Cleaning, Routines

Confessions of A Routine-less Homemaker

Hi, I’m Katie.

Hi, Katie.

I’m here to confess that in the last 10 years of homemaking, I haven’t had a cleaning routine.


Routines are one of the areas where I have struggled, and still struggle with the most in my homemaking. I’ve tried multiple different kinds of routines. But I keep coming back to cleaning as I need to ( like when it gets really bad or when someone is coming over…) and I always fall behind. So today, I want to encourage you if you’re struggling with sticking to a cleaning routine, you’re not alone!

And, I can wait to share, I think I’ve finally found a routine that I like that might work for me! I’ll talk more about that in a bit, but first…

Why Do We Need Routines?

I can’t speak for everyone, and I don’t have research and statistics to back me up, but for me, when I’ve had routines in place, I get more accomplished, I’m more focused, and I have some sort of direction in place for my day.

So why haven’t I stuck with routines in the past?

Honestly, there are a few reasons. For one, having a bunch of little ones makes it challenging and health issues have also caused problems for me in that aspect as well. But mostly, this might shock you… but I believe part of my problem is laziness.

I want to do the least amount of work possible and still have a clean home, don’t you? Previous routines that I’ve tried to implement, have been far too complicated, I think. If it’s not simple, I won’t do it.

In the past, I’ve tried many different routines. The most recent has been separating tasks by day. For example, Mondays were laundry day, Tuesday was cleaning day, Wednesday was kitchen day, Thursday was office day, and Friday was town day. This routine works great for some people, I know, but for me, it was too overwhelming. I find I do better when I spread out my tasks a little bit every day instead of big jobs, only one day of the week.

What I didn’t like about this routine, was that every day, I woke up feeling defeated. Not only did I have trouble getting the  tasks-of-the-day completed, but I had trouble getting my normal, every day chores done too. Things were taking me all day to get done. I don’t have all day, I only have about 2 hours allotted to cleaning at the most. I’m the kind of person that when I’m overwhelmed, I just don’t do anything. So you can see why this technique didn’t work for me… 😉

Here’s what’s working for me now …so far.

So in my attempt at making this routine thing simpler, I thought about the tasks I already do, the tasks I want to accomplish, and the time allotted to me. I do a handful of tasks everyday (for the most part), tasks that I want to accomplish weekly, and things I only need to do once a month, or even once a year.

My daily tasks are:

  • Tidy master bedroom and bathroom
  • Make my bed
  • Complete at least one load of laundry
  • Clean the kitchen, wipe down surfaces and clean floors
  • 4 pm pickup- a quick tidy before dinner and evening activities

So, I thought in conjunction with my main daily tasks, I’d try zone cleaning by adding one zone of my house per day to my normal routine.

What is zone cleaning?

Zone cleaning is when you divide your house into zones and clean only a zone at a time. For example, in our house, the bedrooms are a zone, the living areas are a zone, the kitchen, the bathrooms, etc.

Once I divided my house into zones, I dedicated each zone to a day of the week. From there, I wrote out the task associated with those zones.

How I Use Zone Cleaning

Let’s use Mondays as an example. My Monday zone is bathrooms, so this is the main area I focus on today. So my morning “schedule” (I use that word loosely) might look like this:

  • Wake up, make my bed, tidy bedroom and master bathroom
  • Start a load of laundry
  • Breakfast/start by clearing the kitchen sink and wiping counters
  • Get kids started on schoolwork
  • Finish up kitchen
  • Switch over laundry
  • Start my zone.
    • Today is bathrooms. I start with the master. I wipe the counters and the mirror, the kids empty the trash in both bathrooms, this last week, I needed to scrub the shower but I don’t always, last week I also pulled the shower curtains down and wash them too. Then I’ll vacuum and mop.
    • In the kids’ bathroom, I do the same things, there’s just twice as much toothpaste on the counter.

Here are the other zones I use:

Tuesdays: Living Areas- Living Room and Playroom

Wednesday: Kitchen

Thursday: Dining Room/Office area and Mudroom/Entry

Friday: Bedrooms

Can this work for me?

I think I’ll talk about monthly cleaning in another post, but at least this gives you a good idea what zone cleaning looks like for our house. Right now, I want to share a little bit about whether you think zone cleaning might be a good option for you.

Zone cleaning might be a good fit for you if:

  • You are having trouble keeping up with housework.
  • Your to do lists are long, scattered, and very difficult to complete.
  • You have a short amount of time to clean each day.
  • If having one room completely clean will motivate you to continue ( I’m not the only one, right?!).
  • You have 4-5 days to complete your cleaning, depending on the amount of cleaning.
  • You already have cleaning you do regularly each day and you’re ready to move onto more “deep” cleaning.

Do you have a cleaning routine or do you just wing it? I’d love to hear about your routines. What’s your best tip? Share below.







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