January Challenge: The Wannabe Housekeeper

Confession: I am terrible at cleaning my house.


I still live in the college mentality of “let it get dirty until you can’t stand it any longer…and then wait for someone else to clean it.” Thankfully, my husband has no problem being domestic.


But I know I can do better.

The more I think about my lack of cleaning ability, the more I realize it (at least partially) comes from a lack of cleaning knowledge. I know cleaning isn’t rocket science, but I also know that a lot of what we learn about cleaning basically comes through osmosis. We grow up watching the way our parents clean and then emulate it (at least to some extent) when we have our own place.

My mom was a stay at home mom, and so (understandably) she took care of most of the cleaning tasks while we were at school. Because of that, most of the cleaning I participated in was the last minute “clean up your rooms before company gets here!” type of cleaning. I’m good at that type of cleaning. Not so good at the regular maintenance or deep cleaning.

I’ve looked at “house cleaning schedules” before on Pinterest, but I felt like they all assumed I had extra hours in my days (I don’t) or that I stayed at home and could work the chores in through the craziness that is taking care of kiddos all day long (nope, I don’t stay at home either). When is a working mom supposed to clean the house?

I found a schedule that actually titled some tasks “Before Work” and some “After Work” and it suddenly started feeling doable. I don’t know about you, but I like to “test run” my New Year’s Resolutions, just to make sure they’re feasible before I commit to them. I’ve followed this chart for a few days and I think I can make it happen, at least for the month of January.

Make Beds
Empty Dishwasher
Put in One Load of Wash

Fold Laundry and Put Away
Load Dishwasher
Sweep Kitchen Floor
Chore of the Day

Monday – Clean Bathrooms
Tuesday – Dust
Wednesday – Vacuum
Thursday – Mop Floors
Friday – FREE
Saturday – Swing Day/Catch Up Day
Sunday – FREE

1st Week – Clean oven, microwave and fridge
2nd Week – Wipe down baseboards and doors
3rd Week – Clean inside windows and blinds
4th Week – Wipe down cabinets

Something else I love about this schedule? If you miss a chore, there are enough free days built in to make it up. I need to know that flexibility is there.

I’ve followed several training schedules for races and now it’s time to apply that same determination to keeping up with my house. I’m looking forward to it!

Anyone else want to join me for this #wannabechallenge? Will you commit to following this schedule for the month of January? 



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12 Responses to January Challenge: The Wannabe Housekeeper

  1. Jenn

    I will! Just like you, I hate cleaning. And even though I stay home, trying to clean while the kiddos are up is nearly impossible. So then it piles up and takes forever to clean and I hate my house un the meantime. Let’s do this!

  2. haha, i love how your weekly cleaning plan is kind of formatted like a workout schedule, always got to have an rest day 😉 good luck with your january goal!

  3. I’m usually good with cleaning, but I’m the kind of person that does better with a schedule. This schedule sounds manageable.

  4. Kathy in Chicago

    Saturday I hung out with a friend & the subject of cleaning came up. She says she cleans her bathroom 2x/week. Her girls are off in college, so it’s just her & her husband. My youngest is still at home, and our bathroom is cleaned every 2 weeks (when the cleaning lady comes). I felt like a slob!

    The challenge looks hard time wise, and I’m afraid my workouts will suffer. (I work 5 days a week, 12-14 hrs a day.) I will attempt, but am placing higher priority on my workouts (I need them for stress relief!)

  5. Rebecca

    This is great! I have used a schedule in th the past and was very successful. When I went back to school the schedule kind of fell to the wayside. I have spent the last day trying to come up with a good schedule but this one seems like it will actually work. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  6. Dana

    I love this schedule. I’m ready to give it a try in January too!

  7. What a great idea! That schedule looks doable. Except I don’t think our bathroom will get cleaned every week. And like my run mileage, I think all my chores will get crammed into the weekends. (There are only two of us, no kids yet, but we both work kind of ridiculous hours! Fortunately the husband is very good at cleaning, and washing dishes is my stress relief.)

  8. I just posted today about how my new goal is to clean a little bit every day so that I don’t spend one day a week cleaning allllll day. I will def be stealing this schedule! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Okay, the only thing I would suggest is this:

    Always go to bed with an empty sink, so: after work, empty the dishwasher and before bed, it will be loaded. No dirty dishes overnight. Now, maybe it’s just me, but I sleep better knowing that there’s no nasty stuff around the kitchen in the darkness. AND, when I’m cooking, things can easily be rinsed off and loaded so the after dinner cleanup is a piece of cake.

    I’m a tad clean freak, so maybe this will help

  10. Michelle

    My words would be what Jenn said, verbatim! I always imagine people thinking a SAHM’s house would be extra clean, because they have the time, but it gets dirty faster then I can clean it! Love your schedule you made and best if luck sticking to it! It’s one of my resolutions as well 🙂

  11. I love this! I’ll join you in the challenge! I am completely terrible at keeping the house clean and only get around to it when guests are coming to stay and it’s a complete disaster. This schedule looks pretty realistic if I can keep my motivation up! 🙂

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