I think we can all agree everyone needs to have a home maintenance plan. If you aren’t sure what it is or why you need one, read this recent post: why everyone should have a maintenance plan. Just because you believe you need such a plan doesn’t mean that you know how to create one. There are four distinct steps involved in creating a home maintenance plan. Everyone’s plan will be unique to them but will incorporate these four steps.
Now let’s look at the steps to take to develop a home maintenance plan that will work for you.
You’ve worked hard to declutter and organize your home and you know you want to maintain that organization. Organization is not a once and done deal.
These are the four steps to follow to create a home maintenance plan:
- List the tasks required to keep the area organized and decluttered
- Decide how often to do the tasks
- Schedule the tasks
- Determine who is responsible
Steps 1 & 2 – Determine Frequency of Home Maintenance Plan Tasks
I find the easiest way to put together the home maintenance plan is to first list the tasks by frequency. This takes care of the first two steps.
- clear clutter- pick up all toys (kids and pets), shoes, jackets, newspapers, or anything that is out of place
- wipe up any visible crumbs or spills
- clear sinks and counters
- make bed
- put away clothes
- check and update calendar
Weekly or Every Other Week
- vacuum – this may be more than once a week if you have crawling babies or shedding animals or only every other week if you live alone
- Tidy bookcases or display cases
- Do laundry
- Clean bathrooms
- Change out bath and bedroom linens
- Do menu and grocery list
- Clean microwave and other often used appliances
- Wipe down stove top
- Check fridge for items to toss before shopping
- Take out trash
- Check desktop files and file papers
- Pay bills
Monthly or Seasonal
- Review budget and reconcile bank and credit card statements
- Reorganize closets and drawers as seasons change
- Clean and organize storage areas as seasons change
- Change filters
- Deep clean all areas
- Wash windows
- Clear out, organize, and update files
- Clear out pantry and look for expired or about to expire foods
- Change battery in fire alarm
This list is just a suggestion. Adjust it to fit your needs and wants.
Step 3- Schedule Home Maintenance Plan Tasks
Now determine exactly when you plan on doing the tasks involved in the home maintenance plan.
Some of the daily tasks must be done first thing in the morning like make your bed and check your calendar. Others make more sense to do in the evening before you go to bed. Do what makes sense to you but schedule it.
Weekly tasks should have a slot on your calendar. Monday may be when you vacuum and pay bills. Saturday may be one of your laundry days. Friday may be the day you plan menus and do the grocery list. Schedule the tasks at times that make sense to you and your other commitments.
Give monthly and seasonal tasks a date on your calendar. When the time comes just do the task if time permits. If the date does not work for you, you can reschedule it. Just make sure that you do reschedule.
Yearly tasks are like spring cleaning but rather than doing these tasks all at once I like to spread them out throughout the entire year by using a zone plan.
Step 4- Who is Responsible?
Finally, determine who is responsible for each task.
When my two boys were young and living at home, we had task cards that rotated each week. Everyone had some tasks that stayed the same such as make your own bed and clean your own personal area. Some of the other tasks that involved shared areas rotated. These were tasks like clean the bathroom, vacuum, dust, clear dishes and put them in the dishwasher. When I set up the card system, I had the cards rotate so that one adult had the card one week and the next week one of the boys had the card. This way at least every other week the task was done thoroughly. I did not re-do the tasks that the boys did – just saw that they followed through and did them.
Ideally everyone who lives in the home should have a share in completing some of the home maintenance plan tasks. How this is set up depends on the abilities and time allowance for each person. Children can start helping with chores as young as two years old.
For tips on having children successfully organize their rooms check out our books, Suzie’s Messy Room and Benji’s Messy Room.
Following the home maintenance plan that you develop keeps your home from falling into an overwhelming state of messiness. Most of the tasks on the daily and weekly list can be done in 10 minutes or less.
Once you have your home maintenance plan up and working you will find that maintaining the order in your home becomes just another routine.
If you recognize that you are struggling with maintaining your clutter and want some help or accountability in developing and working your organizational home maintenance plan or other projects join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space for You virtual support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, author of four books as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients.