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Household Maintenance – An Organizing Necessity

A woman and a man kneeling on the floor behind a coffee table in a family room dusting and polishing the furniture.

Keeping your home clean and clutter free can seem like an overwhelming job. Clutter comes into every home. It is a sign that your home is lived in.  However, when you put a structured household maintenance plan into place, you gain a sense of control. This plan will ensure that clutter and disorganization don’t take over.

Investing in household maintenance saves you time

There is the old proverb, “A stitch in time saves nine.” It infers that if you have a small hole in your clothing, one stitch taken now will save having to sew up a larger hole later. This means that by efficiently doing small jobs on a regular basis you will free up more time instead of letting the job become large and overwhelming.

Creating a household maintenance plan and making it a part of your daily routine is an organizing necessity. It will make your home a more pleasant and stress-free place. It will also free up time to do the things you enjoy.

How to create a household maintenance plan

One of the first steps into your household maintenance plan  is to list all the tasks you need to do to keep your home clean and clutter free.

What tasks do you need to do daily?  For me some items on this list would be to make my bed, pick up and straighten the living room and clean up the kitchen.

What tasks do you need to do weekly? Some items on my list are laundry, sweeping and dusting, moping the kitchen floor, cleaning the bathrooms.

Some tasks only need to be done monthly or seasonally.

Once you know what tasks must be done to keep up with your household maintenance, schedule times to do these tasks. The daily tasks need to be scheduled every day and should have a specific time that you plan on doing them.

Weekly, monthly, or seasonal tasks can be spread out throughout the week or over the weekend. You can also create a combination of doing some tasks on the weekend and others during the weekdays.

The point is to know when you can reasonably do these chores and to stay as consistent as possible.

Household maintenance is for the whole family

Decide which tasks you are willing to delegate. Household maintenance should be a family affair. Even young children can be part of maintaining clutter in your home. If your budget allows, you can hire service professionals to do some seasonal tasks like pressure washing or cleaning gutters.

By assessing your needs, scheduling, prioritizing your tasks, and working your plan daily, you can ensure a clutter free and clean home without the stress of panic filled marathon cleaning jags.

Maintenance keeps clutter under control

One attendee of our last monthly class where we discussed the Zone Plan said, “It seems like you are cleaning all the time.” Well, yes and no. Maintenance cleaning up is a daily thing we do to keep our clutter under control. One example of a household maintenance task is every morning while you wait for your coffee to brew or your teakettle to get hot, to empty your dishwasher. This should take no more than 10 minutes. But by taking that 10 minutes then, the rest of the day your dishwasher is ready to receive dirty plates after a quick rinse rather than letting those dishes stack up in the sink. See how this daily maintenance task makes your life easier, not harder.

Benefits of household maintenance

The benefits of following your household maintenance plan go beyond just having a clean and organized home. You will have a less stressful and more pleasant living environment and more time to do the things that you love to do.

If you want help setting up a maintenance plan or are working on a project and want some guidance and support, join Diane Quintana and me in our Clear Space For You virtual organizing group. The group will offer ideas, support, and gentle accountability for working on developing plans or projects.

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, award-winning author, 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.




  • Seana Turner says:

    You know I am in complete agreement on this one. Having maintenance tasks that you work on in varying intervals keeps the process from becoming overwhelming. Documenting your plan keeps you from having to “reimagine” what needs to be done over and over. Plus, over time, systems just become familiar, and hence easier. Wonderful post!

  • It’s easy to forget how essential the maintenance piece is to being organized. A common misconception is that you’ll always be organized once you get organized. That’s only half true. Once you organize a space, maintenance will be needed to keep it that way. But if you design simple, intuitive systems that work for how you think, that maintenance part won’t be overwhelming.

    While I have daily, weekly, or seasonal cleaning/maintenance tasks and projects, I don’t have a written plan. It’s funny because I’m such a planner in many aspects of my life. But when it comes to maintenance, I use a more intuitive/flexible process. I sense what I want or need to do and then know when to do it. That may not work for some, but it works for me.

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