Detailed Cleaning Lists Explained Well

Dear FlyLady,

I have been trying to fly for a couple of years now, but in the past 4 months I feel like I have finally gotten it!  I struggle with depression and I work part-time so there are days when I don’t do as well with my routines as others.  I’m learning just to jump back in when I have a better day though and that is really working well.

My question is how to use the detailed cleaning lists. I am just not sure when those things should be incorporated into my routines.  I am fairly well decluttered. (in fact, my mom was pretty shocked since I’ve been a pack rat all of my life)  I’m doing zone missions almost everyday and I’m doing my weekly home blessing hour.

Any help on when to or how to start using the detailed cleaning lists would be very appreciate.


FlyBaby C in NC

Dear FlyLady C.

Maybe if I tell you how I developed the detailed cleaning list for myself then it will help you to understand their purpose. Let me first say, If you are going your zone missions you have already incorporated them into your daily routines.

On that fateful New Years Day in 1999, I sorted all the the cards from Pam and Peggy’s SHE System. I had hundreds of cards. I thought if one card is good then why not one for everything that needs to be done. We can get obsessive about most everything. I know me! I sorted my beautiful color coded cards into piles. We are so good at making piles.

I had a pile for daily tasks, weekly tasks, and monthly tasks. Don’t you just hate the word tasks. You get a sick feeling deep down in your stomach because it seems too much like work. Those piles were becoming overwhelming. This is when I decided to sub-sort them.

The Daily Pile was broken down into Morning, Afternoon, and Before Bed Routines.

The Weekly Pile was divided into the days of the week.

The Monthly Pile was huge. This is when I divided the house into zones. I sorted the cards according to the room.

My piles were getting way out of hand. I was overwhelmed and I knew the fix for that! I would make a list. We love to make lists. We also love to check things off of those lists. This is how my first control journal was born.

The cards in my tray were several years old. I had moved and didn’t have some of the rooms that I had cards for. This is when I decided to go sit in those rooms and make a list of everything that would need to be done to get the room ready for company.

With the zones I had learned from Pam and Peggy; I knew that this room would come around once a month. I could do one item a day or spending 5 minutes in that room to make it beautiful. This would mean that I would be able to check off one item a day. Eventually everything would get done and I didn’t have to spend two hours cleaning. Babysteps!

I was being kind to me by not having to get everything done at one time.  All I had to do was one item on the list each day. After about three months, that list would be complete and I could erase the check marks from the sheet protector and start new the next month.

Then FlyLady started in December of 1999. The zones needed to be adapted a little to get everyone on the same page at the same time. This is when I decided that it would be much easier if I just gave you a daily mission in the zone we were in. You gleefully jumped in and did them without getting overwhelmed.

I had put my detailed cleaning lists up on the website just as an example for you. They cover most items that you might have in those rooms in your home. I don’t have little children and toys. So your lists may need to include decluttering broken toys, putting away a box of toys to rotate them, and decluttering toys that are not age appropriate for your children.

I have put MY detailed cleaning list into a PDF for you. Adapt them to help you bless those rooms. Don’t obsess about them. Do the daily missions and at the end of the week go check off what you have accomplished.

You can do this because you already are doing it! Have fun!

There is another group of cards that I don’t discuss often. These are the seasonal items that need to be done around your home and your car. I have made a Home Maintenance Control Journal for you. Have you ever checked out all the FREE stuff in the Control Journal Section of our website. There are even stickers for you to print out on address labels to apply to your calendar or you could just write them on your calendar.

Calendar250Do you have a calendar that is large enough for your family’s busy schedule?

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