I am a big fan of the Flylady website because I think they give such great tips on keeping up with your home. I wish that I could say that I follow them all and have a house that is in fantastic condition all of the time, but unfortunately I have not been that diligent about it. I do take basic principles from the site and try to apply them in my home, but I have worked out a system of cleaning that works for me. Maybe my system will not work for you, or maybe you can take ideas from it and make it your own.
I divide my system by days of the week, but I do have those chores that come up daily that need to be accomplished. If I can get these simple chores done and not even accomplish the day of the week chores, I am pretty pleased with myself. These are the things that I must get done in order for me to feel a sense of accomplishment for the day. You can really tell that I have a toddler because my list seems to get shorter and shorter as my son becomes more active. Here is my to-do list each day:
Amy’s Daily Routine List
1. Make the Bed
As soon as I get out of it and not a second later. If I wait any length of time on this chore, I can guarantee that it will not get done.
2. Do the Dishes & Wipe Down the Kitchen
This includes loading and unloading the dishwasher for the day. I try to unload the clean dishes by the end of the day because this helps me stay ahead of the game for the next day. I also do the dishes as I go when I am cooking and preparing our meals. By doing this, I end up with less dishes at the end of our meals. I wipe down the counters, stove, and appliances before I got to bed. I always have a clean sink at the end of the night as well as a clean dishtowel and washcloth to work with for the next morning.
3. Wipe Down the Bathroom
Now my routine may seem a little ridiculous, but it works for me. I wipe down the bathroom when I am getting ready to take my shower. While I have the water warming up and I am getting ready to hit the tub, I work on wiping down the bathroom instead of wasting that time. Each minute to me is invaluable and this is the perfect time for me to get this done. I wipe down the bathroom with a bathroom cleaner, pour the toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet, and empty the trash while waiting for the water to fill up. After my bath/shower, I then scrub the toilet, clean the tub out (this I only do once a week), and then dispose of the trash as well as the dirty towels. To save time on this chore I keep bags underneath my trash bag in use, that way I always have another bag ready to go when I empty the trash. I also keep household cleaners in each of my bathrooms and in the kitchen. I find that if I have a shelf of cleaners in the room with me, I am more inclined to use them more frequently and I have less of a chance of putting it off. I know this makes me sound like the laziest person in the world, but if those cleaners are not in the same room, then you can forget about me cleaning it. I have a basket of cleaners in almost every room of our house so that I can get my chores done.
4. Do the Bills
I do the bills as they come in because I don’t like to have them pile up on me and to have to do them all at once. As soon as I get the bill I put it together and get it ready to go minus the stamp. In the stamp spot, I write the date for when the bill is due. I put all of my bills in order with the bill that is due first on top. I also separate these bills into two piles with a post-it note. The reason for this is that my husband gets paid every two weeks. Since we are always written down to the last dime I save those bills until he gets paid and send out the first batch with his first check of the month and the second batch with the second check of the month. I have found that this system saves me from a lot of late fees and has enabled me to be on top of these bills. Some people save even more time and money by paying their bills either online or having them automatically withdrawn from their accounts. Personally, timing is everything for me and because we have to be so careful with our money, I don’t want to chance it with automatic withdrawals considering there are times that there just isn’t money in our account to cover the bills.
5. Make Dinner
This is one that I do almost every day with the exception of a meal out once in awhile. I try to do all the prep work in the morning so that I can save my time later in the day. I lay out any meat that needs defrosting, cut up any vegetables that are going in my dishes, and lay out the dishes I will need to prepare the dinner. By doing all of the prep work ahead of time, I find it much easier to accomplish a nice meal within a timely fashion. I have found that the crock-pot is a busy mom’s best friend as well. If I use this, I put everything in it the night before and stick the crock in the fridge. I then take it out in the morning and have it ready to go in plenty of time for the dinner hour.
So now that you know my everyday routine we can begin discussing how to break the other tasks down into more manageable chunks. Once again, you can make your daily tasks fit your daily life. Maybe you have obligations in the evening or during the day that would not allow you to accomplish what I get done. In this case, you feel free to change my schedule around to fit your needs.