Cleaning Your Home in 30 Minutes Per Day

Housecleaning is one task that I just LOVE! Actually, not really. It’s last on the agenda and last on the list of priorities in my life right now. But there is certainly some level of maintenance that must take place in order for our home to run smoothly and peacefully, and for us to be able to extend any level of hospitality. I honestly am a recovering perfectionist.

Through seasons of babies, little ones, and trials, I have had to learn to let go and embrace the mess. The mess communicates that hearts are nurtured and bellies are well fed. Letting some things go is okay, mommy. Don’t kill yourself over mopping the floor every night. Yes, it might need it…but it’s going to be there tomorrow too. How do we make a workable routine that will help keep the house picked up without killing yourself at the same time? We still want plenty of time to play with and train little ones. So, here is my 30 minutes a day housecleaning plan for you. Yes, it is possible. As long as you are willing to let go of the deep cleaning for another season.

1. Find 30 minutes every day to do a daily maintenance task.

I take 30 minutes every morning after breakfast cleanup to do a 30 minute cleaning task. Mondays are laundry day at our house where I do it all in one day, so I reserve Tuesday-Friday for these remaining tasks. Tuesday is day 1, Wednesday is day 2, etc. You could also do all four of these tasks once a week during a two hour period of time. To be perfectly honest, this happens more often then not. It really depends upon how the week flows, but you will often find me doing a two hour chunk of these simple maintenance chores around my home on Fridays.

I started my list by making a master list of all the basic housecleaning tasks specific to my home. Then, I determined how often each task needed to be done. For example, my bathrooms need to be cleaned and my floors need to be mopped once a week (at the very least). I vacuum the basement and the bedrooms once a month, etc. Lastly, I jotted them done into a weekly schedule as follows. The first two days repeat each week, the last two days are the less frequent tasks. I post this list in my kitchen so I know each week of the month what tasks need to be completed. Finally, I set that timer and get to work! You’d be amazed how much you can get down when you set your mind to work diligently for 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is done, I stop. I’m not doing in depth cleaning here, just picking things up and wiping surfaces down.

And include those little helpers by all means! Give them a rag and a little broom and encourage them to work with you. This is part of our education as a lifestyle goal.

WEEK 1:

1. Clean bathrooms (disinfect toilet, countertops, mirrors, shower – I usually clean out showers every other week to ease the load)
2. Vac and mop high traffic areas (entry way, kitchen, living room)
3. Clean bedrooms (quick pick up, wipe down surfaces, & vacuum)
4. Clean windows on main level (inside and out, as needed)

WEEK 2:

5. Clean bathrooms
6. Vac and mop main traffic areas
7. High dust the entire house, wipe down surfaces (art work, coffee tables, dressers, shoe rack, chairs, mantle), sweep patio
8. Clean “extra” rooms (basement and office, pick up & vacuum)

WEEK 3:

9. Clean bathrooms
10. Vac and mop main traffic areas
11. Clean bedrooms (pick up, dust, wipe down surfaces, & vacuum)
12. Clean up the garage and/or car

WEEK 4:

13. Clean bathrooms
14. Vac and mop main traffic areas, wipe down tables & chairs
15. Organize a closet (pick out a kitchen closet or storage closet that needs sorting), clean out refrigerator
16. Deep clean kitchen (wipe down appliances, trash can, cupboards, and clean out one cupboard)

For the general everyday cleanup, we follow these simple routines:

2. Add a general house clean up in your evening routine.

Every night before bed, during or after kitchen cleanup, we do a general house pick up. Get all the little workers to help together. In this way, you can start the next day fresh and clean. Toys are picked up, and kitchen floors are swept.

3. Clean up as you go. 

Another valuable tool I have learned is to clean up as you go. While making your meals, put ingredients away as soon as you are done with them. Put a few dishes in the dishwasher while the dinner is cooking on the stove. This practice will save you hours of kitchen clean up time. We try to teach the kids that they can only take out one toy/game at a time. After they are done playing with it, they must put it away before taking something else out. This helps train them in the importance of staying clean and organized. This prevents the huge playroom distaster where everything is everywhere. Lastly, when we do any project or craft, we all help clean up the mess afterwards. We want to train our families that we all work together for the good of the family. Your children can learn this when they are very young. Make it fun by singing the clean up song, “Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere…”

My Favorite Tools

And just for fun…here are the housecleaning tools I use and love. And yes, this is really all I use.

