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Six Things to Do Every Day

1. Make the Bed
Tidiness begets tidiness. A crisply made bed makes the whole room seem more orderly, which makes it less likely that you'll let other things -- such as clothes and papers -- pile up around it.

2. Manage Clutter
Whenever you leave a room, take a quick look around for anything that isn't where it should be. Pick it up and put it where it belongs. Insist that everyone in the household do the same.

3. Sort the Mail
Take a few minutes to open, read, and sort mail as soon as you bring it inside. Keep a trash bin near your sorting area for junk mail. Drop other mail into one of four in-boxes: personal correspondence, bills, catalogs, and filing.

4. Clean as You Cook
Instead of filling the sink with pots and dishes, wash them or put them in the dishwasher as you prepare a meal.

5. Wipe Up Spills While They're Fresh
Whether it's tomato sauce on the cooktop or makeup on the bathroom counter, almost anything is faster and easier to remove if you attend to it immediately.

6. Sweep the Kitchen Floor
Every evening once you've finished washing up after dinner, sweep the floor. This will keep tough-to-clean dirt and grime from building up, which will make the weekly mopping much quicker.

Comments (40)

  • Gloria Cole 2 Aug, 2014

    I have trouble sleeping with my books, also.

  • Karen Taylor 3 Jun, 2014

    I'm in a wheelchair in a conventional house. I have problems reaching things to clean. The area I have the most difficult time in is my small bathroom. I cannot get my wheelchair into the room and it's impossible for me to get behind the toilet or corners. What suggestions do you have for cleaning from a wheelchair?

  • cleanmom55 16 Oct, 2013

    These are great tips. I love any articles that can help me clean my home better. You can find a few great cleaning tips on as well!

  • cleanmom55 16 Oct, 2013

    These are great tips. I love any articles that can help me clean my home better. You can find a few great cleaning tips on as well!

  • mamto3 3 May, 2010

    I have been doing this routine for years now. I creates a more maintaned look and makes big messes (3 kids) less overwhelming!

  • Mad_Cellist 8 Jan, 2010

    I occasionally remove my textbooks from my bed before going to sleep... That counts, right?

  • AnnaRowley 1 Aug, 2009

    Great tips!

  • KarenGuglielmo 29 Jul, 2009

    All right. I'll give it my best shot. I've got to start somewhere...

  • creativejkg 24 Jul, 2009

    I must agree. These tips are what I live by.

  • Mfosterjeweler 24 Jul, 2009

    Great Advice for Anyone! Thanks Martha

  • SusanJeanne 23 Jul, 2009

    I live these tips daily; that way notihing is overwhelming!

  • Sillys 23 Jul, 2009

    This is so much like FlyLady ! Look up

  • Sillys 23 Jul, 2009


  • SweeTart 23 Jul, 2009

    I am in the habit of never leaving a room empty handed. It seems there's always something that belongs somewhere else.

  • Twizz1ler 23 Jul, 2009

    I agree with everyone - it's much easier if you do it as you go. I also love Martha's tips (but don't you suppose all the people that clean at her houses help just a bit??? LOL)

  • pattybearski 23 Jul, 2009

    Great! I'm on the right track to being organized and clutter free. I have never heard of flylady, I'll have to check it ou.

  • kimf 23 Jul, 2009

    I faylady too! isn't she great!

  • Migs77 23 Jul, 2009

    I use and all of Martha's tips for a great home, inside and out!

  • rtcwoman 23 Jul, 2009

    You forgot to mention checking your email for Martha's tip of the day!

  • Andrea_Eva 9 Apr, 2009

    But recycle your junk mail and envelopes!

  • flowerfairies74 13 Nov, 2008

    For me this list is a real inspiration. I am a rahter chaotic character and really struggle with my household, baby and puppy. I come back to this list, when I don't know where to start. And I have added 2 more points: In the evening, before turning on the TV look around and pick up, what hasn't been picked up over the day. And: as the dinner room is very central in our house, keep the table clear and clean of dishes, books, mail... because we feel the clutter is paralyzing us. This really helps

  • basketpam 5 Sep, 2008

    Studying for my masters degree I heard a talk by Susan O'Malley, 1st female general manager of a pro team. She had a list of 10 things to always do every day to get ahead. No. 1 was always make your bed. If you accomplished nothing else in your day, you accomplished this. I have found it makes a huge difference in my outlook for the day. I don't feel so disorganized if my bed is made. Sounds silly, but it's true.

  • kickypants 4 Sep, 2008

    One more thing I'd like to add is, when you're done washing your face and brushing your teeth for the night...give the fawcett and sink a quick wipe. Nothing looks ickier than toothpaste and soapy sinks! Even my 7 yr old has caught onto this and does her best it gives her those precious extra few moments in the bathroom rather than going to bed!

  • debra_rose 4 Sep, 2008

    Making my bed every day has become a favorite habit. It's amazing how easy meal clean up is if you clean as you go! My mom taught me that in the 60's and I was pleased to teach my own children the same good habit.

  • bjhinokcok 4 Sep, 2008

    I wish I could send this anonymously to some folks I know.....

  • Nancy_Massie 4 Sep, 2008

    Pray every morning....

  • suebee55 2 Mar, 2008

    my husband is a great guy and he does them everyday...with this list as a friendly reminder, I can try to follow the list and make them my own routine too.

  • Ducheon 29 Feb, 2008

    You have brought out hidden talents and ideas
    that I grew up with. Thanks for the

  • RhondaM1989 28 Feb, 2008

    sorry about the missing letters

  • RhondaM1989 28 Feb, 2008

    We chip in and do these things as a family.. I do want to add taking out all the trash and wiping down the trash can lid with on of those disinfectant wipes. A little time spent cleaning makes life much easier in the long run and mor enjoyable.. thanks Martha!

  • adrianad 28 Feb, 2008

    oh, if *only* i would just do these six simple steps :-) ........ but then, life is meant to be lived, not to be constantly organized !!! cheers everyone.

  • TrainerSue 28 Feb, 2008

    I do this everyday and my house always looks clean and well kept to all those who come in!

  • mis_cue 27 Feb, 2008

    this is an excellent list! i'm already doing most of it, since it saves so much time in the long run... the trick now is to get my hubby to do it :P!

  • Tazzie 27 Feb, 2008

    I must agree, that is exactly what my Mom expected out of all of us, including dad. If she was not happy no one was going to be.
    We wanted her happy :)
    Now if only I can get my family to do the same, including my four legged kids. :)

  • ErikaOlsen 27 Feb, 2008

    I started with the beds, and it's true, it helps the whole room stay clean. My little girls (ages 4 and 20 mos) like to help -- the youngest one hands up the pillows.I started sweeping the kitchen and under the table more, and the girls demanded their own little brooms. They're young enough to want to help, so far, but I'm hoping it will instill good habits. They're a lot better about putting toys and dirty clothes away than they've ever been, since I've gotten a better attitude.

  • marshalou 27 Feb, 2008

    I like the Daily To Do LIst and will try to follow it, but I'm not sure how much luck I'll have with getting everyone in the household to manage clutter (#2)!

  • frenchygirl 27 Feb, 2008

    Now if we can only get our teenagers to follow the steps! :)

  • homeecdhscomkalicia 27 Feb, 2008

    these are great tips for anyone to use! #6 is one of my pet peeves!

  • hunnybaby 27 Feb, 2008

    I follow every thing in the list...My life is more organize now =)

  • pjbb 20 Dec, 2007

    its exactly what mum used to say ..