The Daily Chore Calendar

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Whoa.  It’s definitely an “accidentally pour the creamer into the French press, not the coffee cup” kind of morning. 


Someone (let’s call him James) was up all night hacking his doggie brains out.  I felt so bad for him.  It was mostly dry heaving, so it wasn’t messy, but his little pup face looked miserable… he got sick every hour after 3:30 AM.  And I got a scary glimpse into how I’ll feel after caring for a crying newborn throughout the night.


Everyone in the family is exhausted this morning.  Some of us didn’t even bother to get out of bed for breakfast.


I had grand plans for breakfast but resorted to cereal.  It required the least amount of brain power to prepare.


Panda Puffs, cashews, banana.


The Daily Chore Calendar


This is a timely post because I have sheets to wash after last night… eww. 


One of my biggest stressors is a untidy and dirty house.  That doesn’t mean that my house is spotless.  Mostly, it means that my house drives me crazy because we don’t clean often enough.  When I walk into the bathroom and see hair all over the floor, my blood pressure climbs.  Because I tend to clean the whole house at once – a 5 hour endeavor,  I always put off cleaning, even though I know it will make me feel less stressed. 


So I’ve been trying to find a way to keep my house cleaner.  My first attempt was a vague declaration to ‘keep my house cleaner,’ which didn’t work because three weeks passed before I cleaned anything, and then I spent 5 hours on a Sunday scrubbing the entire place.  Our second attempt involved hiring a maid.  First of all, can I just say that maids are awesome?  You hand someone $80, go away for a few hours, and come home to sparkling house!  Awesome.  However, $80 a pop really added up, and we could only afford her once a month, which meant the house was dirty and stressful 2.5 weeks out of the month.


But finally – FINALLY! I have found a method that works me for.  Presenting:  the Daily Chore Calendar.


I put a little stick-it note on my desktop and identified one chore per day to accomplish.  The first week was the worst because I had to deep-clean the bathrooms and kitchen, but maintenance is SO easy.  Most days only require 15 – 20 minutes of work.  


And I’ve been really motivated to stay on top of my schedule and not miss any days.  A few people have come over and remarked how clean the house looked, which I LOVE.  Positive reinforcement, I’m telling you! 


Also, I think the Daily Chore Calendar is helping reduce my dirty-house-related-stress because I can look at my messy bedroom and think, “That will be clean on Tuesday,” not “WHEN AM I GOING TO HAVE TIME TO CLEAN THAT?! AHHH!!!”  Having a schedule is really, really nice. 


So – that’s my new magic cleaning trick!  It makes me feel very Susie Homemaker to have a cleaning schedule.  Heh.


Do you clean on a schedule?



  • Cait's Plate July 19, 2011, 9:26 am

    Awww poor James! That breaks my heart for him! I hope he’s 100% soon!

    And oh my gosh – the daily chore calendar!? That is AMAZING! You are definitely a girl after my own heart 🙂 I don’t usually clean on a schedule but I DO try to do a little every day so I’m never left with an overwhelming amount at one point.

  • Dori July 19, 2011, 9:27 am

    That picture of Maggie made me laugh. That is the ultimate in pup laziness. Poor James. I hope he is feeling better.

  • Cait July 19, 2011, 9:27 am

    I def love things neat and tidy like yourself but never have the time to keep it SPARKLING every hour. I also do a ‘chore chart’ similar to yours that makes me do at least a few ‘chores’ every day in order to be on top of everything- otherwise saturday mornings are usually my day to get things done!

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) July 19, 2011, 9:29 am

    This is genius! I don’t know why this never occurred to me before.

    I clean like you usually…save it all for one crazy cleaning day, and then I’m stressed about the mess the rest of the week, lol. I might have to steal this idea and use it this week to see how it goes!! One thing a day is much more manageable…and I love that you have an OFF day! 🙂

  • Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa July 19, 2011, 9:30 am

    I don’t clean on a schedule, but might need to! A dirty/messy house does not make my heart happy, but a clean kitchen makes my heart sing!

    The kitchen is always the worst since I seem to cook all the time. Luckily my husband and I learned early on our one house rule – I cook, He cleans. And as long as he can keep up with me, it works like a charm.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

      Sounds like a sweet deal to me!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy July 19, 2011, 9:31 am

    Hope James is feeling better. Nights like that are tough! I can’t stand mess, yet somehow I let our house get, well, messy. I usually do the downstairs on Friday night before my husband gets home (he has longer hours on Friday) and then I do the rest on Saturday or Sunday (or a little on both days). I try to do the laundry after work during the week so that I don’t have to do it during the weekend. So at least the downstairs is mostly always clean. We fight cat hair and dog hair. I swear after I vacuum it’s back in little “furstacks” (like haystacks?) on the floor. Ew. My husband is in charge of the trash, dishes and vacuuming the carpets. I have to ask him to do the vacuuming and remind him about taking the trash out and usually he forgets so I sometimes end up doing it myself. I refuse to vacuum the stairs and upstairs though. But sometimes I give in and vacuum the two carpeted rooms downstairs. I just can’t stand messy carpet!

    • Sara @ OurDogBuffy July 19, 2011, 9:35 am

      P.S. it drives me crazy to have things on the counters. So when things get piled up, I try to at least put them in stacks until I move it all on Friday. It makes me feel better to see counter space–something my husband doesn’t understand. 🙂

  • katie @ KatieDid July 19, 2011, 9:31 am

    It’s sort of different living with roommates. It’s tough because most of the mess is not even my own so it’s hard to justify cleaning everyone elses stuff, but we usually do big sweeping cleans once in a while (not nearly enough, but that’s college for you). I think when i have a house I’ll use a similar method as you because I can’t tackle too much at once either, not my style.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

      Ugh, yeah. I remember that about roomies. Everyone fighting over who needs to do the dishes.