Enviro Floor Steamer - We use this steam mop for all our floors and it is easy, natural, and environmentally friendly. Cleans your floors with heat and water. Nice.
Oreck Vacuum - We had to buy a new vacuum about a year ago and wanted something real lightweight and high quality. I love the simplicity of this vacuum. It’s what professional housecleaners use and it was well worth the investment!
Microfiber Clothes – I love Norwex but these basic microfiber clothes are a bit more reasonable. Microfiber is the best!
Mrs. Meyer’s All-Purpose Cleaner - I love this simple, natural cleaner for everything! I keep a small spray bottle in each bathroom, under the kitchen sink, and in my cleaning bucket for easy cleanups of all kinds of messes.
BioKleen Amonia Free Glass Cleaner - I was tired of homemade cleaners that left streaks on my window. This is my new addition – natural, safe, and does the trick.
Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Toilet Brush

What tips can you share for maintaining a clean, organized home?

{Photo Credit}

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

39 Responses to Cleaning Your Home in 30 Minutes Per Day

  1. Angela October 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Thank you so much for this schedule idea! I am always so frustrated with all the general cleaning that needs done around the house and feel like I just don’t have time for it with all the cooking, homeschooling and running my online business. I guess since I grew up with “Saturday cleaning days”, I think I have to devote my day to cleaning if I am going to do it. Because of this, I rarely get these things done and then feel terrible about the dirty house. Thank you! I made my 30 minutes a day schedule and “Wow!”, I see that I can do this with such a small investment of time everyday.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Michelle W September 25, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Pinning this! great tips….and boy do I need them! ugh! Also, thanks for the product suggestions. I have been looking something to mop the floors with because I don’t feel like my swiffer wet-jet gets it all clean and I can’t stand the chemically smell!

    • Vicki April 25, 2013 at 11:45 am #

      Since I see you mentioned Norwex…I love my Norwex mop! I have the tile mop for my kitchen and I can’t believe how quick and easy it now is to mop. No chemicals, no buckets….I just run the mop pad under hot water for a few seconds, wring it out, drop it on the floor, then push the mop base down onto it and go! When I’m done, I peel the mop pad off (Velcro), then rinse it quickly under hot water, wring, and dry. The microfiber cleans incredibly, and the tile mop has scrubbies built in to clean in the texture of the tile. I like that Norwex lets me clean without worrying about toxins around my family.
      :)

  3. Kathy September 20, 2012 at 5:48 am #

    Lindsay,
    Thank you for the post. I have a quazi cleaning list. Somedays I have to be flexible, depending on what is going on. My bathroom: I demand it to be cleaned and disinfected at the toilet and sink everyday, and tub scrubbed out at least once a week. We take showers. My husband demands a clean livingroom and kitchen, which I like it that way myself. So mostly my house stays pretty together. I try to deep clean, “spring clean” and some years I do great, from ceiling to floor, other years just get the basics done. I know life is more than house work, but it is one of those things that can get way out of sinc if not kept up!
    Thanks again for posting,
    Kathy

  4. Debra September 19, 2012 at 7:08 am #

    I agree with the concept of 1 toy/activity out at a time and teaching little ones to put them away when they are done, but I disagree on with a strict rule of only one play thing out at a time. I have observed that this can hinder their creativity. I find that my children (ages 6 & 4) might use several toys interchangeably. For instance the Noah’s ark is out along with the train and they haul the animals around in the train. I’ve seen many other ways in which other toys with wheels were “hooked up” to the train using various objects to make a very long caboose! Or using the wood blocks to make make a path to drive their matchbox cars on. I’ve been amazed at their creativity and uses for toys when I allow them to get several toys out at once. Now if I see that they aren’t using a particular toy they got out then I will remind them to put it away.

  5. Krista September 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    One trick that I recently discovered to keep fridge clean out easy is to get small baskets, line them with paper towel or a bar towel and put smaller bottles or bagged items in them. We have one for supplements/vitamins/daily items, one that holds lunch prep items such as meat, cheese, PB, etc and one with our most used condiments. I also buy large quantities of eggs to save on cost, so I use a basket for those as well, with a layer of paper towel between layers of eggs. With this system, my shelves are rarely messy from that tipped over condiment, lunch prep is a breeze, and bags are easily contained, leaving lots of room and allowing easy access to any leftovers, so we do a much better job of finishing them instead of wasting food! I also line my drawers with a towel as well, so if something gets nasty it is simple to clean it up instead of having to pull out an entire drawer. Best part: the baskets were only $0.99 each at my local Godwill!

  6. rachel g September 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Vinegar for everything. When it doubt, spray vinegar on it. :)

  7. Dream Mom September 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Glad to hear you like the Oreck. I think as long as you have a cleaning routine, you are ahead of the curve.

    I agree with daily cleaning. My most important tip is to put things away; if you don’t, the house can look like a mess real fast.

