mindful living, effortless style


Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life: Cleaning Schedule Questions

top right, top left, bottom left, bottom right
We are young /
So let’s set the world on fire /
We can burn brighter /
than the sun


Can you hear me singing this to you?  Got you fired up to start organizing your ENTIRE life?  Wondering how in the world I’m gonna deliver on a promise like that?  Me too!  But I’m gonna give it my best, and here’s how…


If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s going to take a village to get something like this done.  I’m happy to be your curator, your administrator and your cheerleader but I’m going to require a lot of help.  We’ll tackle the list one project at a time in a couple of steps.  I’m also going to be doing some mini-projects that weren’t on the original list but will help us out along the way (i.e. quick and easy breakfast ideas to start our day off right, etc.)


For the first post I’ll give you a little inspiration (see above) and lay out what I’m thinking will work.  Most importantly, I’ll ask for your feedback and resources on what you think will work.  Once I’ve gathered everything we need, I’ll post again with an action plan and materials (printables, excel sheets, a list of links, a Pinterest board – whatever it takes to get the job done).

Click through for my thoughts on our first goal, setting up a weekly schedule.

**UPDATE: The finalized Action Plan has arrived – Click here for Absolutely Everything You Need for Setting Up a Cleaning Schedule You’ll Stick To!**

A lot of you thought setting up a weekly schedule would be the most logical place to begin and I whole-heartedly concur.  Making a stellar meal plan and shopping list doesn’t really do me much good if I can’t figure out a good time to actually get to the grocery store each week.  (That might not seem like a hard thing to do for some of you but I have an 18 month old who, judging by the writhing and screaming that occurs anytime we enter a grocery store, actually thinks the shopping cart is trying to kill her.)


I think the key here is finding a way to schedule everything we need to get done without completely overwhelming ourselves.  (If I come out of this with 20 things to accomplish everyday on top of all the running around I already do with the kids, the music in my head is going to quickly morph from “let’s set the world on fire” to a very popular and not so nice Cee Lo song.)


Also, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  Many of you have very astutely pointed out that there are some great sites out there completely devoted to these topics.  If you know of a site, a particularly on-point Pinterest board or, better yet, have a routine in place that’s already working – let me know.  Along with our action plan, I hope to include a list of the best resources around to help you get the job done quickly and easily.  Sites such as The Fly Lady and I Heart Organization have already been mentioned – any others pertinent to our first goal?


That’s it – its on you now.  Send me your good stuff however it’s easiest for you: comment here, post directly to the wall on MPMK’s facebook page (I changed my settings so you can do that now), or send me a tweetusing #MPMKorganizemylife.  I can’t wait to get started and see what you’ve got!P.S. For even more inspiration along the way, check out MPMK’s Getting Organized Pinterest board

This post is part of MPMK’s “Project Organize Your ENTIRE Life”.  You can read all about it here, check out all of projects here, and join thousands of POYEL facebook group members here.






P.S. Looking for more ways to simplify and save time so you can connect with your family? Follow these 3 steps:

1) Check out our "Save Your Spring" bundle: over 50 pages of 2015 daily/weekly/monthly planners, cleaning schedules, meal planners, kids’ routine charts, budgeting sheets and much more PLUS 84 pages of kid activities perfect for spring break!

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2) Sign up for our newsletter:

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{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 3:18 am

I look forward to seeing what you come up with…

I find that for me, things like cleaning are better delegated to a list of things I can do if I have an extra 10-15 minutes…I homeschool and have a 3 yr old and 8 yr old and all that “over-scheduling” does for me is to make me feel like a failure! I have to be, above all else, flexible!

Just a note on grocery shopping, I find that if I need more than a couple of things, I have the best luck bringing my little one strapped into the stroller, and I either hang my reusable bags off the handles to shop, or pull a cart behind us. We also go right to the section with the small packages of goldfish crackers, and I break that baby open, and shop like the wind to finish before it’s gone. Of course, I pay for the empty box when I check out, but it has been a life saver for me and my anti-shopping cart little boy!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

Just to clarify – do you just make a master list of everything that needs to get done and check them off when you get a few free minutes here and there? I’m assuming you break bigger jobs, like cleaning the bathroom into more manageable bits then (cleaning the shower, cleaning the toilet, doing the mirrors, etc)? That sounds very promising. The only thing I can think of that wouldn’t really work with that would be vacuuming.

LOVE the idea of feeding my girl IN the store – why have I never thought of that?!


Sarah Payne February 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Steph, I, too feed my girls while shopping. Instead of buying something while I’m there,though, I pack a baggie with apples, goldfish, cereal, etc. and give it to them once in the store (or once our “mission” has begun). I have re-usable baggies from PlanetWise that I buy at our local cloth diaper store (Jillians Drawers). Each of us have our “own” so there is no confusion.


Christine Roland February 17, 2012 at 3:14 am

I have a white board devoted to chores. I have 7 chores then I have the days of the week at the top and my goal is to do 1 chore a day… so if I have time to vacuum and mop the whole floors Monday I do it, check it off then Tuesday- my really busy day, I can do something light like wiping down the kitchen cabinets.
I have a small house, so this might work better for me than someone with a huge house… but if I don’t get something done everyday, I don’t beat myself up, I just try to break it down and spread it over the rest of the days…

Although, when it comes to laundry- since there is always so much, I do 1 load a day (which consists of washing, drying and putting away). To me its more managable then trying to do all mine and the hubbys or the kids.

Hope this helps!


Elle March 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

I also always fed my girl while shopping. We usually buy a bag of grapes or salami or something you can weigh out in the store (great lesson on entering numbers when they are older and it’s fun to print the sticker) and then she snacks as we shop. So helpful!


SushiQ February 15, 2012 at 3:32 am

I can’t wait for this!

I really need space to schedule “personal time” during the week…time for crafting, journaling, etc. It’s something I think we all need and forget :).
I agree with Anonymous above-a 10-15 minute breakdown of time is best. I can always find that amount of time.

I almost think that the cleaning schedule should be its own beast.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 3:35 am

Noted – thanks for the input :). Yes – personal time is a MUST to keep us all motivated.


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I recently started a weekly schedule and I decided that Personal time / Hobby time would be one of the most important items each day – I rank it above everything else. I did this because I realized that if I filled my day up with everything that had to be done (for everyone else) and didn’t have any time for my interests, I wouldn’t end up doing anything on the list.
So far, my list has 2 rooms to clean each day – I tried to balance them out.
Each day gets a personal interest of mine.
It’s not perfect yet, but I just got started. I also want to add in a daily de-clutter task. Maybe just one messy drawer in one room. That way it’s always small things, but eventually I’ll work my way around the house.


Amanda February 15, 2012 at 3:49 am

I am searching for the answer to this as well!!! I am a teacher with too little time during the school year and not enough time in the summer months to make up for the rest of the year’s dysfunction. All I have so far was dedicating 15 min. a night to picking up (mostly putting clean clothes away, hubby does laundry). This isn’t even denting the mess so 20 min. is the goal for Feb. but I’ve been slacking already!!!! (I break it up into 10 min. sessions).

I’m a mom too!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 4:03 am

Hmmm… maybe we should incorporate some tips on how and when to get the kids involved in clean up? (Not sure you even HAVE kids – but I’m guessing if you’re here you’ve likely got a rug rat or two running around).