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats July 19, 2011, 9:32 am

    Hair on my bathroom floor used to drive me absolutely NUTS too, especially when I had long hair, so now I keep a swiffer sweeper with a dry pad on it tucked behind the door. Every morning after I blow dry, I just zip it around the bathroom to collect all the random hairs. I can’t TELL you how big of a lifesaver this is!

  • Cindi July 19, 2011, 9:34 am

    I am trying to figure out a chore schedule now that I’m home full time. It’s quite tricky! And poor James, at least with my newborn I can stop her crying with my magical boobies. I hope he feels better soon!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 9:35 am

      I shoved my boobies in James’s face but he didn’t care.

      • Orla July 19, 2011, 9:46 am

        I just snorted tea all over my computer at that comment! hilarious!

      • Cindi July 19, 2011, 10:20 am

        That’s because James is an ass man!

      • Crystal July 19, 2011, 1:10 pm

        That was FUNNY sista!!!

    • valuliana @ Ramblings of a BabyMama July 19, 2011, 11:06 am

      Hahaha! Thanks for the LOL ladies! 😉

  • Nicole (Mrs. Muffins) July 19, 2011, 9:34 am

    How funny! I have a cleaning calendar too! Mine is much more involved but I have a toddler to chase around and clean up after, lol. And not only am I totally lazy about cleaning but so is my husband. Yet… we both get very stressed when the house isn’t clean. I definitely think a once a month house keeper would be great. Maybe SHE could do the deep cleaning and I’ll just keep things tidy on a daily basis? Have a great day!

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet July 19, 2011, 9:35 am

    I hope that James is feeling better! And I love that picture of Maggie 🙂

    This calendar is such an awesome idea! But the truth is that I live in pretty much only two rooms in the house: the kitchen and bedroom, so including the bathroom, that’s probably the only two places I’d clean.

  • Colleen July 19, 2011, 9:35 am

    I really like the post-it idea on your desktop! A dirty living space stresses me out too, and I always let cleaning slide when I am the most stressed out. Doesn’t make sense at all!

  • Amanda July 19, 2011, 9:36 am

    I think I will try to implement this. I have been so stressed out lately because I have so much going on, and living in a dirty house makes it 10 times worse. I am the once a week, all day kind of cleaner too, but I don’t have the time for it right now. This should totally be a blogger challenge! A competition to keep the house clean is the ultimate motivation 😉

  • Lisa @ Sunny Seed Stories July 19, 2011, 9:40 am

    That’s one gorgeous pouring milk-into-cereal pic!

    And computer sticky notes=the best!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me July 19, 2011, 9:42 am

    It sounds like a good way to do it. I feel like I’m just constantly cleaning the same thing over and over and over! But I suppose that’s life. There’s lots of cleaning I need to get done right now! We power-washed the house this past weekend but it left the windows with TONS of spots on it. So now I have to wash them all. BAH!

  • Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh July 19, 2011, 9:44 am

    I love the idea of a chore calendar. I think that would be best for me, because I always try and do cleaning in one day, and then I get overwhelmed and stressed…I like the idea of breaking it up!
    And I have never thought to add cashews in cereal 🙂 I love that idea!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged July 19, 2011, 9:44 am

    I seriously feel ya on the cleaning hate – I always procrastinate on it until my whole house is cruddy, and I feel so bad about paying someone else to clean it for my lazy self…choosing one each day is a great call on keeping the load from getting too heavy (and the house from getting too gross!)

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen July 19, 2011, 9:45 am

    Seriously, the post-it note idea is genius! Why haven’t I thought of that? I’m the same way about a dirty house stressing me out. I usually wait until Saturday and then flip out and spend 3-4 hours cleaning it. Not my ideal way of spending my day off. Our house is big for the 2 of us at 2500 sq. feet so it’s a lot to clean. I think the one chore a day will make a world of difference!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:30 pm

      That is a lot to clean! My apartment is only 1000 sq ft.

  • Krista (kristastes) July 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    I vacuumed during the bachelorette commercial breaks last night, does that count?

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:30 pm

      yes 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat July 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    Great idea! Yes, I do have a regular cleaning schedule. I actually recently found some great planner pages from Simple Organized Living that you can download and print for free. (, under Daily Planners.) There is a column in the middle for routine things that you need to do every day, and the blank version lets you write in what those are. For me, every Friday is laundry, every Saturday is kitchen, etc. There’s also spots for your daily Top 5 To Do’s, other to do’s, appointments, meal plan, and notes. It’s really useful!

  • Lee July 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    I am just like you. Our messy house stresses me out so badly. This is a good idea. It makes it so much more manageable.

  • Michelle from The Cooking Life July 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    awww, poor dog 🙁 I hope he feels better! Just last night, after my husband and I got back from our date night, we discovered our cat had thrown up. We just have to remind ourselves that it IS training for a baby one day! As far as chores, I don’t have a set schedule but I try to lightly clean each weekend and then “try” to deep-clean once a month.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday July 19, 2011, 9:50 am

    My kitchen is always as clean as possible. After cooking I wipe down the sink, stove top and counters. Sometimes I sweep as well.

    When I notice the sink in the bathroom start to get a little dirty I cleaning it right away then I use the rag to wipe down the counters, and then the toilet seat and rim. Then I’ll go over the inside of the toilet bowl with the toilet brush My bathtub gets cleaned far less often… maybe once every couple of weeks.

    The dry rooms, like the bedrooms and family rooms, are the easiest. A little dusting and vacumming every so often does the trick.
    I try to keep the dressers, nightstands, coffee table, etc. very tidy at all times so it doesn’t look cluttered. It’s an easy way to make the room have a clean look (even when it’s dusty). That, and fluffing the pillows. Nice plump pillows also make the living room and bedroom look super tidy.

  • valuliana July 19, 2011, 9:50 am

    That puppy pic (Maggie or James? I can’t keep them straight and I blame it on my newly acquired mommy-brain!) had me laughing out loud!

