Cleaning schedules may seem like an unnecessary chore to create, especially when you live alone or with other adults. However, while few people actually enjoy cleaning, creating a cleaning schedule can take away a lot of the stress involved. They can ensure that everyone is on the same page, and ensure that no chore goes unnoticed for too long.
Whether you live alone, with roommates or your partner, or are a family with children, every renter can benefit from creating a cleaning schedule to follow.
Why is a Cleaning Schedule Important for Renters?
Keeping your space clean and tidy will prevent germs and pests and support your mental health. For renters, it is vital to keep your space clean not only for yourself and your household but also to ensure a good landlord-tenant relationship.
While your landlord is unlikely to expect you to keep your home constantly spotless, it is important that your cleaning tasks are maintained consistently enough to prevent issues like stains, mold growth, and pests in your rental. Keeping these problems at bay will ensure that you are more likely to keep your full security deposit at the end of your tenancy, and it will help you enjoy your time at the rental during your lease term.
Steps to Create a Household Cleaning Schedule:
Step One: Decide on the Non-Negotiables
Scheduling regular cleaning and housekeeping tasks requires knowledge of what needs to be cleaned and how often. Most experts suggest that chores should be broken down into daily and weekly cleaning tasks, with considerations for monthly and seasonal deep cleaning, as well. Understanding these basics is essential, but it is also important to decide ahead of time what tasks need to be considered non-negotiable and what tasks can be completed more or less frequently than a typical cleaning schedule recommends.
For example, dishes should be completed daily to prevent bad smells in your rental, and to mitigate attracting bugs or vermin. However, large families or roommates who host friends over often, may find that these tasks need to be done even more frequently than recommended; perhaps completed as a morning and evening chore. Find out everyone’s cleaning pet peeves; consider those tasks top priority.
Step Two: Honestly Evaluate Your Household Schedule
Avoid aspirational cleaning schedules, and honestly evaluate everyone’s day-to-day life before committing to certain tasks. Magazine-worthy cleaning schedules will often have a lot more on your task list than you might need to maintain a clean and sanitary space.
Items like “vacuuming the curtains” weekly or “wiping the baseboards” daily may not fit with your busy schedule. A well-developed cleaning schedule will work around your family or housemate’s current daily lives rather than against it. Ask yourself questions about how a thoughtful schedule will work in the real world for your life.
- Do you live with a roommate who has college courses during the week and shifts at the local grocery store in the evenings?
- Do you take care of children who need to get to soccer practice after school twice a week?
- Did your partner finally commit to learning guitar and takes lessons on Wednesday nights?
Real-world scheduling conflict must be considered before you attempt to create a lasting cleaning schedule. (Keep in mind that these may change as schedules change as well.) If you or the other adults in your home cannot realistically commit to huge daily lists while working, you will need to reassess, and schedule blocks of time when it best fits your week.
Step 3: Divide and Conquer Cleaning Tasks
Whether you live with roommates in a larger home or you simply rent a studio apartment alone, there are ways you can divide your time throughout the day and your week to ensure that you are not stuck with a large amount of cleaning at once. If you live with others, create a chore schedule that everyone can agree on. Keep tabs on daily tasks dividing them as needed, and set aside time each day to tackle a larger weekly task.
As a renter, remember that you may have other obstacles to get your tasks completed. Laundry may require that you leave your apartment to go to a laundromat, vacuuming should be saved for reasonable hours if you know tenants below your apartment are likely to be disturbed. Plan accordingly when scheduling your tasks for each day of the week.
Example Daily Tasks:
- Make Beds
- Wipe Down Bathroom Counters
- Pick Up Clutter
- Sweep Kitchen
Example Weekly Tasks:
- Clean Bathrooms
- Laundry Day
- Take Out Trash
- Deep Clean Kitchen
- Mop Floors
Tips for Making Your Cleaning Schedule Easy to Accomplish:
The trick to successfully sticking to a cleaning schedule is to ensure that you make each task as easy to accomplish as possible and limit the amount of time you need to set up or switch between chores. Luckily there are some tried-and-true methods to help you breeze through your checklist:
Buy duplicate cleaning supplies or a carrying caddy for each similar room. Gathering all the supplies you need takes more time than you think. If you have two bathrooms, don’t waste time carrying all the supplies from one area to another. Simply buy duplicate cleaning supplies for each space. This will allow you to have everything you need to quickly wipe down the area when you have a few spare minutes.
Multitask with intention. Put away clean dishes each morning while making your coffee. Wash your prep tools while your dinner cooks. Ready to listen to your favorite podcast? Sweep the floor or dust while you listen. Finding small 10 to 15 minute blocks of time in your day that can be spent completing a small cleaning task will set you up for success.
Eliminate clutter whenever possible. More items in your space will mean more items that need to be cleaned and put away. The opposite is true, as well. Sorting through any clutter and donating items can be the easiest way to permanently check a task off your to-do list.
Spot clean if you run out of time. Life happens, and schedules can get out of sync sometimes. If you find yourself unable to accomplish your weekly cleaning task one day, decide to spot clean the problem areas instead. Spot cleaning can do wonders for your home and ensure that the next time you come across that weekly chore, it’s not significantly harder to accomplish because of built-up grime. Remember though, if you find yourself consistently running out of time for specific tasks, it’s time to reevaluate your current cleaning schedule.
Cleaning may be a literal chore, but taking the guesswork out of the job and ensuring that everyone in your household is on the same page can eliminate a lot of strife. Make your home your oasis by creating your own cleaning schedule.