Does cleaning the house stress you out and you never seem to stay on top of it? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This could easily describe me too in the past. I used to stress out if the whole house wasn’t put in order by the end of the day. I’m talking about…every dish was put away or no dust bunnies were to be found hiding under my bed. And then came a point (I think it was while I was pregnant with my third boy) that I hit my “breaking point” and I knew something had to change. After decluttering my home in full with the KonMari method (the lite version of her method as I didn’t go full folding or thanking my items that leave by donating or trashing them), I started to work on other areas of our home to simplify, like cleaning routines. Today on the blog, I’m sharing about how to throw out the cleaning routine and try this instead: a master cleaning task list. Read on to learn about how I use it.

Someone sweeping on a wooden floor.

Throw out the cleaning routine to go from overwhelmed to calm towards cleaning the house

So how did I get on top of my housework and reduce stress?

  • Over time, I realized and embraced the fact that I COULD NOT keep up with everything at all times anymore.
  • Over time, I realized that priorities matter more, even with a cleaning routine.
Throw out the cleaning routine and try prioritizing instead:

Priorities can be applied to cleaning too, which brings me to the current method I’m using for cleaning our home. To be fair, I jump around different methods depending on what’s going on with our family or season of life like this method in the past and I also tried out the Organised mom’s method, but this is working really well for me right now – which is throwing out the cleaning routine (ha)! PS - We have four kids and three adults here and full time homeschool just for reference.

Throw Out the Cleaning Routine and Try This Instead


What is the master task cleaning list? A master cleaning task list is exactly as described. I started with a page in my bullet journal that has all of the cleaning tasks you can think of and categorized, even things I don’t think of often like cleaning the oven. I then moved onto a nice printable I created and popped it into our home management binder. Scroll down to grab your own printable of the master cleaning task list too!

How do I use the master task cleaning list? I plan my days the night before for the next day usually (see my blog here on my daily planning method), and focus on my top priorities - usually three in every category. Under the home category, I pick usually three priorities to focus on and will pull from the master task cleaning list. Sometimes I throw in a decluttering or organizing task, but for the most part it’s cleaning since we just do maintenance decluttering periodically right now.

So for instance, today’s top three priorities are:

  1. Vacuum the master bedroom and office.
  2. Tidy the bedroom and office.
  3. Make sure laundry is caught up with.

We prioritize the daily cleaning tasks

And, that’s it! We do have some daily essential cleaning like dishes and laundry, but this it simplified our cleaning routine for this season of life. It’s small amounts every day, which leads to a cleaner home more consistently. Not in every area at all times, mind you, but I’m able to prioritize tasks every day and work on the priorities first.

Try throwing out the cleaning routine and see how it feels

So maybe throwing out the cleaning routine would work for you too. It’s worth a shot, right? I personally like having a few methods up my sleeve to use during those different seasons or days that require different things. So in the end? Do what works for you and your family. And maybe try throwing out the cleaning routine and try a master task list instead, using your top priorities every day. I use three, but you can do what works for you. Finding a good cleaning routine for your family will help you to have a simple home and that’s the best goal. Happy cleaning!

Create your own master cleaning task list with a free printable

If you like the sounds of a master cleaning task list and want to try it out for yourself, I created a simple blank master cleaning task list printable for you to fill in. You can download it here. And if you’d like to simplify your home even more, my course - Simplify Your Home Life: a course for busy moms is open and is 50% off! You can take a look at that here.

Cleaning supplies on a table with gloves.

Other blogs of mine you may enjoy:

Check out some other mom blogs and their home tips and tricks:

(updated Apr. 2022)

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m a mother of four children - three boys, one toddler girl - and our family lives on the beautiful east coast of Canada. I’m a past elementary teacher, turned stay at home, work at home mom eight years ago after I had my second child. I’ve found that the busier I’ve become and as my children age, that it’s become even more important to figure out what is most important to me and us as a family. Living a simpler lifestyle has helped us in so many ways in our home life - from better routines to faster tidying up times. It has been through my children that I have been inspired to learn how to effectively manage my time and to simplify in all areas of my home and life. I enjoy helping busy moms simplify home life by teaching flexible planning methods and skills. Enjoyed this blog and think it would be helpful to others? I'd love if you shared it. Thank you!