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DIY weekly or bi-weekly cleaning chart

Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life: DIY Cleaning Chart

So this is kind of, OK totally, putting the cart before the horse but I got so excited about the concept of making a cleaning chart and actually having a clean house that I just couldn’t wait any longer – ideas on how I wanted to make mine were literally keeping me up at night.  Plus, your comments lead me to believe that many of you are also moving ahead with your cleaning schedule (bravo!).  So I’m jumping ahead a bit but I promise I’m still going to post a roundup of all the useful stuff you guys shared with me – soon, very soon.

 

After putting together the mini-quiz on your cleaning schedule persona earlier this week, I realized I always start out with the best intentions of going full-on Claire, then I get distracted making something fairly elaborate, Cam style, and when I’m finally through the Phil in me comes out and I can’t focus long enough to actually stick to the new system.  This time around I tried to be cognizant of all that and modified my approach accordingly.

That being said, I still made something a little fancy because that’s what gets me excited about cleaning but don’t be scared off.  This is really just a chart of what you’re going to do every day.  If you want, you could put just the first sheet on the fridge and never touch it again BUT you also have the option to switch things around every once in a while if you want to.  Also, I’m providing the templates and you don’t have to use paint chips, labels, or a laminator if you don’t want to.  Just cut up and write on some card stock – the whole thing will take you under 5 minutes if you want it to – I promise!

 

While doing my due diligence on Pinterest, I discovered that cleaning charts largely come in one of two varieties: the calendar setup in which tasks are permanently assigned to each day or the checklist setup in which tasks are dived up into daily, weekly and monthly checklists.  I liked how the first let me see exactly what I need to accomplish each day to get it all done.  But I also appreciated the flexibility of the second, allowing me to pick what tasks I could handle on a given day.  I’ve (hopefully) come up with something that’s the best of both worlds.  Click through for all the gory details.

I realized that if my chart is going to survive, I need to be able to alter it when things come up (as they inevitably do).  A printable with specific tasks or zones assigned to each day of the week just wasn’t going to work, it had to be more interactive.  But a weekly check list, on the other hand, left way too much wiggle room to put things off.

In a nutshell, I came up with a two page fridge chart (see the end of this post for printing directions) with magnetic pieces for every task I want to complete.  Each day has a certain number of slots to be filled with either time commitments (work, school, play dates, or scheduled activities) or a cleaning task.  For me the three sections under each day represent the morning, nap time, and the afternoon.  For you it could be totally different (i.e. before the kids are awake, during the day, and after they’re in bed) or you could just say you have up to three fill-able spots for each day and get them done when you can.



The second page is for displaying all the items that need to get done.  There’s a weekly and a monthly section.  Finally, to really give myself a chance to succeed, I decided to make a two week schedule instead of just one.  Lots of things, like vacuuming and scrubbing the bathrooms, are still on there weekly but a few are only bi-weekly.  Also, by looking at things in a two week window, I think I’ll feel less like a failure if I don’t get to every task every week. (This was an idea I got from one of you, my brilliant readers, so thanks to everyone who is so generously sharing what’s working for them.)

So that was the function, next I considered the form.  I wanted something that didn’t scream chore chart on first glance and for some reason this kept popping in my head.  I loved the modern art feel and muted colors (I’d decided I wanted to channel Martha a bit for this one).  Then I kept staring at the photo and decided to go all in with the paint chip idea too.


I gathered up my supplies (some Avery 5408 small circle labels, a 30 inch long strip of magnetic tape, my trusty laminator, and a BEHR paint colors chart from Home Depot).  Then I made a list of cleaning tasks I wanted to accomplish once a week, once every two weeks, and once every four to six weeks.

Using the handy dandy online software for the labels, I printed off one for each task on my list (two if the task needed to happen twice in my two week period).  I also printed off labels for setting aside chunks of time when cleaning wouldn’t be possible due to working, play dates, etc.
The last step was to pick out the paint chips I wanted to use, affix the labels, and get laminating.

Once I had them all cut out, I put about a 1/2″ strip of magnetic tape on the back of each and then things really started to get exciting (you know, relatively speaking).  There are actually a few ways you can use this system but here’s how I do it:

STEP 1: Block out anytime that you definitely won’t be available to clean due to permanent commitments.  You can see I blocked out some slots due to working and preschool.

