Finding a realistic cleaning schedule is a must for us busy working homeschool moms. I often have so much on my plate that cleaning can take a back seat.
In this post I’m going to share some ways to find a cleaning schedule that works for you. And also some advice for accepting when you just can’t find the motivation or energy to do any chores.
Contents of the Post
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
In the the past, I was someone who would do all the cleaning myself. I felt like only I could do it right so it saved time just getting on with it. If you have perfectionist tendencies, I’m sure you can relate!
It wasn’t sustainable to have all the responsibility for keeping the home clean, while also working, homeschooling, keeping fit, having a relationship and having some down time. It was just too much!
Now it’s a team effort. My husband does most of the cooking and we both clean the kitchen at night. Obviously it’s easier to get his cooperation and we help each other as needed.
The kids take some more finessing. Is it easy to get them involved? Nope! Am I letting them off the hook? Double nope! We all live in our house so we all need to contribute.
Here are some things that help with kids who are not thrilled about chores…
- I incentivize them. On Wednesdays, we make ice cream. But the lounge has to be cleaned first.
- They know what is expected of them. I let them know beforehand what needs to be done.
- We do it as a team. I help them and they help me. It makes the work go much faster this way.
- Cleaning regularly means we need to do less.
- I keep calm when they grump and grouch.
A Realistic Cleaning Schedule is Realistic
I think a very important thing you need to take into account with cleaning is being realistic. Unless you have oodles of time, which I guess isn’t the case as a working homeschool mom, you’re going to have to scale back.
How much can you manage in a day? If it’s just 20 minutes, then it’s just 20 minutes. When you take my time audit, you’ll have a better idea of the time you have available.
So let’s say you do just have 20 minutes. It’s really important to make that time count. Have a game plan for what you’re going to do each day.
- Have a schedule of things you need to do. This reduces the mental load of thinking what to clean. And it means everything gets done eventually.
- If you don’t have lots of time, do smaller amounts of cleaning But be sure to be consistent. 10 minutes a day is better than nothing.
- Do the heavy cleaning when you have more energy. On my heavy work days, I do rooms that are quick and easy to clean. I do the tough jobs like deep cleaning our big bathroom, over weekends when I feel less rushed and have more spark.
- Tidy daily to reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. If you pack things away every night, you’ll have less to do in the morning. It also prevents the cleaning overwhelm that you feel when a room looks like a bomb’s hit it.
- Declutter your home! A stripped down and simplified home and life, really help to make cleaning so much easier! Less stuff means less stuff to clean.
Accept Your Limitations
I’m a recovering perfectionist. Finding a realistic cleaning schedule has been just one of the ways I’m trying to manage my life in a more sustainable way. Working out and homeschooling in a way that I can keep up, are others things I’ve done to overcome my perfectionism.
Acceptance is a huge part of overcoming the need for perfection. And cleaning definitely can also benefit from this mindset.
- Accept that you’re house isn’t going to be Pinterest-perfect all the time. When it’s being used as a place to homeschool as well as everything else, it’s unlikely that it will stay clean.
- Allow your kids to clean, without micromanaging them. They’ll get better at it, but they need the time to learn and make mistakes.
- Be accepting of how much you can manage. Don’t compare what you can do with what others can do. Some people enjoy cleaning, have someone to help them or have tidy occupants. Besides, we’re never sure what’s going on behind closed doors! 😁
- Don’t let people make you feel bad about your house. If they’re not working homeschool moms, they probably don’t understand. So ask them to help rather than comment.
To Batch or Not to Batch, That is the Question
I’m a huge fan of batching. And I used to do all me cleaning on one day. But I didn’t like the fact that it took the whole day and then the house was messy after 5 minutes. It made my so resentful! 😒
So now I prefer to break cleaning down into smaller, more manageable chunks. This is how I manage big jobs. And yes, cleaning is a big job! There are lots of ways you can do this…
- Set aside an amount of time every day that you can manage. Like I said, rather do less but be consistent.
- Use a timer to do bursts of cleaning throughout the day. This is a great way to speed clean and to get things done quickly without overthinking it.
- Try and do one deep cleaning task a day. These could include wiping lampshades or cleaning cupboards. If you have your list of what needs to be done, you can work your way through them.
- Do laundry every day – no exceptions! If you have no laundry, it’s a great opportunity to wash blankets, curtains, cushion covers, pet beds and any other things that tend to get neglected.
Final Thoughts on Finding a Realistic Cleaning Schedule
Finding a realistic schedule is going to take trial and error. And there are bound to be teething problems at the beginning. But that’s ok! Change is never easy!
In order to make the process easier try and keep these things in mind…
- Your home doesn’t have to be perfect.
- You are enough, even if your house isn’t pristine.
- It’s ok if it takes time to get into the swing of cleaning. Change takes time!
- If you’re good sometimes and not others, that’s also fine.
- Self acceptance is the biggest gift you can give yourself.
Coaching is a great way to make changes like this. So please book in a session of you feel overwhelmed and unmotivated. I’m here to support you by giving you a new perspective and some ideas to move forward. You can book in a session here.