Aug 12 10
by cara
at 3:19 PM
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The Dailies: My Daily Cleaning List


My nemesis.

Let me let you in on a little secret about me: I’m messy.  Maybe even a slob.  I like to organize and make lists, but I do NOT like to clean.  Some people enjoy cleaning.  Me?  Not so much.  This is my domestic downfall.

image from Isgcp via Flickr Creative Commons

As we work on various projects around the house (the master bedroom makeover, The Littlest Apple’s big boy room, making our home office a functional workspace and not a dumping grounds for extra stuff), it’s becoming more and more apparent how much I’ve been slacking off in the cleaning department since we moved here 4 years ago.

So in addition to decluttering and organizing, I’m making a renewed effort to be a better housekeeper.  I’ve used FLYLady’s system before, and I’m re-reading her book now.  I’ve also read and used the Sidetracked Home Executive System (SHE)…..and got, well, sidetracked.  So I’m creating my own system, a mish-mash of FLYLady, SHE, and several other things I’ve seen around.  In true list-lover fashion, I’m compiling lists of my Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Seasonal housekeeping chores which I plan to share here, in a few separate posts.  Then I plan to post these lists as part of my upcoming Kitchen Command Center project (The Picky Apple thinks that’s a goofy name), which will include chores, weekly menus, a calendar, and other important action items.

Writing lists is the easy part.

It’s the actual cleaning that often eludes me, and that’s why my current focus is on just getting the Dailies done.  (Okay, and a little decluttering, too since you can’t clean clutter).  As I write this blog post, the dishwasher needs to be unloaded and loaded, there is laundry sitting in the dryer, junk dumped on the counters that needs to be moved, and toys that need to be picked up from the living room, playroom, my bedroom, and the extra-bedroom (The Littlest Apple isn’t even here, but he was a little tornado this morning!!).  I’m really struggling with the Dailies….let’s not even think about the Weeklies and Monthlies just yet.

I’d like to blame it on The Littlest Apple, Mr. I-Wake-Up-At-5:30am-And-Can’t-Be Trusted-To-Play-By-Myself-For-Three-Minutes-And-I-Must-Have-An-Audience-At-All-Times, but I’m pretty sure I was like this before he was born.    (Sidenote: this morning while getting ready The Littlest Apple climbed on top of the dresser in his room.  He was SO proud of himself!)  How do you get it all done?  That’s the million dollar question, right?  How do you take your high-energy kid outside for an hour everyday, do neat art activities, read together, cook meals, run errands, write a blog, AND do all this cleaning?  I’m certainly not as efficient with my time as it could be, but it still baffles me.  So right now, I’m focusing on the basics, the things that need to get done every day….


  • Make bed
  • Laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away)
  • Swish and swipe toilets
  • Clean kitchen (put away food, unload/load dishwasher, handwash pots and pans)
  • Wipe down counters and shine sink
  • Pick up toys
  • Water garden and yard
  • Sweep around table
  • Clean hot spots

Is there anything else you would add to this list?  What kinds of things are part of your daily cleaning routine?  How do you make sure it all gets done?

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  • Wow! That is pretty impressive that you do all of that every day. I wipe down my bathroom faucet every morning. Now if only I could get Hubber to do his sink, daughter to do her sinks and the cats to do the downstairs sink I would be golden. :o) Ahhh it’s ok to dream right?

  • Liz-I DEFINITELY don’t do all of that every day. This is my list of what I NEED to do every day. I frequently go to bed without doing the dishes. Or only halfway doing them. Love the idea of putting everyone in charge of their own sink (even the cats!). I may have to try that!

  • i am the same way i pretty much am super organized but can get messy cause i hate cleaning during the day….but right before b gets homes its a mad dash to clean up and i hate going to bed messy!

    but you do stuff that i do once a week so i think you are doing great :)!

  • Carrie

    I laughed as I read this. I blame my lack of cleaning on my high energy 2 year old, but in truth I was never much of a cleaner. I started the Fly LAdy system about a year ago and quickly stopped. I still get a gazillion emails everyday, but I don’t even open them. I am looking forward to your posts! It’s great to know I’m not the only slacker! lol!

  • Agnes

    Wow…..That is a big list for dailies! With a toddler and work, I don’t have time to do 1/2 of your list. You are doing well mama!

  • Courtney-You’d think that being home all day would mean that we’d have plenty of time to clean…but nope! At least not in this phase. Maybe when the kids start school?

    Carrie-Yeah, I got overwhelmed by FLYLady’s emails. It was just too much. Love her concepts though, so I’m trying to incorporate some of that into my system.

    Agnes–Keep in mind that I’m a stay at home mom! If I worked, this list would be much shorter. Also, this is what I think I SHOULD be doing every day. Actually doing it…well, that’s another story! 🙂

  • jenn

    I am a SAHM with a 3 year old . I clean now more than I ever did before, but the house is always messy. I hate it. Good Luck!

  • Just discovered your blog from No Time for Flashcards. We have a lot in common (former lawyers, moms to toddler boy, love lists, hate cleaning), so I look forward to following your blog posts from now on! I am CONSTANTLY coming up with new plans for getting my house in order. Whenever I come up with a plan, it is too ambitious to accomplish. My best solution lately is to keep inviting people over for lunch/dinner, so I have to clean. How sad is that? 🙂

  • Oh I could kiss you lol!!!!! Finally, I read about someone who struggles with the same thing. I have a 5 yr old and a 1 yr old…amazing how much of a mess just a baby can make, nevermind a 5 yr old.

    I’m big on lists, but never actually DO them. I hate hate HATE cleaning. I rather be doing something fun. Other than the gardening stuff, our “dailies” are the same.

    I have done a few “routine” stuff including Flylady only to have it not work for me. Maybe the first week or 2 but after that I want no part of it lol. Then I make my own customized plan and the same thing happens.

    You just made my day…along with others that comment. Nice to know I’m not the only one!

  • Lynn- We DO have a lot in common! I’m already falling behind on getting my “dailies” done, forget about any deeper cleaning! I like your solution of inviting people over for lunch/dinner! I kind of did the same thing with our weekly art playgroup…that forced me to do some cleaning each week (usually a mad dash the night before or morning of!).

    Angell- Yes, I struggle big time with keeping the house clean. I was off to a good start with my Dailies list, but then my son and I got sick, and the laundry, toilet cleaning, and yes, even the dishes fell by the wayside. Now I’m trying to get back on track. I’m working on a list of Weeklies, but I’m totally overwhelmed. And like you said, I’d rather be doing something fun. Arts and crafts with my son, cooking and baking, crafty projects for the house… know, making MORE messes! 😉

  • Nice to see someone else who struggles with housework! I have four kids (ages 3 to 12), homeschool, cook almost all of our meals from scratch, write 3 daily columns and 2 blogs, and was messy long before I was juggling all of this. Today we had an appointment for the tax appraiser to come over and I was actually glad because we all had to clean the house from top to bottom!

    I agree that having people over is a great idea! I should start scheduling a weekly playdate or something here…. Some days I think I just need a leaf blower and a shovel. 🙂

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