Step 2: Fill in the remaining spots to make your ideal cleaning two week schedule.  Not all of my remaining spots were filled with cleaning tasks, I also put some play dates in there.  Also, it’s not a bad idea to try to leave a blank spot or two.  That way, if you don’t get to those bathrooms during nap time on Monday, you can have another shot at them during nap time on Thursday.

Step 3 (optional): Remove each task as it’s completed.  If you’re the kind of person that gets a little high from checking something of a list then you’re gonna love seeing your fridge looking like this at the end of every two weeks.  I prefer just to leave my schedule intact but to each his own.

That’s it!  Thoughts on how I did?  Will you be trying it?

This is the third of four posts in the Cleaning Chart section of Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life.  In case you missed it, we started with an inspiration board and tons of reader advice, then we all took a silly little quiz together and finally we debuted our Action Plan for Setting Up a Cleaning Schedule You’ll Stick To!Notes

  • The free template runs all the way to the edges of a standard piece of paper so you’ll need to set your margins to 0 when printing.  To do this from Adobe, click on the printer icon, then select “page setup”.  Click on the photo of an up arrow next to a turned piece of paper to change the orientation to horizontal.  Then, under “paper sizes” select “manage custom sizes” and enter “0” into the “top”, “left”, “right”, and “bottom” boxes.
  • The labels I used were Avery 5408 and there’s an easy to use free online program for printing on them.
  • The pieces stayed best when the magnetic tape was placed centered towards the bottom.
  • I’m aware that in response to the plethora of DIY paint chip projects popping up in recent years, the ethics of paint chip projects are currently up for debate in some circles.  What I have to say about it is this: yes, I’m guilty of some paint chip atrocities – gluttony mostly.  As I’ve said before, I have a sizable paint chip collection because: a) I like to paint things a lot and b) I can never pick a color and always make several trips to Home Depot to get more samples (restless kids in tow).  I have been working on the problem and doing my best to only take what I need but, yes, it’s true – I’m a sinner.  For today’s project, I didn’t utilize my stash.  I only needed one of those large tri-fold sample folders and I just asked the guy at Home Depot if I could have it.  He (of course) said yes and I proceeded with my day.  If you’re still worried about whether or not taking paint chips for art is theft, my advice would be to stick to Home Depot.  From what I’ve read, it’s been confirmed that they’re cool with it plus that way the small business owner of your local hardware store isn’t affected.  Still not appeased?  Convinced this is absolutely one of the most pressing problems plaguing our world today and want my head on stick?  Let me have it in the comments, for the rest of you… go get your DIY on!

This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”. You can read all about it here, check out all of our projects here, and join thousands of POYEL facebook group members here.

 

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 5:20 am

Seems complicated. Would take away from cleaning time.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

Ha! Spoken like a true Claire.

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Michelle~Sugar House Creations February 22, 2012 at 5:34 am

I just started doing something similar,kinda. I have an easy time getting overwhelmed and so don’t do anything. Most days I look around and cant. see that I got anything done though I know I was busy. Very depressing. So I bought some colored index cards and wrote a single task on each one. I went very simple here. Load/unload dishwasher. Take out recycling. Wipe off counters. Simple. I flip through my stack each day and decide what needs done/what I can handle with my weird work hours. At the end of the day I can look at my “done pile” and see that I got something done, and feel like a good mom/wife. :-)

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 6:19 am

Whatever it takes to stay motivated!

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Michelle~Sugar House Creations February 22, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Exactly. :-)

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Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 6:03 am

i could clean the whole house twice over with the amount of time it would take to make this elaborate calendar thing.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 6:19 am

I just added a whole paragraph IN BOLD just for you anonymous. It’s really not very complicated, I swear, the hardest part is sitting down and figuring out what needs to be done regularly.

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Jenny February 22, 2012 at 6:23 am

Wow! I think this system is great! You did a great job of incorporating all the different “good things” about other systems I have seen. Love the flexibility and it is nice to look at also :)

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carrie February 22, 2012 at 6:42 am

LOVE the two weeks, that’s been part of my issue I think…..I love that it’s pretty I have to have that and that it’s interactive! I’m so joining in and raiding the paint chips!

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Tiffany February 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

I can’t wait to get started on this. I think it looks great, and allows plenty of flexibility. I also believe it is my right as a Lowe’s customer to take extra paint chips, it does not hurt them. I am always looking for a new way to use my stash of paint chips and this is perfect.