    Then, I read your post-it about your daily cleaning schedule and said to my husband: “Oh My God! I love her, she’s my new hero” and I hope you don’t mind me stealing the idea! Keeping a clean house while trying to remain active and taking care of an infant is a struggle for me and seeing my dust -bunnies on the floor is driving me bananas! Thanks again for such a good concept! And also, congrats on the tri PR! 😉

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:33 pm

      Steal away! Happy baby birth 🙂 Congrats.

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats July 19, 2011, 9:52 am

    I actually really love to clean, but that doesn’t mean I always stick to a schedule or don’t stress about it (which I do, daily). I try to keep to the room-a-day philosophy so that I know when rooms are going to be cleaned. This is the first apartment in 5 years I’ve had a dishwasher so I take full advantage of that and run it when I leave for work in the AM so my Dude can take the dishes out in the afternoon.

    I also think my parents had a really good idea for getting us to clean as kids. Saturday mornings we would wake up to Carly Simon or Led Zeppelin blaring on their stereo and we’d have a dance party (i.e. they’d make us clean). Except now I associate James Taylor with Windex and Pinesol.

  • Carolyn L. July 19, 2011, 9:53 am

    I love this idea! I usually just clean everything on Sunday afternoons like you mentioned you did before. But then it’d get to Sunday, and I’d say, “Meh, it’s clean enough until next week. It IS the weekend after all, I should be relaxing.”

    I’m going to start a chore schedule ASAP.

  • Amanda July 19, 2011, 9:53 am

    I love this website for cleaning! You don’t have to do everything at once but she has a TON of little tips and tricks that are seriously lifesaving!

    • Wendy July 19, 2011, 10:16 am

      Flylady saved my sanity!

    • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep July 19, 2011, 10:19 am

      This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Love, love, love FlyLady!

    • AmandaonMaui July 19, 2011, 10:44 pm

      This is also what I do. Flylady!

  • Liz July 19, 2011, 9:54 am

    How timely. My BF and I just made one of these Sunday! But it’s way more in depth and involves certain things every day (dishes), twice a week (sweeping), once a week (bathroom), twice a month (moping), once a month (changing the furnace filter), etc. So far after two days I’m enjoying checking the boxes off.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:35 pm

      Hehe checking things off to-do lists makes me so happy.

  • Lindsey July 19, 2011, 9:57 am

    I do for sure! I do all my cleaning on Saturday or Sunday morning – depending which is open/free. This way I don’t have to worry about any cleaning or laundry all week 🙂

  • Kelly July 19, 2011, 9:58 am

    Ha. I am the same as you used to be. Clean the ENTIRE house thoroughly, which takes hours and hours. However, I’m pretty anal, and I just like to have EVERYTHING clean at once. I don’t know if you’d call it OCD or just anal retentive, but I can’t clean one room and leave the rest. It seems counterproductive to me (and there is no reason why it should!). I’m a pretty clean person overall, so it’s not like the house gets filthy, but there’s nothing like KNOWING everything is clean. I am much more productive and creative in a clean living space.

    Poor James! I hope he gets feeling better. : )

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 9:59 am

      My best friend said the problem with this method is you never get the clean house feel. I agree!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg July 19, 2011, 9:59 am

    I like your approach to cleaning — although I tend to do it all on the weekends. I do laundry loads throughout the week, but I do all of the vacuuming, dusting on the weekends. It takes me about 2 hours to do it all which isn’t too bad.

  • Luna July 19, 2011, 9:59 am

    A daily calendar is great…I tend to do the major cleaning on the weekend – usually saturday, but there are some things I don’t have a schedule for – laundry i.e., (I hate hanging out the laundry btw, dryers aren’t popular here)or ironing, so I end up with giant piles of clothes to be washed/to be ironed 🙁 Does your husband help with the housekeeping ?

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:36 pm

      He helps a bit, but it’s definitely more ‘my thing’

      • Susan July 19, 2011, 11:01 pm

        I find the same thing with my BF. He helps when I ask, but the house not being clean doesn’t bother him, so he’ll never do anything on his own. He did suggest getting a house cleaner, but I hate paying for something I’m perfectly capable of doing myself.

        • Luna July 20, 2011, 2:45 am

          Caitlin, at least he helps a bit! But I dream about the day that all this house cleaning/cooking/house-everything = woman’s duty, will change…Susan, you’re lucky!So my husband is messy, but not only he likes clean and tidy, but simply thinks “it is not his place to do it”. It’s the wife who is to do it … honestly, I love my husband, but don’t get me started on this point…

      • Caitlin July 20, 2011, 7:03 am

        You are definitely right, Luna! Studies show women still do most of the housework, even if they are doing most of the childcare AND working. The Hus is pretty liberal about women/men roles (the other day he said to me, “if we have a gay son, i’ll treat him like he’s a queen,” bawhahah), so in our scenario, it’s less “women/man roles” than “clean person/not clean person roles.”

  • Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde July 19, 2011, 9:59 am

    Poor pup, i hate when my dog gets sick, i feel like such a worried mummy!
    This is such a great idea, i’m an all or nothing girl but i’ve been stressing about how we are going to keep our new house clean and i think this might be the answer 🙂

  • Sue @ Sue In Training July 19, 2011, 10:01 am

    I don’t really have a schedule but usually Friday afternoon is cleaning time, as I get to leave from work earlier. That includes scrubbing bathroom, kitchen, living room and hoovering and mopping all the floors. Laundry gets done when a basket is full, which is about 2-3 times a week. For the rest, I just wing it.
    Get well soon, James!

  • Kristin @ STUFT Mama July 19, 2011, 10:01 am

    Okay this is GENIUS! I must copy you. After having my twins a year and a half ago, cleaning (other than picking up random toys everywhere) has ben put on the back burner and I have the worst case of “unorganized house triggered anxiety”. ha! Love the sticky post. Now if I could figure out how to do it on the computer. I’m still finding my way around my laptop. ha!
    Congrats on your race this past weekend!

