Oh, the Daily Checklist!
In the deslobification process I’ve been going through this past year, it’s been my very best friend.
Basically, it’s a list of the habits I’ve been working to develop in an effort to transform my home. It’s a chart of the things that seem effortless to normal people, but somehow baffled me.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know what needed to be done. It just never occurred to me to do it before it got to the point where an entire day of work was needed just to make a dent.
Maintenance is the issue. Decluttering I can do. I can’t count the number of times in my life that I’ve madly cleaned before a party, loved the way my home looked, told myself “I should really keep it this way,” and then looked up three weeks later to suddenly see the huge mess back again.
My daily checklist has kept me on track. If I find that things are slipping, if I start to feel out of control, I can grab my checklist and physically mark it off as I do my tasks. If I get through them all, the house looks better, I feel better, and I have hope to keep working on this process.
So, I’m sharing my checklist in printable form. I’ve been a little hesitant to do this in the past. The reason is that it’s MY daily checklist. I don’t mean this selfishly. I mean that many of the things on it are my own personal issues.
For example, I have “close cabinet doors” on the list. I doubt this is a universal-slob-problem. It’s my problem, so I needed it on the list. I also have “check bathrooms for clutter.” For someone who naturally puts clothes in the hamper and hairbrushes back in the drawer, this probably seems strange. For me, it’s a way to train myself to see clutter before it gets out of hand. Make sense?
I’m linking to two versions of my checklist. Mine that I currently use, and one that has only a few things on it, and mostly blank spaces. Neither are fancy. They are just tables I made in Google Docs. You could easily make a prettier one. But I know that since I’m all about excuses, having one to print out “just for now” would help me, since waiting-until-I-have-the-time-to-do-it-right is often one of my downfalls.
I’m linking to both, but if I were to give advice (if you read regularly you know I try to avoid giving advice), I would tell you to print the one with all the blanks.
When I began this journey, I only focused on one thing . . . keeping dirty dishes under control.
That was it.
The house was a disaster and there were SO MANY things that needed to be done, I had to focus on one to keep from getting overwhelmed. When that one started to feel natural and within my control, I added another. I think it was “sweeping the kitchen everyday.” In the Build Your Own version, I have only included making the bed, running the dishwasher before bed, and emptying the dishwasher first thing in the morning.
For me, those three things were the foundation-habits I needed to begin working toward having an orderly home.
Nony the Slob’s Daily Checklist
Build Your Own Daily Checklist
Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect says
I love this! I love how you've listed out the small things that add up. Because you're right. Even though decluttering the bathroom might seem obvious to other, more neat people, to those of use who don't quite have it all together in this area, these are the things that sneak up and add up to major chaos. LOVE. IT.
Also. My husband's family is TERRIBLE about leaving cabinet doors open. To me, it seems crazy. (I have my own issues, believe me.) But even his mom, Homemaker Extraordinaire, struggled with this!
Nony the Slob says
Thanks Mary! About the cabinets, I choose to believe that leaving cabinet doors open is a sign of brilliance. (I'm okay with my delusions!)
I hope so, because this is my own pet peeve about myself lol…
I leave doors open if I am still putting things away…how else will I see where to put each kind of thing? I can’t rememebr where thigns are if I can’t see them! Glass panes on the front of my overhead kitchen cupboards are wonderful… I can close them and see where things are and where they should go (and avoid bumping my head on the corner of the doors!)
Love it, thanks Nony!!!
i printed out the blank one! thank you so much for sharing!
so true the little things add up to chaos. every little bit helps.
okay i'm going to get off my ass and make my daily checklist and then do it! thanks for the motivation!
Nony the Slob says
Yay! It feels good to know someone actually printed it!
Thank you thank you thank you. you are the light in my tunnel of home doom!
Cupcake Dessert says
We are currently painting our kitchen (and have been for 4 months but that is a different issue) and we have all our cabinet doors off the hindges. It make it so much simplier to find things for my slob brain. You should try it LOL.
