Since early this year, my 12-year-old daughter has been cleaning the house for us. It has been a nice little win-win:  I have one less thing on my own to-do list and she has a little extra spending money.

natural cleaning suppliesThere was just one problem. I felt like I was constantly “reminding” her to do various cleaning tasks. Each week I found myself saying Have you scrubbed the toilet yet? Don’t forget to empty the trash cans! I could tell from the look on her face that she was as tired of hearing these little reminders!

This weekend, I decided to solve the problem. I updated the cleaning checklist, printed it out and slid it into a sheet protector. Now Kailea is completely in charge of cleaning. She can use a dry erase marker to keep track of her tasks each week, and I can stop being a walking, talking reminder system (a.k.a. a nag.)

The cleaning checklist wasn’t a new idea. When Kailea first started cleaning for us, she had a checklist to follow. But somewhere along the way she stopped using the checklist and I kicked into gear.

Maybe something similar has happened to you before. You create a slick, new organizing system, and use it faithfully for a period of time. But then, something changes. Maybe your routine changes (your kids head back to school or your schedule changes at work) and suddenly you stop using your organizing system completely or at all. Creating a simple checklist to help you remember to use the system and / or how to use it could be the solution.

Checklists can solve lots of problems, but the biggest advantage to using checklists is that you think of things once, and then the checklist acts as a reminder for you.

What checklists do you currently use that simplify your life? Or, what area of your life could benefit from a simple checklist? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Check out the free checklists on our site for a bunch of ready-made checklists you can start using right away.

Happy organizing!


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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