How to Create a Cleaning Schedule That Actually Works

How to create a cleaning schedule that actually works! Easy tips and a printable guide!

Let’s discuss house cleaning today. Sounds riveting, right?

I often get comments about how tidy our home is. I think most people are under the assumption that I like to clean. While I do enjoy a tidy home, I wouldn’t say that I find cleaning enjoyable. It’s just one of those adult tasks that needs done.

Today I’m going to let you in on a few of my secrets for a tidy home:

  1. A cleaning schedule

  2. I don’t do it alone.

  3. We keep our home picked up.

While I can’t necessarily help you with #2, I can help you with #1 (today) and #3 (later).

Let’s get started on creating a cleaning schedule that works for you. One that you will be able to stick with because it’s custom designed for you/your family!


First up. We’re going to need some tough love.

Your house will always get dirty. Every day. Your house will not clean itself. That’s why cleaning lends itself to so many great quotes.

  • I could keep this kitchen clean if people would stop eating here.

  • My house was clean and then the kids woke up.

  • If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again then I guess I’ll stop cleaning

I think most people get hung up on thinking that cleaning takes too much time or that it doesn’t matter because it’s just going to get dirty again. You shower on the regular though, right? Why? Because you keep getting dirty. Same goes for your house. (If showering is hard, you should maybe work on that first before delving into the cleaning list. Baby steps.)

A clean house doesn’t need to be about perfection. The best way I’ve found to tackle cleaning is a monthly cleaning list. (Or a maid. Another great option. Wink, wink husband.)


Your house will be mostly clean, most of the time. Before having children I would clean our entire house in one day. I no longer have that time available to me. I am shocked at how our house seems to be cleaner by doing tasks daily (usually under 30 minutes). It used to bother me that our whole house was never clean at the same time. With two small kids, that perfectionism had to go. The majority of our house is now clean throughout the week. I have found that I do a more thorough job when I have less tasks to complete.

I no longer feel trapped by cleaning. I’m not always looking around at all of the cleaning that needs to be done. A pot boils over on the stove on Thursday, I don’t need to stress because I know the stove will be deep-cleaned on Monday. (Yes, it will be dirty for a few days. I can clean it sooner but I know I don’t have to.)

Everyone knows what needs to be done. This one is HUGE. House cleaning should not be one person’s responsibility (unless you’re living alone). Anyone making messes should also be involved in cleaning up messes. Nate and I split the cleaning tasks on our list Monday through Wednesday because we both work outside of the home on those days. I usually tackle Thursday and Friday alone because I am home all day. If my day doesn’t allow me to complete the tasks, Nate will help that night. Our 4 year old is responsible for things like clearing his spot at the table, helping to unload part of the dishwasher and putting his laundry away at night. Cleaning should not be one person’s responsibility.



WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE? Grab a pen and notepad. Pick a room, any room. Write down everything that you think needs to be cleaned. You can use my list to guide you but I want you to really look at your own home. My cleaning needs won’t be the same as yours. Repeat for every room in your house.

HOW OFTEN? Think about how often you want various tasks completed. Do you want to wipe down your kitchen cabinets every week? Or will the world not end if it’s only done every other?

WHAT TIME DO YOU HAVE? This is one of the biggest things to consider when making your list. Realistically Nate and I have about 30 minutes each night that we can devote to the list. I bet most people have 30 minutes as well. (You might miss out on a Netflix show or some social media scrolling. But your house will be clean.) I know if it’s more than 30 minutes, we’ll stop doing it. I usually spend about an hour on Thursday either playing catch up or doing Friday’s tasks only because it’s the most convenient day for me to do so. Our weekends are generally free from cleaning.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO DO THINGS, WHO’S GOING TO DO IT? Nate and I are both more productive at the beginning of the week so I made Monday’s list a little longer than Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m home Thursday and Friday so I designated tasks that were easier for me to do with the kids around and/or during nap time.

Once you have your list compiled, it’s time to get to work!