  • Jess @JessCantCook July 19, 2011, 10:02 am

    I love the chore calendar! I’m not a particularly tidy person but my fiance is, still we don’t have any ryme or reason for when we clean the house. I tend to not think about it until it’s noticeably dirty so cleaning takes a lot more time than it would it we did something like what you’re doing!

  • Casey July 19, 2011, 10:07 am

    That’s an awesome method Caitlin. Why is there ALWAYS hair on the kitchen floor?! Oh wait, I have a dog. I guess that’s why. But seriously, it requires nearly-every-day sweeping to keep it hair-free, and I can’t stop starting at it if it’s there! I’m obsessed and it dives me nuts!

  • Meagan Grady July 19, 2011, 10:07 am

    When we moved into our new house, we left all of the mess we weren’t using at the time in the spare bedroom, and there it has sat: since APRIL. Cleaning stresses me out as well…I used a chore calendar and now everything is super nice and neat! Love a clean house.

    • Wendy July 19, 2011, 10:14 am

      Ha! We did the same thing, except we moved last October! Oops.

      • Meagan Grady July 19, 2011, 10:16 am

        In our old house, it wasn’t bad because we didn’t have any extra room, so everything had to be put away. The husband is really bad for taking his glasses from the kitchen to the bedroom and leaving them on his nightstand…for days. Gaaaaaross.

  • Ashley @ This Is The Place July 19, 2011, 10:08 am

    Awww poor James! I hope he feels better soon.

    I love the chore calendar! Right now, I clean my apartment once a week. It’s usually a couple hour job, including all the laundry. We’re moving in a week, so I might start implementing a chore calendar. It sounds so much easier to break it up into pieces like that. Thanks!

  • Laura July 19, 2011, 10:10 am

    This chore calendar is brilliant! I’m always scrambling to spend most of Saturday or Sunday cleaning the house, and I put things off because I do not have enough time. I am going to test drive a chore schedule of my own and keep Sunday as a “anything I didn’t get to day.” Things definitely are quicker when they get attended to each week. We just seem to dump things into the living room during busy work weeks, so I am aiming to stop that because it stresses me out as soon as I walk in.

  • Wendy July 19, 2011, 10:12 am

    Yes, that is exactly how you will feel after a night of being up with a child. 🙂

    I also have a cleaning schedule, but mine’s a little different than yours. Instead of room by room, I go chore by chore on a schedule that is a modification of Flylady’s “home blessing hour”:
    Sun – change/wash sheets
    Mon – take out trash and sort old newspapers/magazines
    Tues – dust and clean mirrors/glass doors
    Wed – vacuum
    Thurs – sweep/mop hard floors
    Fri – clean bathroom
    Sat – off
    I like doing it this way vs. a room a day, because I only have get out my stuff once i.e. I only get the vacuum out on Wed. I do laundry on a daily/as needed basis and TRY to wipe down the bathroom every day or two, but sometimes I get lazy. Also, some of the chores don’t take more than a few minutes, so I’ll often double up. Like yesterday I got Mon + Tues chores done, so I’ll do Wed chores today, then I’ll end up with an extra day or two off. I’m a teacher, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up when school starts next month. My house was gee-ross before I got back onto a schedule.

    • Wendy July 19, 2011, 10:20 am

      Another thing that really helps me is to have daily morning/evening routines which include washing dishes and switching the laundry. I have them typed up and keep them in a sheet protector and I can check things off with a dry erase marker as I get them done.

      • Melissa July 19, 2011, 2:10 pm

        I’m glad to hear that someone else out there is as excited about FlyLady as me!!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:37 pm

      I need a check off list. FUN.

      • Wendy July 19, 2011, 8:46 pm

        It helps me feel like I’ve accomplished something, even if all I’ve done is the usual daily stuff. Mind you, I have stuff like “wash face” and “brush teeth” on my list to check off. I love lists!

  • Kelley @ Just Call Me Jack July 19, 2011, 10:14 am

    Poor James! My baby got really sick on Saturday night… spent three hours up with her. The really sad part was that it was my fault. I gave her something to eat that I shouldn’t have…

    I also have two Guinea Pigs, who need to be cleaned once a week and I find that once I clean them and have the vacuum cleaner out, the rest of the house just follows suit. So pretty much once every week, I clean.

    Some weeks better than others 😉

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed July 19, 2011, 10:15 am

    Ooooh, a chore calender, delightful. I HAVE to empty the dishwasher and clean the counters as SOON as I wake up. I HAVE to vacuum after my son has his meals. LOVE this idea.

  • Lauren July 19, 2011, 10:15 am

    GREAT idea, thank you! 🙂 I’m moving into my own place for the first time at the end of the summer so I will definitely keep this post in mind!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:38 pm

      Enjoy your new place!

  • Sarah July 19, 2011, 10:16 am

    I can feel my stress levels rising when my house is a mess, too- I love the chore calendar idea! I think that would really work for me:-).

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life July 19, 2011, 10:17 am

    That is a really great cleaning idea! I have been trying really hard to clean as I go and not let it all pile up because I hate wasting 1/2 of every Sunday scrubbing the whole house!!!

  • Kat July 19, 2011, 10:19 am

    the chore calendar is a great idea! i will have to try it. i always procrastinate cleaning and it drives me crazy!

  • Melissa July 19, 2011, 10:23 am

    I started cleaning on a schedule about 18 months ago and this is going to sound overdramatic BUT it’s seriously changed my life/stress level for the better. It has taken away a huge amt of pressure (built up in my head b/c of perfectionistic tendencies) and even when life/schedule gets crazy insane, my house is still clean/no more than 15 minutes away from being company ready!

