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Technology is awesome, but I organized my cleaning routines with some seriously low tech tools – index cards! Here is how I keep my house clutter free and cleaner than ever with an old fashioned cleaning routine.
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How My Low Tech Cleaning Routine Works
Keeping a house clean can feel overwhelming! There are so many tasks to take care of, and sometimes, it feels like there just isn’t enough time to get everything done.
There was a time when I felt like I couldn’t keep up with housekeeping tasks, and I had tried so many cleaning checklists that didn’t help me keep my house clean. I needed a daily cleaning routine that was easy to follow. Luckily, I read a book that helped me find a way to get it all done. Sidetracked Home Executives by Peggy Jones and Pam Young taught me a genius way to keep my cleaning routine checklist in order.
At first, I didn’t believe that such an old-fashioned house cleaning schedule would work. Surely there was an app on my phone that would be a better option for a weekly cleaning routine. Thankfully, I gave this index card cleaning routine a try, and I’ve been using this weekly cleaning schedule ever since!
Let me show you how it works.
Step #1: Gather your supplies.
You won’t need much to get started with this cleaning routine. I love that this system doesn’t require any fancy or expensive supplies.
Here is what you need:
- Index cards in multiple colors
- A card file box big enough for the index cards
- Numbered card file dividers (numbered 1-30)
That’s it! So easy and affordable.
Step #2: Make Your Cleaning List.
Next, we are going to make a list of every cleaning task that needs to be done. What household chores does your house need done to stay clean and tidy? Write everything down. No task is too big or too small to go on the list.
Here are things on my list:
- Tidy the front porch
- Tidy the main living space (living room, den, ect.)
- Wipe down the kitchen counters.
- Put the dishes in the dishwasher.
- Clean the bathroom – toilets, tubs, and showers
- Vacuum the floor.
- Mop floors.
- Make the beds.
- Wash a load of laundry.
- Fold laundry.
- Scrub the kitchen sink.
- Sweep the kitchen floor.
- Clean windows.
- Take out the trash.
- Clean out the fridge and freezer.
- Pick up toys and put them away.
- Clean the microwave.
- Wipe and spray disinfectant on drawer handles and light switches.
- Dust ceiling fans.
- Declutter pantry shelves.
For a full cleaning list, check out our free printable in the Free Resource Library.
Step #3: Categorize your cleaning list.
Next, we are going to take our big list of cleaning jobs and break it down into these categories: daily tasks, weekly tasks, biweekly (every other week) tasks, and monthly tasks.
Go down your list, and mark each task with which category the cleaning job falls in. For example, washing the dishes is a daily task. It needs to be done every day. Dusting is a weekly task. I dust my house once a week. Weeding flower beds and deep cleaning the oven are monthly tasks for me.
Step #4: Get out your index cards.
Now it’s time to get out your colored index cards. Make sure that you have one color per category.
First, assign one color of card for each category. My daily cards are blue, weekly cards are pink, and monthly cards are green. It doesn’t matter what colors you chose so long as you have one color per category.
Next, take out the color cards that will be your daily cards, and write one cleaning job on each card. Keep writing one cleaning task on each card until you have a stack of daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, biweekly cleaning tasks, and monthly ones too.
Step #5: File your cards.
Now, take out your card file box and your numbered card file dividers. Place your dividers in your file box. The numbers on the file dividers will act like a monthly calendar with the first file divider with a number 1 on it representing the first day of the month.
Next, start filing your cleaning cards in the dividers. All of your daily cards will be filed together on the first day of the month. The weekly cards will be filed throughout the first 7 days (the days of that week), and the monthly cards can be distributed through the whole 30 days.
Step #6: Start using your cleaning routine cards.
Now that your card system is set up, it’s time to get started!
Here’s how you will use this cleaning routine:
On day one, you will work through all of your daily cards and any weekly or monthly cards that you have filed for this day. Once you have worked through all of your cards, you are done cleaning for the day!
Every time you use a card, you re-file the card. After I use my daily cards, I file them for the next day. For example, once I use my daily cards on the first of the month, I file them for the 2nd. After I use my weekly cards, I file them for a week later. For example, a weekly card used on the first of the month gets filed for seven days later, the 7th of the month.
How This System Has Helped Me
Having a cleaning routine has helped me so much. Not only is my house cleaner than ever, but my home feels much more peaceful and calmer now that my household tasks are organized.
In the past, when life got really busy and hectic, my housekeeping would go out the window. I would say that I was too busy to clean, I’ll just clean later! Then, the house would get so terribly messy that it would take me all weekend just to catch up on the cleaning. The best thing about this cleaning routine is that it runs on autopilot. I don’t have to wonder what to clean next because I already have it planned out.
Also, the cleaning cards make it easy to ask for help. I used to have a hard time asking my family for help because figuring out who would do what just felt like too much trouble. With this system, I can easily delegate chores by handing out the cleaning cards. Do you struggle getting your kids and partner to help maintain a clean home? This system can help your family develop better cleaning habits. Hand out those cards and get your family helping!
Ways to Extend Your Cleaning Routine System
One great way to get your money’s worth from this cleaning system is using it not just for your cleaning tasks but extending the system to include other tasks that need doing on a regular basis. Once you get on a roll with the cleaning cards, add other tasks like giving the dog his flea treatment, paying bills, or getting regular car maintenance.
I love how this system has helped me with time management! I’m no longer forgetting to pay the electric bill because I’ve got a cleaning card that reminds me to pay it once a month.
We all lead busy lives, and keeping a house clean and tidy can feel very overwhelming! Use this old-fashioned cleaning routine to get your home in order. Have an awesome cleaning or organizing tip? We would love to hear it in the comments!