Amanda February 15, 2012 at 4:45 am

Oh yes, I have kids. I’m a mom too! is my blog! lol I have been nagging kids to help clean up for 9 years. I actually have a few ways that work but we have accumulated too much stuff as well and I am also trying to declutter. Just.can’t.do.it.all and Tired.of.nagging


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm

A good list of chores for kids by age so they can help out too!



Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm

My son is 3 and as soon as he started sitting in a chair at the table he has been made to clear his place. He emptys his plate takes it plus his placemat and puts it in the sink. He also has to pick up his toys and clean his room, and if he doesn’t he loses what ever item he didn’t put away. If he refuses to clean his room and we do it for him, he isn’t allowed in his room except for nap and bed time for the rest of the day.


jinetaw February 17, 2012 at 3:29 am

I have a 3 year old, and part of her bed-time routine is cleaning up all her mess of toys in the living room and her bedroom. (there’s nothing like stepping on a wooden block bare foot at 3am to run to the aid of a nightmare). I got her to do it by singing “clean up, everybody let’s clean up, clean up…. She loves the tune, makes cleaning a ball, and I get to relax after she’s in bed cause my living room floor is clean :)I also incorporated this in the daily routine of her and my two nephews who I now watch during the day. They clean all the toys up in the play room before lunch. They are so used to doing it everyday sometimes they ask me if it’s time for clean up time yet…lol


glimmersnaps February 15, 2012 at 4:17 am

I have a weekly schedule and it’s working well! I have my house divided into seven “rooms” with one to focus on each day. The days were picked based on my babysitting schedule so some days are easier than others on purpose. This doesn’t mean that the space is ALWAYS sparkling clean at the end of the day or that I don’t do other things (Those dishes get washed every. single. day.) If I’m feeling bad or Boo-Boo is breaking in a new tooth, I cut myself a lot of slack. This schedule is more of a guideline.

So enough with the preamble, here it is:
Sunday: Kitchen (a deeper clean than usual and meal planning)
Monday: Bedroom
Tuesday: Paperwork/Errands
Wednesday: Bathrooms
Thursday: Living Room
Friday: Craft/Play Room
Saturday: Entryway and upstairs hallway

For laundry, I don’t sort by color. I do one load per day.
Sunday: My clothes
Monday: Hubby’s clothes
Tuesday: Diapers
Wednesday: Sheets and/or towels
Thursday: Baby’s clothes
Friday: Randoms or nothing at all :)
Saturday: Diapers

Right now I’m struggling with coming up for a blogging routine. I need to post more consistently and find time to read other blogs lol… and do projects… so that’s what I’m struggling with right now.

I’m so excited to see where this project takes us!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 4:25 am

OK great. Your mention of the dishes always getting washed reminds me of The Fly Lady and her odd (is it just me) on having a sparkling kitchen sink. I DO agree though that it helps to have something that just never slips through the cracks and for me it’s the dishes too! I lived to many years without a dishwasher to let those suckers go… The laundry, on the other hand, is a whole other story.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 4:27 am

Please forgive all the typos above – can you tell I’m responding to these with a big ‘ol glass of wine while the hubs cooks a V-Day dinner?


Stef February 15, 2012 at 6:13 am

I found this blog planner yesterday, it might help you…
Found it when i was reading this blog and a post about organization which contains other printables
Hope this helps


glimmersnaps February 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Awesome! Thank you


Elizabeth February 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I will add that the sparkling sink phenomenon is highly addictive – I read Fly Lady years ago and thought it silly, but once I started, it is amazing how good it feels to walk in the kitchen in the morning with a clean sparkling sink. The rest of the house can be a complete disaster area, but seeing that clear/free space is fantastic. Even my husband knows that if there is one thing to do to make my day, it’s cleaning out the sink before bed.


Jennifer (Niffer) February 16, 2012 at 6:14 am

I totally know what you mean about the sparkling sink and the messy house! I have kept up on the shiny sink, but not so much on the rest of anything :(


Anonymous February 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I can’t cook if I have dishes in the sink. Totally a ADD issue- I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing if they are there. Mocking me. So instead, I just plan on it. I add 15 minutes to my dinner prep time – that is what it takes (if I do it daily) to empty the dishwasher and empty the sink. If it has been done already, I enjoy a glass of wine or do some meal planning (or both).


Kathy February 25, 2012 at 4:56 am

I have to agree with Elizabeth; I don’t follow Fly Lady ‘to the letter’, but that shiny sink thing started the ball rolling for me. It’s spread to the rest of the house, starting with the kitchen countertops, and then spread to the dining room, which is our entryway as well. The bathrooms came next, and I’m working on the routines for the living room. I still don’t make the bed regularly, but that will come in time, I’m sure.

As for the kids getting involved, mine are all grown now, but I’ve read about the House Fairy, and it sounds very promising…


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 4:24 am

So as a single working mom. I live a crazy life with lots of help but not a lot of time for organizing. Instead of using a weekly plan, I think I need to look at a monthly plan for managing/organizing my household. My little one isn’t at the age to help yet. He is on a mission to take down this house 😉


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 4:29 am

You bring up a good point – one reader commented on a different post that she’s settled on a 2 week rotating schedule for getting the house clean vs. just 1 week. An intriguing concept. Plus, I think we need to schedule in time for activities that only need to be done once or twice a month (or things that should be done weekly but, lets be honest, I’m only getting to it a few times a month schedule or no schedule).


glimmersnaps February 15, 2012 at 5:37 am

Yes! This is kind of how I work my weekly schedule (above) I don’t do every thing every week. For example: I don’t clean my toilets every week (gasp!) but I’ll *think* about it every Wednesday. If I did it last week, I’m sure not doing it this week, but if it’s been a couple of weeks then I remember to do it. I’d be interested to see a list of what should be done and how often.

(P.S. my little darling is the same… it’s like he watches me put something away just so he can pull it back out!)


madilla February 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

For me the weekly clean up sessions don’t worked either. I tried doing every day a different area in the house, didn’t work. So now I made a post it calender on the fridge in ten minutes. You can see it here: http://mamamuhely.blogspot.com/view/flipcard#!/2012/02/haladas.html
If something is done that feels great if not there is still tomorrow so I don’t have to beat myself up for it. And the house feels clean to!
And I clean the bathroom when my son is having his bath. He plays, I clean and keep an eye on him.
Going to the grocery store is a lot of fun with my son, he really enjoys it. I make it look like an adventure. We go to see the living fishes in the tank at the butchers, all the decorations, he can point to the dogs on the dog food packages and make the sound etc. Maybe if he gets older it will change but for now its fun.


Shereen February 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Cleaning the bathroom while the kids bathe is a great idea!!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I agree – brilliant


7f98e5e8-82d1-11e1-86a5-000bcdcb5194 April 10, 2012 at 5:53 am

I do the same, I like to tackle the toilet when the kids are in the bath, cause I want to put them in and take them out and get them to bed, instead of waiting in the bathroom while they splash and play. By the time bath time rolls around, I am ready for ME time, so by straightening up and taking care of things while I have to be in there anyways, I don’t feel bad letting them mess around for ten minutes. Unless of course I am in the middle of a good book. Then I am content to sit on our little bathroom chair and hang out while they bathe.


