’ve got it all worked out! I also deal with constantly trying to keep my house allergen free and it really helps to have something like this to keep up with it all.

    Love your blog Cara!

  8. Mark,

    As much as I wanted a Dyson, we decided to try out a cheaper option first. (Also, Dysons aren’t ranked that great by Consumer Reports, despite all the glowing reviews I’ve heard….) We ordered the Hoover Turbo Power WindTunnel. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017YWHZO?ie=UTF8&tag=thepicapp-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0017YWHZO

    I’ll do a review of it in an upcoming post about the cleaning tools I use.

  9. I love you! I was desperately trying to create my own calendar using Fly Lady concepts and I came across this!! I will use this. Thank you very much!!!!

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