How many times have you started to clean, only to get sidetracked? Or maybe you finished your cleaning, only to look up from your Thanksgiving dinner to see a massive cobweb hanging from the chandelier.
If you’ve tried to clean without a schedule (or if you have a schedule that you don’t use), try using it. After creating (and using) my schedule, I’ve noticed that it’s easier to finish a task and stay focused, even when I get interrupted. Here’s how!
How a Cleaning Schedule Makes You More Productive
Cleaning schedules may seem restrictive, boring, or even too much effort, but trust me, they’re amazing (and if you’re not already using one, download one from the free resource library).
A cleaning routine:
1. Focus your time
Is cleaning ADHD a thing?
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done. Especially if you’re on a deadline, it’s easy to finish half the dusting, vacuum one room but not another, clean the bathtub but forget the toilet….
Since I printed my cleaning schedule, I’ve been much more intentional about the cleaning. While I still get interrupted (hello, children), I can stay focused when it’s time to finish my task.
I don’t cross tasks off my sheet until it’s done. If the kids dust the coffee tables but I still need to dust the high bookshelves, I leave “dusting” unchecked. Even if I get interrupted, I can quickly look at my schedule and remember to finish the dusting or whatever I was working on. This also prevents you from “forgetting” the dust cloth on the coffee table, only to notice it when your guests politely push it to the side to make room for their drinks.
2. Show what still needs to be done
If you’ve ever spent a week or longer to spring clean or get ready for Christmas, you know how easy it is to get sidetracked. Either you forget to finish a task or you skip cleaning an entire section of your house.
Using a cleaning schedule helps you prioritize your tasks and know what still needs to be done.
I like to leave the high-traffic areas, like the family room and kitchen for last. Whether you clean room-by-room or by task, like scrubbing all the walls at once), a list will help you clean faster without forgetting entire sections.
3. Reward your efforts
I look forward to seeing vacuum lines on a freshly swept carpet almost as much as I look forward to marking things off my list.
The best part of checking things off is seeing your progress and knowing that you’re accomplishing things. Especially if you have kids who make race tracks around the vacuum lines, your check marks might give you a longer-lasting sense of pride.
4. Give helpers a starting point (without nagging)
When we’re trying to get ready for a party, I tell my husband to do some odd jobs, like washing the windows, then remind him, then remind him again, until three weeks later I forget what I wanted him to do.
My husband hates honey-do lists, but list making is my love language. 😉 I love making lists for myself, and I find them so helpful, so why wouldn’t I make them for everyone else in my family, too?!?
After many arguments (and lots of forgotten reminders), I finally created a cleaning list of every task that needed to be done in our house. I laminated it and then I regularly check things off when they’re done. If I’m able to enlist help, I can direct my helpers to the list, and they’ll easily be able to see how they can help
5. Remind you of odd tasks
How often do you clean your light switches? While I would love to say that I clean mine once a week, I usually forget to clean odd things (light switches, door knobs, remotes, etc.) until I notice that they’re dirty or when someone’s sick.
The beauty of a cleaning list is that you don’t need to worry about forgetting odd tasks. Add them to your list and check them off once they’re complete.
6. Free up brain space
When you’re trying to deep clean, especially if you’re getting ready for a holiday or a party, your mind is going a mile a minute.
By listing your cleaning tasks and getting them out of your head, you’ll be able to free up valuable brain space so you can focus on the things that matter (or find some enjoyment listening to music or a podcast while you clean).
7. Create a sense of peace
At first, a mile-long to-do list might seem stressful. But a list of everything you need to do, especially if it’s a comprehensive list all in one place, will help you relax.
You won’t need to worry that you’re forgetting something. You won’t need to worry about who’s doing which task. Maybe you’ll even be able to relax and enjoy your cleaner home.