My cleaning chart + around the house tips

Hi friends πŸ™‚ Happy Monday! Thank you so much Livi’s “get well” wishes. Thankfully she’s been on the ups (knock on wood), so hopefully it continues to stay that way.

Recently, I got a request for a post about home organization, and since it’s fun to switch things up around here, I thought I’d roll with that for today. Β I think that I should start off by saying that I’m not the most organized person in the world. (I think that title belongs to my friend Kath.) However, there are some parts of my life that have to be super organized for pure necessity.Β I learned from an early age that I had to keep track of my to-dos (especially with school and work) or things would fall into catastrophe. There are still many areas in disarray -like my car. Don’t ever look at it- but since it’s the New Year and many people are looking to jazz up their organization techniques, I thought I’d share some of my favorites.

Keep a cleaning chart.

This has helped me SO much, especially since I love a sparkly, clean home and don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to cleaning each day. Instead, every day I spend around 30 minutes (in addition to daily chores) to do the bigger tasks, and our house always feels company-ready. This is especially wonderful before I love family and friends to come over all the time, and usually it just takes a last-minute vacuum (Caro shreds like crazy) and wiping the countertops, and the house is ready to go.

Here’s our weekly cleaning chart:

Cleaning chart


I also like to make some of our homemade cleaners, including this shower and tub spray. I mop using hot water and dish soap, then rinse with hot water + a few drops of lavender. Then, I ice-skate with towels on my feet to dry and shine the floors. (This doubles as a killer inner thigh workout haha.) Seventh Generation or Meyer’s dish soap and vinegar can be used to clean almost anything.Β 

-Organize the closets by theme and color. I always do sleeve length (tanks to short-sleeves to long sleeves then dresses and coats) and colors lightest to darkest within those categories. It makes finding things much easier.

Closet  1 of 1 2


-Meal plan! Not only does it help me make healthy choices when I know what we’re having for dinner, but it’s also a huge cost-saver. I’m less likely to go on wild Trader Joe’s impulse buying frenzies. (“New flavor of Joe-joes?! Don’t mind if I doooooo….”)Β 


Groceries  1 of 1 6

-Split up chores. The Pilot and I have a pretty good routine of who does what, which makes me feel like the house runs more smoothly. Of course, we switch around from time to time, but we usually stick to the same chores. I’m also very fortunate that he helps out a lot around the house– he does the dishes and cleans the kitchen every night after dinner πŸ™‚

-Goodwill as often as possible. When I find that we’re buying new things or that Livi has an abundance of toys she no longer uses (*cough* Christmas *cough*), I’ll store whatever we may use later and Goodwill the rest. When you relocate every few years, like we do, there’s no point in moving clutter or things you won’t use.Β 

-Storage bins and baskets are our friends. It helps to categorize things around the house in store bins or baskets. We have a lot of toys in our living room, but you’d never know it because they’re tucked in baskets and put away after playing.

What’s something that has helped you become more organized? Do you stick to a cleaning chart or any of the tricks above? What’s something that’s NEVER organized?

For us, it’s the junk drawer. My sweet nana has even organized it for us (!) but I’m convinced when you shut it, everything inside scrambles around.. and gets lost forever.



How are your 2014 goals and resolutions going? Check out my guest post on the Stitch Fix blog for tips for top resolutions <3

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  1. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on January 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

    That cleaning chart is perfect! I don’t know why I’ve never thought of that. Josh and I put off all the chores except for doing dishes and taking out the trash until the weekend. Then we just want to relax and we have to dust, mop, vacuum, and do laundry. I think we’re going to implement a daily list. πŸ˜€ Thanks!

  2. Alex @ Kenzie Life on January 13, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I love your cleaning chart and it has inspired me to make my own! One of my new years goals is to keep my place clean and organized (especially since I just moved into a new apartment and it’s still got that shiny, new feel). I have the hardest time keeping my tiny little two-person dining table clean. It becomes the storage area for all random knick knacks that don’t have an obvious home but need one. And my desk! It doesn’t have drawers so there’s a lot of stuff that just kind of end up sprawled on top. Thanks for the tips, Gina!