Chantol February 15, 2012 at 5:11 am

You might check out Mind Organization for Moms from the Powerofmoms.com! Great system and ideas on calendaring! http://powerofmoms.com/store/m-o-m/


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 5:43 am

This cleaning schedule has (almost) saved my life. I print out the PDF and hang it on my fridge. http://www.justmommies.com/articles/home-organization-plan.php


thenoble5 February 15, 2012 at 6:14 am

I want to fell as organized as you seem to be already!! This blog of yours is wonderful! I have been staying up way to late pouring over everything the last few nites. And i am happy to find Project Organize!!
I live by my menu plan- to have my menu planned and followed i seem to feel well organized to get all the other tasks done. I am not a sink cleaner but a toilet cleaner! My new years res was to keep my kitchen sparkling and it is not every day but more than it was! Here is my schedule-
mon- bathroom
tues- bedrooms
wed- kitchen and floors
thurs- living/porch
fri- tidy
i have learned that a load of laundry a day is a life saver and i keep a 8×10 sheet of paper that has a daily down one side and a to do this week down the other- i love it!!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Thank you for the kind words! I too am a believer in a load of laundry a day (not so great at actually doing it but when I can get even a load done every other day it makes a big difference).


thenoble5 February 15, 2012 at 6:21 am

PS- sorry-also we are planning to move in the summer and so i am interested in a 10-15minute block of deeper decluttering schedule. i do not want to move 1 useless thing over to my new house!! This is something that i have been thinking and brain storming about already so if you had some info that would be steller!!


madilla February 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Best organizing tool is a garbage bag.
Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project said it. http://www.happiness-project.com/
I moved 11 times in my life. So I know it’s true.
If you don’t own it you don’t have to organize it. So try to fill one bag a week. It will be liberating. Of course you don’t have to throw it away, maybe donating or selling is an option. Walk into a room and notice which objects make you cringe. Now take the bag. You can give each member of your family one and make it a play. Who can collect more stuff in ten minutes.
Have fun! Moving is great!


Jeanne February 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm

As a dedicated purger, I second the garbage bag trick! I have a box both upstairs and downstairs. When something starts making me crazy (closets are my hot button) I take a bag to it. Even it if it doesn’t totally fix the problem, it gets me a little more sane & more likely to finish it up soon.
Another trick – if you can’t remember the last time you used it/wore it, get rid of it! If I didn’t use it during the last season, I’ll get rid of it. it is doubtful I will use it THIS year either.


Robin February 15, 2012 at 6:55 am

Hello! Just found your blog via pinterest and wanted to share another resource I’ve found in my fight to organize my life! :) I’ve been reading this blog for the last few weeks, and it’s already started helping. http://www.household-management-101.com/household-notebook.html
She also has another site that is a weekly plan to de-clutter that I’m trying.
(I’ve only started both within the last week, so no big results here yet, but I’m more hopeful than before!)


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Great, I’ll check them out.


Kirbi Knop February 15, 2012 at 7:01 am

This is such a great movement!! A wonderful way to kick off getting organized is a daily routine, indeed. I highly recommend the Simplified Planner from Emily of Emily Ley Paper. http://www.emilyley.com Very talented, motivational, and creative designer who launched her very own planning line before the Holidays last year. I love all the online/virtual/etc. planning that goes on these days, but as someone on the go, I definitely love something I can hold/have with me/write in/make lists in/is relevant.



Tina Shaver February 15, 2012 at 7:22 am

Let me just say I love what you/we are trying/hoping to do! When I found you on pinterest with your first post I was like YAY I am gonna figure it out. and then I was like WOW she needs a metal I wanna be her BFF. I shall stalk her!!!! Then I got to the end laughted then sighed…. Damn it……

But here we are we moving forward SO I have NO idea if you may already know this but here are two “meal plan with menu” site I do know about.




The only “problem” I see with these is some people might want it all and be sad that it does not co-inside with coupons and weekly sales, ie budget planning.
I think with pinterest and the big box of information we call computers we can find the “aha”


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I didn’t know about those – thanks, I’ll check them out!


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 9:28 am

For cleaning, i do a weekly 1-2 hour flylady style weekly house clean and that is about it. The rest happens on an ad-hoc as needs basis & i could probably use a ‘master list’ or routine. Interested to see what you come up with.

I need to come up with a weekly routine. I’m a part time working mum so the days of the week are very different in terms of how much time i have available, but I’d like to make sure that we go to the library, play in a park etc every week as well as my errands.


grace & stella February 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

i just want to say that you have REALLY inspired me. I had previously considered the weekly menu thing and had sort-of tried it and noticed that i saved time and MONEY on grocery shopping. so I gave it a go this week and so far so good. After reading your post i sat down with my favorite go to recipes made a weekly meal plan- i only do dinner since lunch can usually be made out of left overs or with things i always stock. that being said the grocery list needs to have two sections: one for the weekly menu and one for restocking on basics- eggs, milk etc. i found that weekly works best for me because that’s about the amount of time that fresh food goes bad- we buy mostly fresh produce and as much as i can afford organic. i think cleaning is where this will make a huge difference for me and i am setting a goal of one de-cluttering/reorganizing project per month. i personally cant function on a by the minute/hour (whatever) schedule its too much pressure and give me anxiety plus with a 3 year old and 18 mo life is too unpredictable so i like having the flexibility of doing things when time allows within a day. thanks again for this. it feels like i have my own little support/inspiration group. :)


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

So glad you’re getting inspiration and support here. I don’t like really regimented schedule either. I’m thinking we may have to come up with a variety of different options for different personality types :).


Sarah February 15, 2012 at 11:29 am

This is great, but I would add in that for those with spouses, what tasks get assigned to them!! And, if you have kids who are old enough, what tasks get assigned to them – For example, I cook dinner, but my husband cleans up the kitchen each night. I do my laundry and the kids, but he does his own. I make the grocery list and plan the meals and he grocery shops. I’d like him to take on other cleaning tasks, but we work up to that slowly!! My daughter helps with feeding the cat in the mornings. etc. etc.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Got it!!


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I want to figure out a schedule that works for my family. I work full time during the school year and have summers off, with a 3 year old (who I do preschool at home with and a 1 year old.)

right now we do one load of laundry a day and clean the entire house on Saturday, but that takes most of the day. I would love a schedule that breaks it down in 15 or 20 minute breaks since that is all the time I have most evenings.


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm

I have found this calendar from My Simple Life to be amazing and do-able. If you have more time, you can do a few days ahead (or play catch up if you get busy).



Brandi February 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I don’t know if anyone said all this already or not, but here’s what works for me. I use a modified version of my favorite tips found on flylady.net, and I deep clean one area of my house every day as follows: Monday is “kitchen day”, Tuesday is “living room day”, Wednesday is “bathroom and hallway day”, Thursday is dedicated to my kids’ rooms, and Friday is for the master bedroom. On Saturday I work on clutter, and Sunday I pretty much just relax. You can find more information on my blog post about this topic, here:



AndreaL February 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

You’re my hero…..Just sayin’!!!
I just found this website recently, few tips but pretty much on your lines


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for the info. – and the ego boost 😉


moderndaysoiree February 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

I have been pinning ideas and printables, I took what worked and made some printables for myself. I have a cleaning, daily to do, weekly/meal plan and budget printables. Does anyone know how I can share a download of my printables on my wordpress blog?
I printed one of each printable and put them into cheap 8×10 frames from Hobby Lobby and keep them on the wall in my kitchen. In the morning I can take them off the wall and write on them with a dry or wet erase marker to plan my day/week and put them back. It works well for me to have them out in the open instead of in a binder (like a home management binder).


