Cleaning the house and trying to keep on top of all the housework can be very overwhelming for an adult with ADHD. In this week’s blog I want to look at how to create a cleaning schedule that is ADHD friendly.
A cleaning schedule won’t add hassle or stress to you or the people in your home, it can actually alleviate things because with a schedule you will know when and how often things need to be cleaned, rather than feeling guilty that something should be done but is never truly finished. Let us work together, grab a pen and piece of paper and follow my method to create a cleaning schedule that works for you.
Step One - What Needs To Be Done? It may seem silly, but have you ever actually written down all the tasks around the house. If you don’t know what you are dealing with, then you may always feel overwhelmed and that you are not doing it well enough. So go into each room in the house and write down everything that needs to be cleaned and how often you want to clean it. For now you are just brainstorming so write down everything, the list can be modified. Here is an example for you:
- Wipe all counters – daily
- Empty trash - weekly
- Clean bath tub and shower – weekly
- Clean toilet – twice a week
- Change towels – weekly
- Declutterbathroom cabinet – annually
At this point, it is important not to get overwhelmed as this can look like a big task to get done, but it is an important step in seeing what needs to be done. This also may be a good point to add who does each task as well as you will need to figure out the schedules in later steps.
Step Two – Group Tasks by Regularity - The next time is to group the different tasks on how often they need to be done. This will give you a better idea of what you will need to do each day/week. For example:
- Daily Tasks– Wipe the bathroom and kitchen counters, empty dish washer, load of laundry.
- 2-3 Times a Week Tasks- Mop kitchen floor, clean toilet, water plants, and errands.
- Weekly Tasks– empty trash, change towels and change sheets, food shopping
- Monthly– wash and vacuum car, menu planning, check smoke alarm.
Please remember there is no wrong or right way to do this, just as long as you are happy with how often tasks are being done. Everyone’s needs will be different and your timing on how often they are done also may be different. What is important here is you should be able to look at your list and decide everything that needed to be done, to the timing your home will run smoothly and everything will be clean to your standards and you will feel back in control of things.
Step Three – What Time Do You Have Available? Now that we have went through your ideal cleaning scenario, it is time to get realistic and to look at the time you have available. If you don’t have a weekly plan, then now maybe a good time to write one out. Once you have written this out, you will be able to see what days and times you have available to do your household tasks. You will find that some days you will be able to fit in more than other days, but that is the way that most of our lives tend to go.
Step Four – How Do You Like To Do Things? - For any schedule to be effective, you will need to work with your personality. So with that in mind, figure out on the best times of the week that you would prefer to do this tasks. After reading this blog take a few minutes to think about what times you have available and how you should arrange your cleaning to suit your way of living.
Step Five – Creating the Cleaning Schedule -In your mind work through what a typical weekly schedule looks like to you and start from the tasks on your list onto specific days and times. Work through each day and figure out which tasks would be the easiest to get done. Here are some tips to help-
If you find that you cant schedule all tasks in, prioritize. For instance, Do you need to vacuum every day or would a once over twice a week work with a thorough vacuum once a month (moving the furniture) actually be sufficient enough.
Think about delegating tasks that you want to complete but really dont have the time to do them.
Step Six - Add your cleaning schedule to your planner. I added mine to the front page of my planer and then I can easily check on what my daily tasks are and them to my to do list for that specific day, that way nothing gets forgotten. Be realistic , some things may have to wait as life gets in the way, but when you have worked them out, things will be easier and to carry them over to the next less busy days.
Step Seven- Live with Your Schedule - Once you have put your tasks to the different days or the week that works for you, give yourself the next month to actually follow the plan. When you start to see things working or not working and you see the actual time you have to spend to do specific things and what time you actually have then you can change things when they become necessary. This will get rid of any of the glitches your cleaning schedule you have created and this will ensure you that you will have something that you can successfully use to keep on top of your household tasks and what could be better than that.