  3. Jackie on January 13, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Great tips!!!

  4. Elyse @ Lizzie Fit on January 13, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I have a cleaning chart just like this every week! I like to stay on top of my chores so at any point the house is clean & tidy enough for company. I also can’t relax if I don’t feel like I’m sitting in a clean space.

  5. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on January 13, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I don’t have any kids but for some reason I have the hardest time staying on top of my chores! I really need to start following a cleaning plan! I really love this idea!

  6. Cassie Vaughn on January 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Me and hubs set aside Sunday morning to clean for 2 hours. Normally we get the whole apartment knocked out!

  7. Nic on January 13, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I was able to budget for a cleaning service and it seriously has been the best ever.

    It makes it easier for me to do the every day kitchen clean and de-cluttering.

    I also pay for an online meal plan service. The Fresh 20. Love it!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      that is amazing!

    • Colleen on January 13, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      I do the Fresh 20 too, and it has changed my life! They just started doing “For One” and “For Two” plans, and I got subscriptions for my single sisters for Christmas!

  8. Liesl@Fitnessinthekitchen on January 13, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I like the weekly cleaning chart, that is a great idea!
    We do most of the big stuff all on Saturdays, which is tiring…but it works for us. Otherwise I just sweep every couple of days, and clean up the kitchen after every meal.

    And I have a laundry lady who does our wash every Thursday…in the river scrubbed on rocks, but still. It’s nice it would take me forever.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      i just read your “about” page and it’s truly incredible what you’re doing!

      • Liesl@Fitnessinthekitchen on January 14, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        Thanks Gina! That’s very sweet.
        I’m so glad you came to my “newbie” blog and checked it out.
        You have definitely been an inspiration to me, and you are my first blog read of the day, every single day because you do a balance, of fitness, food, fun, and family so well.
        Thanks for being an encouragement.

  9. Sarah [My Full Home] on January 13, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I use the house cleaning chart from The Time Warp Wife.
    As a SAHM I feel like the home is my job so I do my best to keep it constantly clean and organized. Does this always get done with a 22 month old (who is currently recovering from croup and a chest cold)? No, but if I miss a day I know it’s not that big of a deal because everything is clean for the most part. I’m glad you’ve found a schedule that works for you!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      thank you! love the schedule you posted, too!

  10. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on January 13, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Like you, I have a few areas of my life that seem to be in constant disarray, but there are a few areas that MUST be organized for me. I, too, have a cleaning chart like yours, and I love it so I don’t have to devote an entire day to cleaning and seem to always keep a fairly clean house. I also am a huge meal planner/grocery list person so I don’t have to put too much thought into dinners each day and so we can stay on top of our grocery budget. I’m a big fan of bins too! Like you said, it makes things much easier to find. I try to tell myself that “everything needs to have a home”, and if not, I need to find one for it or throw it away.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      exactly! especially when you move often like we do, clutter doesn’t make the cut

  11. Angela@ Fit to Inspire on January 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

    I am a list maniac. I need routine and to plan stuff out or i’m lost. I meal plan and clean and organize every sunday. It keeps everything during the week so much more simple

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      totally does! hope you have a great week!

  12. Annie @ Annie Get Your Run on January 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I live in a teeny-tiny apartment, so the Goodwill tip is the most important for me…especially as a clothes horse! My biggest issue isn’t dirt, but clutter. I also made a rule that I’m not allowed to bring any new furniture in the house unless it has maximum storage space. For example, just got an ottoman for Christmas that I can store scarves and gloves in. Love it!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      oh that’s a great idea!

  13. Kristen on January 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I love my cleaning chart! I do a little each day and it makes things so much easier, especially on work days. Also, if we have unexpected company, it makes me feel good to know that my house is not in total chaos (except for the toy trucks, tractors, and puzzles all over the place….and the milk my son just spilled on the couch! Haha).
    I saw a sign once that read, “Please excuse the mess, we’re busy making memories”

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      i’ve seen that sign, too and love it πŸ™‚

  14. Melodie on January 13, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I really want to do my first half marathon this year. I’m afraid to even say that because the thought overwhelms me a little. So last night I signed up for a 10k next month. It’s forcing me to get out there now and start building up mileage because right now in only at 3 miles. Hopefully it’s small steps to get to my bigger goal.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      that’s awesome!! you can totally do it.