  8. Kika September 15, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    I use a Norwex cloth for windows and mirrors so don’t require any product; wondering why you still prefer a spray? One little tip: at 12 and 16 my big kids have been doing their own laundry for a long time, but I taught everyone from a young age to sort laundry into 3 baskets in our laundry room. One for lights, one for darks and one for towels. This makes the process of throwing in a load so quick. Great schedule you’ve worked out for your home :)

  9. Kate September 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    Do you use a polish of some sort for your wooden items?

    Thanks for the great tips!

    • Deena September 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      I make all of my own cleaners and use half olive oil and half lemon juice for all wood polishing, works great for leather and vinyl too! Also the greatest glass cleaner and shiny surface cleaner I have used is just club soda – Windows and shiny surfaces just sparkle! No streaks! Very inexpensive too.

      Have fun cleaning!
      Blessings!

  10. Angela September 14, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Thank you. I am working on making a routine for our house and this is really helpful! Been doing an hour of cleaning everyday (timer and everything) and would love to get it down to 30 minutes!

  11. Alison September 14, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    I love “organizing cleaning”. It seems to make it much more manageable. I kind of did a spin-off of the Fly Lady’s idea and customized it to my own home / schedule. You can see what I did here:

    http://attheendofthedrive.blogspot.com/search/label/Cleaning%20Box

    Hope this idea helps someone as well!

    Blessings,
    Alison

    • Chris September 14, 2012 at 5:52 am #

      I love organized cleaning as well. I get too overwhelmed at the task if I don’t have a list. http://www.flylady.net helped me out tremendously! I love lists and love that it has a task for the kids to do as well. Plus, I can handle 15 minutes at a time!

  12. Melissa Rank September 14, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    Thanks Lindsay! It’s interesting how different folks do it. I do laundry everyday since I have cloth diapers and actually enjoying doing laundry. I think setting a timer is a great idea! You are right it’s interesting how much you can truly get done! I also do a nightly pick-up that makes the mornings so much more welcoming!

    Thanks,

    Melissa

  13. Allegra September 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    THANK YOU!!! I’m trying to get a housecleaning routine down. So far I’ve only been able to stick to laundry Monday’s, clean as I go and 15 min of cleaning/putting stuff away before bed. I like never clean the bathroom! I know… Gross. I’m learning that there is just no way around learning to be organized. Thanks for your blog u won’t believe how much you have taught me!!!!

  14. Lanai September 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    Being that I despise cleaning I try to multi task some jobs with normal routine. One that I’ve found is becoming tried & true is my shower cleaning routine. I had an old dish washing sponge/soap holder… I think it’s scotch brite brand (there are others too) that I filled with equal parts of dawn dish washing liquid & vinegar.. Before I get out of the shower I scrub down all the walls and tub portion, then let the water from the shower head do the rinsing while I finish showering. This has saved me countless hours of endless scrubbing on soap scum, calcium buildup, and hard water residue. Takes less than 2 minutes of shower time (and that’s stretching it.) I store it in the shower to remind me to do it :)

    • Allegra September 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Great idea thanks

    • Megan September 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      What a great idea! Cleaning the shower is my least favorite chore, so this is a wonderful tip.

      • Maryanne September 17, 2012 at 2:45 am #

        I usually scrub down the shower once a week, while I’m in the shower (after I’m done with my showering) – I use a vinegar, water, and liquid castile soap concoction. That way I’m already in the tub – I don’t care if the water gets me, and it’s easier to reach all areas of the tub. I used to have glass shower doors, and I would just wipe those down with microfiber. Now I have a shower curtain, and I’ll wash the inside curtain once every couple of weeks. I also cut the bottom of the inside curtain so it doesn’t get mildew-y touching the bottom of the tub. Hope this helps! Once your shower is being cleaned regularly, it only takes a few minutes each time.

  15. Re September 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    One of my favorites… laundry baskets. Each girl has their own color. Anything I find out in their rooms or around the house gets thrown into it, and at the end of the day they are responsible to put everything in their basket away where it goes. Works great for us.

    • Lindsay September 14, 2012 at 6:12 am #

      That’s a cute idea!

  16. Joanna @ plus other good stuff September 13, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    This is a great idea Lindsay! I love your relaxed attitude – I’ve never been an amazing housekeeper but even less now with a 2.5 yr old and a 4 month old. I’m struggling to find ANY time to clean. I’ve made a habit (thanks to Fly Lady) of wiping down the bathrooms often instead of letting it build up for a week or more. And we’re working on setting aside an hour where my husband takes the kids out of the house so I can do a quick dust/sweep/vacuum/change sheets once a week.

