I was tired of feeling overwhelmed looking at the mess in my home. I used to plan to clean but the plans never worked for some reason. So, every once in a while, I used to “deep clean”. You know, the kind where you turn into a crazy cleaning lady and rage clean/declutter for hours?
But the house still used to look like it was turned upside down after a couple of days.
If this sounds like you, then this post is specifically for you. Because you, my friend, are not alone. I have been in your situation.
And specially with 2 kids under 2, and not having a lot of help, it used to get very difficult at times. So much so that I’d want to run away. I’d tell my husband that I want to go for a vacation so that I wouldn’t have to look at the mess.
I used to seek escape and dread coming back home to the mess.
But I realised that this pattern can’t keep going on for long. I knew I needed to change something before losing it completely.
And thus, was born our EVERY DAMN DAY LIST.
Allow me to explain.
What is every damn day list?
It’s simply a list of things that you do every single day to keep your sanity and your home in order.
These are your Non-Negotiables. This is a list of things that do every day, no matter what.
Sounds pretty simple right?
But the thing is, life happens and some seasons of life are busier than others.
You may feel like you can get the cleaning done and that you have the time on one day but the next day is totally different. I get it. Especially if you have little kids. Life can get pretty hectic and so does your home. But there are ways to keep everything looking half decent.
And hey! Even if you don’t have kids, life can still be pretty busy. I am not judging. But I think you deserve to have a home that calms you and not causes overwhelm when you look at it. So, Let’s get on with it, shall we?
How to make Your list:
The thing with these lists is, that I can’t simply share mine. It won’t do you any good. You can of course find some inspiration from it, but you’ll have to make one that suits you and your life at the moment.
Maybe you are a student and don’t have as many responsibilities right now. Or maybe you don’t have kids or maybe you have even more responsibilities than I have. Our lives are different. We all have different kinds of help and different circumstances. But here are a few things that you should keep into consideration while making your list:
#1:Consider what you want to do :
List down everything that you want to do to keep your house in order. Remember that we’re not talking about deep cleaning or decluttering. List down the things that you’d want to do on a daily basis.
If you have a partner, it’s important to involve them too, in the process. Ask them what they’d want to be done. List down the bare minimums for both of you. Think about tasks that you need to be done every day like making your bed, let’s say.
Understand that bare minimums for each person are different and that’s okay. That’s why it’s important to include your partner in the process.
#2: Factor in the time:
The thing about making this list is, you won’t necessarily like doing some things that will be on the list. Doing the dishes? Don’t like it but needs to be done. So on the list it goes!
And then there are some things that you’d wish you did everyday but they won’t be on the list. Like Binge watching Netflix for 3 hours straight? YES! But sorry can’t be on the list. You see, we’re talking about housekeeping things that you absolutely NEED/WANT to get done daily.
That’s why it is so important to factor in the time that it takes to do the tasks on average. I hate doing the dishes, but when you time it, it only takes about 13-14 minutes. And looking at how little time it takes, I feel more motivated to simply get it done and out of the way and off the to-do list.
Same goes for folding laundry. it’s a lot with kids and it’s one of those tasks that I despise. But getting it done asap, is really the way to go. Because I also hate looking at the pile of unfolded laundry.
So time the tasks, especially the ones that you Don’t like doing but NEED to do. And I mean it. Start the timer when you start doing it and hit stop once you’re done. And you’ll realise that it doesn’t take that long.
We tend to think that the tasks that we “HATE” doing, take SOOOOO LONG! But, the fact is, they don’t, usually.
#3: What Can you accommodate in your schedule:
Once you know how much time each task takes, you can plan your schedule better. See what you can accommodate in your daily morning routine or your evening routine.
Maybe you don’t have time to fold the laundry in the mornings, because it takes longer and it’s not that high on your priority list and you’re usually pressed for time in the mornings. But you probably can spare 10 minutes for a quick tidy of your bedroom.
That’s why it’s important to know the time it takes you to do these things. Same goes for evening schedules. I never ever run tasks or cleaning tasks cut into my me-time. Having clear boundaries is the key. And also, I know that have about 30 minutes to get things done in the evening, so I usually do a quick tidy around the house and then fold laundry on alternate days.
#4: Think about sustainability:
While making your daily to-do list, think about sustainability and the phase of life you are in right now. I could do gardening everyday and it doesn’t take that long too, but I don’t have it on my daily list. That’s because we have 2 little kids and gardening is not my priority right now.
So, it won’t be sustainable for me to dedicate 30-40 minutes to gardening everyday. Sure I could do it one day, but it’s definitely not something that I’ll be doing daily.