    I use a modified version of the Fly Lady system which gives weekly chores and then she has emails with daily missions (5-10 minutes tops) and I’ll just do whatever she says to do in those. She breaks your house into zones for the daily missions and so if this week was the kitchen she might say “today, wipe down the fronts of your cabinets”. Done and done 🙂 I love putting this part of my life on autopilot.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:38 pm

      Oh I want some Fly Lady emaillllls!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat July 19, 2011, 10:24 am

    Poor pup! Hope he’s feeling better. Love your bathroom colors!

  • MIka July 19, 2011, 10:30 am

    First of all, poor puppy. Secondly, I love the post-it idea. I pulled up the app on my PC and will try to clean a room a day. Thanks, C!

  • Jen July 19, 2011, 10:32 am

    I don’t clean on a schedule, because I’m more of a clean-as-I-go type of girl. Although, my mom is kind enough to share her housekeeper with me (meaning I don’t have to pay!), so once every two weeks my apartment gets a master cleaning. I’m like you in the sense that a dirty house makes me extremely anxious. My hair gets EVERYWHERE.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:39 pm

      Your mom is awesome, obviously.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife July 19, 2011, 10:34 am

    okay THAT is a good idea. Thanks!! I am going to have to try this!

  • Ciera @ Rose and Thistle July 19, 2011, 10:35 am

    Poor James, bless him. I have a studio so one of the advantages is that I can clean it all at once in an hour or so – I put laundry on and then clean whilst that’s on the go. However I have a small bathroom with a white floor and long dark hair, which seems to end up all over it in no time. Super annoying, sigh.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story July 19, 2011, 10:36 am

    Poor James! I hate it when Chaser gets sick, it breaks my heart. Hope he recovers quickly!

    The Daily Chore Calender…genius.

  • Jenn @ Frost Bites July 19, 2011, 10:41 am

    I tried to use a similar system at one time or another but I’m so anal about the cleanliness that I want everthing clean all at the same time (fail….only worked for a while). I will try your daily chore and at least I can stay on top of it. Thanks for the tip.

  • Shellie July 19, 2011, 10:41 am

    First, I hope James feel better!!! And YES, my life revolves around routines and schedules because I was raised around it and having those makes life SOOO much easier for me except when they get out of whack, lol. I do little cleaning things every day THAT HAVE to be done like washing the dishes.. I’m too much like my Grandma (who raised me) that if ANYTHING doesn’t get put back where it belongs or something isn’t cleaned in a certain time frame, I don’t to do anything else until I can get that done! I’m so picky about my house being clean and tidy. Saturday is my main “cleaning” day where I do an overall clean of the house and I have gotten my husband the past month or so to vacuum on Saturdays – happy bout that one! Also, I guess it helps that I LOVE to clean and organize my house.

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) July 19, 2011, 10:45 am

    That’s so funny, I was just thinking about making a cleaning schedule yesterday 😀

    I hope James feels better. I worry so much when my animals are not feeling well 🙁

  • Danielle C. July 19, 2011, 10:49 am

    YES! I am the same way, I do the marathon cleaning sessions. Thank you for this idea, I think I can stick with this and not stress myself out!

  • Elle July 19, 2011, 10:51 am

    I really need to do this. I try to keep our place “picked up” and do the massive cleaning every few weeks…our bathroom REALLY needs to be cleaned. I hate dirty bathrooms. I hate cleaning bathrooms. See the problem?

    Now that we have a dog, I see a lot more vacuuming in our future. Not for shedding, but because he enjoys shredding his favorite rope toys. Thank God they’re only .99 cents!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:40 pm

      Get him a Kong toy! Unshreddable.

      • Elle July 19, 2011, 7:47 pm

        We have one–the kind of tube/cone thing you can stick a treat in. We’re definitely buying more!

      • Eliza July 20, 2011, 3:48 am

        I just bought one of the soft, fluffy Kong toys off Ebay for the guide dog puppy I am training (the sookiest labrador ever) and he loves it, and it hasn’t been ripped apart yet. Amazing

  • Sarah for Real July 19, 2011, 10:53 am

    Awe poor baby, I hope James is feeling better soon!

    My biggest cleaning hurdle is daily pick-up. “If you’re going to put it down, put it away.” I can repeat this 100 times and it still doesn’t sink in.

  • Mellissa July 19, 2011, 10:53 am

    I don’t have a set schedule but I do try to do one chore every day, with 2 and sometimes 3 dogs at the house it gets so full of hair! I am sweeping and vacumming almost every day. I have found if I deal with the clutter right away it helps things stay cleaner. Touch it once!

  • Meg July 19, 2011, 10:54 am

    Love it! I often feel like I have to do everything and either end up doing nothing or wasting too much time in a single day cleaning.

    It’s just me in my little one-bedroom, so I think I’m going to make my schedule to knock all the rooms out during the week and take the whole weekend off!

  • Kim July 19, 2011, 10:56 am

    I share a house with my brother, and a clean house is a constant ‘discussion’. Recently, he came to me telling me he felt like the made. (I’ve been traveling a lot and busy with other things to help out). In the past, we have usually spent hours like you on the weekend doing a deep clean, or around the holidays or when we are having people over for a special occasion we may splurge to have someone come clean for us. After our last ‘discussion’, we decided that we would take turns cleaning the house. He is a dialysis patient and dialyzes on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday so I clean on Tuesday and Thursday; he cleans on Monday and Wednesday. Friday is a group effort, which leaves the weekend to fun and relaxation. It seems to be working pretty well, but I really like your method, I seem some tweaking in my near future. Happy Cleaning!!!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:41 pm