ROBOT VACUUM You will notice that “vacuum” doesn’t appear often on my list. Don’t worry, we’re not animals. Vacuuming is a robot’s work. I do not want to live in a world where there isn’t a robot vacuum. “Vacuum” is actually only on our list as a reminder to carry one of our two vacuums down to the basement. We have robots for our first and second floors that run daily. (We own a Roomba and ILIFE. We bought the Roomba originally. The ILIFE was a good deal. The Roomba works a smidge better but, for the price, we’ll probably buy another ILIFE when the time comes.

BONA HARDWOOD FLOOR SPRAY MOP This mop makes cleaning our hardwood floors a breeze. (I wish I could have the cool mopping robot but our floors aren’t sealed. Sad, first world problems.)


FAVORITE CLEANING PRODUCTS I know this will be controversial (like everything on the interwebs) but I like chemicals. Essential oils aren’t my game. (No judgement here, just not my thing). Here are some of my favorites: granite cleaner, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaner, laundry soap, multipurpose cleaner

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. We take a week off once a month. We complete a checklist and then rest for a week. I think this may be one of the biggest reasons we stick with this schedule. The week off is almost like a mini-vacation. It gives us a break without our house falling apart. We still do our daily tasks of dishes, laundry, etc but skip the deep cleaning. We also don’t skip out on fun things because WE MUST GET HOME AND CLEAN. If I go to supper with a friend, Nate will complete half of that day’s tasks and I’ll finish it the next day (or vice versa). We try to keep it flexible without straying too far from the list.

Here’s our current list as a guide for you. I HIGHLY encourage you to make your own!

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Happy cleaning! I’d love to hear how this list helps you out!

Rainbow Puppy Party

Puppy Birthday Party. Simple ideas for a puppy themed party..png

A big party took place at our home over Labor Day weekend. Someone let our baby turn 1 (rude) and our firstborn turned 4. Time, you cruel beast.

We decided to have a combined party for various boring reasons. (Their birthdays are 3 weeks apart. Most of our family lives out of town, yadda, yadda.)

My biggest first-world-Pinterest-Mom concern was combing a birthday party theme. Luckily my darling angels made it easy on me this year.



Clark wanted a “blue dog from Paw Patrol cake”. That’s it. Oh wait, and rainbow colors. Just that. Nothing else. Oh, and balloons. In rainbow colors. (Side note: Clark doesn’t watch Paw Patrol. He doesn’t know the dog’s name but this was his wish. Kids are adorably strange. And clearly victims of marketing.)

Margo LOVES dogs. She hyperventilates and flaps her arms like a crazy person whenever she sees a dog. We used to think she was getting excited to see us but quickly caught on that it was Ike. “DOG” was also her first word.

Rainbow puppy party it is!


I try to curb my crazy with kid birthday parties but they’re only young once, right? (I mean, I didn’t iron the tablecloth so that means I’m totally not neurotic, right? Or I ran out of time. Whatever.)

I love to use food in my party decorating. You need to feed people. They eat the food. You don’t have extra junk in your house after the party is over. Winning all around. There was no shortage of puppy cake or cupcakes. Puppy chow and “pup-peroni” pizza rounded out the party. (I used this video as a guide for the cake and cupcakes!)


My mother-in-law graciously babysat me while I was decorating the cakes. Margo’s smash cake turned out slightly more Star Wars character than dog. She did scream DOG DOG DOGGGG whenever we’d show her the cake. I considered that good enough.

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I made my first balloon arch for the party. It shockingly wasn’t that painful. It took me about 20 minutes to blow up the balloons with a balloon pump and an almost 4 year old (one was more helpful than the other). I’ll link all of the supplies at the end of the post but balloon arch tape is a must. I assembled the arch in about an hour. Hanging was the hardest part of the process. I left that lovely task to Nate and my brother. There will be no words of advice on the hanging subject because I don’t want to know how they ended up doing it.


It was a beautiful day in Iowa so we took the cake smashing outside. This sweet girl ended up with frosting in her belly button. I could eat her up.

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Clark has sang himself “Happy Birthday” since age 2. It makes me so happy and brings a tear to my eye every time.

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This will also be known as the birthday where Mom matched the tablecloth. You win some, you lose some.

Party Sources:

Floral and Blush Nursery

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery

Now that introductions are out of the way, I can share Margo’s nursery with you!