I’d still do it whenever I have the time because I love it, but it won’t go on my daily list. My daily list is all about running our home smoothly. Watering my plants is on the list though, coz I like keeping them alive and it just takes 5 minutes. And I can manage that on a daily basis.
Same goes for writing cleaning tasks on the daily list. Sure I’d love squeaky clean windows and mirrors, but do I have the time to clean them daily? Nope!
So by leaving them off my list, I am choosing to have more comfort in my life too. I know it will get cleaned when it’s due for cleaning (probably on the weekend). I don’t think twice about it.
#5: MAKE MICRO LISTS:
Having small micro lists is the way to go, really. When you have kids and even if you don’t (but you’re really busy) having these micro lists written is such a life saver. I have so many cleaning lists and I swear by them. I have a daily morning cleaning list, daily evening list, weekly list, monthly list and so on.
Having these monthly and weekly cleaning lists give me peace of mind that I don’t need to get everything done on a daily basis. Knowing that I won’t forget about it allows me to enjoy my rest time guilt free.
I do have these micro lists for organising too. I don’t declutter and organise(or try to) in a single day. I’ll simply do one area per week. And I’ll keep my task as simple as doing just one drawer on the weekend. And that means I’ll eventually get all of them done.
Same goes for deep cleaning. Instead of deep cleaning the kitchen cabinets together, I’ll declutter and clean just one. That way it doesn’t get overwhelming and I get to have a clean and clutter free home too.
#6: What can you get done on the weekends:
When we talk about house keeping tasks, think about what can you get done on the weekends. If you can, then don’t put it in your daily list. keep your daily list as simple and brief as possible. This will ensure that you actually get around to doing it daily.
Want to clean the fridge? Can it done on the weekend? If yes, then don’t burden your daily list with these tasks.
Having said that, don’t leave everything for the weekend too. it’s a fine balance. You don’t to spend your entire weekend cleaning and organising, right? So get your daily tasks done so that you don’t have to spend long hours on the weekends to clean and organise the house.
#6:Put it in a place where you can see it
Write down your daily task list and keep it in a place where you see it everyday. Refer back to the list on a daily basis while getting things done, so that you don’t get distracted by other tasks. And repeat it everyday, unless it becomes a habit and you can run on auto pilot.
I run on an auto pilot, without having to refer my list these days. But I still have it written in my current BUJO. There are some days when you feel hazy and a brain fog and I like having my list handy. Going through the daily tasks helps me get out of the rut and feel positive and productive again.
If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend to have it on a magnetic notepad on your fridge or somewhere else where you see it every single day.
#7: Schedule Self care & Movement:
Scheduling self care in your every Damn day list simply means that it’s a non negotiable for you. And running a home is simply not juts about the home, but also about the heart of the home, that’s you. That’s why I have self care on my EVERY DAMN DAY list.
It means that even when life is really busy, I will still take out 15 minutes for self care and it is my way of showing up for myself every damn day.
Same goes for taking out the time for workouts or any form of movement. You deserve to take out that time for yourself, so put that on your daily list. And don’t ever feel guilty for taking that time out. I workout and take this time out even when the kids are sick, because I show up for them for 23 hours (day or night), I can definitely show up for myself for 1 hour daily, right?
What does my EVERY DAY LIST Look like?
I always say that these kind of lists are different for everyone and what’s on my list, may not be as important for you. But I’ll still share mine so that you can draw some inspiration from it:
- Making my bed & Kids bed
- Decluttering Bedroom Side tables & Cabinets ( take any jugs/bowls etc back to kitchen)
- Put the shoes back in the shoe rack (they end up all around the house because we have a toddler at home)
- Put the toys/books in their respective rooms
- Wipe down kitchen counters
- Sort laundry and put away any other clothes
- Water plants
- Put garbage outside for collection
- Put Clean(dried) dishes/mugs etc in cabinets
- 15 Minute tidy (what I do varies from day to day, but just a quick tidy around the house picking up things/toys etc)
- 15 Min self care activity (varies daily but non-negatiable)
- Daily walk (15-20 minute minimum)
And that’s about it. You can see that it’s not a lot. Because it’s ONLY the tasks that I absolutely NEED to get done to keep the house running smoothly and have everything organsied-ish. Yes, that’s the word for it.
I don’t have work related things on my every Damn day list, because i don’t like that kind of pressure anymore. I am slowly coming back to working after having 2 kids in the last 2 years and I like deciding my pace everyday/ every week, without any pressure or expectations. But I used to have writing for 30 minutes on my every damn day list back when I had just started blogging. And that helped me get used to typing almost daily and get better at it.
What are some things that you can’t do with everyday? Let me know in the comments!