You can't manage a home without a plan and I definitely have a plan. Every day I have certain chores that I have scheduled and take care of. I do as much as I can in 15 minutes and then I am done. If I have extra time left I'll do some extra cleaning until my 15 minutes is up. It amazes me how much I can get accomplished in only 15 minutes!
The girls have their set of chores as well. Mainly they take care of our animals each day. Feeding kitties and getting them fresh water, changing the litter box, feeding our chickens, getting them fresh water, collecting the eggs. They also have to clean one of the bathrooms, their bedrooms, dust & vacuum the upstairs hallway and help with laundry. 15 minutes at a time.
Each day we get up and make our beds first thing. Laundry goes into hampers. Each of us is responsible to leave the bathroom clean and tidy when we finish using it. I keep a toilet brush in cleaning solution handy for a quick swish each day. We wipe the counters off each day with spray cleaner and a rag. We wipe down the toilet mid week between scrubbings. It takes less than two minutes to do this and makes all the difference in the world.
When we get home each day we hang up coats, purses and backpacks. Shoes get put away. Lunchboxes get emptied and containers go straight into a sink of soapy water and get washed immediately. Then we do our chores, whichever happens to be on the list for that day. 15 minutes later we get to work on dinner (which is profoundly easier these days as I've already shared).
We take turns on "dish night". Each of us has a dish night. The girls have two apiece and I have three nights. I take the extra day as I have more time during the school year than they do. In the summer I let them trade off and take an extra day each week. We hand wash our dishes even though we have a dishwasher. Counters are wiped down, stove top is wiped down and table is cleared and cleaned. Once dry the dishes are put away and the sink is cleaned out and rinsed.
Monday - downstairs bathroom/laundry room
Tuesday - dining room
Wednesday - laundry, trash & recycling to curb
Thursday - kitchen/entry
Friday - bedrooms
Saturday - laundry, upstairs bathroom
Sunday - laundry, dust & vacuum
I recently added an extra laundry day. We used to only do laundry on Wednesday and Sunday. I added Saturday so we are only doing one load a day instead of two on Sunday. Another idea I picked up from the FlyLady. It makes a big difference for us to only do one load per day.
We have morning and evening routines too and I'll go into that in more detail in another post, but the one evening routine we do every night, I think, is truly what makes it all work. We do a 15 minute "walk through" at the end of the day to make sure everything is neat, tidy and put away. Sometimes I'll run the vacuum real quick or clean something that got dirty, but for the most part we find we walk around and chit chat.
Once our walk through is done we each head off to complete our final evening routine and call it a day. Like I said, I'll be sharing more about that part later as I think this post is lengthy enough.
15 minutes at a time! That is it. I don't feel overwhelmed and I get my stuff done! Even better, our home stays clean!