Way back in May I shared my plans for converting my former craft room into the nursery. This was the first time that I fully planned out a room before starting. This is also my favorite room in the house. I’m sure there is some lesson there but I’ve never been great at that kind of thing.

What am I great at? Baby snuggling.

The showstopper of this room is the ivy wallpaper from B Darling Decor. I’m crazy obsessed with it. Like I want to wallpaper ALL THE KINDS OF THINGS (a famous Clark quote around here). I need to do a separate post about installation. Quick summary: our marriage survived. It was touch-and-go that first hour but we were back to soulmate status the second hour. The issues were no fault of the wallpaper, just our crooked house. I still can’t stop staring at the wallpaper. Margo too. I’m assuming it’s excellent taste and not that whole “babies love black and white” thing.

Most importantly the wallpaper makes for a great backdrop for photos of my favorite people. I hadn’t even considered that before.

Now for more nursery photos. (I’ll link all sources at the end. Let me know if I forget anything.)

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper
Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

We went with an IKEA Hemnes 8 drawer dresser over an heirloom piece. Kids are hard on things. Styles change. It just felt like the right decision for us currently. Assembly was as easy as IKEA assembly gets. Nate and I are both a little shocked at the quality (pleasantly shocked). Clark likes to run that pink ottoman into it daily to help with diaper changes. It’s handling that beating like a champ!

The chair is amazing. I’ve logged many hours in it over the past 12 weeks. It’s super comfortable. The perfect size. Rave reviews from everyone, including Ike. We’ve since added this small side table. Nate was going to build one and never got around to it. I needed a place for my water bottle, Haakaa (breastfeeding Mamas, you NEED this!), and pump. Amazon Prime for the win. (How did newborn Moms survive before?) We like it so much we’ve since ordered a second for by the crib to hold the AngelCare Monitor.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

Many things in this room are the result of middle of the night pregnancy insomnia Pinterest scrolling. Like the rabbit print. It speaks to me. Nate hates it. I’m sure Margo will love it. (She has great taste, remember?) I found the “little lady” sign in the Hobby Lobby clearance section for $2! We use Ivy the Goat in Margo’s monthly photos. (As I’m typing this, I’m noticing an Ivy theme. Weird.)

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The wire basket has the glamorous role of holding diapers and butt paste. (Not shown because we didn’t end up buying them until like a week before her arrival. We like to live on the edge.)

The bow holder is actually a towel holder. I wanted something that organized the bows but also made them easily accessible. Mission accomplished.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

We used a double curtain rod to hang the curtains. They are room darkening but not black out. Layering them while closed helps to darken the room.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The “Sweet Dreams” art above the crib is another one of those insomnia deals. I had trouble deciding on this part of the room. Cheap prints with cheap frames equal cheap large scale art. (Dear Safety Police, they are hung on the walls and also secured with approximately 957,308 velcro command strips. I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever be able to remove them.)

The crib was Clark’s. We (also known as Nate) painted the dark wood toned base black because the room was clearly ruined if it wasn’t black.

baby quilt

I made the quilt this Summer. It was a labor of love. (I used these Robert Kaufman Blushing Bouquet charm packs.) Quilting and planning a nursery are the two things that help me bond with baby during pregnancy. I spend the time during these projects thinking about their arrival, personalities, etc. Sappy hormonal stuff. The quilt gets used during monthly photos.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

The last project in this room was switching out the bi-fold closet doors. We plan to do this to the others in the house because it’s a fairly easy upgrade. Also kids and bi-fold doors make me nervous.

Floral and Blush Nursery, Girl Nursery, Wallpaper

Nap time is over! Back to chasing a 3 year old with a baby strapped to me. Boy has time (and this room) changed since I started blogging 10 years ago! It’s messy and beautiful and I can’t see what the next 10 years brings!


Ivy WallpaperIKEA Hemnes 8 Drawer DresserRabbit PrintSweet Dreams printsSoho Comfort GliderIvy the GoatBow HolderIKEA Ribba FrameQuilt Charm PackCribCrib sheetsCurtains, Pink Ottoman (thrift store), Round mirror (similar), Wire basket (exact: Hobby Lobby, similar), Pink clock“M”changing pad cover, Wall color (Sherwin Williams Privilege Green)