why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

Why I Make My Bed (and My House Cleaning Routine)

I love a clean house. Don’t you?

With a toddler, baby, and husband in the house, keeping a tidy home can be a challenge. However, it’s not impossible!

For me, a clean home starts with making my bed. I spend about 30 minutes to an hour each day doing daily cleaning and home maintenance tasks.

Why I Make My Bed and My House Cleaning Routine - Intentional By Grace

Why I Make My Bed

High return on investment

As part of my morning routine for years, making my bed has always been the first thing I do.

It’s not science. It’s common sense. Making my bed is the single most effective thing I can do that makes the biggest impact.

Think about it.

You make your bed and 75% of your room (or more) is now completely tidy. Tell me another chore that has the same return on investment!

Straighten the bedside table contents, toss your clothes in the hamper, and voila! Your room is now tidy.

Makes me get started

The hardest part about cleaning your house is getting started, right? I can think about getting started, dread the very thought of cleaning my home, and I can waste time just bemoaning all.there.is.to.do.

I get it. I really get it!

But if I make my bed, which I know is easy and painless, I’ve overcome the hardest part of any task – getting started!

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

My House Cleaning Routine

Some general rules of engagement:

Some people follow a cleaning schedule, but I like to consider it a cleaning routine.

I can’t predict how my day is going to go. I can make a plan and try to follow it, but milk is bound to be spilled by an independent toddler, a diaper will spring a leak, someone will skin a knee, a husband will need a listening ear, and the hot water will go out. Life happens!

If I create a schedule and even one things go wrong, it’s hard to get back on track. Therefore, creating a daily cleaning routine can help alleviate the problem of always being behind. When something comes up, and I don’t get to do my daily cleaning time, I can just pick up where I left off the next day.

Also I don’t do a full cleaning each and every day. I wait until I notice it needs cleaned before I clean it.

  • Do you see toothpaste blobs in the sink? It’s time to clean the bathroom sink and counter.
  • Your kitchen floor covered in mud? It’s time to mop the floor.
  • Your coffee table look like a guest sign in? Time to dust.

I don’t keep a list of daily tasks that need completed. I have eyes. I can see when something is dirty.

My motto: If it’s dirty, take care of it. If it’s not, move on.

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

Finally, I keep cleaning supplies under the master bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and laundry room, which is in the basement. I don’t trek up and down stairs looking for cleaning supplies every time I need them. I keep the necessary supplies for each floor in a handy, central location so I can quickly grab what I need. This saves so much time!

With that said, here is my general daily maintenance routine:

Start in the master bedroom (right after I dress for the day):

  • Make the bed (change sheets, if needed – usually once a week on Mondays)
  • Toss dirty clothes into the laundry bin
  • Wipe down and tidy bathroom
  • Tidy bedside tables (quick dust, if needed – usually once a week)
  • Put away any clean laundry
  • Vacuum floor (if needed – usually at least 1-2 times a week)

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

Move to children’s room (get them dressed for the day):

  • Straighten their beds (change sheets, if needed – usually once a week on Mondays)
  • Toss dirty clothes in the laundry bin
  • Tidy bedside tables (quick dust, if needed – usually once a week)
  • Put away any clean laundry and toys
  • Vacuum floor (if needed – usually at least 1-2 times a week)

Once we have completed these tasks upstairs, it is considered clean enough.

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

A note about laundry:

If the laundry bin is full, I carry it down to the basement to sort and start one load. I generally carry the laundry bin down each Monday.

I follow the “one load of laundry a day rule.” This means I start a load and by the end of the day that load is folded and put away. If I do more than one load, there’s a good chance my laundry gets backed up in the “to be folded and put away pile.” Once I’m behind, I struggle to catch up. Clean laundry can sit for days in my house.

So I’ve resolved to do one load of laundry a day and this allows me to stay on top of it. Plus I know I only have one load to do. I can manage that, right? I can grit my teeth and get it done when I only have one.single.load.

This means on Monday I sort the laundry that has piled up.

  • Darks
  • Lights
  • Whites
  • Bed linens, towels and wash cloths
  • Cleaning rags and dish towels

After I’ve completed my upstairs tasks, I start a load and throughout the day, I keep it moving forward until it’s put away into it’s proper drawers and closets.

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

With the laundry started, I head to the kitchen:

  • Clean up breakfast dishes
  • Put away clean dishes
  • Wipe down all counters and appliances (use disinfectant – usually 1-2 times a week)
  • Sweep the floors (mop, if needed – usually once a week)
  • Tidy all surfaces (dust, if needed – usually once every OTHER week)
  • Vacuum rugs and stairs (1-2 times a week)
  • Make a plan for dinner (thaw meat, load the crock pot, etc.)

After that I’m done!

This whole process takes about 30 minutes to an hour every day.

With this method, I rarely do more than one cleaning task a day. The key is cleaning when it’s dirty and not letting it slide “just one more day.” It’s easier to stay on top of the cleaning than it is to dig your way out of a mess.

why i make my bed (and my cleaning routine) How to keep a tidy home in less than an hour a day!

Do you have a cleaning routine? I’d love to hear how you manage to keep your home tidy!

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17 Comments

  1. I attempt to clean the entire house every 2 wks. I try to break it down into days by doing bathrooms one day, dusting and changing beds the nxt and the floors the next day. I do dishes most everyday and my oldest is in charge of laundry. Being a single working momma this doesn’t always happen.

  2. I generally try to focus on one room (or so) a day. If I actually do it it usually takes me 30-60 minutes as well. Because it takes so little time it’s much easier to manage. However, if I don’t stay on top of it then it gets crazy and makes each task much harder and longer.

  3. This is pretty much the same routine I use! And I also really like your motto about only cleaning when you notice it’s dirty. Of course, we somehow have globs of toothpaste in our sinks everyday . . . l

    Loved reading this!

  4. I have a very similar routine! I always make my bed first thing. I tidy up the bedroom, the bathroom and then take a load of laundry to toss in. I’m a daily laundry gal too. My toddler likes to put the laundry in the washer so he can earn a sticker for his responsibility chart. While he is doing that, I clean up the kitchen and start a load in the dishwasher. All of this takes about 45 minutes and my house is picked up and ready to go! Each night, we tidy up the living room. Routines make such a difference!

  5. I keep telling myself I should have a schedule or checklist, and then never sit down to make one. Most days I have a similar routine as you with the getting dressed and tidying rooms — although I don’t vacuum the bedrooms as often as you do. If I’m going to vacuum the rooms, they’re also going to get a dusting — so I try to tackle my upstairs bedrooms and den 1-2 a month. That’s about as good as it gets for me. They’re always kept tidy, but only get cleaned that often. My downstairs living room and dining room I vacuum once a week, and the kitchen floor gets cleaned daily. I dread cleaning my bathrooms. My upstairs bathroom gets a full cleaning 1-2 times a month, normally while the kids are in the bath (so not part of a morning routine). It’s not used that often other than baths, so it doesn’t get gross that fast. My downstairs bathroom gets gross very often and needs a frequent wipe-down. I need to get this one worked into my morning routine!!! Anything else I clean is on a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants schedule — I either notice it’s dirty or I know that I haven’t done it in awhile — and so I tackle it. I think writing down a flexible schedule might be the solution for me — even something as simple as 1st week of every month do xyz, 2nd week do xyz — and get everything on a rotation?

  6. I personally don’t have a daily routine. I also have that mentality of cleaning what’s dirty. So if I see my floor that’s dirty, I grab the vacuum. When I see my curtain looks untidy, I washed it. Simple as I know.
    I love watching the pics and reading your article.