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another donkey design by kate February 22, 2012 at 9:44 am

Love what you have come up with. If only I cleaned mynhouse regularly!! Loved your last point on paint chip ethics!!

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Anonymous February 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

Nice chart, but I dont need it, I have a cleaner ladies. Would it really look attractive stuck on your fridge, hate fridge clutter/papers. Good luck with youre cleaning!

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Michelle~Sugar House Creations February 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm

You are very lucky to afford cleaning ladies. :-)

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Izzy'sMom February 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

It is so pretty!! I love all of the colors!! I also love the flexibility of being able to modify it! My last one I attempted was just a printed list (a very pretty printed list! LOL!) and after day 2 it stressed me out to even look at it I felt so tied down!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

That’s totally me too ;)

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GirlHouse February 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Holy balls you are a genius!!!
I’ve been trying to follow a schedule, but Life happens! I love that I can customize to this to my schedule each day. The lamination would allow for using a dry erase marker to make notes!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

That’s a great point!

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GirlHouse February 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

While putting the little one down for a nap, I had vision of using the Mickey Mouse samples with pictures to make a chore chart for my 3 year old!!

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becca March 1, 2012 at 11:46 pm

That is brilliant!

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M.C. Sommers February 22, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I love how pretty this is! Sure beats my to do list written on the back of junk mail. This would be a fun little project to put together while watching a movie or something. Thanks for sharing–I’m always looking for ways to enjoy housework more!

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townmonkey February 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm

This is brilliant, it looks cool and the flexibility is great. But personally I wouldn’t want it on my fridge out to be seen all the time, that would remind me too much of having to do it. And it’s a bit looking like clutter.
I wonder whether it could be adapted to a clip board or something that fit into my paper organizing box. Then it would be perfect, I think that’s what I’m going to do. Or use a biscuit tin that fits the box. I might have to buy one though a small one. That’s contraproductive now, is it? Eating biscuits. But it could be used to store the magnets…
Adding the dry eraser notes is a good one too.

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Sangeetha February 22, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I love love it! I have been reading your blog for a while but never really commented till today. This is brilliant! It appeals to my organized type A list making self – I can see myself doing chores just so I can check off those labels!
I am excited about Project Organization!

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Sangeetha February 22, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Oh and I wanted to ask where can I get the pain chips? I don not have any paint chips? do they give them away at Home Depot? Also what kind of magnetic tape did you use? Sorry for such stupid questions!

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Dawn April 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

You can find paint chips at ANY home improvement store… Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menard’s, Ace… I believe some Walmarts have them, too. They will be in the paint departments of these stores. You can just take what you home. It’s a curtosy to not take ALL of them at one time.

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Hi Sangeetha,

Glad you like it! I used the paint chips off of one of those tri-fold folders of paint colors that are with the paint chips at Home Depot. I put a link to the magnetic tape in the post – it was just what they had at my local craft store. Hop that hleps!

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Terumi February 22, 2012 at 10:55 pm

I hate cleaning but like making things, so this chart might be a start for me:) I have a thing for paint chips too and I love the calm colors you chose.

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Sarah February 23, 2012 at 2:54 am

I love this!!!!! I can totally see it working for me…..flexible but with a bit of accountability too :) My printer died, so as soon as I can g over to my in-laws’ house and use their computer I am getting xstarted. Thanks so much for putting in all this time for us!

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glimmersnaps February 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Awesome! I’ve got a DIY chart idea that also uses magnets… and photos! I didn’t think to make the calendar part, though. That’s a great addition. I’ll post mine whenever I get around to making it… Happy cleaning!

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Megan February 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm

It’s so pretty… and organized… I like.

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royann February 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I love it so much, the perfect mix of accountability and flexibility. I can’t wait to get started. I think I may try printing it on the magnetic sheets I have in my stash since I have no paint chips on hand.

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Christine Powell February 24, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I love it! Fantastic idea, and it looks so cute too! :)

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Lauren, Crafts by: readysetLove February 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

This is a really awesome idea, I don’t know where I’ll put it on my fridge though (maybe it’s time to get rid of some of those silly magnets)… Love reading the comments (even the ones who have cleaning ladies and think that this project would take so long, they could clean their house twice). The dry erase idea was brilliant but I don’t have a laminator. I’m trying to think of an easy way to do this without a lamintor and magnets… I’ll let you know if I come up with something!