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I put them into a document using google docs and then share the link on my blog. Let me know if you need more help – excited to see them.


Shereen February 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I do think cleaning needs to be a separate schedule. For a weekly routine for me, I want some dedicated work/creativity time and planned activity time for my toddler.

I have actually just recently adopted a cleaning schedule that seems to be working really well for me. As others have mentioned already, I do it on a weekly basis based on room. Which room I’ve chosen for each day is based on my weekly schedule, so some days are easier than others. For instance, my weekends are really busy with my job, volunteer work, and other activities, so I generally don’t go anywhere on Monday out of exhaustion. So this is the perfect day to do laundry, since I will be home the whole time. I also clean the kitchen on Mondays so that it starts off the week clean.

Mondays – Laundry and kitchen
Tuesdays – Vacuum and sweep
Wednesday – Living room and bathroom
Thursday – Bedroom
Friday – Son’s room, guest room

Of course, there are some things we do daily, like dishes and helping my toddler clean his room before bed. Also, on a weekly basis, this is not a deep cleaning routine, just basic maintenance. During the first week of each month, I spend a little extra time for the deep cleaning, including washing sheets. I don’t have anything scheduled for the weekends on purpose! Two rooms on some days may seem like a lot to some, but our house isn’t very big and some of those rooms don’t really get too messy. I have the list posted on my fridge, and so far it has helped a lot. I also allow myself to be flexible about it, though. If something doesn’t get done one day, I do it the next day instead. Or if I feel particularly motivated to do one thing, I do it, even if it’s not the scheduled day.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Great stuff, I esp. like the idea of always doing the deep cleaning the first week of the month – easy to remember that way.


Anonymous February 20, 2012 at 9:49 pm

This is Regina. I replied with needing a monthly schedule and having a little one on a mission to take down the house. Just wanted to say Thank you to Shereen and Steph. I made my cleaning schedule. If I don’t get to it one week, I’ll get to it the next. I feel good having a guide that I will continue to tweak. Thx!


Anonymous February 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

We just started a kid’s chore chart with different amounts depending upon how hard the task is. Example – getting the elderly lady next door’s paper – $.50, but picking up the dog poo is worth $4.00. The kids do their chores and then put their initial under the appropriate day. On Saturday we tally it up and they can either spend it or save up to buy something that they really want. It seems to work better that just a weekly allowance and it has helped with things like setting and clearing the table, throwing dirty clothes down the laundry chute, making beds etc. My kids are 11, 7 and 5 and have all found things that they can do. We have the chart right next to our calendar and meal plan. Hope that helps.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm



Dee February 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

I’ve struggled with this in the past, but after lots of blog reading, I think I finally found what works for me. I wish I could remember which blogs I read, but the overall point I kept getting was that I had to find something that worked for ME.

I am a wife and mother to one and work outside the home 4 days a week. Last year I found myself unemployed for a couple months and I got really down on myself that I wasn’t keeping up with the perfection that I thought my house should be. Until I found those blogs. Then I really thought about what I needed to be clean to feel like my house wasn’t in chaos.

I’m a list-maker and a box-checker, and I tried doing the whole Monday is room A, Tuesday is room B, etc. but it didn’t work for me. I don’t like being so set on a schedule. I love to have order, but I don’t like the paramaters within that order to be super rigid. (I’m weird I know.) I also came across the picture of the postits that you have above and I loved the Now/This Week/This Month/Whenever/Someday categories. So I figured out what needed to be done in my house, and how frequently I felt I needed to do it.

Here’s the list I came up with (along with the appropriate boxes to be checked!).

Laundry (at least check if it needs to be done)
Floors (I rotated each day – vacuum up, vacuum down, sweep, mop if needed)
Pick up

Bathroom (I rotated weeks – upstairs bath & downstairs bath)
Dusting (rotate upstairs & downstairs)
Meal Plan & Grocery list
Update finances
Dog grooming (bath or just brushing and nail trimming)

Special cleaning: I had separated my house into 13 zones (including cars and outside areas) and tried to focus on 1 each week. This is when I would purge or deep clean. 13 zones = each zone gets checked 4 times a year – not that it has to be done, just checked up on.

I really loved this schedule while I was at home everyday, but now that I’m back at work, things are a little different. Now I feel good if I get the dishes done and the house picked up daily and the vacumming done weekly. I love this series!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

“I love to have order, but I don’t like the paramaters within that order to be super rigid. (I’m weird I know.) “

You’re not weird, I totally get it, I’m the exact same way! I want to know everything’s accounted for in my schedule but then I don’t want to be tied down to it either.


Kel February 17, 2012 at 3:04 am

Ditto – I love a good basic daily to-do list I can strike off as I complete it yet I don’t work well when it’s set in stone.


Tammy_Skipper February 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Here’s my weekly plan that doesn’t get followed to the letter but gives me a direction for each day http://skipperclan.com/2010/11/19/get-it-together-floors-and-foto-friday-9/


cecilia February 15, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I’m so intrigued. This project could give you endless content 😉 So many people have so many different approaches to how they “get it all done.” It will be great to see the resources you pull together and share here.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

You’re so right 😉


forhisgloryacres February 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com/ has some great ideas. If it works for large families, it should be a breeze for smaller ones. I particularly like her weekly plan.


sweetmommy2007 February 15, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I use the ipad app (they also have it for iphone/ipod) HomeRoutines. I set up what needs to be done daily. I clean a different room everyday. This way some part of the house is always clean. I clean living room on Monday, basement/laundry room Tuesday, Kitchen Wednesday, Bathrooms Thursday and bedrooms on Friday so my weekend is free. I also do the laundry on Friday and change the beds and do that laundry on Monday.


Christine Roland February 15, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I wanted to leave you my easy go to dinner!!
Take 6 boneless and skinless chicken breasts and put them in the crock pot. Take a whole bottle of bbq sauce (I like to take original and honey and do half and half) and pour it all over the chicken. Then take 6-8 of the mini corn on the cob and wrap them in foil and put them on top of the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours!
I usually make rice to go with it when I get home. Everyone loves it and its super easy!

Hope you can use this,


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:30 pm

I can definitely use this – love the idea of the mini corns on top. Thanks!


Korey February 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm

I have a plan for cleaning…although, looking at my house right now, it doesn’t seem like i’m following it! haha! BUT it allows every room to get cleaned twice weekly, (once thorough/once light) without being overwhelming. Every room stays relatively clean, with just a bit of time spent each day, rather than one huge tiring day of nothing but cleaning the whole house. You schedule the week so that there is a time slot dedicated to cleaning, and you do a specific room(s) either Thoro or light. Example: Monday: Master Bed/bath- Thoro
living room- light
Tuesday: kitchen-light
kids room-thoro
…and so on…..
This makes sure that no heavy duty “filth” build up, which keeps the cleaning quick each time. Then, when that days rooms are done, you can move on to the rest of the days tasks. :)


Korey February 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I like the idea of one master list with time/schedule breakdown and then additional lists for cleaning, or kids activities that are more specific. So when its time for cleaning, you look at the cleaning schedule to see what gets cleaned that day…


Charlotte: February 15, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I do a bit of cleaning every couple of hours – when the kids are eating usually I run around and blitz an entire room – that was nothing ever gets terribly messy and I don’t feel like I spend all day cleaning.