      I hope you and your brother find a solution! Living with family is tough 😉

  • nancy July 19, 2011, 11:00 am

    I definitely clean on a schedule. If my house is out of control I feel out of control and no one in my house likes it when that happens. We have 5 humans and 3 animals so there is a lot of cleaning to do. Big stuff gets done on a pretty regular schedule. Bathrooms cleaned on a rotation so no more than one has to get done at a time, everyone has a laundry day (kids on Tuesday, husband on Wednesday, etc) sheets washed one day per week, grocery shopping 2 days per week, etc). That works for me. We have a lot of space to clean and no, it doesn’t all get done at once very often, but that’s the only way I can keep it handled and still keep up with everything else. With so many biological units (my husband’s term) in our house, I actually have to vacuum the downstairs every night. I know that would drive most people crazy but it makes me crazy NOT to do it. I cannot tolerate dirt and animal hair all over the place. Mopping happens when I have a moment (thank goodness for the wet jet mops). The kitchen gets thoroughly cleaned every night and dishwasher runs when we go to bed. I must come downstairs in the morning to some level of clean & organized. Since the kitchen is pretty much my domain I handle that. Everyone in the house is required to help out in the rest of the house as needed and kids must pick up, vac and maintain their own rooms. A long answer I know but a messy house makes me crazy and I feel better about everything when there is some level of order in our living space.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:42 pm

      I want to be friends with you IRL based on this comment. LOL!

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) July 19, 2011, 11:00 am

    That’s actually a pretty good idea. I am horrible with house keeping and usually do it in a 5 hr sweep on a weekend. Hubby usually steers clear, but perhaps if I break it down into days, we both can keep the house clean 🙂

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) July 19, 2011, 11:02 am

    That picture of Maggie is hilarious! Dogs are so funny!

  • Aine @ Something to Chew Over July 19, 2011, 11:05 am

    That’s a really good idea! I just clean when I have the energy, I’m in the mood or if I have people coming over.

    Laundry is no problem for me, I like to do it 🙂

  • Cinderella July 19, 2011, 11:06 am

    Poor doggie to be so sick – and poor you to have gone sleepless up taking care of him. It’s hard to do, and yes it definitely is a precursor to a newborn’s needs!

    I (thanks to all the gods in heaven plus a lot of good karma) have a housekeeper four times a week so my hosue is spotless, for which I am hugely grateful.
    And she does just what you are doing – has a chore list! It’s a great idea because it works!

  • Joey July 19, 2011, 11:07 am

    I’ve tried this before but had trouble staying motivated… I’m putting a sticky note on my computer and trying again – we have visitors coming this weekend so it will be perfect to do a little each day…

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:42 pm

      Have fun with your visitors!

  • Joyce July 19, 2011, 11:15 am

    I just keep things picked up and tidied up as I go. The kitchen is clean all the time, except for the floor, but I live alone so it’s easy for me.

  • kristin @ wounded fawn July 19, 2011, 11:18 am

    I have been working longer hours plus a commute so I am fortunate enough to have a boyfriend who makes sure all of those things like vacuuming, scrubbing, litter boxes are done because he knows I won’t go to bed until they are. He even usually has dinner made when I get home so all I do is clean up dinner and do dishes. He is my biggest support system and I often think of how lucky I am.

    Before this I was a clean the whole place at night type person so I could wake up and have nothing to do.

  • Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life July 19, 2011, 11:26 am

    Cleaning the house is very overwhelming to me because I’d rather be spending the time with the baby and my husband. I LOVE the idea of a chore calendar. Genius!

  • The Healthy Engineer July 19, 2011, 11:31 am

    When and if you do have kids, that chore calendar may come in handy!
    And then when they are old enough, they have to start participating 😀

    I can’t even stand a dirty room….speaking of which, I have to climb the mountain of laundry on my bed.

  • Katie @ peacebeme July 19, 2011, 11:33 am

    awesome idea with the post it on your desktop. I do tend to have certain days where I clean certain things, like bathrooms on Tuesdays and laundry on Sundays, but this motivated me to write it down for all of the other chores. What a good way to reduce anxiety about it!

    I hope James feels better soon. Any time I have to deal with dogs like that, it also really makes me not want to have kids! right now we have a puppy and the small percentage of me that wanted to have kids has gone down even more

  • karin (allpointswhole) July 19, 2011, 11:43 am

    Oh how I can relate!! I made a similar chart when I was first married and stuck it on my fridge. It felt so good checking them off and eventually I had it memorized and no longer had to reference it. I don’t use that system anymore but I am the same way with dirt making my blood boil. I adk myself why I dont just sweep it up or wipe it off so I can have peace…but I put it off…ugh

  • Michele Albert July 19, 2011, 11:45 am

    I used to try and clean everything in one fell swoop but my work schedule is erratic and I was making myself crazy so I went out and hired a cleaning lady! She only does the basics (cleans all of my floors, cleans all three bathrooms, wipes down the counters/microwave/stove in the kitchen, and dusts) once a week. It makes my life so much easier! I find I have the time to get to the rest of the chores myself.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:43 pm

      Cleaning ladies rule.

  • Morgan @ Endorphaholic July 19, 2011, 11:46 am

    I hate the feeling when it gets too messy that the idea of cleaning it is too stressful, such a vicious cycle! I’m going to have to try this, it sounds totally manageable.

  • Monica July 19, 2011, 11:51 am You wouldn’t believe this but there are cleaning/organization blogs! FlyLady has schedules and zones and a 30 day plan. The blog is not as visually friendly but I think it is a great resource!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:43 pm

      Love me some Fly Lady!

  • Kia July 19, 2011, 11:57 am

    I have used it in the past for the same reasons you talked about. I have been slackingthis summer though. It did make life my stress levels drop.

  • RhodeyGirl July 19, 2011, 12:14 pm

    We now have a cleaning lady coming once a month as I get closer to my delivery date, but I still clean in between. I don’t have a schedule but I dedicate 10 intense minutes of cleaning daily. it’s amazing what can get done in 10 minutes!

  • Amanda July 19, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Also, I just posted my first operation beautiful note and it feels awesome! You have such good ideas!

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:44 pm

      Did you take a picture? 🙂 Send it to me!

      • Amanda July 20, 2011, 9:43 am

        I didn’t take a pic of this one, I was nervous that someone would see me lol. I’ll take a picture next time and hopefully all the other times!

