We’re all guilty of it: We get too busy to tidy up our homes so we put it off until it’s a huge undertaking. Soon small tasks like wiping down the counters or sweeping the floor turn into an all-day endeavour — who wants to spend their free time catching up on chores?
Instead of procrastinating and saving all the cleaning for a time when it may be inconvenient, try this 30-day strategy where you can tackle all of your tasks in just 20 minutes a day! Say goodbye to clean-a-thons that last all weekend by committing to this simple cleaning schedule.
Before we share our schedule with you, there are some basic rules to follow to help you keep up.
Rule #1: Don’t Delay the Dishes
Cleaning up after a meal can be a repetitive and even tedious task, especially when you have to do it day after day, meal after meal. That also means you can be certain more dishes are inevitable and you might as well chip away at it when you can. This also means wiping down the counter and kitchen table after every meal.
Rule #2: Have a Place for Everything
It’s hard to stay organised when your things are scattered about. Make sure that all your belongings have their own spot. You’ll always know where they are so you can locate them faster! Just think of how much time you would have saved every time you’ve misplaced your keys! Consider things like a basket to put the post in, a hook to hang your keys and more.
Rule #3: Keep up With the Laundry
Just like the dishes, laundry is a necessary evil that we tend to let pile up because we are burnt out from the monotony of it. Once your laundry basket hits the height where you know you’ll make a full load, get to it! While it washes, treat yourself to some ice cream or your favourite show to help connect doing laundry to a positive reward. It’s the little things that can really help your attitude.
Rule #4: Make It Fun
There’s no reason you should make cleaning more of a chore than it has to be. Turn on some music or listen to an audiobook while you get the work done. If you have kids, encourage them to clean their room like it’s a game. Make it into a race by timing them or give them an incentive like a small candy or 30 minutes of their favourite show on the telly.
Now that we’ve laid the ground rules, it’s time to get cleaning! The idea behind this method is to tackle tasks in a small window of time, making it possible to integrate them into your everyday life. The time it will take you to accomplish these tasks may not even take 20 minutes, depending on the size of your home. The strategy here is simply to break down the major overarching goal into small, digestible goals.
Tip: If you’re struggling to find the time to squeeze in a cleaning session, set up a 20-minute window every day and treat it like an appointment that cannot be modified or cancelled. Whether that means waking up 20 minutes earlier, taking a shorter break at lunch or squeezing it in between two other appointments, you can do it! If it helps, set a timer so you’re not tempted to watch the clock or take a break to check your phone.
What You’ll Need to Start a Cleaner Lifestyle
- A list of your typical chores, broken out into 30 tasks. If you’re unsure where to start, we have an example list below. You’ll notice in our example schedule that some tasks will duplicate — high traffic areas like the bathroom typically require more than one cleaning a month. However, feel free to customise it to your home.
- A calendar to fill in with those tasks. You can print out a calendar and hang it if crossing off each task helps. If you prefer to keep track of tasks digitally, you can upload each task to the calendar on your phone. Take it a step further by having them repeat every month so you don’t have to re-upload the tasks every month. You can even schedule the tasks at a specific time with a reminder to help motivate you!
- A timer (kitchen timer, alarm on your mobile, whatever method works best for you!).
Your 20-Minute Cleaning Plan
Day 1: Clean bathroom counters, toilets and mirrors.
Day 2: Scrub showers and/or tubs.
Day 3: Sweep and mop bathroom floors.
Day 4: Dust surfaces in living room and bedrooms.
Day 5: Vacuum/sweep floors in living room and bedrooms.
Day 6: Organise bedroom closets.
Day 7: Dust and vacuum/sweep entryway.
Day 8: Deep clean kitchen (e.g. scrub sink, wipe down appliances, etc.).
Day 9: Sweep and wash kitchen floor.
Day 10: Clean surfaces of extra rooms (e.g. office, play room, laundry room, etc.).
Day 11: Dust blinds and windowsills.
Day 12: Clean kitchen food pantry.
Day 13: Clean storage closet or junk drawer.
Day 14: Deep clean one item (e.g. stove, microwave, light fixtures, etc.).
Day 15: Sweep and mop any floor you may have missed (like the extra rooms).
Day 16: Clean bathroom counters, toilets and mirrors.
Day 17: Scrub showers and/or tubs.
Day 18: Sweep and mop bathroom floors.
Day 19: Bonus day — clean whatever area needs the most attention!
Day 20: Wipe down any outdoor furniture.
Day 21: Dust and vacuum/sweep entryway.
Day 22: Clean surfaces of extra rooms (e.g. office, play room, laundry room, etc.).
Day 23: Deep clean kitchen (e.g. scrub sink, wipe down appliances, etc.).
Day 24: Sweep and wash kitchen floor.
Day 25: Clean interior of windows.
Day 26: Deep clean living room (e.g. baseboards, scuffs on floor and wall, etc.).
Day 27: Clean refrigerator.
Day 28: Deep clean one item (e.g. stove, microwave, light fixtures, etc.).
Day 29: Clean entryway closet (e.g. organise hats, gloves, shoes, hangers, etc.).
Day 30: Remove trash, dust and vacuum the interior of your car.