When I got my very first apartment, I had no idea what I was doing.

I mean, yes, I had the basic concept down. I had my name on a lease and a key and a cat. But not much else. My first act as a new apartment leasee was to jump up and down for joy. My second was to buy a whole bunch of cleaning supplies.

Now that Target receipt is long gone, but I can tell you it was pretty extensive. Problem was, I didn’t really know what to do with what I bought. I had my fair share of chores growing up, but it didn’t compare in the slightest to the idea of keeping an entire apartment (all 525 square feet of it) clean. All by myself.

Why a Cleaning Schedule?

At first I wasn’t even sure if I really needed a cleaning schedule. I had a studio apartment where the only door led to the shower and toilet. I could just clean as I went, right? There was no way it could possibly be difficult to just keep things neat.

Boy, was I wrong.

My apartment was a mess the first few months. I would go two weeks without really cleaning anything and then spend a whole day trying to tidy it up. It seemed like I was constantly chasing tasks without really getting anywhere.

So (like with many of my life’s problems) I looked to Pinterest for help. What I found was pages upon pages of cleaning schedules.

The concept of the cleaning schedule is glorious, and the benefits are many – especially if you’re as forgetful as I am. If you stick to a schedule, your home is easier to keep clean because tasks get done on a regular basis. Things like cleaning the tub or mopping the floor aren’t nearly as daunting when they’re done once a week. There’s not nearly as much of a scramble to tidy everything when you have a sudden guest coming over. If you have a roommate, the tasks are even easier because you can split them between you.

I wrote down each task I needed to do for each area and split it up into different days, depending on when I had the most time. Within just a couple of weeks of using my cleaning schedule, my apartment looked and felt cleaner, and I was a lot less stressed.

cleaning a sink

The Ten-Minute Tidy

One of the most crucial things I learned about during my Pinterest deep-dive was that of the “ten-minute tidy”. Done every day as part of a cleaning schedule, it keeps all that stray clutter from piling up and becoming a huge chore.

The concept is simple – set a timer for ten minutes, and with that time, take everything that isn’t in its place and put it up. Clear the coffee table, nightstand, entertainment center, what have you. When the timer’s up, finish whatever you have in your hand and you’re done. You’d be surprised how much you can declutter in only ten minutes!

This is especially important for small spaces. I thought my studio apartment would be a breeze to keep clean because of its size. I actually found the opposite to be true! It felt like no matter what I did, I was living in the entire space at once, and it became cluttered much faster. The ten-minute tidy is vital to keeping a smaller space clean.

Using a Cleaning Schedule

If you use a cleaning schedule, it’s super easy to keep your apartment clean and tidy. There’s a list of tasks that should be done every single day, and then each day of the week has its assigned area. All in all, each day you should be cleaning for less than an hour. The more you do it, the faster you get!

So go on, give it a try. Your apartment will be so much tidier with a cleaning schedule!

Cleaning Schedule