I love the close cabinet doors. I leave mine open all the time and my husband HATES that. It also drives him crazy when I don't clear the microwave and it is flashing 10 seconds. LOL I am printing out your list…it's exactly what I need to be doing! 🙂
You know what I like about the "Build Your Own Daily Checklist" by Nony the Slob? You'll never guess. It's dividing the day into morning and evening. It reminds me of a song we sing in church at the Easter Vigil "There was evening and morning the 1st day, 2nd etc.," which is right out of Genesis. In our complicated society we have morning, AFTERNOON, and evening. How unnecessary is that? It complicates our lives, don't you think? This is so simple, it may change how I look at life forever. Thanks, Mary (I'm anonymous for now, 'cause I can't figure this out.)
I loved this idea of a check list. I thought I could keep up with the 'daily-ness' of things but it's hard. Maybe a list will work! I requested permission to edit your google docs version so I can make one of my own. Thank you so much!
I am really enjoying your blog. I can relate to just about everything, even the cabinet doors. Thanks for documenting your efforts as it is a good motivator to me:)
Jackie @ It's a Wahm Life says
I haven't been reading your blog long… but I'm really finding it wonderful. No one ever talks about this stuff… leaving cabinet doors open… having to remind themselves about picking stuff up off the bathroom floor… You just made me feel so much better. 🙂
I love that you started with just managing the dishes… that sounds so familiar. I'm finally starting to get a handle on the kitchen (and I even vacuumed today too!). I like the idea of asking the kids if something is clean before they get to watch TV. That one I'm definitely stealing for the summer. 🙂
I love the idea of My Daily Checklist. I am going to definitely going to try it. I never thought of all the little things add up.
Wow, I leave the cabinet doors open ALL the time, it drives my friends crazy when I do it at their homes! I totally relate to your plight, for I too struggle with my slobbishness, but am working towards improving. I enjoy reading your blog and am following you on facebook 🙂
Welcome, Luci! Yes, the cabinet-door-thing makes my husband bonkers!
Rachael Resurreccion says
This is my second day scouring your site for tricks to help me stay on top of my home. I thought I was the only person out there who can’t remember to close my cabinet doors, or who leaves something out when its home is only a foot away. I love lists and hope this will help. One step at a time!
Kim Attridge says
Is there any way to edit the Daily Chores list on the computer? My handwriting is not pretty!
I thought I was the only person that seriously needed to write down “close cabinet doors”!!! Way to often after doing ANYTHING in my kitchen I sit down in my living room to look up and see at least 3 doors wide open lol. Thanks for making me feel less ditzy and more normal! Everything on your list sounds exactly like my list should be lol.
Thank you for your daily task list. I have only just had the revelation that I am a slob. I’m a couple of steps along the process but only a couple. That is, I do my dishes and sweep my kitchen. That’s it. I always panic when I am about to have friends over, everything seems so huge and so hard. Your blog is helping me so much, YaY! I’m not alone! Yay! There is light at the end of the tunnel (which isn’t my mother with a torch and yelling “where are you amongst this mess?!”)
Today is the start of my new, simpler and cleaner life-style.
Thanks for this list! Is this where I’m supposed to comment to enter for the kit?
No Andrea, Go back to the top post titled, “Week One Progress Report for Our Summer of Clean” and enter there. (It should be the top post for another hour or so!)
Holly N. says
Thanks for keeping it real and for being brave enough to share yourself with others. I love these lists!
It all comes down to habits and routines, not a new concept, but I love your presentation of it. This is PERFECT for the people who say that FlyLady doesn’t work for them. (No system works FOR you. You must work the system.) If I dare make comparisons between the 2 of you: both reformed slobs, routines split by times of day, offer your routines and lists as examples but say customize, have kitchen and bathrooms on list daily, and you both are teaching the magic of routines becoming habit. Now, if you 2 can do this, and clearly there is NO short cut, I can get back to it! Am enjoying your blog!
Thanks for the list!! Just what I have been looking for! We leave the cabinet doors open too. I try to remember to close them… the ones that knock me in the head are mostly always closed otherwise I get a good bump on my head. :O)
Brittani A says
I am switching declutter dining room with declutter desk, which is in my dining room, but needs more focus than the whole room. Otherwise, your list is perfect for me and my crew!
Not impressed says
Great advise can not print free info as it is misleading due to not being free you have to pay for info well what a fraud ashame as had u been honest I may have paid but seeing as misleading forget it.
Dana White says
At the end of the post, before the pink square that links to all the posts with free printables, there are links that go directly to the daily checklists, both mine and the build-your-own version. If for some reason those underlined links aren’t showing up, you might try a different browser. If you still don’t see them, email me next week (I’m away from wifi so I can’t use my laptop) and I’ll email you the list.
