A Weekly House Cleaning Schedule That Will Get You More Cozy Family Time

I do not feel comfortable in my home when it is not clean.  First of all, if it’s not clean, I don’t like the way it looks, or feels or smells.  I feel anxious if I’m sitting on the couch and I know that one room away in the kitchen is a not so natural disaster.  But I also don’t like cleaning.  At all.  I’ve devised a cozy clean house schedule that helps me maximize my cozy time and minimize my cleaning time.

The Cozy Clean House How To

That’s my kitchen after I probably spent forever cleaning it.  Guess what it looked like the next day?

It’s maddening.  I clean and clean and only end up with new messes the very next day.

So how do you get a cozy clean house? Well, there’s a million ways.  I used to spend my whole day cleaning on Saturdays until I realized I became a terrible mean awful person when I cleaned for 8 hours straight.

I then went on to follow a super complicated cleaning system that included 3×5 index cards!  Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

No.  It doesn’t.  If you just read that and thought, “It DOES sound fun!!”, then you should probably just go.  Your house is probably already super clean and awesome.  You don’t need me.

Ok, for those of you that have passed my 3×5 index card test, thanks for sticking around!  We’ll be messy friends trying to get it together, ok?  

So, all day cleaning wasn’t working for me or anyone in shouting distance, either.  Organized, 3×5 index card cleaning, also did not work for me.  (Cleaning is enough work, I don’t need index cards to organize!).

I needed something simple and manageable and something that didn’t overwhelm me.

I needed a Clean House How To that even messy, disorganized me could handle.

Cozy Clean House

I thought long and hard about what would make cleaning simple, manageable and not overwhelming.  A very big part of the problem with cleaning was that I had conditioned myself with those 8 hour cleaning marathons to think that cleaning took FOREVER!

That’s actually not true.  It can be true if you don’t clean a little every day and leave all of the mess for Saturday.  But, if you can break things down into little tasks that can be done quickly, it is in fact, simple, manageable and not overwhelming.

I actually started timing some of the cleaning tasks that I truly dread.  Emptying the dishwasher.  I hate it.  But it actually only takes about 6 minutes. A quick mop of the kitchen floor?  3 minutes.  Cleaning out the fridge?  Ok, I’m not gonna lie, cleaning out the fridge is the worst and actually takes longer than I had imagined in my head.  That’s a solid 20 minute job and there’s not a minute of fun in it.

But, I digress.  Forget the fridge for a second.  The point is that most of the things that I dreaded doing, really didn’t take that much time.

So, then I had to think about how much time would make me not miserable.

15 minutes.  That’s what I came up with.

Not 15 minutes a day, that’s not going to work.  But if I could break down the daily tasks to a few 15 minute chunks, then that felt manageable.

I’ve found that 4 15 minute spurts of cleaning every day (every.day, you don’t get Sat and Sun off), then I keep the house in very decent shape without yelling at anyone or feeling overwhelmed.

Cozy Clean House Cleaning Supplies

Just like my clean house schedule, I like to keep my cleaning supplies simple, too. I have two requirements of my cleaning products.  They have to actually clean things and they have to be natural.

Wait, they also have to smell good.  So three.  Three requirements of my cleaning products.

Here’s what I use regularly:

  • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Multi Surface Concentrate in Lemon Verbena – I buy the concentrate because it lasts forever and is cheaper in the long run than buying the non-concentrate.  I mix it in a spray bottle and I use this on my countertops and ceramic tile and wood floors.  It smells great.  It cleans the messes and I don’t have to haul around a bunch of different things.
  • June’s Miracle Cloth – If you have never tried these microfiber cloths, I can’t recommend them strongly enough.  They are the best for polishing your stainless steel appliances.  You can use them on almost any surface, including wood.  And you don’t need a cleanser.  Just water.  Ring them out and go to town on your fridge.  They do a fantastic job on glass stovetops and they are great on windows, too.  You can throw these in the washing machine and use them over and over.  Love these things.
  • Swiffer Dry Mop – I actually don’t use the Swiffer Dry Mop as it is intended.  I use it to wash my floors.  I don’t buy the disposable Swiffer cloth thingies. I use the microfiber cloths (these ones, not the June’s Miracle Cloth above) that I only use on the floors. When I do the floors, I spray the floor with the Mrs. Meyer’s  Clean Day Multi Surface, I attach the microfiber cloth just as you would the normal Swiffer cloth and then I also spritz the cloth with a little Mrs. Meyer’s, too.  Then I wash the floor.  This is so fast and easy.
  • Sowtech Cordless Vacuum – I’ve had this little cordless vacuum for several years.  It is irreplaceable for me.  It is quiet, easy to use, light, sucks up everything, easy to clean when something happens to get stuck.  I can’t say enough about this little cordless vac.  If you are in the market for one, this is the one to get.  So long as you are using it on hard floors.  I have zero rugs in my house because I have a cat who thinks rugs are bathrooms.  **Update! Check out this Ruggable review for a rug that you can put in the washer!
  • Vinegar & Baking Soda – These two can work together really well for toilets and tubs.  I love the recipes from DIY Natural that also include essential oils.

The Cozy Clean House Schedule

So, how exactly do I do this? What are the exact details?

Every day is assigned a room or a couple of rooms.  Every day gets four 15 minute blocks of time. The first one is for a clean sweep of the downstairs.  The second one is for a clean sweep of the upstairs.  The third one is 15 minutes of cleaning in the designated rooms for that day and the last one is another quick tidy of the downstairs and laundry duties.

I will admit, I don’t always finish in 15 minutes. But I ALWAYS set a timer and when it goes off, if I want to stop, I do.  Otherwise, I’m usually less than 5 minutes from done anyway.

So, a typical day for me might look like this for cleaning.  Let’s say Sunday.

  • Morning – 15 Minutes Downstairs – Throw laundry in the wash.  Empty or load dishwasher, tidy up the kitchen, dining room and living areas, quick vacuum of the floors (with that cordless vac, this takes practically no time), spot clean surfaces and floors, wipe the bathroom counters and swish the toilet.
  • Afternoon/Evening (or whenever is convenient) – 15 Minutes Upstairs – Switch over laundry, tidy up each bedroom, put away clothes, wipe the bathroom counters and swish the toilet.  Quick vacuum if I have time!
  • Afternoon/Evening – 15 Minutes in the room of the day – Sunday is the Kitchen, so I’ll go through my list of deeper cleaning activities for the Kitchen and knock off as many of those as I can.
  • Afternoon/Evening – 15 Minutes Downstairs – Post dinner clean up, tidying and laundry (usually putting away dry clothes).

I’ve got the whole put together for you in this free printable when you sign up for my newsletter:

What If My House is Really, Really Messy and 15 Minutes Won’t Cut It?

Ok, when I started this process of cleaning 15 minutes at a time, my house was a disaster. I’d thrown in the towel on cleaning.  And 15 minutes at a time did not get me very far at all.

So, I totally understand if you are rolling your eyes at me when I say I clean in 4 15 minute chunks and it’s enough to make my house clean enough.

If you’re in that place, you have a couple of choices.  If you are totally overwhelmed by the amount of cleaning you have to do, start with just the four 15 minute sessions.  It won’t get you completely out of the rubble, but it will scratch the surface and it will help you develop a routine.

Your second option is to do what I do when things start to slip back into too messy-land.  I’ll pick a quiet hour or two  and I do 15 minutes in each room.  Usually I just do this to the downstairs, but if it’s your upstairs that is getting out of hand, then start there.  I technically have 5 rooms on the first floor, so this typically takes me a little more than an hour.

Those concentrated 15 minutes in one room will really help you start to dig out.  You might not be exactly where you want to be at the end of that hour, but you’ll be closer.  And if you keep up with the rest of the routine, you shouldn’t slide backwards too much.

So there you have it.  That’s how I keep my cozy home clean enough without spending hours at a time cleaning.  And cursing.

How do you balance wanting a clean home but not wanting to spend your life cleaning?  What’s your best cleaning tip?  Drop me a message in the comments!

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