a scheduled life is a clean life

You may or may not have heard, but we finally traded in my teeny tiny 2003 2-door silver Chevy Cavalier for a REAL mom vehicle: a shiny red 4-door 2007 Saturn Vue.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  This has really been needed since Eddie was born three years ago, but it just wasn’t in the budget to add a car payment (both of our vehicles were paid off) while paying for Cort to go back to school.

Well, we had to bite the bullet when Charlie arrived.  It was becoming ridiculous to try to figure out who should drive the Blazer (which can fit both boys) any given day since my tiny Silver Bullet could only fit one or the other.

In preparation for this purchase, we had to make some sacrifices.

One was a cut to our personal allowances.  The other?

The cleaning lady had to go.

Cortney blessed my sanity over a year ago by hiring someone to do the cleaning bi-weekly initially so that I could have my weekends (during the school year) so I wouldn’t be so stressed out, then it was more to help me out when I was too pregnant to bend, and even more recently it was to help me after Charlie was born so I could concentrate on healing and bonding with him and not on vacuuming.

But things are going great, and I am finding that since Charlie is such a good baby, I can do the cleaning myself and save us that money each month.

Money that could go toward a car payment so I can have a real mom vehicle.

Per my Type A personality, I sat down and created a daily list for cleaning, errands, and laundry that would be manageable and still give me my weekends to NOT do housework.

Lots of people on the twitters and facebook were intrigued by this, so I thought I would share.

I also thought that someday, when I wonder how I managed to keep a clean house while having little kids at home, I’ll be able to look back and be amazed at my organization.  Or laugh at how crazy I was.  Something.

The lists began when I had Eddie and couldn’t use the stairs to do laundry.

Cort knows I am very specific about how I do each load, so I made him a cheat sheet of what goes in each load, what the water temp should be, and what sort of things go in (what kind of detergent, bleach or no bleach, etc).

Again, I started with a laundry schedule that is four days, so no laundry on the weekends:

yes, this IS taped to the dryer.

This also helps the other people in the house to know when certain things will be washed.  For instance, Cort’s shorts go in the Monday cold water load/non-delicates.  This way he knows if his shorts are in the laundry basket before Monday, they won’t get washed OR he will have to do them himself.

Once I had these days figured out, I assigned days to the rest of the housekeeping chores.  My weekly schedule looks like this:

cold water laundry (delicates and non-delicates)
sheets laundry (every other Monday)
clean bathrooms

Eddie’s laundry
Charlie’s laundry
dust entire house

whites laundry
towels laundry
clean floors (vacuum carpets, mop floors)

warm water darks laundry
change sheets (every other Thursday)
clean kitchen

Daily I have to load/unload the dishwasher and wash up the hand wash items (including bottles).

Usually I do errands on Tuesdays and Fridays and treat myself to Starbucks on those days as well.  And I get groceries on Saturdays.  Sometimes I take Charlie in the Moby, sometimes he stays home with daddy.  Depends on what Cort and Eddie have planned on Saturday and what time I go.

That’s it.

This schedule gives me a day of leeway with Friday since I don’t have anything planned on Friday.

Of course I am writing this on a Tuesday after a holiday yesterday where I did NOTHING but play, so I am busting out all my Monday and Tuesday laundry today while writing this post.

But I do everything with this little man following me around the house as my audience, so it sort of makes it fun times.  Or at least it gives me someone to talk and sing to while I shake my booty clean the house.

"you missed a spot, mommy!"

Tell me…how do YOU clean all the things?  Or do you let it all go to hell and then tackle it?

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. OMG I can totally see my wife doing this. I’m hesitant to share it with her though since I don’t have enough clothes that fit since I started running again, and don’t want to spend the money on a new wardrobe right now, especially since I’m sure sure I am totally at where I can be at yet.

  2. I have recently ditched my cleaning schedule that I had going since the beginning of the year. I was too hard on myself when I didn’t get my tasks done for the day. Then the guilt and feelings of failure would set in. I need to revamp it so I can have a clean house and no guilt. Less is more, right?

  3. We totally have a list of what gets done on each day during the school year. Over the summer, I take a more relaxed approach, but it is a total sanity-saving strategy in my house, too, to keep it all organized. And when I forget to write something on my list, I totally go back and add it just so that I can cross it off–because that is how I roll! 🙂

  4. I’m totally like this – except for in the last year… and I need to so so so get back to this. Especially the vacuuming thing. Yikes. 🙂

  5. Chantelle says

    Im the same way. I have a list system that I follow.
    Laundry: one load a day.
    Mon dust
    Tues windows and mirrors, windex the appliances
    Wed clean table and counters
    Thurs vacuum and mop
    Fri clean bathroom
    Sat wash sheets and clean out fridge
    Sun clean purse and car out

    Here’s a great tip: keep a sponge I your shower. Every time you take a shower use a bit of shampoo on the sponge and while you’re waiting for your conditioner to sink it, just scrub a little spot in the shower. It takes an extra two minutes and you never have to spend time of your shower.