Lauren <3

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 25, 2012 at 12:25 am

Thanks Lauren!

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Lauren, Crafts by: readysetLove February 25, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Here’s what I made… Not as fancy or pretty as yours, but I like it! :)
http://www.craftsbyreadysetlove.com/1/post/2012/02/diy-weekly-schedule.html

Lauren <3

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Anonymous March 11, 2012 at 6:27 am

Slip it into a page protector or put a piece of clear contact paper over the print out to solve the laminator issue.

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Bethany Rim February 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I love this! I modified it a little and made a separate daily schedule in addition to your setup. When we complete a daily task we slide it to the next day. http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/p480x480/426303_10150602832138473_519728472_9351885_2043137356_n.jpg

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Mamma J February 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

The picture looks like you’ve put this on the front of a stainless fridge? Am I seeing this correctly? If so HOW??? :) I’d love to know how to attach magnets! Love this idea. Thanks for the whole project idea!

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Jana March 5, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I’d like to come up with a modified version of this that would accomodate assigning tasks to my kids…I really need to delegate more!

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Anonymous March 8, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I’m hoping this works for me. I have a 15 month old daughter & a hubby who does nothing. I work 40 Hrs a week, & come home to a sink full of dishes, and the house looking worse when I left it. I’ve done the daily/weekly chart & was given the excuse of there was too much for him to do. I asked him to just do the bathroom. Here were the details of the bathroom: 1. Sweep. 2. Mop. 3. Wipe down Counter & Toilet. 4. Take out trash. He told me that it was too much stuff for him to do there. I work 7;30 am to 4 pm and get home around 415. The second I walk in it’s mommy time & I have to watch and take of the baby so he can do whatever he pleases to do weather its working on his “toys” or something outside while Im stuck inside wondering how to clean the house, cook dinner, fold laundry, wash dishes and take care of a screaming 15 month old. Any suggestions/advice on how to make the cleaning duties more simple? I don’t have the 3 slot time for my days unfortunatly because when I get home my daughter has already had her 2 naps & the next time she see’s her bed its bed time & Thursdays & Fridays im not home. I could Change Thursday & Friday to Saturday & Sunday when I have all day, but I would still like a “rest” day.

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Laurel March 17, 2012 at 3:22 am

I hear you about the hubby not doing anything! I have three boys and feel like our house is out of control. One thing I finally (after years)got the hubby to do is dishes/counter/kitchen before bed. That is literally his only job but makes my life a little less stressful. Nothing worse than waking up to a kitchen still messy from the night before. I accomplished this by refusing to make dinners anymore until he started doing it. Good luck!

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Laurel March 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

People are a little harsh with the comments about making the chart being a waste of time! Im visual and a hard core list maker and this would motivate me to do chores more. I already have the lists worked out but I think I’ll make the chart too. Thanks for the post!

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Karen C. April 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

This is a fabulous idea for those who are willing to assume responsibility for ALL the housework. NOT in this house! LOL! With two parents who work erratic schedules and are actively involved in their four kids’ extracurricular activities, everyone needs to pitch in on the household chores.
It did totally inspire my own version, however, and I can’t wait to try it out. A list of all the household chores, with the days of the week across the top, and corresponding squares.
My plan is for each member of the family -Mom & Dad included- to initial a certain number of squares each week (maybe one square per age year for the kids?), thereby accepting responsibility for that chore on that day. Hopefully this will reduce the whining (“Why do I always have to empty the dishwasher?”) since they can sign up for something different each week, and take turns going first. I’m even going to use a reward system for positive reinforcement!
I’m so excited to see if this works… wish me luck!

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simply seleta May 10, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thank you for taking the time to share your creativity, style and such organized ideas with your readers. This took a lot of time and is such a helpful idea for busy parents. I’m going to try this!

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Daysi May 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

You sound just like me, I will be trying this :) Finally I found someone I can relate to :)

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Jessica H September 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Here’s a thought for those who have ethical issues with using paint chips (AND don’t have the patience to label all those little chips)….. order mini business cards off http://moo.com – they allow you to order a bunch of cards that all have a different design on them. :)

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bg.wikipedia.org April 16, 2013 at 2:31 am

This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something
which helped me. Many thanks!

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Mary September 19, 2013 at 8:15 pm

It’s a great and beautiful cleaning chart, but it seems like you have to set aside a lot of time making it :-)

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