How to make a monthly house cleaning schedule

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your house? Does it seem like you are never finished with housework or that you can never really say you are done?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your house? Does it seem like you are never finished with housework or that you can never really say you are done? Here’s one way to get off the housework treadmill and achieve that feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

The idea behind this method is to break down all the tasks needed to keep your house clean into a rotation. Then, you divide them up on the days you have available for cleaning during the month. If you keep to the schedule, you’ll gradually rotate through the entire house. The great part is this: when you’ve done your assigned tasks for the day, you are DONE.

Here’s how to set it up:

Make a list

Write down a list of every single chore needed to keep your house clean. Write down everything that comes to mind, whether big or small. You will probably need to walk from room to room and think about all the areas in each room and the items in it. For example, in the master bedroom, write down things like: make bed, wash sheets, flip mattress, organize drawers, dust dresser, declutter end table, dust end table, dust lamp, wash curtains, clean light fixture, vacuum floor, vacuum under bed, wash windows, clean walls, dust moldings and so on. Assembling this list will take time, and assume that for most houses, it will be quite long because you are writing down everything, from little jobs to big chores.

Categorize the list

Now take your list and mark each job with how frequently you think it should be done. You could use codes in the margin of your list with D for daily, W for weekly, 2W for every two weeks, and M for monthly. There will probably be things on your list that need doing even less frequently than that, or even yearly.


Sort the list by frequency. Make the daily tasks into a master “to-do” list for each day. Split up the weekly tasks in a way that works for your schedule. Choose one weekly task for each day, perhaps, or group more of them together if you have a designated cleaning day. Sprinkle in the monthly tasks as the calendar starts taking shape.


Some people like to do this on the computer, either in task checklists or calendar style. Others have liked writing each task on a separate index card, and filed in an card file that has divider tabs for daily, weekly, and monthly tabs. In the daily task section, use numbered tabs of 1-31. In the weekly section, use 1-4. Then load the cards according to the way you’d like to schedule your tasks. Each day, you only need to do the cards that are under that day’s tabs. If you fall behind, you can move the cards forward to the next day’s tabs, but don’t let things pile up!

After using your schedule for a month or two, you’ll most likely see things you want to tweak. Make it a work in progress.

Margot Hovley

Margot Hovley is the author of the novels "Sudden Darkness" and "Glimmering Light." Her self-reliance blog is at, and she blogs about her writing adventures at