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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

{a clean home}

 I'm one of those crazy people that likes to clean, and I really love a clean house.  There's something about an orderly home that creates a calming atmosphere, and I find that I can manage the rest of my life so much better if my house is clean.

 I'm a big believer in "maintenance" cleaning, as opposed to cleaning for hours on one day of the week or before visitors are due to arrive.  It's much easier for me to fit in chores around my schedule during the day whenever I can, and it also allows for our house to stay clean as possible with five kiddos and seven people running around.

I'm also a list girl, and so keeping a cleaning checklist just makes sense, and helps me to keep track of things that need to be done not just daily, but weekly and monthly. (I also have quarterly and annual lists.)  This list can be printed out and laminated, and hung on the fridge or other prominent spot.  It could also be placed in a frame, and items crossed off with a dry erase marker.

How does it work?  I have certain chores that I do everyday, and work WONDERS to keep my home looking and feeling clean.  I fit them in when I can during the day, depending on my schedule. For example, I fold laundry each night after my kids are in bed while I catch up on my favorite shows, then I put it away in the morning.  It's a nightly ritual, but it's the way I can keep up with the 15-18 loads I do per week. I greatly believe that these daily chores are at the crux of success--do these, and you'll find yourself with more time overall, not less. Oh, and my kids do help with these chores...but that's a topic for another day.  :)


1.  Make beds

It's the first thing I do in the morning--I don't leave my room until it's done.  Having all the beds made is one of the best ways to keep rooms looking tidy, and it always makes me feel better to have it done.

2.  Wipe down bathrooms

I keep Clorox bathroom wipes and Windex in each bathroom, and it takes less than one minute to wipe down the counters and clean the mirror each day when we're finished getting ready.  Doing this daily will greatly reduce the amount of time it will take to deep clean the bathrooms--which I do weekly.

3.  Sweep after each meal

My husband says that I'm really married to the broom, and he probably has a point.  I sweep after each meal, and as needed throughout the day.  This is another chore that only takes a minute, but has a great impact.

4.  Dishes/dishwasher

We turn on the dishwasher at night, and put them away in the morning, which ensures that my sink can stay empty all day long.  

5.  Wipe down kitchen counters after each meal

Clean counters = clean kitchen.  When counters are crumb and clutter free, it sets the tone for the whole space.  It makes it easier to cook, do homework, and all the other things that go on in the busiest part of the house. I also wipe down all appliances (especially the fridge) after each meal--since I have stainless steel, this is a big deal for me!

6.  Laundry

I like doing laundry everyday, as opposed to doing it on one day of the week--and I've always done it this way, even before I had to do as many loads as I do now.  Laundry can quickly feel overwhelming, and when I saw a lot of piles, it makes me crazy. It also keeps my laundry room more orderly and organized, and it's easier to keep track of clothing.  I don't assign certain loads on certain days, except towels and sheets, because I just do them as they need to be done.  I could talk for days about laundry, but I'll spare you. Lol.

7. Vacuum main floor

We spend the majority of our time on the main floor, and I vacuum it each night after the kids are in bed.  It takes less than 10 minutes, and  No toys are kept in my kids' upstairs bedrooms, so they aren't up there until it's time to sleep, which means I can get away with vacuuming only once a week on the upstairs level.

8.  Open/file mail and school papers

Oh, how paper can quickly take over our lives!  Staying on top of it is the key, so each day go through mail and school papers and file them where they go.  Controlling paper clutter will make a HUGE difference in both appearance, and as a time saver...since you won't have to look for anything!

9.  Entire house pickup

I pick up the house throughout the entire day, but before bed, the whole house gets a once-over.  House rules call for rooms and playroom being clean before dinner, so it's really just the family room that requires the picking up before bed.  If you can set aside 10 minutes each night to pick up your entire house, it will greatly reduce and diminish things from just piling up.  This is where having a place for everything makes a huge difference, and it will go so much faster! 


I fit these chores in as I can during the week, and I usually choose a few each day to tackle.  It changes from week to week, as does my schedule, and I like the flexibility of being able to switch things around as needed.
  • vacuum whole house
  • vacuum under couch cushions, ceiling corners
  • dust
  • mop all floors
  • wash sheets & towels
  • empty trashes
  • wipe down kitchen cabinets
  • clean glass
  • deep clean bathrooms (toilet, tub, shower, floors, drawers & cabinets)
  • kitchen (microwave, stove burners, drawers)
  • wipe down kitchen chairs


I make a plan for these items, because they take a little more time to accomplish than many of the daily chores.

  • vacuum out and clean windowsills (when you open the window--that part between the inside & outside)
  • dust ceiling fans and ledges
  • wipe down vents (on walls and in floors)
  • clean fridge and freezer
  • wipe down doors and doorknobs
  • wipe down switch plates
  • cycle clean washing machine and dishwasher
  • clean oven
  • clean out garbage cans
  • sweep out garage
  • wash bed quilts/comforters

Keeping cleaners and rags accessible are a must.  Find a place for them on each level of your home, and it will be that much easier!  I have a cupboard in my laundry room for lower level cleaning, and in my bathroom cupboard for upper level cleaning.  I also keep stacks of rags along with the cleaners, so it's all there together.  To keep all the rags straight, I only use white rags for cleaning (they can be bleached), and colored rags for the kitchen.  When it's time to fold and put away, it's easy to know where they go!