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Again, doing it while the kids are occupied is a great idea. I do dishes while the kids eat and another brilliant commenter suggested cleaning the bathroom while the kids take a bath.


Kim February 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I have free printable cleaning lists at


There are blank daily, weekly, and monthly as well as filled in lists. These have worked great for me!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Sounds great, I’ll check it out


Rachel Cotterill February 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Can I join your project? I really need to get better at this stuff! :)


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm

absolutely :)


royann February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Your timing couldn’t be better. I am a SAHM of two boys age 2 and 3 and I just recently started feeling like we are coming out of the fog of baby land. With them 15 months apart it has been really hard on all of us. My 3 year old started preschool this year, and I feel like I need to get some sort of weekly routine.


Teresa February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Hi Steph,
What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration. I’m definitely feeling the Spring organizing bug. Where did you find that great pic of the chalkboard paint calendar? I’d love to know more about that project. Thanks!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Hi Teresa,

It’s actually a product being sold on Etsy. You can find the link in the caption below the photo, labeled “top right”


Meg February 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm

One of my keys in the last couple of years has been my Daily 5. I make a list of 5 things that are priority for that day. Maybe there is more I want to do but those are the ones I care most about.


Jennifer February 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

That song is currently my ringtone!

As far as organization goes, I am sadly lacking. :( I try and try, but I think I enjoy TRYING rather than actually BEING organized!

I’m looking forward to seeing some new ideas!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 15, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Ha! Sometimes I get so excited about planning things that by the time I actually need to do them I’m all burnt out.


Christine February 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I think it would be nice to divide tasks between “home” tasks (i.e. cleaning, organizing, homework, cooking) and “away” tasks ( lessons, shopping, park time). That way, the list isn’t quite so long and it’s easier to determine what to do when.


Jenny February 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I just read a post by one of my favorite bloggers about her cleaning schedule. I thought it seemed pretty thorough.



Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 17, 2012 at 2:56 am



Skin and Blister February 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

I have downloaded an app recently for our local supermarket. I can scan barcodes and it adds them to a shopping list for me. (i cam also add my Husband to the account so if he needs/wants something he can scan it too)

Organisation/decluttering/simplifying are my goals for 2012. whenever I’ve seen an idea I have pinned it here: http://pinterest.com/skinblisterblog/2012-the-year-of-organisation/

I also have a home inspiration board- when I look around and see mess, I go and look at it to remind myself I want a clean, clutter free home- I know that sounds a bit daft but it’s been working and I have a little rule in my head that I’m not allowed to pin anything if I’ve gone on their just to look at motivation!!

Looking forward to joining this mission!


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 12:35 am

It’s really important to schedule some time EVERY day for exercise, whether it be a visit to the gym or a walk/bike ride with the family!


Marissa February 16, 2012 at 2:29 am

I’m always trying something new, but I recently made a sheet with ten squares, five for laundry and five for other important tasks that are the nonnegotiable things that have to get done during the week. The blocks are ordered in a format that you could imagine them being two for Mon, two for Tues, and so on, but I didn’t use labels because I didn’t want to feel frustrated by Tuesday if I hadn’t completed the first two “Monday” tasks and just give up on the whole week. The idea is to cross off each task with a dry erase marker as they are completed. So if I get one task done one day and three the next, I’m still motivated and the important tasks still get done. I was shooting for some flexibility to account for real life with a teething baby. :) We’ll see how it goes.


Sally S. February 16, 2012 at 2:51 am

I apologize if this is a repeat, but I just found motivatedmoms.com and I have been using their planner for the past 3 weeks. My husband is so impressed with the fact that our house is so much more organized and clean. I also have an 18 month old and a 3 year old, so I know the daunting task of grocery shopping and house chores :) I love how the planner breaks things down into tasks that usually take about 15 – 20 mins. i.e. clean mirrors, dust hall lights. I haven’t been through a whole year, but so far it has been working for me.


Fru Ejsing February 16, 2012 at 7:35 am

We have a pin board in our entryway divided into 8 parts. one for each day plus one extra. On that we pin tasks and appointments for the week. We each have our own color of paper for that + plus one color for things we should do together. Some of the pins stay in the same place week after week, for instance grocery shopping every monday. Others are only put on the list once in a while, for instance putting stuff in the attic. During the week we turn the little pieces of paper around when the task is done. We don’t always get things done on the right day, but that way we can see what still needs to be done. It works for us, but the key is to be realistic when planning the following week. Otherwise it all falls into pieces.


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I came across your blog a few days ago right around the time you mentioned that you’d had your entire life organized….i was intrigued and then thought it was hilarious the way it actually panned out. I think what you are doing is a fabulous idea. I struggle with a routine as well although there are a few things that I’ve found that help a bunch. I think a few people have already mentioned them:
1) I clean the bathroom whenever I’m in there….ie: when the kids are taking a bath, when I’m brushing my teeth I’ll give everything a quick wipe down, while i’m waiting for my daughter to finish potting..etc.
Bathrooms and kitchen are the two places of the house that get cleaned every single day.

2) I pick up the living room every night. This doesn’t mean I actually get around to putting all things away but I at least get them back into their proper rooms. For example when my kids leave a sweatshirt on the couch, random toys that belong in their rooms or glasses from the kitchen. It helps to start the day off with the less clutter possible as my kids are so quick at destroying a clean room.

3) I do a load of wash almost every evening. I feel that its more manageable for me to do loads more often than doing large loads on a specific day. I hate doing it so the less time I have to spend the better.

I’m sure this was a very rambling post as I can’t proofread….sorry. Can’t wait to see what you put together for us.

These are the main things that help me get things done


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 17, 2012 at 3:01 am

Numbers 1 and 2 are exactly what I do cleaning-wise too, where I fall down is getting everything else clean (including the laundry).


Townmonkey February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

One point that I feel needs to go on a weekly schedule is to get all the calendars straightened out. Because when I’m out and about I use the calendar on my phone, then at home when I arrange something on the computer I add it to the diary and then there is the wall calendar for the whole family to see and know where to go. I always forget one or the other and then have to do the embarassing “oh no I double booked”. Or is that just me?


Jennifer February 17, 2012 at 8:32 am

No, we totally had the same problem! We used to use yahoo! calendar because then my husband and I would both have access to whatever was put on the calendar as long as we had internet access to check it. That was replaced with iCal when we both got iPhones – it’s really nice to have all of our calendar dates synced between both our phones and our laptops. Check out yahoo or gmail calendars and see if that might work for you?