They downloaded fine for me, Nony! Thank you for providing them for free! I am so glad that I have found your site. It really feels like a lifesaver to read and listen to your honest direct communication and realize that I am not alone, and that there IS hope! I am ordering the ebook bundle, though, even though I like how there is so much info for free, and I know that to some people the info is obvious, yeah, it is obvious to me, too, but what is NOT obvious to me is how my brain works and this is where you are brilliant about recognizing and communicating the nature of the slob-brain. Where focus goes energy flows. Any since my focus is EVERYWHERE, it is just like being in a tornado of energy sometimes. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Best wishes to you! I hope my focus stays with you for awhile, but if it does not, you have made a huge difference to me already.
I think I found my soulmate, my lost twin. I have always, since childhood, been a slob and I hate it. I hate that I dont seem to have the self-control and motivation that seems to come natural to others in this area. This is my new favorite blog. thank you THANK YOU for your ideas and your honesty.
Dana White says
Thank YOU, Nicole! Welcome!
I only have the cabinet issue when I’m transitioning from a clean dishwasher back to a dirty one. The problem only lives until I have to dodge a door, though.
Back when I was doing the list, I had a weekend “look at these rooms for these key things.”
A list is not where I’m at because I’m missing a lot of shelves right now. It’s more of if I’m not limping, I pick a pattern of areas.
Heidi Palutke says
My husband does the cabinet door thing and due to our bizarro kitchen, there are often 17 doors and 8 or more drawers open. He’s a delight though, so its okay.
Lee in Iowa says
Oddly enough, a fat, well-written book on the old-fashioned art of housekeeping says we are NOT to make our beds in the mornings. We’re to turn them down and let the sheets and covers air from the inside–something to do with humans giving off moisture.
So there’s one chore you can at least leave until everyone arrives home from school and work and might start lounging around on the beds.
Wow, I’d never thought of that but I could never keep the cat off the bed long enough for this to be possible anyway.
i know i’m way late with this, but we’ve always thrown back the covers and opened the window (not if it’s raining or windy) while we shower and dress. Then make the bed. It keeps the bed smelling nicer than if we make it while there’s still body warmth. It’s only about 30 to 45 minutes for us. I don’t think you have to leave it for more than an hour at the very most.
Thanks for these Nony! I find a checklist is also helpful in helping me get through things faster! I can rush around like a chicken without a head doing things that I can see need doing, or I can follow a checklist and I am calmer, less tired and get much more done in less time! I also get to the end of the day feeling I have actually achieved something!!
Thanks so much for this list!!! I need things on there like you do, such as, “close cabinet doors.” My husband always gives me crap, because no matter what I do, I leave cabinet doors open. The whole kitchen is like that when I’m done cooking a meal! LOL! We all have our little quirks, I guess. I also don’t put things in drawers . . . I’m working on it. It just seems like such an extra hassle when you’re going to be pulling it right back out. You do a great job on this site, and on FB. Love all of your posts! Thanks for what you do!
Out of all the cleaning brilliance my mother and grandmothers passed on to me closing the cabinet doors just didn’t stick! Im constantly going in to the kitchen and thinking “Who left that door open?” then realizing, oh yeah that was me!
I love that your list has all those little things that we over look in our super busy week. I’m always making list for something but manage to leave out small details that make or break a clean room.
Yes, I’m posting a second comment!
I decided to make a list for myself that included personal things like yours as well as a few more “larger picture” daily items. I’ve used it for two months and have failed miserably! I don’t know why you list works better for me but it does so we are going back to that now! Thanks Nony!
LOL I leave cabinet doors open all the time! I just subscribed and am looking forward to embarking on my journey knowing i am not alone.
Dana White says
Welcome, Ellen! We are your people!
Can I just say how encouraged I was when the first thing I read was close cabinet doors?? I think I have finally found a blog that understands me!
Head smack! I have my very own need (not cabinet doors) to add to my list too. For me it’s my stairs. You see them as soon as you enter the house. People use it to “store” their things on. Shoes that need to go back upstairs (daily shoes are on a shelf near the coats), books, mail, what ever odds and ends you can think of that family members are too lazy to carry upstairs. The problem is, once they put them there, they rarely take them up the next time they go! So, “Clear the Stairs” is going on my Daily Checklist! Thanks for the perspective!
