Weekly Cleaning Schedule: The 5-Things Method

A casually dressed woman uses a towel to dry a kitchen countertop

A Weekly Cleaning Schedule for Busy People

Cleaning a home can be overwhelming, especially when we’re dealing with busy schedules, health issues, or other challenges. But what if there was a way to simplify the process and achieve a clean, organized home without stress or exhaustion? That’s where my 5-Things Method of daily cleaning tasks comes in.

A realistic weekly cleaning routine

The 5-Things Method is a realistic house cleaning schedule made of simple, achievable steps that don’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. The goal is not perfection or spotlessness. It’s about setting the baseline standard you can maintain on a daily basis.

Add optional deeper cleaning tasks

After doing 5-Things Cleaning consistently for a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to complete each room’s weekly tasks in 10-15 minutes. If you want, you can then to add one deeper cleaning task in each room every week as time and energy permit. By rotating through a schedule to clean everything in your home, you’ll accomplish a full monthly cleaning without a lot of stress.

Monday: 5 Things to Clean in the Kitchen

With everyone home on the weekend, the kitchen gets a lot of use. Starting the week fresh with a clean kitchen makes the rest of your home tidier, too. Again, this is not about deep-cleaning, but about resetting your kitchen so it’s food-safe and pleasant to use.

What to clean:

  1. Clean the sink.
  2. Wipe appliance fronts and handles.
  3. Clean the countertops.
  4. Clean the kitchen floor.
  5. Change the towel.


  • Use hot, soapy water first to remove grime. Then, go over things with a disinfecting wipe to kill germs and let that air dry.
  • Sweep or vacuum the floor, then mop it using a spray bottle of no-rinse homemade floor cleaner.
  • Change the towel(s) at least once a day throughout the week.

Tuesday: 5 Things to Clean in the Bathroom

Dirty bathrooms are embarrassing, but that doesn’t mean they have to be spotless. As with kitchens, the goal is to get a bathroom clean enough that it is safe to use and pleasant to be in. This means addressing high-touch and high-germ surfaces with the understanding you can always do deeper cleaning or bathroom organization tasks when you have the time.

What to clean:

  1. Clean the counters and sinks.
  2. Clean the tub/shower.
  3. Clean the toilet.
  4. Clean the mirror and fixtures.
  5. Clean the floor.


  • Begin by wiping bathroom surfaces with a dry cloth to pick up debris. Too much debris reduces the effectiveness of disinfectant cleaners.
  • Use separate clean microfiber cloths for each surface to avoid cross-contamination.

Cleaning will expand to fill the time you make available for it, so always know how much time you’re willing to spend doing it.

Wednesday: 5 Things to Clean in the Bedroom

A cluttered bedroom is a dust-magnet. Breathing in dust all night can disrupt anyone’s sleep, even if you don’t have allergies. So the focus when cleaning bedrooms is eliminating dust and changing sheets. If you get in the habit of putting dirty clothes in the hamper and putting things away instead of setting them down, bedroom cleaning can take just a few minutes.

What to clean:

  1. Declutter flat surfaces.
  2. Pick up dirty clothes.
  3. Dust top to bottom.
  4. Change the sheets.
  5. Clean the floor.


  • Dusting does not have to be complicated. Use an extension duster in large, sweeping arcs to dust the walls. Run the duster along baseboards and behind furniture.
  • Wipe flat surfaces like the tops of dressers and nightstands with a damp microfiber cloth to eliminate dust.
  • If you’ve got several bedrooms, launder one duvet or comforter each week.

Thursday: 5 Things for Laundry Day

If you’re tired of laundry taking over your weekend, get in the habit of washing a room’s linens the day you clean it. With this schedule, that means washing kitchen towels on Monday, bathroom towels on Tuesday, and sheets on Wednesdays. On Thursdays, wash clothing or at least get a start on it, so Saturday doesn’t turn into laundry day, too.

What to do:

  1. Sort clothes into bright, dark, and light.
  2. Wash the most urgent load first.
  3. Set a phone timer for each load so you don’t forget.
  4. Fold/hang straight from the dryer or line.
  5. Put away a load of laundry as soon as it’s done.


  • Start with the most urgent load, such as sports uniforms for the weekend.
  • Don’t rely on hearing the machine’s signal. Set a timer on your phone.
  • Folding or hanging straight from the dryer stops wrinkles.
  • Putting away each load as it’s done keeps the finished piles from feeling overwhelming.

Friday: 5 Things to Clean in the Living Room

By cleaning your living room on Friday, you’re ready for company or for relaxing, or both. A hidden bonus is the subtle way it encourages family members to make fewer messes over the weekend. Plus, it’s easier to show kids which toys they need to put away before bed if the room isn’t a disaster.