There you go!  Hopefully some of the tips will help you on your journey to a clean and organized home.

If you're interested, you can download the cleaning checklist HERE.
(scrapbook paper courtesy

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Blogger {northern cottage} said...

lovely - isn't a picked up, freshly clean house just the BEST?

wonderful checklist (because you know our checklists have to be PRETTY too!)


February 15, 2012 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Teri's Life said...

15-18 loads of laundry a week??? I can't even imagine! I do 4-5 a week and cringe on laundry day! (Of course, there is a lot less to launder when you only have a 3 in the family)

I love your blog - you have so many cute ideas. I'm super glad I found this site!

February 15, 2012 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger McKenzie said...

A girl out for my heart with a list! I love lists! I just had a baby last month and it has completely turned my cleaning rituals upside down. I have been trying to figure out what to do daily, weekly, and monthly and this is a great start for me! Thanks!

February 15, 2012 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I just mentioned this post at Modern Parents Messy Kids because she is doing a whole life organization project and I thought your cleaning schedule could help some of the readers out. Hope you don't mind!

February 15, 2012 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Kristie K. said...

You are an inspiration! Love it! And I am sure your hubby does too!

February 15, 2012 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 3 post on Feb. 16, 2012. Thanks again.

February 16, 2012 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger CBH said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

February 16, 2012 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger camie said...

Thank you for this idea. I just made myself my own sheet of lists and I am excited to frame it. I hadn't thought of that before!!

February 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Nitika said...

I love this post, Kierste! I am incapable of doing in a week, even a fraction of what you do daily. But I am going to save and print your checklist for our housekeeper! God bless you.

February 16, 2012 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger katid said...

I was just thinking I need to buy a calendar and make it my chore chart. This helps out so much!

February 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Stephanie Mosselman said...

Half of me thinks this is BRILLIANT, the other half INSANE! Wow, good for you. I may try to adopt this...

February 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Amanda Lynn said...

I LOVE this idea! I need to work on getting more organized! I may have to steal your list and work on getting my act together =)

February 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM  
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February 17, 2012 at 1:58 AM  
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February 17, 2012 at 1:59 AM  
Blogger The Allen Family said...

WOW!! You do some things weekly or monthly that I couldn't even tell you the last time I cleaned it. :( How sad! And I consider myself a pretty clean person. I am totally doing this. Starting today! Any chance you could share what your quarterly and annual lists?

February 17, 2012 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger James and Talai Macfarlane said...

You are a life saver! I love this print out and it will help keep me organized :)

February 17, 2012 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger The Foxy Fam said...

You've inspired me! Thank you so much! I'm a total list girl too and have been trying to wrap my brain around how to "get it all in" everyday! I just found your blog and absolutely love it! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this!

February 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

This is a really helpful post. Since we've had a real house, I've realized that it takes a LONG time to clean everything, and is pretty much impossible to keep it that way! Thanks for the tips. I love lists too, and there are few things more frustrating than not being able to cross everything off, so it's good motivation for me. Sometime I'll have to pick your brain about what cleaning products/methods are your favorite for different surfaces. (Wow, that was a nerdy sentence!)

Seriously though, any tips you give are worth thinking about, because you have the cleanest, most organized house ever!

February 17, 2012 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger kelly said...

we are very similar but this was a really great list! i have always kept up with laundry, i think a laundry day is silly! also when my kids are in junior high they take care of their own laundry, teaching them that it is wash, dry, put away!
moving to a new house soon, will definitely keep up this type of schedule!

February 18, 2012 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Natalie@Endless Crafting said...

Just found your blog through pinterest. I love lists! I just did a post on this same thing. I am a mom of 5 also and find that order in the home is really the only way to run a smooth household.

February 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I love lists! Over the last several months, I've been attempting maintenance cleaning (rather than doing it ALL over the weekend, which is what I used to do)...some weeks I do better than others but I will say, it really makes a HUGE difference! I feel like I can really enjoy my weekends now!
All of that said, thank you for posting your list...I'll be printing it and adding it to my home maintenance binder (which is currently a work in progress)

February 19, 2012 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Brittany said...

um THANK YOU!!! This is SO what I needed right now. I love that you put everything into list form for all those of us who aren't super woman. ;) This is so inspiring! I'm sharing it with my readers at

February 23, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

Can you share your quarterly and yearly lists? Thanks

September 27, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Serenity Dreamer said...

Good day..
How are you?
Would you mind to re-uoload the pdf? Coz it's not working anymore.. ;< thanks~

July 3, 2014 at 4:22 AM  
Blogger XoAliMarieoXHoTmEsSMaMa said...

Hello! Could you re-upload the pdf? I’m very inspired by your post, but the pdf isn’t working :(

July 4, 2018 at 4:24 AM  

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