  6. i love this! i’m really bad and it all kind of piles up and then i get discouraged. this is fabulous. 🙂

  7. Interesting timing… Making similar changes here, I have devoted my morning (post Reader catch up) to making a cleaning schedule.

  8. I feel like I’m constantly chasing everything that needs to get done, without ever feeling like I’m managing. It’s like a dark, heavy cloud over me at all times.
    I have tried the list thing, but felt like there weren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week to get it all done.
    Aaahhh! Now my type-A self’s heart rate has gone up…

  9. I must say, I am not very organized when it comes to cleaning. I do have one day that I do all the laundry on…. It’s just balls to the wall laundry all day.

    And the other stuff, I just do it when I remember or feel like it.

  10. Maybe my problem is that I’m not actually writing it down. I have this sort of list floating around my head, but since it’s not on paper, I find it totally acceptable to skip any chore on any given day. Something about actually writing it and TAPING it makes it so official.

  11. Haha, I used to have a cleaning schedule. I did really well for awhile, but as it turns out…I’m not that organized. My new system is to let it all go to hell then bitch and moan that someone needs to help me! (just kidding…kind of). But seriously, other than the kitchen and picking up toys, I just do it when it looks like it needs to be done, now.

  12. currently i do all my laundry on either saturday or sunday. it consists of usually three or 4 loads. i wash everything in cold. all clothes go together only towels are separate. my cleaning scheduled consists of doing the bathroom when i notice it needs it, doing the floor when i notice it needs it and dusting when i notice it needs it. since i have a child who puts everything in her mouth and throws things out of her high chair, we may vaccuum a little more frequently. i am not anal about cleaning or appearances.

  13. This is brilliant. I think about starting a schedule, but then I don’t so then I get all overwhelmed because really? It’s almost impossible to clean with these 3 little ones underfoot. But with a schedule I’d at least have a goal instead of a never endirto do list!

  14. I love that you’re so organized!

    I still have a cleaning crew come in once a week to clean the whole house (sweep & mop floors, clean windows, clean toilets & kitchen, wipe all surfaces, iron the husband’s work shirts). On a daily basis, I do everyone’s laundry at once (yeah I don’t separate whites and darks oops) first thing in the morning. I sweep the floor in the afternoons when everyone’s asleep, also daily. The rest of the house, I clean as I go (wiping up spills etc). It works well enough. 🙂

  15. Growing up we always cleaned on Saturday mornings, so I kinda stick to that routine. Specially since we live in this sleepy boring town where I’m not gonna miss anything but the mall and maybe lunch at Red Robin on a Saturday and I’m slow to get movin’ anyway on Saturdays… And because, like you, when teaching during the week I don’t wanna clean when I get home from a day chock full of loud six year olds. So, now that I’m home for the summer, I’ll probably do some little things. I’m really good at washing clothes, not so good about putting them away. Chris usually gets frustrated at the pile of clean clothes on top of the dryer in laundry baskets and he’ll fold them. I’m not really clear how I’m gonna manage with two kids, so now laundry for 4 people. But, I choose to pick my battles. At least the clothes are clean, right?

  16. your organization makes me swoon….

  17. We let it go to hell and then tackle it. Mostly.
    I am a very scheduled and organized person. But if I were to add a cleaning schedule, I would drive myself crazy from 330pm until 10pm instead of spending time with the baby.
    Every day, my husband washes the bottles and fills our water bottles for the next day (about 5 nalgenes).
    I prepare the next day bottles, and sweep/vacuum the main rooms.
    Every other day, we wash cloth diapers, so in between, we are stuffing them.
    On top of preparing dinner and enjoying the company of each other and our baby, I just can’t fit in any more, nor do I want to. We do laundry starting Friday night, and finish by mid Sunday, with our sheets being last. Sunday, while one of us gives the baby a bath, the other puts our sheets back on the bed. We also combine all of our clothes and the baby clothes and don’t do separate loads for her.
    Everything else gets cleaned as needed or as we have time/opportunity. It works for us 🙂 One thing I HAD to let go of before the baby was having a spotless house, and I’m proud of myself for doing so.

  18. Thanks for the schedules! They’re great. It is so much easier to keep the house clean if you stay on top of things. I especially like clearing the kitchen before bed. It’s so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen.