Use a simple month-at-a-glance chart to keep your household chores and cleaning tasks organized and manageable. This tool, updated for each calendar month, enables you to 1) keep track of daily, bi-weekly, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, and as-needed tasks on one sheet of paper; 2) maintain a clean home in easy daily increments; and 3) plan around life's busy seasons for more involved cleaning projects. Bonus: If you enjoy checking the box next to a completed task, you will find the chart highly motivating.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Notebook or blank paper
- Graph paper or spreadsheet program
Go into each room or area of your home and make a list of all the tasks required to clean and maintain it. Next to each task, write down how often it must be done. For example, in your kitchen you might write:
Wash dishes - daily
Sweep floors - daily
Wipe counters and table - daily
Dust - weekly
Trash/recycle - weekly
Wipe cupboards/doors - twice monthly
Mop floors - twice monthly
Clean out refrigerator - twice monthly
Clean stove - monthly
Organize pantry - monthly
Wash windows - as needed
Don't forget outdoor areas, such as porches, decks and yards.
Some rooms may have duplicate tasks. For example, if your home is carpeted, you will likely include "vacuum - twice weekly" for each room.
Group all of your identified household cleaning tasks according to frequency under the headers Daily, Twice Weekly, Weekly, Twice Monthly, Monthly and As Needed. For example:
Wipe counters and table
Put fresh towels in bathroom
Remove unnecessary duplicates. For example, you don't need to repeat "vacuum" for each room in your house if you will be vacuuming all rooms at the same time.
Write the month in the top left corner of your graph paper or spreadsheet (paper should be sideways in landscape position). In the rows directly under the month, put your Daily, Twice-Weekly, Weekly, Twice-Monthly, Monthly and As Needed headers (in bold letters). Do these one at a time and list the corresponding tasks under each header. Example:
Put fresh towels in bathroom
Write the numbers 1 through 31, using a separate box for each, to the right of your "Daily" header (in the same row). These represent each calendar date of the month. Directly above each date number, write a letter that represents the corresponding day of the week for that calendar month.
Su = Sunday
M = Monday
T = Tuesday
W = Wednesday
Th = Thursday
F = Friday
S = Saturday
For example, if you were making a chart for January 2011, you would put an "S" above number 1, "Su" above number 2, "M" above number 3, and so on until you reach the last date. You should now have a separate box on your chart for each task on each day of a given month. Looking straight down from the number 1, you will see a separate box for each Daily, Twice-Weekly, Weekly, Twice-Monthly, Monthly and As Needed task.
Moving down your list of tasks, use a symbol (a dot, for example) to mark its corresponding box on each date across the chart on which the task should be completed. Your chart will look top-heavy, with all of the daily boxes marked, and fewer boxes marked as you move down the list to twice-weekly, weekly, twice-monthly, monthly and as-needed tasks.
You may want to spread out your Twice Weekly, Weekly and Monthly tasks so no particular day of the week or month is overloaded. Or you may want to dedicate certain days in a given week or month to clean house and finish many of your tasks at once, leaving other days clear. For example, you may choose Tuesdays and Fridays to completely your twice-weekly chores. Then you may add your weekly chores to one of those two days, or choose a different day of the week so no single day is too crowded. Your chart will allow you to see at a glance if any one day in the month is too full.
Your "As Needed" section may be blank if none of those tasks need to be done that month.
Tips and warnings
- When you complete a task, put a big "X" in its box.
- Bonus: If you have family members who enjoy checking off tasks, posting this chart on your refrigerator may motivate them to help out.