  15. Becky @ Life Outside The BOX on January 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I always turn to Pinterest for unique organizing ideas. Who knew shower curtain hangars could be so useful for other purposes like hanging purses or scarves!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      pinterest is the death of me. it makes me want to organize and fix everything!

  16. Cristal on January 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I used to clean the whole house on Saturday or Sunday, but it took 3 hours of my time and I hated it! Now, when my daughter goes to bed for the night, I dust, clean mirrors, and sweep/mop downstairs on Wednesdays, Deep clean kitchen and clean downstairs bathroom on Thursdays, and clean upstairs bathrooms, vacuum upstairs, and sweep/mop downstairs on Saturdays or Sundays. I might try to change up the weekend cleaning because I want my two days off a week to be quality time spent with my daughter.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      that’s a great way to do it!

  17. Ashley @ Brocblog on January 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    i am in serious need of a trip to good will, my closet and drawers are stuffed with junk that I dont wear. I also think a good “throw tons of stuff away” day wouldn’t hurt.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      it’s very therapeutic πŸ˜‰

  18. Abi@AbsofSteel on January 13, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I usual keep things pretty clean but my dresser and desk drawers are abysmal. I don’t know why it’s so hard to keep the inside of a desk organized.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      i told you! everything inside scrambles around on its own πŸ˜‰

  19. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on January 13, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    You are so organized! Me, not so much. I get the cleaning basics done everyday, but we can never keep up with laundry. With our super hairy golden retriever, the floor only ever looks clean for a couple hours. Add the kids’ toys in the mix and basically our house is never company ready. πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      shedding dogs make it a little more challenging πŸ™‚

  20. april on January 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    great post! i began the daunting task of cleaning out and re-organizing my closet yesterday and this post is good motivation to finish doing so. i already have a bag full of clothes that will be donated to goodwill this week πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      awesome! you and me both πŸ™‚

  21. Karissa on January 13, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    I LOVE your cleaning chart!! I am kind of OCD myself about organization and chores (I have my closet organized similarly to you btw!), but have struggled with a good method to manage all the chores that seem to PILE up by the weekend. This is great, thank you!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      sure! hope you had a great day!

      • Karissa on January 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm

        Thank you Gina! You and your blog always make me smile! πŸ™‚ I hope you had a great Monday and that Livi is ALL better!

        • Fitnessista on January 14, 2014 at 10:19 am


  22. Katie @ Balanced RD on January 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I love the idea of a cleaning schedule! One thing I TRY to do is make sure that any item of clothing I wear gets put away immediately! I have a bad habit of throwing clothes on the bed and then my room quickly becomes a mess!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      that’s a great tip! maybe my husband will read this, haha

  23. Jaime on January 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this, it was perfect timing! My family and I were just able to afford our dream home and we moved in right before Christmas. The problem is, with all this extra space we are finding it hard to stay on top of all the extra cleaning! Not sure why I hadn’t thought of making a schedule before, but I’m sure glad you did. Thanks again!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      glad you found it helpful! it seriously changed my life. we went from being in a small condo to this much bigger house, so figuring how to clean it was definitely an adventure πŸ™‚

  24. Dominique @ Eat, Pray, Lift on January 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    I LOOOVE charts, and I can’t believe I don’t already have one for cleaning! My typical M.O. is to frantically scramble around the house trying to clean everything in one morning, then panicking as I realize I have so much else to get done in the day, and finally collapse in a heap of vinegar-y homemade cleaners. Haha πŸ˜‰

    Happy Monday, friend!

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      hahah! that’s how i used to do it, too, but was totally exhausting!

