Daily Cleaning 101 – Step 1 “The Kitchen”

February 18, 2013

A Bowl Full of Lemons Daily Cleaning 101 Series

After a gazillion requests asking about what my daily cleaning routine is, I decided it was time to share.  Over the next 7 days, I will show you (in small steps) how I keep my house clean on a daily basis.   Once I switched to blogging “full time”, I didn’t have enough time to deep clean our home how I wanted to AND give A Bowl Full of Lemons attention (increasing my weekly blog posts, answering lots of daily emails, planning, etc…).  So I hired help.  Every Tuesday, I’m super lucky to have a sweet cleaning lady come and deep clean for me.  She scrubs the floors, showers, toilets, sinks, dusts, etc…  However, the rest of the week needed some attention. I created a list of everything that needed done on a daily basis, to keep my house looking “clean” when the cleaning lady isn’t here.  This week, I am sharing that list with you!

I will go over the 7 steps that I do each day to maintain our clean home.  Each day this week, I will share one step.  Keep in mind, I do all of them every day, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you so I broke it down into manageable steps for you to build on this week.  I hope you are able to try my routine and see if it works for you to keep your home nice and clean too!



Step 1 – The end of the day kitchen “clean up”

Daily cleaning 101 - Step 1 ABFOL



At the end of each day, once the kids are in bed, I spend 15 minutes in the kitchen.  In the morning, I like to wake up to a clean kitchen. I think it really affects my mood for the day, so I give it a quick clean up and wipe down before bed (even if I don’t “feel like doing it”).  It should only take less than 15 minutes.

  • Load dishwasher (unload in am)
  • Clean the sink: Rinse out, scrub with baking soda, spray with cleaning solution (below), and wipe out sink. (Deep clean the sink once per week).
  • Spray & wipe down counters & table
  • Put a clean washcloth & dish towel out.



Clean out the sink…



 Wipe down the counters…




Wipe down the kitchen table…



 Thats it!  This step should only take you about 15 minutes each evening.  Try this step every day this week… and add the new steps that I give you over the next 7 days.  See if you can make a difference in how clean your home looks and stays.


Cleaners for the Kitchen 


Scour Off  I use Scour off to deep clean & shine my kitchen sink (weekly).

Baking Soda  Fill an old/clean cheese shaker with baking soda.  Rinse out sink.  Shake baking soda in sink and scrub into a paste. Rinse.  Then…

 –Daily Kitchen Sink Cleaner   

1 clean spray bottle

1 cup of vinegar

1 cup of water

 *Label it “Daily Sink Cleaner”. Spray sink and faucet.  Let sit for a few minutes then wipe out.



– Fill the dishwasher and clean the sink first. Let the vinegar solution sit while you are wiping down counters and the table.

– Use 1/2 of a lemon as an abrasive scrubber for the baking soda.

– If you clean as you go during the day, step 1 should be simple to do every evening!


Free Printable 

Click on the picture below to print the Daily Cleaning 101 checklist out.  It will remind you of what needs done and how little time it takes.  Please do not redistribute. Personal use only.

Daily cleaning checklist

I laminated the printable and put it on a clipboard, in my cleaning caddy. I use expo markers to check off each task once its completed.

Daily Cleaning Routine ABFOL Printable




My favorite cleaning products

  1. Cleaning Plain & Simple by Donna Smallin (My “go to” book for cleaning tips, how to’s & recipes)
  2. Get Clean Starter Kit  (Contains everything in my cleaning kit minus Scour Off)
  3. Scour Off (To clean my sink weekly)
  4. Real Simple microfiber cloths
  5. Oreck Magnesium Vacuum (Giveaway at the end of the Series)
  6. Fresh Laundry Concentrate




Daily Cleaning Routine ABFOL



Take 15 minutes this evening (after the kids are in bed) and clean your sink, counters, and table.  When you wake up in the morning, you will have a smile on your face.  Come back tomorrow for step 2 of “Daily Cleaning 101”.

123 comments on “Daily Cleaning 101 – Step 1 “The Kitchen”

  1. Barbara Barnes says:

    Great tips! I am checking out all your cleaning sources. I would love to know where you got the apple green clipboard and the carry container for your cleaning supplies. Thanks!

  2. I follow since a little while, and I just love your blog and the way you work!!! This series will help me very much.
    A reader from France

  3. Robyn says:

    Thank you so much for this series. I am going to make a clipboard like you suggested with the print out. Where did you get the tear drop stickers that you put on your list? Thank you again for all that you do to help all of us get organized. Very much appreciated!! Have a great day!!

  4. rosanny says:

    can please tell me from where did you green glass decorative bottle ?

  5. Nicole Tully says:

    Oh I love this! I have a similar nightly routine, but I also have 2 small children and another on the way (will have 3 aged 3 and under, yikes!), so I need to vacuum and steam mop each night as well. It’s a bit more work, but worth it to wake up to a fresh home in the morning.
    I’ve been in serious nesting mode and your blog has helped me organize our home so much in the past several weeks. I plan to post on my organization progress on my blog soon, so I’ll be sure to link back to all of your posts that helped me along the way!
    Love this printable. I’m going to laminate it as well! Thank you 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in the same boat with 2 toddlers and one on the way, only I am the opposite, am in my first trimester and EXHAUSTED! I can hardly manage cooking for my family and sometime cleaning up, let alone all of the above, any tips?

  6. Teresa Cabeza says:

    I have started doing something similar myself. I try to get everything washed up an put away every night. I have a good cleanser for the sink that is septic safe but something I can make myself sounds good too. Thanks, T

  7. hayley says:

    Very excited about this series! I like to clean but suffer from cleaning ADD I start one thing and then something else catches my eye and then do that and never feel like I’m accomplishing anything. This will help.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have cleaning add too…haha… And I’ve found that this app called 30/30 helps keep me on track. I just add all of the cleaning things I want to get done and how long I’m spending on them..usually 10 mins…and it rotates through the list and alarms when it’s time to switch chores. This is the only thing that can keep me on task while cleaning.

  8. Cindy says:

    What do you use to spray your counters?

  9. Daniela says:

    What do you use to clean your granite countertops?

  10. Elizabeth says:

    This was so helpful!! Thanks 🙂

  11. Heather says:

    Looking forward to this. Where do you keep your clip board? Also where is you dish drainer?

  12. Any suggestions for non-scratch home made cleaning agent to clean sticky counter tops next to stove?

    • Jenelle Stroble says:

      I have one. Fill a mason jar or empty mayonnaise jar with orange rinds. Then fill the jar with vinegar until it covers the rinds. Put the lid on & let it sit for 10-14 days. Afterward, I put mine in an empty spray bottle to use. It’s an all purpose cleaner.

  13. Natalie Campbell says:

    Is this your kitchen?? I LOVE those old fashioned canisters!!! Are they truly old…or did you find ones that look old?? Would love to have some like that!!

  14. Denise Provinzano says:

    Thanks Toni! I love to visit your blog, you tips are helpful and help me to stay on top of things (even when I don’t feel like it).

  15. Erin Elliott says:

    Love this! I’m a horrible cleaner, so I think I’m going to appreciate this series…as will my husband! I like your checklist, but is there any way to make it to where we can edit or personalize it ourselves?

  16. Sharon P says:

    Hi Toni! I have granite counter tops. What do you spray your counters with?

  17. Lana says:

    I love your blog and I look forward to getting your email each morning!!! You inspire me to organize!!! – Thank you!

  18. Jeanette M C says:

    Let’s talk stainless steel. How do you get the fingerprints cleaned up on your refrigerator?

    • Michelle G says:

      Jeanette M C,
      Did you get an answer for your question #18 re Stainless Steel? I have stainless steel everywhere, and have smudges I cannot get off. Thank you!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I tried everything natural but finally gave in and took my cleaning lady’s advice to buy Weimans stainless steel spray cleaner and all the streaks, lines, etc that were there for couple years cleaned off and appliances look new again.

  19. Shannon says:

    I am curious about the pretty soap bottles at your sink. Did you make those? Also, what candle are you burning:) I just bought the ginger one from Caldrea and really like it but the scent is very light.

  20. Lindsay Madsen says:

    Laminated daily cleaning list! That is just brilliant! I better break out my laminator for this. I am a avid follower of your site. Keep them coming.

