Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekly House Blessing (otherwise known as: Cleaning Once a Week!)

I have never been too concerned about keeping things tidy. But, with two kids I had to figure out a way to keep up with it all. So I turned to Fly Lady and it was great. Every morning I got up, got us dressed, started a load of laundry, fed everyone breakfast, and went about our day. I had dinner planned every day. It went smoothly, but then we moved things changed and now I am pregnant with Little Three. Everything just got away from me. I have had to change and adapt the routines to work for our family. So now we focus on the Weekly House Blessing.

I still meal plan every week, it REALLY does save us a TON of money. I plan 8 or so meals and just pick and choose through the week. This keeps me from feeling trapped in my plan, allows for adaptation of schedules, and if I am behind on getting to the store I have a spare meal. With food sensitivities and a vegetarian in our house, meal planning can be daunting. For the most part we have some trusted favorites and mix in something new when we can. I am thinking of starting to share our meal plans, if anyone wants to see.

The second part is the house itself. There are chores to be done. Sure, vacuuming might need to be done more than once a week. But having the whole house clean at once seems to make it easier to keep up with. Oh, and I can live with the toilet not getting scrubbed daily, the floor mopped regularly, or even the bed being changed weekly (We shower/bathe at night, so as long as there are no accidents of course!) so my list may not be exactly how you want your house to be. But, this post is all about how we adapted for our family's needs and expectations, do the same for yours!

Ok, the list. During our House Blessing we find something to occupy the kids (sometimes they help, but I mostly keep this for during the week when there is more time) be that art, toys, or usually ends up being a movie. I have a list of tasks, labeled for the estimated time it takes to complete the task. Then I break them up between my husband and myself based on time and our abilities to effectively complete the job. These days I get the "handicap" for the baby belly making getting down and scrubbing difficult.

Make meal plan ~ 1 hour (Sometimes. This includes finding recipes, and making a grocery list)


  • Wipe Mirrors/Sinks ~ 10min
  • Wipe Cabinet Fronts ~ 5min
  • Sweep/Mop Floor ~10min
Every Other Week:

  • Scrub Toilet ~ 5min
  • Scrub Tub ~ 15min

  • Empty Dishwasher ~10min
  • Fill Dishwasher ~ 15min
  • Wipe Counters ~ 10min
  • Wipe Cabinet Fronts ~5min
  • Sweep/Mop Floor ~10min
Once a Month:

  • Clean Microwave ~ 10min
Living/Play Rooms
  • Pick up Living room ~ 15min
  • Pick up Playroom ~ 15min
  • Vacuum Living/Playroom ~10min

  • Clean Closet ~ 15min
  • Pick up Bedroom ~ 15min
  • Vacuum Bedroom ~ 5min

  • Change Bedding ~ 20min (King, Toddler, Crib)

  • Switch Laundry ~ 5min
  • Fold/Hang Laundry ~ 15min
In case you weren't counting that is just under 3 1/2 hours of work, and it is divided by the two of us so it takes just under 2 hours (not including Meal Plan, I do that after bedtime). It seems like a lot, but it makes our whole week flow better. It has really helped me to have a clean space to be in. Every week it seems to take less time as we get better at the chores too. 

Do you have a clean routine? 


  1. Right now, not so much. We have had a real routine in the past, but it feel apart (repeatedly) when I was pregnant with my fifth and again after she was born. Right now I try to sweep and tidy each day, and since we have a hardwood floor downstairs, I wash once or twice a week. (It gets sticky fast.) I need to get back to meal planning, but often I made two or three large meals on the weekend and use those for lunches all week.

  2. I have a set of daily chores (15 min clean sweep, cleaning the kitchen throughout the day, helping kids pick up toys, sweeping the hardwood), and another weekly task for each day (laundry (done 2x/wk), vacuuming, bathrooms, meal planning/grocery shopping).

  3. When my boys were little (they're cousins of Jennifer's hubby), I started the once a day "basket patrol". Usually it occurred just before dinner or as the start of the bedtime routine. One basket for things that needed to be put away in the public areas of the home, and another for the bedrooms. As the boys grew they had their own baskets. Once in the basket, it was quick and easy to put everything away.
    Now that it's just hubby and me, I still do this. Put it all in the basket; if I don't have time or energy to put it away before bed, I empty the basket in the morning.

  4. I am a FlyLady dropout, but I really do love this idea and might just snag your list. I like the idea of each of us having tasks and a specific day to do things, too. One idea we tried for awhile (but got off track for who knows what reason now) was trading off who picked up the main rooms each night. It was a little thing but meant so much to me to come down in the morning to a clean living room and kitchen. That's one of those things that "normal" people would do without thinking, but Sam and I had to make a plan and a lot of effort to stick to it.

    I think the main thing that trips us up is too much stuff in too little space. We need to pare down, and we need to figure out where it all goes, so it CAN be put away. It's impossible to clean around clutter. I remember FlyLady saying things to that effect.

  5. I really, really like that you call it a "blessing."

    There are five rooms in our apartment, including the bathroom, plus the entryway and hallway. So, six areas to clean. I have maybe two afternoons each week when I can do some cleaning. My idea is that I could focus on each room on a rotating basis, and assign the bathroom to my husband. It's just an idea, though. Right now I'm focusing on decluttering. Can't really clean until the clutter is cleared!