  • Marissa C July 19, 2011, 12:17 pm

    Haha…even your “sad” breakfasts are more than I can manage most days. Kudos!

    One thing I love about marriage…I haven’t cleaned a bathroom since our wedding day. I still do most everything else, but we made a pact that he would be the bathroom cleaner. I still have to remind him to do it, but he is really good at getting it down quickly now and realizes it is MUCH better than cleaning it 1-2 times a year. That is what happened before we were married–and he only cleaned his bathroom because I forced him. EWWW.

    • Natalie S. July 19, 2011, 12:26 pm


    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:44 pm

      I am so jealous of you.

  • Natalie S. July 19, 2011, 12:25 pm

    I normally clean when things get too cluttered for me — I get stressed out! But since I became the roommate of 3 college-age boys… chore charts, I’ve decided, are the way to go 🙂

  • Laura July 19, 2011, 12:30 pm

    I agree that one of my biggest daily sources of stress is my messy apartment, but I have a tendency to stress and complain about it vs. actually doing something about it. What has been working best for me is the Pomodoro method…in short – you put aside a block of time and focus only on the task at hand. Every night, I set my timer to 20 minutes and clean as much as possible for 20 minutes. Once it rings, I stop what I am doing and don’t feel guilty about not cleaning. Its pretty crazy how much you can accomplish when you are on the clock!

  • run run rachel July 19, 2011, 12:33 pm

    HAHAHAHA i blurted out a laugh at work when i saw that doggie picture. too cute!

    i will probably be doing the same cleaning schedule. i took your advice on stress by cleaning out the junk drawer. i now have 65% organized cabinets and drawers!

  • Rachel July 19, 2011, 12:41 pm

    The cleaning schedule seems like a genius idea!! Good luck Caitlin!

  • Amber K July 19, 2011, 12:47 pm

    Having a set day to make sure things get clean sounds like a good idea. Although I agree that you don’t quite get that “the whole place is clean” happy feeling. Sometimes that’s the best feeling of all. Especially while crashed onto the couch watching something mind-numbing on TV for awhile 🙂

  • Steph @ Running in the Kitchen July 19, 2011, 12:48 pm

    That is the best idea EVER! I’m the exact same way. Any random bathroom hairs, crumbs or dog fur totally overwhelm me and get me anxious that the apartment is turning into a house from Hoarders 🙂 I always get stressed out on the weekends by how much cleaning there is to do and it never occurred to me to break it up – brilliant!

  • Hannah July 19, 2011, 1:09 pm

    You have blown my mind. My house is completely disgusting and I never do anything about it. Brilliant. I would love to see as many posts as possible about organizing your house.

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:45 pm

      Okay! I will try to do some more. You should check out too!

  • Bea July 19, 2011, 1:11 pm

    How simple, I will have to try that. I’m am an all or nothing girl and have to clean the whole house at once. Sometimes I manage to spilt upstairs and downstairs. I should start a daily chore list….

  • Stephanie July 19, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I hate having a messy house too…I work from home, and it’s really hard to be productive when you’re sitting in a pile of unfolded clothes! But since I refuse to take on all the cleaning, my husband and I divided the general tasks which are to be done daily or “as needed.” It’s so much easier to stay on top of the cleaning when you do a little bit everyday!

  • Emily @ Relishments July 19, 2011, 1:38 pm

    That chore list is such a good idea. It seems so obvious, but I never would’ve thought of it. I hate having a messy house too, but the cleaning is overwhelming. Thanks for sharing!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair July 19, 2011, 1:48 pm

    Awesome! Love your new method. Does the hubs help you with these or how do you guys split chores? Cleaning/chores is a HUGE stressor for me as well and I’m exactly like you, would put it off because it’s such a huge job to deep clean everything. And then me and my fiance would fight because he wasn’t cleaning and neither was I and blegh.

    ANYWAYS, starting this week we are trying something new. EVERY M, W, F right when I get home from work (he’s home earlier than me) we are both cleaning for 30 minutes. Whatever needs to be done. Last night it was the dishes, vacuuming and folding laundry. Tomorrow I’m tackling the bathroom and he’ll do the basement. It seems to work because that way we’re both cleaning together and not being like “well I did this…” or putting off doing chores.

    I like your idea of deep cleaning one room each day of the week though because our 30-minute power clean three times a week really just tidies the whole house and doesn’t actually deep clean anything.

    Gosh, who knew cleaning could be so complicated!?

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:46 pm

      I do most of the cleaning; it’s just ‘my thing.’

  • Kelly July 19, 2011, 2:01 pm

    I am SO stealing this! Summers are the hardest. I like to spend all my time outside having fun so cleaning goes by the wayside. Then I get tired of a messy house and spend an entire day doing nothing but cleaning. So I’m going to take your little idea and implement it once I’m back from vacation. That should leave my weekends clear for all the fun I can handle. I’m going to work on my schedule right now.

  • ashley@cookingforjohn July 19, 2011, 2:01 pm

    love this idea, i think i’ll try it myself!

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner July 19, 2011, 2:06 pm

    I absolutely love this idea! I have sort of tried it out in the past, but my lazy husband makes ME lazy! My house is pretty small, so it doesn’t take me very long to clean (I can plug the vacuum in in the hallway and vacuum the entire main floor of our house). I try to clean it once a week, usually on Saturday + Sunday when I have the most time, but those are the days I don’t want to do ANYTHING. So, I think I might have to try your little chore schedule. It will probably make my life much easier!

  • Kayla @ July 19, 2011, 2:17 pm

    I am horrible about cleaning. Luckily I am tidy, and once a month I get the bug and go to town scrubbing. When that mood strikes I RIDE it as long as I can. When I lived in a bigger place I had a cleaning lady, but for now it is just me. I can afford it, just hasn’t been to the point that I feel I need it. Luckily I am not to obsessive on it. Though I really should get to my dishes tonight! 🙂

  • Poe at ThePoeLog July 19, 2011, 2:24 pm

    This is pretty timely. I just wrote an 800 word post on my main bane of existence: laundry!