  21. Great! I don’t clean nearly as often that you do, but I should! I like that you use all-natural cleaners.

  22. Angela says:

    I love your style, your organization & your blog! You get me so motivated! Thanks for taking time out of your busy day for us 🙂

  23. Ches says:

    Thanks for the tips….I will be following along this week. Love your countertops by the way.

  24. Amy O'Shields says:

    A clean home is a happy home right? Your blog just brightens my mornings and I too love to wake up to a clean kitchen, Quick question how big is your kitchen if you don’t mind me asking? Were in the process of building a home and our kitchen layout is very similar to yours in your pics. Thanks so much for blogging to us ORGANIZED moms 🙂

  25. I was cleaning out a cabinet in my kitchen yesterday and found a cheese shaker and thought “what am I ever going to do with this?” Now I know! Putting baking soda in it is a fantastic idea! Thank you!

  26. Lesley C. says:

    We have the same favorites except the book (that I will need to order now), but it is only because of following your blog. I bought the get clean starter kit from you a while back and LOVE Shaklee!!! One of the sprayer parts of my spray bottles broke. Is there a way to get a replacement sprayer for just one bottle??? Thanks!

    • Admin says:

      Yes, Call 1800shaklee and let them know. They should send you a new one. 😉

      • Lesley C. says:

        Thanks a bunch!!! Love your blog… and love Shaklee. Thanks for sharing both with us!!!

      • Lesley C. says:

        I called the number that day. All I had to do was give them my member number (I purchased the membership through you also.) and they sent me the whole pack of three new bottles free of charge! I got them today already! One more reason to love Shaklee… great customer service! Thanks!

  27. Patty Fugar says:

    I love your blog and all your great ideas. Your daily cleaning 101 checklist is great, but I would never have time to complete all those items on a daily basis! I am a full time working mom of a 7 month old and only get done the bare minimum on a daily basis to enjoy my free time with my little man. Do you have a simplified weekly cleaning checklist that working moms could use? Also, you mentioned you used Scour off to deep clean & shine your kitchen sink (weekly). The link takes you to where you can purchase but the directions for that product state NOT to use on stainless steel yet I notice you have a SS sink in your kitchen. Just curious if it works that well on SS or why the website would state not to use it on SS?

    • Admin says:

      Patty, I do use scour off on stainless steel and it works great. I know it says not to and I cannot guarantee it but I do it and love it!

  28. Brittany says:

    Did you by any chance used to follow FlyLady? This reminds me a lot of her system. It seems really great, I just struggle to find the energy to do anything after my kids go to bed. Hopefully it’ll get better when they get older! (I have 21 mo twins)

    • Admin says:

      I used to do flylady. She is great. Its hard NOT to have “similar” tasks daily since there is only so much you can do. Im not sure what her daily tasks are though.. Its been SO long since I did her program.

    • Amy says:

      I have 7 month old b/g twins and I so hear you on the no energy! When did you find it a little bit easier to get things done during the day? I so struggle with that, especially laundry due to the length of time it takes to do stain removal.

      • Toni says:

        IT starts to get easier once they can do more for themselves (feed themselves), walk, etc. Are they on a good nap schedule? Good luck. 🙂 It really does get easier.

    • Jamie says:

      Brittany, your comment made me smile… I thought it reminded me of Flylady as well, and I also have twins! Mine are 4 years old now, but I am still the same – I do my cleaning in spurts through the day, and I definitely never clean as often or as thoroughly as described in the post, but this blog has inspired me! (And although I don’t think it gets any easier in general as twins get older, I do think the constant vigilance with the toddler age slows down – I don’t have to be on guard all the time to make sure they don’t hurt themselves). 🙂

  29. Thank you for the GREAT tips. You have taken something so simple yet overwhelming and broken it down into bit sized pieces! I’ve been getting into the habit of the kitchen done at night, but not the other 6 tasks on the list!!! Like you I have someone to “deep clean” weekly so I can focus on my thirty-one business. And I love all your matching green prints!

  30. Christy says:

    Thank you for bring up this great cleaning ideas. I love your printable cleaning chart. How do you get laminated the printable chart? I like the idea to have that reuse without print every paper again. Thanks.