What to clean:

  1. Pick up trash and set the trash bag aside.
  2. Declutter flat surfaces.
  3. Dust and polish wood furniture.
  4. Vacuum the sofa and chairs.
  5. Clean the floor.


  • Keep a “clutter basket” in your living room to collect clutter. Put it away after you’ve finished the room. Throw away the trash at that time.
  • Use a damp microfiber cloth to dust surfaces and rinse it often so you’re not just spreading dirt around.

Saturday: 5 Things All Over the House

When you follow the 5 Things approach, Saturdays only need enough effort to maintain what you’ve done. Being consistent during the week means you don’t have much to do beyond “big chunk cleaning” to get up crumbs and pet hair. If you don’t have pets or young children, you may only need a few minutes for this.

What to clean:

  1. Complete skipped daily tasks.
  2. Spot check for messes.
  3. Sweep or vacuum high-traffic areas.
  4. Finish laundry if needed.
  5. Restock.


  • If you notice you’re repeatedly decluttering the same items, check where the things are supposed to go to see if you need to make more space.
  • Spot checking for messes means wiping up crumbs and sweeping high-traffic areas, not thorough cleaning.

Sunday: 5 Things to Enjoy

Everyone needs a rest day. You don’t have to earn it by finishing the laundry or making sure your home is spotless. You deserve a chance to relax and have fun, so don’t let cleaning creep into your Sunday.

What to do instead of cleaning:

  1. Reflect on last week’s wins.
  2. Spend time having fun.
  3. Do some self-care.
  4. Plan next week’s menu.
  5. Go over next week’s calendar.


  • Thinking about what you did well helps reinforce your motivation. It’s also a chance to evaluate whether you need to make changes.
  • A few minutes spent preparing for the following week, from what to cook to what to wear, can help you feel ready for whatever comes.

How to Make the 5 Things Method Work for You

Cleaning can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. By using the 5 Things Weekly Cleaning Schedule, you can keep your home neat and tidy without spending all day on it. Here’s how to make it work for you:

  1. Set a time limit: Cleaning will expand to fill the time you make available for it, so always know how much time you’re willing to spend doing it. Set a timer and stop when the timer goes off. This way, you’ll avoid getting bogged down and overwhelmed.
  1. Make a list: Without a list, you’ll wind up cleaning more than is necessary. By limiting your cleaning tasks to five specific steps each day, you’ll know what to do and when you’re done. Use the list to keep you on track.
  1. Don’t aim for spotlessness: The goal of cleaning your home is not perfection. It’s about preventing illness and property damage while creating a comforting environment. Once you’ve accomplished this, you can choose to go beyond it when you have the time and energy.

By using the 5 Things Method and setting yourself a specific time limit, you’ll get your home tidy without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, you’ll be protecting your weekends from chore creep, because the time you spend throughout the week will leave your home tidy.

Get Reminders

Join me on Facebook for daily 5 Things reminders and inspiration to keep your home tidy. You’ll also connect with a community of people who are using this approach and have discovered how to make cleaning easy and manageable. Let’s support each other on this journey to a cleaner, more organized home!

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  1. Sharon Goldgar says:

    Thanks for the reply about the wall dusting. I was wondering about that. Your reply makes perfect sense.
    I’m enjoying the 5 things – makes keeping our home tidy easier. I do the kitchen and family rooms as your schedule shows, but change up a few of the other day’s chores to suit my schedule. I also launder towels, kitchen towels and sheets on the day their room gets cleaned. Thanks for everything you do!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hey Sharon! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the 5 Things, and I am all in favor of adapting any routine to suit your schedule. That’s how we make things sustainable!


  2. Linda Guyton says:

    Does this plan take the place of the daily tidy?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Linda!

      It can if you want it to! It may help to think of the various cleaning routines that I share as being like recipes, not homework assignments. Choose the one(s) that sound good to you, and come back to try other things if your tastes change. 🙂

  3. Hi Katie,

    Your site is amazing, but I often wonder how you’re able to get so much done! It seems like it would take so long to do all this since you’re so thorough. Why do you recommend dusting the walls every week? I would have thought that would be more of a spring/fall thing. Is that really needed?


    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Becky!

      The trick is not thinking it’s got to be perfect. It takes maybe 2 minutes to dust a room’s walls if you’re doing wide, arcing sweeps with extension duster to knock the dust down to the floor quickly. Will you get every speck that week? Probably not, but next week you’ll get other specks and the week after that you’ll get more. Eventually, you’ll have caught up with the dust that had built up before you adopted a weekly cleaning routine, and those quick swipes will be more than sufficient to get rid of any dust that collected between weekly cleaning.

      Or, you could skip the wall dusting. Doing just twice a year for Spring or Fall cleaning means you’ll see more dust in your home — quite a bit more — but you won’t have to spend those 2 minutes each week on it.

      Stay well,