I have a secret to confess:

I am a slob. And, if I’m honest, a little bit lazy. 

In an optimized timeline, my ideal self would probably be a pampered house cat, doing the absolute minimum to garner the maximum amount of treats, scritches, and sunny naps. 

But in this life, I’m a human being with a home that is constantly under assault from soot, dust, and an army of dust bunnies. Add in the horrors of the kitchen and bathroom and keeping everything Pinterest perfect can start to feel like a never-ending battle.

Courage, my friends!

What makes housecleaning so daunting likely stems from how we think about it. “Cleaning” is a super broad term that encompasses everything from picking up a stray sock to steaming the floor tiles behind the refrigerator. With humans and pets about, “cleaning” may also call forth images of a road to Nowhere, the work never done. 

But like any good general knows: divide and conquer, and make it fun!

Perhaps “fun” is an overreach, but with the right perspective shift it can become the most satisfying part of your week. Personally, I like to throw on a podcast or audiobook while handling my weekly chores: I get so invested in the story that I’ll spend more time clearing off my To Do List. Marathon phone calls with friends and family are also great for this – my kitchen never sparkles so brightly as when a friend is going through major drama.

Certainly, there’s nothing like the quiet satisfaction of a freshly scrubbed bathroom, but keeping up with regular house chores also has some pretty great mental health benefits:

  1. It gives a sense of control over your immediate world

  2. It’s ritualistic and intentional, providing peace of mind

  3. It’s calming and energizing, alleviating stress

Sensational! How do we get started?

Keeping a tidy home doesn’t mean washing the walls, scooping out the gutters, or clearing out the lint from the dryer vent duct every week. No, in fact, these should all be done annually, especially the vent duct since lint clogs can cause housefires. Weekly chores should be less mountain and more mole-hill. 

If you’re like me and suffer from analysis paralysis, do yourself a favor and whittle down your weekly list to the barest minimum. Keep a few extra optional heavier-lift tasks to tackle if your time or energy permits. 

A Pretty Decent Tidying To-Do List

Without a doubt, these chores 100% need to be done every week, without exception, and if you asked me to my face, that is exactly what I would say, and loudly. Then, I’d pull you aside and let you know that between you and me, it’s ok to skip a week here and there. We’re not perfect, and there’s no need to give ourselves a hard time over grout and glass. 

Change Your Bed Sheets
Every week to two-times a month

If you’re one of the respondents to this gob-smacking survey who thinks a sheet change every four months is acceptable, I have some news. It’s gross. Dead skin cells, sweat, body oils, hair, mites, bacteria, and loads of other fun stuff accumulate quickly so it’s best to start every week with a crisp set. 

Bathroom Towels
Every week to every other week

See above re: the unwanted house party: bathroom edition, in your bath sheets, body towels, hand towels, even the itty bitty face ones. Wash them all weekly.

💡 Constantly folding laundry? Two ways to cut folding time in half:

  1. Alternate between two sets of linens. Instead of folding and shelving clean sheets and towels, use them to make your bed and replace your towels. Keep dirty linens in the hamper until next laundry day

  2. Stop folding your kids’ clothes! Keep their shirts, shorts, and socks in organized bins instead.

Kitchen Appliances
Every week to two times a month

Grease from cooking, dust from everywhere, and smokey soot collaborate to create a fast-accumulating film of persistent goo that can layer appliances, cabinets, and out of the way backsplashes and countertops quickly. Overnight it can take over. Use a simple solution of one part white to four parts water in a spray bottle to wipe down fridges, toasters, mixers, and micros. 

Bathroom & Kitchen Sink Drains
Every week to once a month

Sinks and countertops should be maintained daily, but to keep things running smoothly, flush out drains weekly with hot water and a couple drops of dish washing liquid. Dissolves greasy deposits, deodorizes, and, rumor has it, helps to keep fruit fly infestations at bay

💡Try this easy Shower cleaning hack. The professionals use a combo of water and a few drops of dish soap to get tiles gleaming. Load up a soap dispensing kitchen sponge and scrub down the shower walls while you shower a few times a week.

Every week to twice a month

Ugh. The bane of my existence until I found the perfect pampered-person hack: a robot vacuum.

While not quite “set it and forget it” – it takes about five minutes to Roomba-proof a room of cords and toys – it does an admirable job of collecting the week’s dust and debris. If you prefer a more-hands on approach, cordless stick vacuums are also great for on the spot spills and weekly sweeps

Door Knobs & Light Switch Plates
Every week to twice a month

Likely overlooked, think of how often this hardware gets handled in a week…by everyone. Anti-bacterial cleaning wipes kill bacteria, cuts through hand sweat and oils, and leaves knobs and plates gleaming. If you’re dealing with specialty hardware like brass or crystal, check here for best cleaning practices.  

Every week to twice a month

Toilets should be maintained on the daily with at least a quick swipe of antibacterial wipe at the end of the day, and a good deep cleaning once a week.

Start by flushing the toilet with hot water and, using a solution of white vinegar and baking soda, lightly scrub the mix around the bowl and under the rim. Leave it. After an hour, scrub some more, flush with more hot water, and clean the tank, the bowl’s exterior and surrounding tile. And voila! A throne fit for royalty. 

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them