  25. Alana on January 13, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    Ugh, I SO need to make a cleaning chart…and more importantly stick to it! I hate cleaning and let it slide way too often, but then always kick myself for not cleaning a little bit at a time so it doesn’t accumulate into slobsville (that’s a technical term). I’ve actually been considering budgeting in a cleaning service on a monthly/bimonthy basis in hopes that having the major stuff done will make us maintain it daily! We’ll see…

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      i had a cleaner here in tucson for about a year. it was AWESOME, but the scheduling ended up being trickier than what it’s worth (they only wanted to come during naptime and then liv would be a cranky pants all day)

  26. Elaine on January 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I love this idea of a small project every single day. Would probably make each day easier.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      definitely! it’s nice to just have one or two things on the cleaning to-dos

  27. Kylie on January 13, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    When we split up chores, it goes by much quicker! I’m a big meal-planner too πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      it helps so much πŸ™‚

  28. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on January 13, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Great chart! We could definitely use some sort of system — the whole “let things pile up until everything is messy, then clean all the things at once” gets kinda old, you know? πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      totally. that’s how we used to do it, too!

  29. Jess on January 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I dont have a chart cause I hate rules haha but I do usually have set days for doing things. We do anooutrageous amount of laundry. I seriiusly need to do a huge de clutter as my in laws go way overboard on toy buying so after gitls Bitthday and Xmas I feel like toys are evrrywhere.

    • Fitnessista on January 13, 2014 at 5:56 pm

      yeah it’s toy-crazy over here, too haha. and how does the laundry pile up so quickly?! i will never understand

  30. Colleen on January 13, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I subscribe to, and she is like the goddess of cleaning and home organization, only more favorite Aunt-like than Martha Stewart. She divides the house into zones: Kitchen, Living room, bedroooms, etc., and you spend 15 minutes each day for one week “deep cleaning” in the current zone. She sends daily emails with 15 minute “zone missions,” the idea being that as you rotate through the zones, the whole house will gradually get cleaned from baseboards to ceiling. She also recommends a weekly “Home Blessing Hour;” a quick cleaning where you set the timer and rotate through 10 minutes each of dusting, vacuuming, mopping, changing linens, collecting trash, and wiping windows. She has SOOOO MUUUCH info on her site, but lots of great stuff to try to incorporate if you think it will fit into your life!

  31. Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food on January 13, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I organize my closet the same way! Also, thanks for the weekly chart…something like that would help me tremendously!

  32. Livi on January 13, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    these are awesome and helpful tips!! so great, thanks for sharing!

  33. Bonnie on January 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Yay!! Thank you so much for doing this!

  34. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic on January 14, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Cleaning chart is an awesome idea! I live in a tiny apartment but also like things sparkly clean – I think instead of doing a big cleaning every couple of weeks, I should also just set aside a few minutes each day. Great post, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on January 14, 2014 at 10:15 am

      thank you! hope you have a great week!

  35. Fancy on January 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    LOVE THIS POST! You should do more like this one like showing the storage bins and baskets you discussed and what you keep in them, etc.

  36. Shaina Anderson on January 14, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    the more I read your blog, the more I think we’re twinsies πŸ˜‰

    I also have a cleaning calendar that saves my life:

    Monday – vacuum/dust
    Tues – glass/windows/bathroom counters
    Wed – toilets and tubs
    Thurs – floors
    Fri – swing day (each friday of the month is a different BIG chore like baseboards, deep cleaning the fridge, etc)
    Saturday – sweep porch/driveway
    Sunday – laundry
    daily: wipe down bathrooms counters, make beds, sweep/spot clean kitchen floor at night, pick up toys

    Every time we move it feels so goooood to declutter and make a HUGE trip to Goodwill. My extra motivation is that my FIL is borderline hoarder (said with love) so I refuse to let my husband even get close to going down that road haha.

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2014 at 12:22 am

      we ARE twinsies! i’m excited to finally hang out when we’re in cali πŸ™‚

  37. Kat on January 15, 2014 at 5:57 am

    Favorite Pin find is Dish wand with half dawn dish detergent and half vinegar in each shower/bathroom for an easy daily clean up while in shower or not. Keeps me sane on bathroom clean up day because theres very little to clean:)

    Also to laminate and place each persons daily chores on a clipboard so they don’t “forget” to do their chores and they can mark off as they go. Clipboards are placed next to a small command station.

    I keep a cute utility tote with straps (like a gym bag) with cleaning supplies to make life easier ( we have three levels in our home)

    Even when our schedules are thrown these help us to get back on track.
    Lovin the blog πŸ™‚

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