  • evita July 19, 2011, 2:28 pm

    what milk do you use, soy and lactose, and gluten free?

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:46 pm

      That’s Blue Diamond almond milk

  • Lindsay Loves Veggies July 19, 2011, 2:31 pm

    Such a great idea! I really struggle to keep my house clean, but I feel like a calendar like that might work for me! Thanks, Caitlin!

  • Paige @ Running Around Normal July 19, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Have you ever heard of If I ever need a kick in the butt for getting my house clean, I’ll go to her website,
    I hope James is OK 🙁

  • Maria@La_Piattini July 19, 2011, 3:10 pm

    This is a really good idea! I am like you used to be where I pick a day and spend about 5 hours cleaning the entire house. It’s exhausting and then cleaning goes to the wayside for a few weeks. I may just have to adopt this approach!

  • Hillary July 19, 2011, 3:21 pm

    I live in a pretty small, one bedroom apartment, so I try to clean the whole thing in one fell swoop. Sundays are usually my cleaning days, and cleaning intensively, from top to bottom, generally takes about an hour. Not too bad! But I do try to tidy up clutter every night so as to not let myself go insane.

  • Hillary July 19, 2011, 3:21 pm

    I live in a pretty small, one bedroom apartment, so I try to clean the whole thing in one fell swoop. Sundays are usually my cleaning days, and cleaning intensively, from top to bottom, generally takes about an hour. Not too bad! But I do try to tidy up clutter every night so as to not let myself go insane.

  • Sarah July 19, 2011, 4:26 pm

    Creamer-in-the-coffee-press days are my personal lessons in deep-breathing and just rolling with it. 😀

    I don’t have daily chores – that would drive me insane. I actually prefer to do all my cleaning once a week, a few hours at a time. I HATE breaking things into little chunks – I like to block out a few hours and just focus on one activity. That said, I do have regular cleaning days (Thursdays).

    I guess at the end of the day it’s horses for courses!

  • Kelly July 19, 2011, 4:36 pm

    so, when do you clean the kitchen???? LOVE this…

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:47 pm

      Oh, living room day. I think of it as one big room because its an open kitchen.

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) July 19, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Lolz what a lazy pup! I totally know that feeling.

  • Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats July 19, 2011, 5:17 pm

    I don’t have a cleaning schedule but I think that is an amazing idea! 🙂

  • hillary July 19, 2011, 5:22 pm

    I didn’t read through all the posts but this is a similar schedule:

    It rocks and keeps everything nice, clean, and manageable!

  • Stephanie July 19, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I am the same way. And we’re moving right now so it’s even worse. What is it about moving that keeps everything sooo dirty?!

  • Jamie July 19, 2011, 6:08 pm

    I clean one room (or set of rooms) per day to keep my house from driving me crazy. I pick up, do dishes & laundry daily but Monday is the living & dining rooms, Tuesday is the kids rooms, Wednesday is the bathrooms, Thursday is the kitchen and Friday is the upstairs. It definitely helps keep things from becoming overwhelming!

  • Emily @ Run Emily Run July 19, 2011, 6:13 pm

    I really need to try a chore calendar like that! Trouble is I’m usually exhausted when I get home from work and all I want to do on the weekends is recover. Luckily, once I actually get myself to clean it’s really pretty therapeutic and relaxing!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life July 19, 2011, 6:15 pm

    My chore list would look something like this:

    M: Kitchen
    T: Kitchen
    W: Kitchen
    Th: Kitchen
    F: Kitchen
    Sa: Kitchen
    Su: Kitchen

  • Molly @ RDexposed July 19, 2011, 6:26 pm

    YAY for breakfast in bed. See dogs really are smart!!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out July 19, 2011, 6:46 pm

    That’s the key for me, too. Little chores. Otherwise, I will spend the whole day cleaning too… Like I did this weekend.

  • Laura @ Unchartered 20s July 19, 2011, 7:06 pm

    That’s such a good idea! I had started the year out trying to do 15 minutes a day. Once you’ve started cleaning the bathroom for 15 minutes, you find you might as well finsh. But I sorta like the days of the week better. Plus, do I get another day off since I dont have a patio? 😉

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 7:47 pm

      heheh yes 🙂

  • Lauren July 19, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Okay, so I definitely missed the part about James being sick last night and just read that you had to change the sheets from last night. LoL, at first I was thinking, “wow, did I really just read that right.” But then I figured it out. Haha. 🙂

    • Caitlin July 19, 2011, 10:03 pm


  • Jolene ( July 20, 2011, 3:09 am

    The hubby and I clean the whole house once a week (together), and it only takes about 45 minutes-1hour with us both doing it.

  • Eliza July 20, 2011, 3:50 am

    I am definately into ‘maintainence’ cleaning.. I get so stressed if it gets out of hand.. and I am only 20 and still live with my parents.. they are tidy but not as clean as me.. I was starting to think I had OCD until I read everyone’s comments. I have a bit of a ‘spraying and wiping’ addiction

  • Eliza July 20, 2011, 4:09 am

    that should be ‘maintainance’

  • Laura July 20, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I do something similar. (Almost) Every day I identify 3-5 things I’m going to do when I get home. Right now its mostly related to unpacking since we just moved, but it gives me clear focus because I know exactly what I’m going to tackle, rather than letting me walk into the house and feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I even get motivated to do a few extra things once I get going.

  • Corrie Anne July 20, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Ah. So Simple. So effective. I like it!

  • Kristina July 21, 2011, 12:00 am

    That’s such a great idea! I usually try and clean our whole apartment like once a week and it takes like 5 hours… It gets frustrating because I spend almost all of one of my days off doing it too!

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