A post I read just the other day: “How often do you all vacuum? I vacuum 2-3 times a day.” And here’s me over here going “……. I can’t even comprehend that.”
How often do you vacuum?
Your list reminds me my way of dealing with depression. I’ve got 2 short list: what I have to do everyday to feel OK and what could be nice to do. When I don’t feel good I can check what I’ve skipped 🙂
Oh, and I’ve never had a problem with cabinet doors because of my height–I bang my head on the corners of them if they’re not closed, so that’s one habit checked off for me!
This is so funny to me, I am under 5 ft. and I never close the cabinets as I am emptying the dishwasher. I am such a procrastinator, I think, “I might need to put something else in that cabinet, so I’ll just leave it open until I’m done…” And then my 6 ft. tall husband turns around and smacks his head on the cabinet door. I have to consciously remind myself every day, close the cabinet, better to have to reopen it several times than to have him bang into one.
I am helping some friends gain control of their space. The checklist is very easy to follow. I like it as I need visual reminders too.
Golden Hearts says
Same here. but i can’t find any for a teen girl bedroom. a daily and weekly. if you find any Please! let me know Thxs! -G
This was revolutionary for me when I first implemented years ago. I was always so defeated by feeding my family because the dishes were so out of control. I’m at a different stage of life now, with full time business, teens and hubby helping much more but I want to infuse them with those concepts. I can’t remember where you expounded and my lightbulb went off. I’m poking around, revising the kids e-book….would love re-direction/link.
Golden Hearts says
I really need a free Printable for a teen bedroom daily and weekly please. I have Look every where and i need one badly. Thxs -D
You are amazing! Thank you for all you write. I have ADHD and am on the high functioning end of the spectrum. What “normal” people take for granted regarding clutter and keeping the house organised is a huge battle for me. My whole life is about trying to get organised. I’m so happy to read about others that are like me. 🙂
I’m probably a bit weird…. but I’m a slob and…… open doors, open drawers etc REALLY BOTHER me!! I have to shut them… and the same with wobbly pictures etc.. I have to straighten them. Even in someone elses home. !!! The rest of my home can look like a bomb hit it… but the pictures and stuff hanging on the walls are straight and the all the cupboard doors and drawer are closed. LOL How weird is that??
I was feeling so overwhelmed trying to figure where to start today. I’ve tried a million different ways to have a daily cleaning list, failing each time due to my perfectionism. When I clicked your build your own daily list, something clicked for me. I’m only starting with the 3 things already on the list and picking up & putting stuff away as I can (or feel like it). I know my baby steps will lead to a longer list as these simple steps become second nature to me.
Thank you for sharing your story and allowing all of us to see other readers who share our own dilemma. I’m learning I don’t have to be perfect, just find my happy spot in day to day cleaning.
Thank you Dana so much for your transparency and for sharing a topic so close to my own heart. I have felt like I am the last person alive with a cluttered and messy home (Not for a lack of trying either). I truly desire to open my home for hospitality as often as needed but I am stopped since I don’t have a model home look alike. through your Podcast and Blog I have related to many similarities in our personalities. Thank you for allowing me to know that I am not alone in this and for sharing the tools to be a better keeper of my home.
New slob here. (A lifelong slob actually, just new to your blog and learning to deslobify).
I have been on the hunt for a daily checklist that works for me as I havent white found one that has everything I need on it and my own written on a scrap of paper may never make it to the computer to be typed and printed….
Anyway I love your list I’m using it and not the build your own. I dont have a dishwasher but hand washing and unloading in the morning is the same thing. I have a 2 year old closet closer at this stage of my life, but I’m using your list with that on it because who knows when he will stop closing doors after me and I’ll need the reminder to do it myself.
Susan Heller says
I found it very interesting that there were so many people that left cabinet doors open. My mom did that and as a kid it rove me crazy. Every once in a while I walk into my kitchen and see an open cupboard door and my eyes open wide and bulge out because I know it had to be me.
I make my bed in the morning but then fold down the covers till they are at the foot of the bed because I learned once that is healthier to let the air circulate around the bed sheets to get rid of any moisture from the night’s sleep. Then I just pull them up at night.