How to stay on top of household chores

One thing that never crossed my mind when I was dreaming about one day owning my own home, was the amount of maintenance and upkeep a house requires. While of course I love our home, there is a lot that goes into maintaining it - cleaning, gardening, fixing, building, decorating... I do love tackling new projects, but cleaning? Not so much. Can you relate?

This year, I wanted to try a new approach to household tasks, by utilising the calendar in our command center to track all those cleaning jobs that need to be done throughout the year. The main reason I wanted to spread the jobs out over the 12 months, was to avoid having to do everything in one hit i.e. before our Christmas party or Spring cleaning season.

So, at the start of the year, I was relying on this little corner to keep me organised and on task... Not much going on there, apart from a lot of photos of my gorgeous babies and a calendar that wasn't quite big enough to squeeze in all our activities and household tasks.

The makeover of the space into our new command center which I shared on an episode of The Organised You TV about a month ago, is working beautifully. It keeps me on task, organised, and very much list dependent!

When I was hunting for the perfect calendar late last year, I had quite a bit of trouble finding exactly what I was looking for. I wanted the calendar to be quite large, have daily squares that were big enough to fit lots of info in, and a column down the right hand side to record the cleaning tasks for the month. Of course it also had to look nice! This calendar from Officeworks fit the bill pretty well (no longer there unfortunately). I liked the bright colours and it looks nice above our covered cork board.

The side column was also the perfect size to write lots of notes in.

At first I thought it would be best to be able to see 3 calendar months at a glance. After trying this out, though, it felt a bit overwhelming for this small space. I do think this is beneficial if you've got a larger wall space and/or have very busy schedules - being able to look ahead at what's coming up is a great way to keep everyone on track and organised.

The one page view works best for our small space, and I can always flip to other pages if need be.

So, in January I wrote out a list of all the jobs that need to be done on the house throughout the year, and popped this page into our household planner. I created this master list by simply going into each room and recording everything that I deemed important or necessary to maintain upkeep of our home. The list would probably differ for everyone.

record of cleaning tasks to be done on the home throughout the year

I then used this master list to decide what jobs needed to be done monthly (e.g. clean dishwasher and washing machine, make cleaning supplies), what could be done every other month (clean stove-top burners and sink holes), every 3 months (clean range-hood, wardrobe clear out), every 6 months (garage re-organise, exterior window clean), and just once a year (get heating system checked, repair door stripping). It is really up to you to decide how often you want to tackle each job. For me, I can't stand cleaning skirting boards so that would only happen once a year, but I am pretty pedantic about doing a thorough clean out the fridge every month. It's an individual preference for sure.

I wrote out all the jobs for the whole year, following the master list. It is easy to see what I need to do, and I can cross off the list as I go. If I haven't completed anything at the end of the month, I just add it to the bottom of the next month's tasks. So it all gets done eventually! Here's an example of the jobs for this month (excuse the messy handwriting):

I ended up scheduling the gardening jobs and car maintenance on the actual calendar for every fortnight.

For now, this method is working really well for me, as I can pick and choose the cleaning jobs I feel like doing each day/week and don't have to do everything in one hit. This may even save me the big Spring clean! We'll see...

How do you stay on track of all those jobs that need to be done around the house? Do you have a system or do you prefer to do it all in one big hit?

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