The Daily 7 for a Highly Successful Household


These are the Seven Chores you should do each and every day, rain or shine.

Ah, chores. They are such a necessary evil.

It may be hard to believe, but  I don’t like to clean.

Instead, I choose to do a tiny bit each day to ensure that I never waste a day cleaning house when I could be out conquering the world.

Or answering email.

I look at it as getting all the Have-Tos over and Done With so there is more time in the day for the Want-Tos.

And trust me. Cleaning never has been nor it ever will be a WANT TO!


Our family has a list of chores that we try our best to accomplish daily. Now that the kids are old enough to help, they do.

When I am sick or am away from the house, the kids and my husband step up and help maintain order in the house.

Sort of.

We’re still real people, and we don’t live in a museum.  I’m not going to lead you astray and say that I make sure the following tasks occur each and every day no matter what. I might burst into flames.

and the smoke detector started beeping last week and I haven’t replaced the batteries yet…

I write about The Daily 7 in my household planner for moms — Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life and I have shared these tiny chores with hundreds of thousands of women from all over the world. (probably there were some men sprinkled in there, too! 😉  )

Number 1: Make Beds Right Away

Number 2: Do One Complete Load of Laundry

Number 3: Empty All Garbage Cans

Number 4: Keep Your Kitchen Sink Empty

Number 5: Clean Up After Yourself and Help Children Do the Same

Number 6: Bathroom Wipe-Down

Number 7: Before Bed 10-Minute Clean Up

I have outlined all of these steps in my Clean Less, Play More book in detail.


Want a Printable Daily 7 Checklist? Here You Go!

Make Beds Right Away

The second you climb out of bed in the morning, make it. It’s such a wonderful feeling to have accomplished something at 6am. Teach your children to do the same—if beds are made daily, they don’t get destroyed as easily, and it really takes less than a minute to pull a sheet taught and straighten the comforter. If you haven’t already done so, streamline your bed linen to the bare essentials. There’s no need for 50 decorative pillows or an elaborate stuffed animal collection. Really.

Do One Complete Load of Laundry

A complete load means one that is washed, dried, folded, and put away. I’m not trying to be mean; I’m trying to be realistic. It is no fun to save all the laundry for one day a week and not be able to leave the house. Do a little each day, and you will no longer waste away a beautiful afternoon because you are stuck inside tackling a mountain of clothing. I hate ironing, but have found that if I iron clothes while slightly damp I save  a ton of time.

Empty All Garbage Cans

On our honeymoon, Adam promised he would empty the garbage cans every single day without being asked. This hasn’t happened. It actually kind of pisses me off. Instead, the kids help with the wastebaskets in the bathrooms and their bedroom, and I take out the kitchen garbage every morning after emptying the dishwasher. If I fill it again during the day, I put it right in the middle of the kitchen with the recycleables and hope Adam trips over it. I’m kind of mean like that.

Keep Your Kitchen Sink Empty

I don’t know what it is, but if you put something, anything, into the sink, other pieces of flatware are magically drawn to it and all of a sudden the sink is completely filled and rendered useless. Instead, take the time to put your dirty items into the dishwasher right away, or wash the item quickly by hand. It really doesn’t take that long. Just do it.

Clean Up After Yourself and Help Children Do The Same

My friend Alison homeschools her nine children. I love Alison. I met her before having children of my own, and she is hands-down my mommy idol. She shared with me once that the secret to parenting is to remember that your goal is to raise capable adults. Chores are not only okay, they are necessary. Model good behavior for your children. Take the time to put your shoes all the way into the closet and hang up your coat. Once you are putting your own things away, your children will be more likely to follow suit.

Bathroom Wipe-Down

This is my favorite. I keep a container of disinfectant wipes in the bathroom, and wipe down the toilet (inside and out) every day. If it’s been a particularly um, busy day—I will do it twice.  This keeps me from never having to scrub out the toilet with one of those scrubber brush things that I find beyond disgusting. I also quickly wipe down the shower stall and bathroom floor. After showering, use an item from the dirty clothes pile to dry the shower walls and door. This will keep mold and soap scum from accruing. Now use your damp item to quickly mop up the bathroom floor. Dust and hair will disappear and will keep you from needing to mop.

Before Bed 10-Minute Clean Up

Before retiring for the night, do a super quick once over the living spaces of your house. Recycle the magazine left on the coffee table, and stack leftover drinking glasses in the dishwasher. Put the couch cushions in order, and fold the blanket. You will wake up much happier each morning if you aren’t greeted to last night’s mess.

and that is it!



Want a Printable Daily 7 Checklist? Here You Go!


Learn the Exact Strategies I use to Keep My House and My Family Running Smoothly

(without losing my marbles) by downloading this free cheat sheet for moms. Enjoy!




  1. Forget #1. I was told not to make the beds as soon as you get out of it because things like dust mites love the warmth. The healthiest option is to throw back the sheets and covers, let the bed cool down (at least while you shower and eat breakfast), and then make it.

  2. I do not make my bed on purpose!

    The only reason I make it is if I am dumping clean clothes on it to be folded. Then I wouldn’t want them getting lost in the blankets.

