Are you looking for a stay-at-home-mom cleaning schedule to help you keep on top of the housework? Maybe you’ve tried a few and they haven’t stuck. Or you’re just warming up to the idea that you need some kind of plan. Let’s talk about what gives any schedule the best chance of success and then look at an example.
As a stay at home mom, it can be extra challenging to find a good balance between cleaning and doing everything else you need to, such as care for your kids, make meals, meet work deadlines, and more.
Since you spend so much time at home, it’s easy to fall into an ad hoc cleaning style. That is, you see something that needs to be cleaned and interrupt what you were doing to do the task.
You probably already know from experience that’s a recipe for stress, overwhelm, and an inconsistently clean house.
Here’s a much better way to approach your cleaning goals.
Have reasonable expectations.
“Reasonable” won’t look exactly the same to everyone, but it’s important to take stock of what you really expect yourself to be able to accomplish.
If your expectations are extremely high, in other words unreasonable for the time and energy you have, it will only cause you to lose motivation and be continually frustrated.
Learning to accept “good enough is good enough” doesn’t mean you’re failing. It means you’re finding a balance that works for you.
This is a good time to examine how cleaning fits into your overall priorities for your home and family. Sometimes the priorities we hold arent even ours! They’ve been inherited or borrowed over the years. But you get to decide what’s important and that can be an eye-opener.
Have a plan.
For most of us, this is non-negotiable.
You may be excited by the idea of having a plan to follow, or you may feel some pushback at the idea.
Either way, you need some kind of roadmap to follow that will guide to to where you want to be … feeling comfortable in your clean house.
A plan can be anything from a simple routine to a simple checklist to a complete cleaning schedule for the home.
As a starting point, we’ve got some great ideas for you, based on concepts that have proven to work.
Work the plan.
Being consistent is like a superpower. It can accomplish so much.
A good plan (not a “perfect” or “ultimate” plan!) can do wonders when you give it an earnest try.
I know this is where many of us have a tough time, but the truth is that consistent follow through is key.
You don’t have to accomplish 100% every single day. But aim to show up every day and do something, starting with your highest priorities. Getting something done frequently gives you way better results than getting a lot done once in a while.
Remember, forming habits is like building a muscle. Eventually you’ll be able to accomplish your tasks with much less effort.
How many hours a day should a stay at home mom clean?
This is a common question, and I understand where it’s coming from.
As a new stay-at-home mom it seemed to me that I should have a much cleaner house than my friends who worked outside the home. After all, shouldn’t I be able to fit more cleaning in here and there between other responsibilities?
I think the answer is that cleaning needs to have some guidelines put around it so it doesn’t become unbalanced with other tasks.
The amount of time you have to spend or care to spend will vary on lots of things: how many kids you have, how old they are, whether you work for an employer (or yourself), how big your house is, and on and on.
So there’s no one right answer to the question.
Having a clean home is an important thing, but it’s not the only thing.
Remember, “good enough is good enough”.
Spend some dedicated cleaning time most days so you’re being consistent, and take care of high priority tasks first.
What’s a realistic cleaning schedule when you’re at home with kids?
There are lots of cleaning routines out there that claim to be “the best” or “the ultimate” or even “realistic”.
But what does that really mean?
3 characteristics of a realistic cleaning schedule.
A mom’s day is never a dull moment. There are always surprises, mishaps, and lots of interesting goings-on. If your schedule doesn’t make it easy to take interruptions in stride, it’s not realistic.
As I said before, a clean house is an important thing, but it’s not the only thing. Every day moms make judgement calls and compromises. If a schedule puts too much or too little emphasis on cleaning, it’s not realistic.
We all have strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. You may have more energy in the morning than at night. You may have a short attention span. You may, like me, absolutely hate using a bucket. You don’t have to love cleaning, but if your schedule doesn’t lean into your strengths, it’s not realistic.
Do you have a job?
Having regular work hours can help regulate the rest of your activities as well. At least you know when you will not be available to do anything else. Check out our article on a house cleaning schedule for working moms.
Do you work for yourself?
When you work for yourself there’s always more to do. And most self-employed moms are highly motivated. So the temptation is to lose balance between our work and everything else. A streamlined cleaning routine that doesn’t require any thought to execute will help you stick with it.
Do you homeschool?
Depending on your homeschool syle, your days could be quite structured, very freeform, or somewhere in between. This is a great opportunity to bring your kids into the world of housekeeping and caring for where they live. Keep their cleaning duties very simple and straightforward. And keep your cleaning schedule in tune with the flow of your homeschool style.
Do you have very young kids?
First, give yourself grace and enjoy your babies. I know … “but the house still needs to be cleaned”. To keep up with your ever-changing days, pull out all the stops when it comes to your cleaning schedule: be flexible, find some balance, and play to your strengths.
Example of a simple weekly SAHM cleaning schedule
In this simple example, we’ve put together a schedule based on the following ideas.
- Core daily tasks (only a handful of top-priority items) have been divided into 2 daily routines.
- Cleaning time block is set aside each day to work on weekly tasks.
- Saturday is designated to work on monthly and occasional tasks.
With some added details and adjustments for your situation, this schedule can be flexible, balanced, and personalized.
Monday – Sunday
Put load of laundry in washer (transfer to the dryer during your cleaning time block)
Empty clean dishes from dishwasher
Cleaning Time Block
Monday – Bathroom weekly tasks
Tuesday – Kitchen weekly tasks
Wednesday – Bedroom weekly tasks
Thursday – Living Area weekly tasks
Friday – Miscellaneous weekly tasks
Saturday – Monthly & Occasional tasks
Sunday – Rest and recoup
Fill dishwasher and run
Fold clothes and put away
15-minute hotspot declutter
Daily cleaning tasks are the ones that keep your family running smoothly. Think clean dishes, clean clothes, and maintained clutter hotspots.
Weekly cleaning tasks only need to be done roughly weekly, although some can be more or less frequent. These will make up the majority of you cleaning list and include tasks such as vacuuming, washing the kitchen floor, dusting, cleaning the toilet, cleaning mirrors, etc.
Monthly + Occasional Tasks
Monthly and Occasional tasks can be easy to forget since they’re not done so often. Some examples are: washing shower curtains, cleaning the oven, and shampooing rugs.
Keeping a clean house as a stay at home mom has real challenges. But having a simple, well-designed cleaning schedule can make all the difference. Cleaner House + Less Stress = Big Win!