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Effective time management has always been a real challenge for me. I am a working mom, married, with a blended family. We have a teen from my husband’s previous marriage and six-year-old together; each with there own activities and a custody rotation schedule thrown in the mix. My husband and I are a smartphone (Droid)users, and I love the Fly Lady, Evernote, and Mint,but one of the best organizational tools that I have been using for several years is Cozi (www.cozi.com). It is a shared family calendar and management tool. There is a free, ad supported, app for Droid with widgets I use to view my calendar and shopping list. I’m not sure if there is a cost for iPhone, but I can assure you that it is worth the money! You can choose to include the Fly Lady zones in you calendar; it will add them for you once you select the option. When you have your schedule figured out, this is an easy way to make sure your family stays in the loop. Even if you don’t use smartphones, you can still use Cozi. You can print your calendars and lists. Many times it has simplified trips to the grocery store. My husband and I can each edit the content. We can send text reminders to each other and our teen. It has other feature too, like scheduling repeat events to appear on the calendar (this is especially helpful for birthdays and anniversaries). Over the last couple of years that I have used it, I’ve never missed an appointment or had it fail in any way. I am not being compensated nor have I been asked to endorse this product. I can say that I have been extremely please with how well it has worked for my family and I think you should try it out. http://www.cozi.com


Colleen Sabot February 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

In the past, as a single parent, I used GTD (Getting Things Done), 43 Folders, & DIY Planner techniques. Worked best for me to have one master planner (a small notebook for everything), then just duplicate work items online to share with cohorts.

I remarried two year ago and my husband is legally blind. My old habits have disappeared and we don’t have a system that works for both of us. Did make large magnetic numbers & symbols for a white board calender where we track scheduled activities for the month and jot tasks / upcoming events to remember along the side. We attach checks & paperwork that will be needed along a strip of cork at the bottom.

We have set up landing zones at our front door and garage entry, to store items we need when leaving the house so there’s fewer panic searches for misplaced items. I aim to sort or shred & trash mail in the garage, so less paper enters the house.

We try to stick to a Whole Foods Plant Based diet. So, we garden and store food – average about one grocery trip a month, in-between may buy a few things to stay stocked. During the summer, there is a Farmer’s Market visit each Saturday but that’s fun even for kids. We’re not happy with the amount of food that is wasted, so better meal planning would really help!

I recently decided that it takes a lot of time to set-up and clean-up activities, so I should think of arrangements in larger chunks of time. For example my craft room houses supplies for sewing, crafts, acrylic painting, genealogy and meal planning. Each week I will choose a focus, a single interest instead of constantly jumping between activities and creating multiple messes. For example, if I paint for three weeks in a row, the other activities will wait neatly stored away. The only deviation is that meal planning (hopefully) doesn’t take a full week so that block would include other elective activities: catch up on friends, run special errands, or do volunteer work.

Thanks so much, this series and the group comments give me plenty to think about. I set-up a personal project life board on Pinterst to gather the sources, tips and posts that will best suit my family circumstances. I will also blog about some of my experiences with Project Organize at http://sabialane.wordpress.com. Look forward to continuing to follow MPMK here and on Pinterest!


ashley February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I have made a whole organization center with wipe off boards (i”m pretty proud of it). Mine has a weekly menu, shopping list(to add things as we run out), a family calendar, and a weekly chore schedule. I’m naturally messy and disorganized so I really have to stay on top of things to prevent chaos. Mondays: Clean out fridge, make shopping list, menu plan. Tuesday: Wash sheets, Grocery shop, Errands. Wednesday: Dust. Thurs: Bathrooms. Friday: Floors (Vacuum and Mop). Daily: One load of laundry, wipe kitchen counters, sweep, wipe down bath sinks, make beds, declutter/pickup, and dishes. It sounds like alot but b/c i do it daily, it takes very little time. plus with 2 little ones, some of the bigger chores- dusting, etc get skipped some weeks, but its not too bad b/c it was just done the previous week. this works for me but it took 3yearsof staying at home to develop what would work, actually be possible and not be overwhelming.


ashley February 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I wanted to mention the Motivated moms calendar and also Home Ec 101. I used their chore schedules to inspire mine.


Anonymous February 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm

http://www.motivatedmoms.com is a great site where you can download a checklist of chores for everyday of the year!


Melanie February 17, 2012 at 1:35 am

I make tons of plans to organize and set a schedule for the day. I even have this cute chalkboard wall decals that are a weekly calendar and take the time to fill it out every week only to accomplish the dishes (and only because we have to eat!). I need to have a master list of have to do this week, like to do this week, and in a dream world I would like to do this week. And then not stress if I only get one or two things done.

I used to take my triplet boys grocery shopping while my husband was in grad school, but as soon as he was done, I stopped. Just recently they started asking to go again and so I just take one and we have special mommy/son time. At least I call it that, they just want the cookie. But the one grocery shopping tip I have is that I made my own printable menu planner/grocery list with categories we need. I put that in the front of my coupon binder if I remember to use them or just bring the sheet with me. My menus are not this is Monday’s food, this is Tuesdays, ect, even though I have days of the week, but more a list of what we could have that week. I also put any activities my husband or kids have on it so I know what nights I would be better with a crock pot meal and what nights I can take a little more time. I should save them, but I get so many new recipes of pinterest and magazines that we don’t really rotate recipes enough.


dcjs February 17, 2012 at 2:31 am

You totally fooled me…I was just saying “how did she do it” to myself, when I read the “and then I woke up” line! I look forward to seeing if you (and I can accomplish) what you have dreamed of. Thanks for posting-


Anonymous February 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

I’ve found I work best without pressure or deadlines. So I clean things in this order, as I feel like it, then cycle back around: wash sheets/towels, clean bathrooms, vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, dust. When I have extra time, I do the thing that’s bugging me the most (clean the oven, sweep the front porch). Everything stays mostly done and I’m not constantly self-criticizing for not doing all my “Tuesday” tasks or whatever. Kids (3 and 6) have to pick up all their toys before they get any TV or computer time, which is twice a day, so things stay fairly neat. Five minutes before my son gets off the school bus, I set a timer and clean any clutter like mad. When it beeps, I stop and go get him.

I meal plan on Sunday or Monday, then go shopping on Tuesday after story time at the library. My daughter’s happy, we’re already out, and she gets “market lunch”: bagels at the bakery, slices of salami at the deli, a fruit roll-up in produce, and some string cheese. They scan the empty wrappers at check out, then she has a banana in the car. Meals are simple (tacos, pasta) unless my husband is able/willing to cook or entertain children.

It took me six years, but I feel as though I’ve finally found a way to keep my home mostly clean with the bare minimum of effort. Hope it helps!


Jennifer February 17, 2012 at 8:20 am

I haven’t read through all of the comments so maybe this was already mentioned, but one thing that has somewhat worked for me (when I so choose to abide by my own little routine that is), is to use a personalized checklist for the household cleaning. I made a list of everything I could imagine that needs to be done to keep our house clean and in good working order. I included maintenance items like emptying the water heater tank and scooping dog poop… etc. Then I went through and decided how often things needed to be done. Annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily… ? I would have made my own chart, but Jen at IHeartOrganizing already had a cute one that I liked so I ordered it on her Etsy shop. It has a column for Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Annually, and it’s all cute and color coded which I must admit, I love. I keep it on my fridge, in one of those clear OrganizHER magnetic display pieces and use a dry erase marker to check things off as I do them. I also made a note to pick 2 items from the weekly list each day. The daily list is fairly simple and includes things that my husband does (all dishes while I put our son down for bed) or that my son does (pick up and put away the dog bowls after their breakfast), too. It’s been a great way to focus on prioritizing the cleaning that needs doing, and it’s also been a nice way to share with my husband so he can see what needs doing as well. Again, we don’t always stick to this like I wish we did, so I’m perusing the comments for ways to tweak it to work for us, but it is really nice to have it all recorded in a place where I can reference it and use it as a checklist!


