A Cleaning Schedule Can Improve Your Life

And everyone else in the home.

You know that feeling you get when you realize the bathroom has reached a point of no return — that you’re going to have to dedicate two hours scrubbing it, and it will be gross, and you can’t remember if it was you who did it last time or if it was your partner? It’s a stressful feeling, and one that creates friction in the household on top of the mess in front of you.

We’re here with the good news: you don’t ever have to have that feeling again. You can create a simple system to stay on top of household chores before they get out of hand and share them equally among household members — without having to do the mental labor of figuring out whose turn it is week in and week out. You just need a cleaning schedule! And you can create one that’s perfect for you.

Benefits of a cleaning schedule and a clean home

Let’s start with why you should be motivated to prioritize cleaning in the first place.

A clean space can improve mental health

Many psychology studies have shown that, simply put, we feel happier and less stressed in clean, uncluttered spaces. That makes sense to us. The feeling we get coming into a clean, fresh-smelling home at the end of a long day is much different than the feeling of facing a cluttered, messy kitchen.

In fact, clutter can even prevent us from focusing to our best ability, according to one Princeton Study. And simply making your bed may even make you sleep better!

We all know we feel better in clean spaces. The trouble is, we may not actually like cleaning. It feels much better in the moment to watch an extra hour of TV than vacuum the carpet when we’re tired from a long day of work and our other responsibilities.

It’s a bit like the famous marshmallow experiment, no? Watching the TV instead of cleaning is like eating one marshmallow now… but if you wait, and clean instead, you’ll have two marshmallows later, because you’ll have actually addressed some of the things in your environment that are contributing to your stress.

A clean space can improve physical health

A dirty house can be full of allergy triggers! Dust, dander, pollen, pet hair… it’s all swirling around in your home until you clean it out. And certain areas of the home, especially kitchen and bathroom surfaces, can be magnets for germs. Regularly cleaning can prevent sickness by removing viral particles from surfaces. You can even use a sanitizing cleaner like Microban, which keeps surfaces sanitized against bacteria and viruses for up to 24 hours, even after multiple touches* on hard non-porous, non-food contact surfaces.

Why you should create a cleaning schedule

So, we’ve got the motivation to get it cleaned. But we’ll also be the first to admit that keeping on top of chores can be a chore in itself. That’s why we’re big proponents of creating a cleaning schedule. It’s not quite a set-it-and-forget-it solution, but it does alleviate a lot of the mental burden of remembering when to clean what and whose turn it is.

A cleaning schedule is any tool that you create — a checklist, a spreadsheet, or full-fledged calendar — that indicates when and how frequently to clean the different areas of your home. It also indicates who is responsible for those chores.

The key benefit here is that once that cleaning schedule is created, and everyone in the home has agreed to follow it, the daily and weekly burden of planning is lifted. You simply print out the checklist again for the new week. There’s also no question about who did it last time — you can look at the sheet to see who cleaned the bathroom on Wednesday.

A cleaning schedule can help close the chore gap

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably the person in your home who thinks about chores the most. Do you feel like your cleaning workload is heavier than your partner’s (or your roommate’s’)? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, in 65% of households, the responsibility for most chores still falls on one person. This is called a “chore gap.” A cleaning schedule can help distribute household chores more equitably.

A cleaning schedule saves time (and money) in the long run

If you’re on top of quick cleaning chores throughout the week, you’re preventing big baked-on messes. For example, if you do a quick tidy and wipe down of the bathroom a few times a week, and clean the toilet once a week, you are saving yourself from a gross monster clean once a month.

You could also be saving money. Regularly vacuuming your carpet and semi-annual deep cleans can mean actually extending the life of the carpet — and extending your budget.

Benefits of sharing chores with kids and partners

Sharing chores means stronger relationships

Communication is essential to healthy relationships, so it makes sense that communicating about chores is part of that. P&G Good Everyday found that people who talk to each other about setting new expectations, and communicating their needs can experience relationship benefits, noting, “52% of people living with their spouse report that the changed division of household chores has made them feel closer to one another, and 44% say it has made them feel more respected.”

Men are happier when they help in the home

According to P&G Good Every Day, “forty-three percent of men say that being more aware of all the household chores their significant other takes on has made them want to help out more. When they do, they realize a slew of positive benefits. Fifty-two percent of these men say they feel happier, 54% feel more respected and 68% say their family is stronger.”

Responsible kids are better citizens

There’s no reason to exclude your kids from helping in the house. It helps them learn to share responsibility, clean up after themselves, and, of course, it teaches them how to do chores! (No child of ours is going to college without knowing how to do their own laundry.) And even small children can pick up their toys after a play session.

According to P&G Good Everyday, parents of children who contributed more to household chores during covid have reported kids who “have been more respectful (40%), more grateful (41%), and that it has led to a stronger relationship with them (32%).”

Example cleaning schedule


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Jack
  • Laundry (wash and fold): Anna


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Mom
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces: Jack


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Anna
  • Home office (tidy, dust, vacuum): Dad


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Dad
  • Take out trash: Anna
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces: Mom


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Jack


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Anna
  • Clean bedroom: Anna
  • Clean bedroom: Jack
  • Clean parents’ bedroom: Dad
  • Living room (tidy, dust, vacuum): Anna
  • Rec room (tidy, dust, vacuum): Jack
  • Laundry (wash and fold): Mom


  • Kitchen (dishes, surfaces, Swiffer floor after dinner): Anna
  • Bathroom deep clean (scrub surfaces, toilet, shower): Dad
  • Mow lawn: Jack
  • Wash the dog: Mom

How to get buy-in on cleaning schedules

The key to making a cleaning schedule stick? Involve everyone from the start.

Get the household together to talk about what in the home needs to be cleaned, and how often. What’s the best day of the week to tackle the lawn? Would your partner prefer to do that chore every week if you handle the laundry? Or would they really prefer to switch on and off?

Allowing everyone’s voice to be heard will increase their investment in the cleaning schedule from the start, especially if they get to make decisions about what their responsibilities will be.

Talk about how to make a schedule realistic for everyone. If your kids have soccer practice and you have standing plans on Tuesday night, that might not be the best day to assign someone to handle a bathroom deep clean.

After a few weeks, check in with everyone to see how the system is working, and tweak as needed! This is your cleaning schedule, after all. It should work for your home.

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