How to Develop a Household Cleaning Routine That Works

Want to know how to establish a household cleaning routine for your family… that actually works?

Then you’re in the right place!

Let’s talk about some great tips on how to develop a routine to keep your house clean (that is flexible to your family’s busy lifestyle)!

This post isn’t just a list of ideas that you can throw against the wall and hope one of them sticks. I want to help you develop techniques that really will work.

That’s why, before we get to the suggestions and tips, I need to tell you 5 key secrets to creating a realistic household cleaning routine. These simple truths will set you up for success!

Looking for a way to finally find a cleaning routine that works for your family? You'll LOVE the great ideas (and practical tips from lots of moms!) in this post! Perfect for spring cleaning or whenever you need help keeping your home tidy.

5 Secrets to Creating a Household Cleaning Routine (That Works)

1) There is no “one-size-fits-all” household routine.

There are no right or wrongs here. If a certain method works for you, that’s great. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine too.

2) Everyone has different opinions about the what, the where and the how often.

You can decide how often it’s acceptable to clean your bathroom. You can determine the best method for folding and distributing laundry. It’s up to you what aspects of a daily or weekly household cleaning routine are non-negotiable.

Your opinions about what’s “acceptable” may vary vastly from mine. And that’s OK, because I live in my house and you live in yours. Can we give each other freedom here? And on that note…

3) Consider your season and responsibilities when determining “acceptable” household cleaning routines.

If you have young kids at home, you’re in the midst of a very demanding season (not that you needed me to tell you that).  That’s why you may need to lower your expectations of what a “clean” or an “organized” house looks like because of the extra demands on your time.

None of us have perfectly kept houses. We need to stop imagining that “other people” do (and that we just have to get it together more). Stop the comparing and define (with your spouse) what you deem acceptable for this season. And be OK with it. Truly.

4) The household cleaning routine may work for you now, but it may not work later.

Family life is an ever-changing entity. Each family member has needs, involvements and responsibilities that are in a constant state of change.

That’s why household cleaning routines may work for a season, but not forever. Try not to get stuck in discovering a “forever” routine because it won’t happen. Instead…

5) Experiment and try something new.

Try several techniques until you land on one that works for you. And then if it stops working, try something else.

It really is that basic. Just pick something and give it a go! The main point I want to share here is that some routine (even if its an imperfect routine) is better than no routine. 

Feel better? Good!

Now it’s time to discover some fantastic cleaning routine ideas! Click “read more” to be inspired.

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About the Author

As a wife and mom to four passionate kids, Alicia Michelle loves encouraging other moms with practical tips for joy-filled living in everyday life, especially in parenting, marriage, faith and health. Alicia is the owner/editor of Your Vibrant Family; the author of Plan to Be Flexible, The Back to School Survival Manual; and the creator/producer of the "7 Days to a Less Angry Mom Online Video Course,", Christ-Centered Christmas Resources and My Memory Box Organizing System. In addition, she is a monthly contributor for several popular family blogs, including Crosswalk.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply 17 comments

Kristi - February 9, 2015 Reply

Great post! I love gleaning from what other moms are doing…then tweaking it to work for our family. Thanks for sharing this!

    Alicia Kazsuk - February 9, 2015 Reply

    Thank you! Yes, I love to “glean and tweak” ideas too! 🙂 Appreciate your comments. 🙂

Kristy as Giftie Etcetera - February 17, 2015 Reply

Excellent post.

We don’t homeschool, but right after homework (or before, if they want to move around first – it’s up to them), the kids have chores. One kid does the dishes daily. (I do any extra loads.) The 6 year old does a bunch of little things, like emptying trash bins, bringing all dirty clothes to one hamper, and sweeping under the table!

My kids don’t even realize that not doing chores is an option. Ha ha!

    Alicia Kazsuk - February 17, 2015 Reply

    Kristy, great idea! Yeah, in our house, our kids have to finish all their schoolwork and chores before any free time. We’re a firm believer in everyone working together to keep the house running. 🙂

Homeschooling & House Cleaning - Teach Beside Me - April 13, 2015 Reply

[…] There is no one “right” answer to this question! We each are at different stages of our homeschooling journeys and have different-aged children with varied needs. All of these factors play into the “how” of keeping a house clean, and we first need to recognize this. We can’t play the compare game, and also, we must expect that our definition of what is a “clean house” will vary throughout the years. Grace must abound here. However, at the same time, having some sort of order to the home is crucial in keeping your sanity! And in fact, I believe that developing a household routine that works for your family is a vital key to homeschooling success. I wrote more about it in this post:  “Homeschool Sanity Savers (Part 2): Daily and Weekly Household Rout… […]

Amanda - August 21, 2015 Reply

I LOVE THIS !! I’m always interested in how other families run their days ! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Alicia Michelle - August 21, 2015 Reply

    Thank you, Amanda! I appreciate the encouragement! Have a great day!

Susan Raber - August 22, 2015 Reply

Excellent post. I can’t tell you how many times in the last 20 years we’ve changed our schedule. And I’m not just talking changing every year, but semester to semester and month to month as kids adopt new interests and become part of different activities. Building in the flexibility is essential, and it reduces the feeling that you are ‘failing’ or falling behind because you couldn’t stick with an etched-in-stone plan.

    Alicia Michelle - August 22, 2015 Reply

    Thank you, Susan! I agree that flexibility is the KEY to successfully running a homeschool. Our lives are constantly in flux and we need to be aware of those changes and be moving with that flow. My book “Plan to Be Flexible” and my “rhythm” course talk about that. I also like how you said that when you are flexible it “reduces the feeling that you are ‘failing.'” Absolutely true! If we can realize that, we can have the correct expectations about our daily school rhythm and understand that if things are working it doesn’t mean that we aren’t doing things “right.” Thank you for sharing your insight!

grtlyblesd - August 22, 2015 Reply

Good point about being flexible over the years. We had a system that worked great for us in our old house, but doesn’t work here.

    Alicia Michelle - August 22, 2015 Reply

    Thank you! I think accepting that things need to be flexible can bring so much freedom! Thank you for sharing and stopping by!

Trena - September 7, 2015 Reply

Excellent post. What is “right” for one family may not meet the needs of the next family when it comes to cleaning/chores. Thanks for sharing with #What to Read Wednesday. Hope to have you back next week.

    Alicia Michelle - September 8, 2015 Reply

    Thank you, Trena! Yes, it’s OK for us to all have our own way to getting it done, right?! Appreciate your feedback!

vmorgan456 - October 31, 2015 Reply

Although not a homeschooling parent I can relate to #2. We babysit our grandkids through the week. I have learned to just calm down about the house. thanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty

How to Keep the House Clean While Homeschooling - Includes 50+ Ideas! | Free Homeschool Deals © - February 18, 2016 Reply

[…] practical, reasonable advice in establishing a cleaning routine for your home.  Hint: One size does NOT fit […]

Sammy - February 14, 2017 Reply

We are right in the middle of ‘young kid season’ and have decided there are more important things than keeping the house spotlessly clean. It’s too much effort to go around picking up after a couple of toddlers all day.

    Alicia Michelle - February 18, 2017 Reply

    Agreed, Sammy. I totally support you in that! Our house is far from spotless, trust me, even though our youngest is 5. 🙂

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