As the final days of summer drift away, the most difficult thing for parents and students is to go back on schedule. From school schedules to house cleaning schedules, after-school activities, and work, the first few weeks of the school year can set the tone for the next several months. Creating a back-to-school cleaning schedule will help speed up the adjustment process.

The structure of a school year can be beneficial to getting your fall house-cleaning schedule in order, especially if you are ready to get your kids involved. Take a cue from teachers and learn a few things about successfully navigating a daily, weekly, and monthly routine.

Schedule regular deep-cleaning sessions

When you have a job, school schedule, and after-school activities to navigate, finding time to take care of fall cleaning tasks can be overwhelming, especially with all the other chores around your home. To help offset the overwhelming tasks, make a list of all of the areas in your home that need attention and delegate.

If you have ever been to a back-to-school night, you know that most teachers do serious recruiting for classroom helpers. This is because teachers know they cannot do it all and they are not afraid to ask for help. Scheduling weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly professional cleaning services is a simple way to free up a little extra time in your cleaning schedule.

The flexibility of a professional house cleaner service makes it a great option for busy families on the go. Additionally, you can still create a schedule for your kids to keep your home tidy between cleaning sessions.

Get creative with your house cleaning goals

Walk into any elementary school classroom and you are likely to see colorful charts, big calendars, and a list of daily activities. Teachers have learned that students do well when they know exactly what is going to happen throughout the day.

You can cut back on the whining and the “I forgot” excuses by posting their duties in a place where they can see them. Pinterest has a smorgasbord of creative posters, chore charts, and checklists you can use to keep your kids (and yourself) motivated!

Any article published in the Wall Street Journal argues that children need chores. “Parents today want their kids spending time on things that can bring them success, but ironically, we’ve stopped doing the one thing that’s been a proven predictor of success- and that’s household chores.” Richard Rende, a developmental psychologist, said in the article.

We may know having our children, help out with the housecleaning is a good thing, but that does not mean we are not going to feel guilty about it. Making chores fun (or as fun as possible) can help assuage that guilt and encourage your kids to work towards a goal.

When getting your kids to help with eco-friendly cleaning, consider creating a reward chart or a competition. A simple system like a sticker chart, marble jar, or checklist can help little ones visualize their success. Set cleaning goals as a family and encourage the family to participate with simple rewards (like a trip to the dollar store for a new prize).

Organize house cleaning success

An organized home is a more productive home. You can set your family’s fall-cleaning schedule up for success by staying organized. This includes:

Creating a list of chores: The first thing you need to do is make a list of chores that your family needs to finish. Even if you hire a professional cleaning service, list those chores. Once you have a list of everything that needs attention, you will need to break up the chores.

Separate chores by due date: Some cleaning tasks only need to be completed every few months, while others should be attended to daily. Put chores into the following categories: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and annually. (You can add every three months or whatever else works for your category).

Grab a calendar

Once you have your chores broken down into segments, use a calendar and schedule out long-term projects (such as cleaning out the garage, having exterior windows washed, etc.). Look at your calendar and schedule out when you would like weekly chores completed as well. You can create a master list to hang nearby with a list of which chores need to be completed each day. Remember to include any scheduled maid service on your calendar.

Keep supplies handy: Make sure you have supplies to keep your home tidy. You should also make sure they are easy to grab. You may want to consider purchasing a small bathroom caddy to keep rags, a green-cleaning solution, and other supplies in so kids (and you) can carry them around easily when needed. One law of human nature: The easier it is to get something done, the more likely you are to do it. Make getting chores done as easy as possible to limit complaints and save time.

Creating an effective back-to-school cleaning schedule will spread the workload around so no one member of your family feels too overwhelmed!