Jennifer February 17, 2012 at 8:28 am

I also meal plan every weekend whenever I find the time or need to get it done before grocery shopping or a trip to Costco. About a year and a half ago, I found a weekly meal plan printable that I started using. It had space for the meals of every day and a place to record where the recipe came from, as well as a column for shopping. It soon became the best way for me to plan our meals and shop for what we need without ending up with wasted or missing ingredients. I did however, make my own printable because I wanted to tailor it to my needs. I needed a horizontal layout to go into my cute magnetic organizer on the fridge, and I also wanted to break up the “shopping list” into sections for the various stores I shop at. Trader Joe’s usually has the longest space, then Costco or Safeway for the others. It has been the best thing and helps me get through my week so much better when I’m not scrambling to figure out a meal, find the ingredients, and run to the store 5 times during the week with an only-cooperative-if-we-can-use-the-germtastic-car-cart-22-month-old. :-)


Deanna @ Sentimental Redo February 17, 2012 at 9:33 am

I use goggle calenders to keep my schedule on and cozi.com for my to do lists. Cozi links up with fly lady so you don’t have to subscribe and get all the junk emails. So on google it might say that at 10am I’m going to do my fly lady chores, at 12 I’m going to eat lunch, at 2 I’m going to do office work, and at 3:30 I’m going to pick up the kids and get my running done. So at 10 am I go to cozi and get my fly lady to do list for the day, at 2 I go to cozi and get my office to do list, at 3:30 cozi gives me my errands list.
You could do all this in cozi but I like the layout of google calender better to set up my schedule. I like the color coding and how every hour of the day is shown. I can tell at a glance if I have a break in the day and can fit a nap in. :) Because of the color coding I can also tell at a glance what can be moved around and what can’t change. This way I know that if someone calls and needs me to do something at 1:00 and the thing going on at 1:00 that day is gray then I can do it, as gray is the “me” things I need to get done, like take a nap and eat lunch – yes I do sometimes even schedule that in. LOL Now the biggest challenge is STAYING this organized and not letting things slide back into chaos. I’ve been a little slack this month!


Megan February 18, 2012 at 7:24 am

I use a plain old wall calendar to keep track of most things. I plan out outings and playtime activities in advance and write them on the calendar too. I have a weekly cleaning schedule I try to keep to. http://www.cheeseandwhiskers.com/2012/02/my-weekly-schedule/


Always Evolving Mama February 19, 2012 at 4:11 am

I have a game plan for each week.in Excel bc i can easily modify it based on evening activities, etc. I also have a big dry erase calendar in my dining room and each family member has colored marker assigned to them and my daughter has a homework caddy i purchased through opensky.com to keep track of her stuff. Every night i spend 15-20 minutes before bed clearing hot spots (where clutter tends to live) & making sure things are rdy for the next a.m.


Niesha February 19, 2012 at 4:54 am

I love to involve my kids in the chores. My 5yo can help to sort laundry (and eventually he’ll be able to do it alone.) My older kids all have a day to do their own laundry, grouped by twos. Then, they will also throw in clothes that go with their colors. This has really helped since I started working.
Because my husband is amazing – he taught each of the kids one or two dinners that they could make and now if he or I aren’t able to get dinner made, one of the kids will do it.


Andrea February 19, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Like all stay at home moms ….. I am a stay at home mom that never stays home. We have three kids all in school 13, 10, 7. So I have finally added back the “me time” which has consisted of only working out trying to find the “old me body” which was lost when I was doing all of the taking care of little ones! Here are a few things I have learned… A schedule is nice but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t all get done. You shouldn’t cook a nice dinner if everyone has activities and won’t be home. It’s ok to plan a meal on the run. Depending on where the kids are my meal plan might say dinner at grandmas! It’s not every week but it does happen and my mom loves it! Next, I always like to try better the next time so I made a chart in excel that has a list of tasks I would like to do everyday! A example would be no laundry on the chair in the master bedroom when I go to bed. If there are no clothes I get a check mark. Then I can track how well I am keeping up with things. This keeps be focused as to when things are getting out of control. Trying to loose a 30 pounds doesn’t happen if there are no check marks in the work out box. It really is eye opening at how much really gets done.


Denise February 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I am so on board with this! I am a long-time Flybaby, and I have improved IMMENSELY since my really messy days, but I have yet to achieve the holy grail of organizing my entire life. I’m at a stage now where my son is in school and I don’t have to be at work until noon, so I have several free hours every weekday morning to get stuff done, and all day on Monday free as well. (Don’t hate me, I did my time in the trenches with three little kids at home full-time many years ago, as well as several homeschooling years!)

I’ve been working with a basic weekly plan for years now, with varying degrees of stick-to-itiveness. Here’s the latest incarnation, printed out in a Control Journal:

Monday–Grocery shop. Dust all furniture, and clean all mirrors, switch plates and doorknobs.

Tuesday–Vacuum whole house. (It’s only 900 sq. feet.)

Wednesday–Wash all sheets. Look ahead to next week’s calendar and plan any shopping, tasks, etc.

Thursday–Clean bathroom.

Friday–Plan next week’s menu and grocery list. Wipe down cabinets, sweep and mop kitchen floor, clean out fridge.

Saturday–Clean out car and purse.


I also do a daily checklist, but I guess that’s going to be another lesson!


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Oh I want to hate you, I really do but you’re my ray of light – what I’m hoping to have one day (although I’m not wishing away my time at home with my littles either). That looks like a great schedule. Thanks!


Mini Piccolini February 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’m so on board with this project! Here are my thoughts on weekly planning. I’m trying to keep it simple since I know when I get over-ambitious I find it hard to stick to my plans…


Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com February 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hey guys, Jamie emailed me her comment because it wasn’t posting so here it is (If you have similar trouble just email me and I’ll be happy to post your comment for you!)

Hi Steph!

I’m probably too late now, lol, but my comment kind of was the gist of this…

I homeschool my three hooligans, and often feel overwhelmed. I’ve done the whole huge schedule thing, like from here (http://www.titus2.com/ecommerce/products/prod_listing.php/1100), and I think I am too rebellious to even follow my own schedule that I make up! I have issues, I know.

And, when I tried to schedule say, wash the kitchen floor on Monday, then what happens when something else comes up on that Monday? Do you skip it and try to get to it the next day? Leave it? What happens if the following Monday something comes up again?? ARRRRRRRRGH!

I’ve used Motivated Moms, http://motivatedmoms.com/ which is actually pretty awesome. But again, I have the whole, if you’re not caught up already problem… I think my biggest problem is catching up, then staying on top of things, WHILE organizing/decluttering.

Anyway, all that to say, what sort of works for me is more having a rhythm to my day. Rather than any kind of schedule. The hooligans also have an extensive “chore wall” which I’d be happy to provide pics/templates of if anyone was interested in that.

