Getting housework done sometimes seems like a never ending and thankless task. You do it because it needs to be done, not because there is any great reward. Worst of all, when you finally get finished with the week’s to-do list, the next week comes around and you have to do it all over again. When faced with the thought of all the chores that need to be done, it can be very tempting to simply throw your hands up and walk away. Chances are, you often find yourself doing anything but the housework – making up excuses or putting things off until you ‘feel more like it’. If you find yourself saying,” just one more episode” of the show you’re watching on Netflix, “just one more level” of that Facebook game you’re playing, or “just one more chapter” of the book you’re reading before you crack on with the chores – time and time again – it is likely that you will benefit greatly from creating a cleaning schedule. In this article, we’ll give you some great tips on how to go about creating a schedule to best fit your life.
The benefits of breaking it down
When faced with the idea of all the tasks you need to complete in a week, it is natural for your brain to turn this into an indomitable challenge. That great mountain of work that needs to be conquered will appear so daunting that your brain automatically looks for distractions and excuses to get out of even getting started. You literally will not know where to start, and so you will find it hard to motivate yourself to take any action. Action is what matters though. Thinking, worrying, or procrastinating about the work will not get it done. The trick to help you start taking action is to break the workload into manageable chunks. This is where a schedule comes in. A schedule sets out the tasks that need to be completed and the steps you need to take to ensure they are. Taking the overall workload one step at a time will make it seem like a breeze. All that time you spent making up distractions before, will now be free time you have to spend on interesting pursuits or relaxing without the stress of incomplete tasks hanging over you.
Creating your perfect schedule
The right cleaning schedule for you will depend on your circumstances. If you are someone who finds it hard to function in a messy environment or you have a set work schedule that leaves you time each morning or evening, it is best to create a daily cleaning schedule. You can do a daily speed clean every morning, meaning that deep cleans are needed much less regularly. A good approach may be to set yourself a specific amount of time to spend cleaning, then get as much done in this timeframe each day, picking up where you left off when tomorrow rolls around. Alternatively, you may prefer to set specific tasks to be completed at certain times each day, or to work on a ‘room a day’ basis.
If you work long hours all week or you have a family with older kids who can pitch in, you may find that an ‘all-on-one-day’ schedule is better for you. This basically involves leaving all the major cleaning tasks for one day, then blasting through them before you get on with your weekend. You will likely have to keep on top of some small tasks during the week (particularly the washing up), but everything else will get left for cleaning day. If everyone chips in, you can probably get all of your cleaning out of the way fairly quickly on this day. If you prefer this approach but have young children underfoot or live alone, you will find you benefit greatly from hiring a professional cleaner to come around on this day. You can keep things picked up and put away during the week, then leave the deep cleaning to the domestic cleaner on the weekend while you enjoy the sunny afternoon with an ice cream in the park.
Tips and tricks
If you set yourself a time limit, never go over this. Simply finish the task you are working on and then leave off until the next day. You can do this guilt free, as you know it is going to get done. Going over to fit in extra tasks will make you feel less inclined to get up and stick to the schedule the next morning.
If you do ‘fall off’ and miss a day’s scheduled cleaning, just start again as soon as possible and don’t beat yourself off. You can never know what the next day will have in store and you have to allow room for flexibility in your cleaning schedule. Sometimes things will happen that are out of control, or sometimes you will just have a day where you feel you can’t face it. Take the time you need, then start again asap without worrying.
Lastly - give yourself rewards for completing tasks. You can chose whether you reward yourself in some small way daily, or take a bigger reward at the end of the week when all your tasks are successfully completed. Either way, you will feed the reward systems in your brain, making it easier to stick to your schedule the next week too.