About a month ago, I read a blog post that I’ve been thinking about ever since—
Basically, the post was all about why you should create a list of things you will do every single day in order to bring a greater sense of purpose/peace/fulfillment/order to your life.
This list has to be EXTREMELY do-able.
Like, even on your absolute craziest/sickest/worst day, you could still get it done.
The author of that original blog post (Sarah from Yes and Yes) included such things on her list as making sure to spend at least 10 minutes outside, reading something not on a device for at least 20 minutes, and drinking 3 glasses of water.
While I might someday add things to my list that are in the health or personal or blogging realm, for now, I did my own spin on the idea and just wanted to make myself a daily minimum chore list, as that seems to be the thing I struggle with consistently.
This idea is not new–I encountered it in the fabulous book How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind (which I reviewed fully here), and I even have tried to implement the exact daily checklist that she talks about extensively in her book.
However, I discovered that in order to have the maximum effectiveness, I needed to come up with my OWN list, not try to follow someone else’s. Not only will I be more motivated to follow something I created myself, but I also know my own personal weaknesses and my house’s needs better than anyone, so it’s only logical that my daily chore list would look different than someone else’s.
For example, in the book mentioned above, the author (Dana K. White) states that one of her daily checklist items is to close her kitchen’s cupboard doors every day, as it’s something she honestly struggles with. For me, I don’t struggle with that, so it doesn’t make sense for me to add it to my list. She also lists sweeping the kitchen as a daily chore for her, and while I very much probably SHOULD be doing that every day, I don’t feel that we spill SO much on the floor on a daily basis that I need to make myself accountable for it every day.
Also, I wanted to make sure that my list was as failure-proof as possible. Sure, I know there are tons of things I SHOULD be doing on a daily basis to make my home be in tip-top shape. But as I’ve always struggled with wanting to do housework, it’s best for now that I just set an absolute minimum standard for myself that I can actually achieve pretty easily, and I think with my list, I’ve done just that.
My Absolute Daily Minimum List:
- I was already in a pretty good habit of making sure I made the bed every morning, but including it on the list gives me a REALLY easy way to feel like I’m beginning every day with a win.
- Normally, I do this first thing before or after eating breakfast, and it makes a BIG difference in how clean our kitchen is at any given time (since it allows me to just put dirty dishes right in the dishwasher throughout the day rather than letting them build up).
Wash blender (if used)
- Most mornings, I make us a simple breakfast smoothie to go with whatever I’m making for the meal, and it drives me CRAZY if the blender is still dirty from the morning before. Putting this item on the list ensures that my mornings go that much more smoothly and that I’m not starting off on an annoyed note.
Load dishwasher (and run)
- I’m pretty good at putting the easy stuff in the dishwasher throughout the day (cups, plates, small bowls, etc.), but I have this thing where I like to maximize dishwasher space so much that I won’t put in bigger items (that are dishwasher safe) just because I want to “save” that room to fill up with smaller items. In theory, it’s not always a bad idea, but on many days, we simply don’t create enough dishes being just a family of 3 to fill up an entire dishwasher. So I’ll leave the dishwasher half-filled, which then totally throws off my routine for the next day because it necessitates I run the dishwasher through before the end of the day, and then stuff starts piling up on the countertops as a result. By saying that I’m going to run the dishwasher every single day (even if it’s not “ideally” full), it means that I set myself up for success for the next morning AND it cuts down on a chore that I hate (washing dishes by hand).
Put away books in living room
- We have a little white bookshelf in our front room that’s full of all the books we’ve currently checked out from the library for my daughter, as well as a portion of her personal collection of board and picture books. Since we read to her (at minimum) two different times during the day (before nap and bedtime) and often several times more, those books are frequently scattered all over the couch or even the floor (if she’s been “reading” them by herself). It’s such a small thing to make sure all the books are put away each night, but often I don’t do it because I argue with myself that it “won’t make much of a difference.” Well, spoiler alert—it DOES, especially because it usually means that I’m then motivated to pick up the other toys that are scattered in there and straighten the couch cushions/blanket.
Put away 10 things
- This sounds ridiculous, but it’s for some reason very effective for me. I’m already in the habit of putting away some things by habit (my makeup bag and hair tools after I use them in the morning, certain kitchen gadgets right after I use them), so I don’t include those in the number. Rather, the 10 items are just things that have been cluttering up various spaces in the house for an unspecified amount of time, and because 10 is such an easy number to reach, I never try to talk myself out of doing it every day.
Now, it must be noted that even if I do my daily checklist every single day, our house will still not be in “perfect,” company-ready shape at any given moment. However, simply by doing the checklist, I DO ensure that it would only take about 15-20 minutes to GET the house into pretty great shape (much less if I just have to worry about the front room!).
And honestly? The whole checklist only takes me about 20 minutes to do throughout the day, so I really am left with no excuse—I’ve made the daily tasks so small that I CAN’T try and talk myself out of them, which is key.
For me, my daily minimum is all about keeping up a certain level of maintenance so that the house never gets *too* overwhelming.
What are things you consider part of your “absolute daily minimum” chore list?