So, my rhythm to the day might look like this, in a perfect world, with no distractions, and with hooligans who don’t throw something new at me. snort.

Ja (my husband) drags my sorry butt out of bed, hands me a cup of tea
I drink my tea and read my bible/journal
WHILE this is happening, the hooligans are doing their morning chores
Breakfast/clean up
Bible with kids
Hooligans start schoolwork while I am present if they need help… I’m generally puttering around, making bread if it needs to be done, getting dinner ready, etc… etc…
Finish school
afternoon chores
QUIET TIME (cue angels singing)
Afternoons are for visiting friends, nature walks, reading, colouring, dancing like maniacs in the kitchen, etc… etc…
play monster with daddy (don’t ask)
evening chores
bedtime/stories for hooligans

Ideally, I like to make sure the dining room table (our school room) is cleared off before we go to bed, and that the kitchen is tidy. I might putter around and do a few other things at the same time…

The problem I have is getting to the afternoon and evening chores. sigh.

Anyway, that’s my two cents, as late as it is!


Autumn February 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I love this idea of how really do you organize your ENTIRE life. It is so different for everyone so I have really enjoyed reading all the comments too. You post inspired me to really think how I would organizing a cleaning schedule in particular. This is what I came up with. Looking forward to more of this series!


Marie February 22, 2012 at 3:10 am

Interesting beginnings! My friend found a few years ago a site called Motivated Moms, a yearly schedule of housework and such, when I get on the bandwagon my house is clean. It’s. Awesome.


Amy L March 2, 2012 at 3:13 am

I read your initial post – you know the one that was very sarcastic and funny and describing my life exactly, via Pinterest! But I am just now reading the snow ball that that one post turned into – I attempted to join a weekly organizing program, but with a 2 month old that was too regimented for me to accomplish. If I move through this one with you, but at my own pace, I think that it will be a better fit for me. Thank you.
~Amy @ Permanent Kisses


Edelweiss March 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm

I, too, have attempted to get organized for years (13 to be exact)… I have read multiple books, websites, etc to come up with some kind of plan or schedule that we could stick to. Non seemed to work for very long with us, until my last one… The only reason we are not doing it still is we were forced to pack up every thing and relocate due to a tornado; we are still trying to figure our way again. I just thought I would share what worked for us before, in case it might work for others…

I am a stay at home mom with 3 children and we homeschool. First, I sat down and came up with a list of things to do every day to make sure the house looked decent (not spotless, but clean). Then I divided it up so that the chores were split between the children and myself. (there were some chores that I didn’t include that I did, like loading the dishwasher every night) I figured each person was responsible for their bedroom (or share of a bedroom) and their laundry. So those weren’t included either. We were living in a 2bed, 2bath apartment and our chore list included 8 areas: Upstairs Bathroom; Upstairs hall,stairs & entry; Living/dining Room Surfaces; Living/dining Room Floor; Downstairs Bathroom; Kitchen Floor; Kitchen Surfaces; & Unloading Dishwasher. I then grouped 2 sections together to be worked by one person each day. I usually took the Kitchen Floor and Surfaces (because I did the cooking and this area needs to be the cleanest imo). Chart looked like this:
Day 1
Kid 1-Unload Dishes & Living/Dining Room Floors
Kid 2-Downstairs Bathroom & Living/Dining Room Surfaces
Kid 3-Upstairs Bath & Stair group
Day 2
Kid 1-Upstairs Bath & Stair group
Kid 2-Unload Dishes & Living/Dining Room Floors
Kid 3-Downstairs Bathroom & Living/Dining Room Surfaces
Day 3
Kid 1-Downstairs Bathroom & Living/Dining Room Surfaces
Kid 2-Upstairs Bath & Stair group
Kid 3-Unload Dishes & Living/Dining Room Floors

Repeat twice per week; taking Sunday as no chores day. (except for mom of course!)

Now to figure out a new system that works for us in our new place… :) Thanks for all of your inspiration!


red in oz March 9, 2012 at 2:56 am

What works for me is a little different, I use a countdown timer set to 5 minutes, in the morning while the little people are playing quietly or watching a little tv I start the timer and I do 5 minutes in each room, in 5 minutes I can tidy any room except for the kitchen, which always gets left out, if I do it every day for a few days it takes less than 5 minutes to do some of the rooms so I try and spend the extra few minutes in the kitchen…

I also do the bathroom while the children are in the bath trick which is magic, sadly my husband doesn’t do it when he baths the children for some reason, which is most of the time. (He does do many other things). Also all clean clothes go straight onto our bed, which means we can’t go to sleep until they are folded and put away, which keeps the washing under control (I don’t do ironing).

My house is usually fairly out of control, but when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all I find this works well to get it back in some kind of order. Sometimes 5 minutes isn’t quite enough to finish a room, but if I leave it and go back to it again the next day usually, two days worth of 5 minutes gets it back into shape.


Anonymous March 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

Well I’ve hit a slump! I had one day of food poisoning and absolutely NOTHING on any of my lists got done. Now I am having a heck of a time getting back to my lists. I’m also trying to get the youngest to sleep in his crib. I think this is part of the problem bc I spend over half of my day rocking this child to sleep and tip-toeing out of his bedroom.
Also, any suggestions on how to keep up throughout the weekend? We usually want to relax or go out (we live in Guam so we spend a lot of weekend days at the beach) and by the time Monday rolls around, it looks like an atom bomb went off.


Anonymous April 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

I just wanted to pass on a tip for grocery shopping with little ones……don’t put them into the cart! We have taken the baby into the store in the car seat and moved the cart constantly to keep from waking the baby, we have buckled the toddler into the seat and tried to distract them with toys, we have pushed the gigantic cart with the attached seat to entertain the toddler with a sibling. Every scenario has ended with either a fussy, crying baby or child or a baby or child being carried through the store, neither of which is easy or fun to deal with. Our solution has been baby-wearing. I always have a sling, wrap or carrier with us and immediately wear the baby/toddler while shopping. I’ve rarely ever had any issues with fussiness this way. I highly recommend this!


Claire Donovan May 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’m joining you! I suffer badly from CFS and am disabled from it. I have about 20 minutes a day where I can do things so I’m going to put aside 20 of those minutes to start sorting. Slow and steady but you’ve inspired me!


Anonymous June 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

For me, Fiance and I have completely different work schedules. I work M-F, 9:30am-6:30pm (sometimes later) and he works Th-M, 9:30am-6pm. I get the weekends off and his weekend is in the middle of the week. We don’t have one day a week that we both have together, and when we get home from work, we are exhausted, there only seems to be time to make dinner, spend a little couple time together, then get ready for the next day. One time we magically had a Saturday together (the stars were aligned that day) – we got so many errands done and loved spending the day together. I struggle with how to make a schedule for our current lifestyle. Any suggestions?


Anonymous June 17, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Delegate the work out to your family! Don’t do it all! And the best cleaning advice EVER: if it isn’t dirty don’t clean it. Don’t waste your time. My husband and I keep up with the dishes, laundry, sweeping and dusting as we go, and we do the more deep cleaning as needed. So far our house is doing fine without a schedule. If we had kids we’d give them chores and maybe do a chart system with incentives, but so far we don’t and this is working fine for us!


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