  17. Heather September 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    This is very helpful, thank you! After my second son was born seven months ago I quickly learned my cleaning schedule just didn’t work with two kids under two. The perfectionist side of me didn’t want to let go of anything though so I’ve been drowning in housework expectations ever since. This month’s theme has been such a blessing to me. I’ve had so many ah-ha moments already, I can’t wait to read what else you have to say. :)

  18. Jess September 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Now this, is a reasonable list! So often I see lists that I could only keep up before having kids!

    Oh, been looking for a good non-chemical glass cleaner! Love bi-o-kleen but was skeptical of the glass cleaner because so many others don’t work. Now I’ll be brave enough to try!

  19. Inadequate September 13, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Thank you. I felt after reading the post before this, but this actually really helps and even though I’m a full time working mom, I think I can put your suggestions into practice. God bless you.

  20. Brooke September 13, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay! I couldn’t keep a clean home without my Norwex Enviro cloth and window polishing rag. I am able to clean my windows effortlessly and the kids can help with no products or smells. They have paid for themselves time and time again! I just got the Norwex cleaning paste. Magic.

    • Priscilla September 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      I have some Norwex products & also ecloth microfiber. Norwex charges too much for their cleaning paste. I bought Shaklee’s cleaning paste, 3 more ounces than Norwex & Shaklee’s cost less than $10!

  21. Melissa September 13, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Have you tried Mrs. Meyer’s toilet bowl cleaner? I haven’t, but was wondering how well that works. I have to order either that or 7th Gen. I ♥ Mrs. Meyers’ products.

  22. Stacy September 13, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Thanks, Lindsay, for a great way to tackle such an overwhelming task! And thanks for letting us know what you use. I have been looking for a window cleaner, too, since my homemade one leaves streaks unless you scrub (which my kids can’t do!). I will check yours out!

  23. Daniella Peterka September 13, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    THANK YOU for this inspiring post! I am gonna love this month’s topic of homemaking things on your blog, because that’s what I am needing right now!!! let’s be honest, having a newborn again totally throws everything off and I am trying to re-orient myself to being a good homemaker again. =) I love your posts about (passionate) homemaking, it’s one of my favorite things about your blog. Thanks for sharing your inspiration and good tips with us! God bless you and your family!

  24. Mel September 13, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Love this! Thank you Lindsay! I was just wondering what to use for the toilet this week too :)

  25. Shelley September 13, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Wow! This post was a total answer to prayers. I had a freak out moment yesterday when I felt totally overwhelmed….moved twice (cross country) in the last 5 months with a 2 1/2 year old and 9 month old, no family or friends around and I am a complete and utter perfectionist. I thrive on lists, order and have way unrealistic expectations of what my house should look like at this point. Thankfully, God has blessed me with friends who keep me in check and shared their realistic cleaning schedules, ideas. This also really help. Now is not the time for me to deep clean. My family needs me to minister to them with my heart rather than provide perfectly organized sock drawers.

  26. Shannon Hazleton September 13, 2012 at 4:00 am #

    My 5 and 6 year olds clean the bathrooms… For the sink/countertop/faucet area, they use a dish scrubber (the kind that holds soap in the handle) with our regular homemade cleaning spray inside. They just scrub all around, wipe down with a towel, and hand off to the person cleaning the next bathroom.

    • Lindsay September 13, 2012 at 5:29 am #

      Love it!

    • Priscilla September 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

      oh great idea! What is your recipe for homemade cleaning spray?

      • Deena September 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

        I am not sure what recipe they have, but I have 3 spray bottles for different areas. I use peroxide for kitchen and bathroom disinfecting (just simply put a spray attachment directly onto a peroxide bottle – I buy the very large tall ones from Sam’s – Vinegar and essential oil blend spray, and a spray bottle with club soda – these 3 with a box of baking soda tackle all my cleaning needs and disinfecting needs. Works great, the trick to toilets is cleaning (spraying) regularly and occassionly sprinking with baking soda – I keep old parm. cheese containers to use for baking soda shakers – one for bathroom, one for kitchen and one for the laundry room. I also keep a bottle of peroxide with sprayer in laundry room for any blood stains – works wonderfully – have had people questin if using dark colored items, I have not personally found any discoloration even with the deepest black.

        Hope that helps someone.

        Blessings

        Deena

  27. Ellen September 13, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    This is a really good approach, Lindsay. Similar to mine,but more organized. I like how you have used numbers instead of specific days, so if things get switched around it is not so confusing.

    I find it is also helpful to figure out (as you mentioned!) the areas in my house which can do with being let go a bit. Everyone’s home is different, but in mine, the floors don’t show much and I can get away with just sweeping for longer than I could in our last home!

  28. Ariana September 13, 2012 at 3:13 am #

    Praise God – I was just working on my chore list (at 4am due to sick baby) when I logged onto your site for your housecleaning recipes and viola! I see this post! Thank you – what a blessing!