Clean it Up, Girl: A 20-minute Daily Cleaning Routine

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It has now been 2 weeks since 2019 began. I’m still holding to my goal of getting my life together. That seems sort of broad, but I’ve narrowed it down to mind, body and spirit. Last week I talked about working yourself lazy and how I’m combating that to work smarter and not harder. My plan has made me more productive and less tired and stressed.

To help my body, I’ve been eating vegan and doing yoga every day. To help my spirit, I’m starting my day with devotions and prayer. Then, to help my mind, I’m focusing on keeping organized and tidy in our living space. Last week I decluttered my email inbox (a whopping 15,000 emails). The other thing I’ve been doing is keeping a daily cleaning routine that helps me keep the house clean in just 20-30 minutes a day.

When my husband and I accepted the position as pastors of our church, I was very ill-prepared for the frequency at which people would just pop over to the house. Our house (the parsonage) is right next door to the church. That has meant guests coming by at all hours of the day and night (so far as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m.). I would be pretty embarassed at the state of the house and it was clear I needed to figure out how to keep the house in a good state at all times. For the most part, the guests don’t bother me. Most of the time they’re in a rough spot in their life and are just looking for relief. So, it’s part of the job. So that means being tidy is part of the job too if I want to spare my pride.

Today I wanted to share the routine I put together with you. It has worked perfectly for me the last couple of weeks and I can’t believe I haven’t always kept the house this way. I keep this list on my fridge and check it off every day. However, feel free to adjust and make it your own to fit your space and lifestyle.

I have started to make my bed every day. This is something that didn’t seem real important to me before because, well, we just mess it all back up again. But starting the day by making the bed has kind of put my mind in the right spot to be productive. Plus, it just looks good when I walk by the bedroom and see a nicely made bed. Beyond that, it makes bed time so nice to go in and pull back those crisp sheets and easily slither under the covers.

Along with making the bed, I also do the dishes and wipe down the counters. This is also great for really making you feel like the whole house is in a good place. Plus, a dirty kitchen is easy to spot. Along with dishes and counters, I do one load of laundry a day. This keeps me from having to do it all at once and it really isn’t a whole lot of effort.

My Monday chores…DONE!

As I type this, my feet are up and my house is clean and organized. It gives me a sense of peace and helps me to focus on the things I really want to check off my list. You may be looking at this and thinking, “Of course she can do it, she doesn’t have any kids!” Well, that would be a true story and I know that children make doing lots of things a little more time-intensive. However, I’m preparing for children in the future by being able to keep a sense of tidiness now and maybe…just maybe I can keep this going when there are kids in the picture. Plus, I think 20-30 minutes of investment a day is much easier than trying to get the whole house clean all in one day. If you disagree, just let me live in my little bubble of positive thinking and reality can hit me when it’s time. Until then, I’m going to keep making positive adjustments to my life and hopefully this will inspire you to do the same.

Do you have kids? Do you think this is possible with little ones running around? How can you incorporate their involvement into daily chores?


    • I felt like that without kids! We’re trying to get things in order to move in that direction and I kept thinking, “If our house looks like this without kids, I have no idea what it will look like with them!” Ah! This has really made things a bit more manageable! Implementing this with kids may mean a little extra work in keeping it decluttered, but you can rest knowing things like mopping the floor or cleaning the bath mats are done at least once a week!

  • Admittedly, this is something we struggle with in our house! Cleaning occurs very sporadically. Mostly because I live in a house of teenage girls who are always on the go and can’t seem to remember where things go! I love the chart you shared above and will try to follow that as a starting point. Thank you for sharing!

    • It was about the same here! Cleaning was a free-for-all and the house was always in a state of chaos. This has made it so manageable for us! Hope maybe it can help bring about some order in your world as well! 🙂

  • Oh, I really need to do something like this. I find I live in a clutter and if people come to visit, I panic and hide my clutter and never find it again. Maybe your post will inspire me.

    • I know that feeling! Sometimes I would dump the clutter in a box and it would sit there forever. Obviously, if it sits in a box and I don’t know what’s in the box for several weeks, it’s probably not something I should be keeping around! Ha! Now I’m not scrambling to make it look decent which has really brought me a lot of peace!

  • My husband is super organized and a neat freak. One thing he always insists doing is making the bed and washing the dishes. It does make a huge difference.

    • Thank you! For me small, simple adjustments are things I can stick with. Here we are two weeks later and I haven’t missed a beat. I think that’s true with anything we want to tackle…weight loss, debt management, etc. Sometimes it takes looking at the things you want to improve and start with a small, first step. 🙂 Hope this will inspire you to do that!

    • Glad it can fulfill a need! 🙂 It’s so easy and I’ve kept the house cleaner than ever the last 17 days!

  • I hate cleaning but I love a clean house – breaking it down into 20 minutes a day like this is inspired as it makes each task seem much more manageable. thank you for the suggestions.

    • It has been SOOOOOO easy! I really can’t believe I haven’t tried doing this before. Plus, my weekends now are for fun things and family…I’m not tethered to our house trying to get it cleaned and organized.

  • This is a great idea, and I totally struggle with having a set cleaning schedule. Do you find that you ever fall behind and have to have a huge catch-up day? Or do you just add the missed items as soon as you can, little by little? (Unless you’re always on track 😉)

    • Thanks! Yes, there are definitely times I fall behind. Typically what I’ll do in those times is the “maintenance”. So, I might decide to skip out on wiping down baseboards till next week, but wipe down the bathroom countertop. Do what absolutely needs to be done and then move things that can wait until the next day or next cycle for that space. You won’t notice the baseboards haven’t been wiped down in a week, but you’ll definitely tell the countertop hasn’t. lol! The important thing to remember is the routine is a guide and, while it’s lovely to check off every item on the list every week, it’s sometimes even more of a success to just make the effort.

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