    I turn down the comforter to air it out. It keeps the bed much nicer-feeling.

  3. Ladies, these are some great ideas. I also try to do the once over approach on a daily basis, which keeps dirt to a minimum and means that you don’t have to spend hours cutting through grime. I try to go over the bathroom before I leave it in the morning, then next the bedroom. After that the kitchen gets its once over (clean dishes put away and dishwasher loaded). Then the laundry gets started. Once you do this on a daily basis it becomes routine and isn’t that big of a deal. It does mean that I don’t get out the door as quickly as other people might in the morning. Of course on a day when you have an early appt, you don’t worry about doing all of of it anyway.

    One thing I would add is this: to those of you complaining about your husbands. Does your husband go to work every day to support his family? Then thank the Lord for your husband. Thank your husband for working hard every day. Then if you are a keeper at home (not working outside the home) it is your responsibility to care for the home, not his. He is not working for you! You are the home manager, but he is not your employee, he already has a job! Be thankful that he does his job and then be faithful to do yours, which is keeping the home. This is a big job BTW. It is important too, even though in the eyes of the world it isn’t considered so. No matter. The Lord sees you and He knows that you want to love your husband and children and your home and to care for them. Be faithful to your calling. Your work is important. It helps your husband and is a great example for your children.

    If your husband promised to help you but isn’t, then I would sit down with him, just you and him alone. REspectfully explain to him what he promised and isn’t doing. In this case, I would say that the promise was not really a realistic one because as i explained in the earlier paragraph, he already has a job. His job is not the home, per se, though of course there are things in the home that a man must do that may be too difficult for a woman to do. (some repairs, for instance) But otherwise, the day to day chores are not his job. The world lies to us. It tells us that working at home is not enough, or that if we do, then the work all has to be 50/50. May I say that this is a bunch of bunk? No such thing. We are too busy to do the math, for one thing! Anyway tell him that you are letting him off the hook. Tell him you are hurt by his promise and not keeping it and see if he might apologize for making this promise. If so, forgive him. Tell him you are sorry for speaking ill of him in a public forum and ask his forgiveness. This type of love and openness will go a long way to making your home a happy one. Clean and organized is wonderful; clean and organized with peace in the home is even better!

  4. I do something that Flylady suggests in her book. I keep a little plastic dish bin in the cupboard under the sink, and (usually!) put dirty dishes in there. That way the sink is empty. When it’s time to do the dishes, I take the dish bin out, fill it with water and a squirt of soap, sometimes I let it sit and cool off a bit, and then I wash the dishes with the water off. I put the soapy dishes in the sink next to the dish bin, and rinse them off whenever that area gets full.

    It seems like the dish bin holds a lot of water, but apparently compared to an open tap as you’re washing it uses much less water this way. If you have a larger load of dishes the dish bin full of water can usually be reused.

    To Stephanie–I don’t understand how you clean the toilet! Don’t you have to clean under the water line, too?

  5. I really need to do these every single day. I know I will be less stressed, but they still don’t get done daily 🙁

  6. you are my new girl crush!! My mind has been in disarray and my home more recently as well and i just don’t find my OCD friends to be very motivational. But i am implementing the daily 7 today in our house. and since my husband leaves after i do in the mornings i will enlist him to make the bed…oh the wonder to walk into a room with a made bed i didnt have to do myself and start training my 7 year old to do his as well. I needed this because i cant do set schedules but this is great. Im simple and i know that just seeing a bed made will motivate me to do the rest of the 6 steps to stay on top of my game.

  7. I can’t find any article/ post on the PUNCH list? I click on the link and none of the listed posts appear to explain? Please help me and tell me where I might find it. Thanks!

  8. My punch list is similar, but my best tips are:
    (1) Get in the habit of looking around every room before you leave it. Carry that glass with you to the kitchen. Take that folded laundry upstairs with you and put it away. It’s a good habit to develop.
    (2) Every night after dishes are done, take that dishtowel you have only used to dry clean dishes and quickly wipe down the end tables, mantle, etc. Yep, I rarely use furniture polish, just a damp towel. Then it goes in the laundry and I put out a clean towel and dishcloth every day.
    (3) Lose that kitchen sponge. It is the nastiest thing you own. At least run it through the dishwasher every day.
    Hope these are helpful!

  9. Wow! I do some of these things daily, but most comments involve a dishwasher. I wish I had one. Instead, we wash everything by hand, and everything must be dried and put away before bedtime…the one night– every so often– that we put it off is very discouraging the next morning!

  10. I agree with you, Kathrina! The house we are currently living in also doesn’t have a dishwasher… I joke that it’s okay because that’s why we have three kids! 🙂
    but I totally feel your pain and do the same thing. xoxo

  11. Hi Everybody,
    The one thing I do that helps to make my life easier, is to take a small, crumpled heap of toilet paper, drop it on the bathroom floor, at my starting point, which is the door, and use my foot. I pass the toilet paper over the floor, with my foot. (I wear slippers in the house.) By the time I get to the trash can, you can not believe the mound of hair, dust and whatnot that is stuck to the paper. EZ Peazy and you’re not filling a washable with all that gunk, just throwing it out or flushing it.

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