Think about your lifestyle, commitments and schedule when planning your weekly routine. Make sure it fits your life— not the other way around! This plan runs from Sunday through Friday, with no chores at all on Saturday (although if you garden, that might be when you work in yard chores). If you prefer to keep your weekends entirely free, you could add a chore to one of the weekdays. Likewise, if you would rather do more on the weekends because you’re exhausted during the week, move more chores to the weekend days.
It doesn’t matter if the chores get done perfectly, or if you sometimes skip a day here and there. The important thing is to have a routine that becomes so second nature that you don’t have to think about it much anymore, you just do it.
Do laundry, change bedding. There’s something comforting about starting the week with fresh laundry and clean sheets on the bed. There will be another laundry day worked into the weekly plan (on Tuesday) so you don’t have to do it all today. It’s better to do two loads (one of sheets and one of clothes) and get everything folded and put away than to do four loads and leave it all in a heap. And when you change the bedding on the same day as laundry day, you can skip folding the sheets, which go right back onto the bed.
Shop, prep weeknight meals, clean the kitchen. We all know that Mondays can be a drag. I find it helps to just roll with it: If you can get a few bigger tasks done today, you’ll go to bed feeling productive and energized for the week ahead. If you can find time to go to the grocery store on Monday, it tends to be less crowded than Sunday evening — and if your schedule has some flexibility, shopping in the morning before work or midafternoon is easier than during the dinner rush.
After the shopping and cooking (i.e., mess-making) is done is a good time to clean the kitchen: Clean small appliances, wipe counters and mop the floor.
Clean bathrooms, finish the laundry, change towels. Cleaning the bathroom is no one’s favorite chore, so I say get it done as quickly as possible. Set a timer if that helps (can you do it in 15 minutes? 10?) and have all of your cleaning tools and products stored under the sink so you don’t have to hunt them down. Clean the tub, sink, mirrors and toilet, and give the floor a quick mop. Remove old towels and put out fresh, fluffy ones.
Mood boost: This evening, savor the fruits of your labor by indulging in a soak in the freshly cleaned tub with your favorite bath products.
Handle paperwork, pay bills, declutter. The only thing more annoying than paperwork is agiant pile of paperwork. By having a set day and time to regularly go through your mail, bills and other papers, you can keep things from getting out of hand. Walk around the house and collect all the paper — mail, catalogs, bills, school handouts — and sit down with the pile within reach of your filing cabinet with a recycling bin and your calendar (or phone) at your side. I find a strong cup of tea and classical music helps with the sorting.
- Recycle junk mail and envelopes.
- Enter events and appointments into your calendar, then toss the paper.
- Pay bills; put bills to be paid later in a folder.
- File important documents.
- Check your closet for worn-out items and pieces you’re not loving.
- Scan bookshelves for books you didn’t enjoy.
- Check kids’ rooms and surfaces for random junk (freebies, impulse purchases) you don’t really need or want.
- Toss out pens that have run out of ink.
- Pack up the still-good items in a bag or box and put it in your car to take to a donation center.
Straighten the living room, freshen cut flowers, water plants. By Thursday, the weekend is around the corner, so whether you’re hosting a gathering at your home or just planning to hang out and watch a movie, this is a great day to get the living room presentable. Put away items that belong in other spaces, recycle old newspapers and magazines and clean the coffee table.
Having a regular day of the week to water and check on houseplants can help keep them healthy and happy. Be sure to look up the care instructions for your plants, as they might need to be watered more or less often. You can also snip off dead leaves and dust the leaves of large-leaf specimens like rubber plants and philodendron.
Mood boost: After you’re done tidying the living room, get yourself something good to drink and sit down with a book or magazine you’ve been wanting to read.
Clean the floors, unplug and relax. There’s something about clean floors that makes your entire house feel fresher. Vacuum or sweep and mop floors (if you mopped the kitchen and bathroom earlier in the week, skip them) to start the weekend on a bright note.
Mood boost: No matter what your plans are for the weekend, consider kicking things off with a bit of unplugged downtime to rest and recharge. Put down the laptop and phone and open a book, practice a craft or just sit on the porch for a few minutes. And if you practice yoga or meditation, savor your freshly cleaned floors by doing a little home yoga practice or sitting meditation!