    • Kate says:

      Office supply stores will laminate a sheet of paper for you. I took mine to Office Max and they laminated it for about $1.50.

  31. Melissa G says:

    Hi, just wondering what your cleaner does in a ‘deep clean’ session? Most of what you have listed to do on a daily basis is classed as my once a week deep clean! Id love to vacuum everyday but my husband would think im crazy!

  32. Jodi says:

    Looking forward to seeing great results! LOVE the cleaning checklist!

  33. Brittany says:

    The soap bars next to your sink… do you use those to wash dishes with? What kind of soap is it/where do you get it? I love your blog! I read it daily! It is so helpful!

    • Admin says:

      They are for hands. I purchased them at a soap shop in Savannah, ga. Savannah bee company has the same soaps. 🙂

  34. Arlene says:

    I clicked on the photo to print your list, but it just loads a blank page for me 🙁

  35. Heather H. says:

    This is great! and perfect timing, too. We close on our brand new home thursday and I want to keep it sparkly and new 🙂

  36. Anonymous says:

    Just curious to how long it takes your cleaning lady if she’s coming every week and after all the cleaning your doing? I’ve tried the laundry and it works. Hoping the rest of these tips work for me as well. 🙂

    • Admin says:

      She cleans for 4 hours every week but TRUST ME, it needs it every day with 3 kids, 2 pets, and myself & husband. 😉

  37. Sharon says:

    I tried clicking on the picture also and it led to a blank page. I a trying from an ipad. Maybe that is the reason? Bummer, it looks like a great checklist.

  38. Ayana says:

    Thank you so much for this series. My 2013 resolution was to get my house under control. This series is exactly what I need as one of the goals to be met is “someone can pop up at the home anytime, and I won’t be completely freaked out to show them the inside.” Perfect beginnings for me.

  39. I’m heading out to the store tonight for some errands and plan to pick up supplies so I can do the sink cleaner. Are your soap dispensers from Method?? I really like them; they have a fun mcm feel with a touch of modern. I just repainted my kitchen this past weekend, so I’m working on keeping a clean and tidy kitchen without having unnecessary extra’s.

  40. Olga says:

    Hi, this is great! Thank you so much for sharing. I was wondering where you buy your microfiber cloths and if there is any specific brand you prefer. Looking to invest in cloths instead of using paper towels, just seems so wasteful.

    Thank you!

  41. Desiree' Kano says:

    Starting now!!! Thanks-

  42. Miriam says:

    I wish you would do a give away of that basket!

  43. Destini says:

    odd question, but what do you use to wipe down the counter tops with? What kind of cloth. Is it reusable?

    Love your blog, it is slowly helping me become more organized & clean. Plus you introduced me to shaklee

  44. JaneB says:

    I am so excited by this routine, – i actually followed it! Enjoyed it! And most of all felt empowered by it. This… after years of struggling to get into a system that i felt would work. Okay, i get that it’s early days, but it just feels right.
    Excited to read all your other posts.

  45. Faith Smith says:

    I have been doing this mostly but it was super nice to have a checklist like my kids I care for. Thanks! Ready for tomorrow!!

  46. Winnie Green says:

    I love the web site and have used your tips in my home.
    But the dish soap and vinegar mix came with no warning about the fumes, I had to hold a facecloth over my mouth and nose to finish what I started. Did I do something wrong??

  47. Oh my gosh, you clean your floors & vacuum every day?! Wow. Impressive. 🙂
    I’m going to print your list and adjust it a tad to fit my family/schedule, but this is going to help me a lot! Thanks!

  48. Kelli says:

    Do you know when they will offer free membership for the Shaklee products? Thanks!

  49. K. Mitchell says:

    So I’m trying. I am horrible at cleaning, but though I’d give your suggestions a try. So for the past week I have been cleaning up the kitchen in the evening. I will admit, it’s probably not to everyone elses satisfaction, but I’ve seen a difference in how I feel. So I’m on to trying Day 2. I admit I’m slow, but figure if I can add your ideas a little at a time, I may actually end up with a clean house and good habits. (Habits, I hope to pass on to my children.) Thank you and keep sharing! It is making a difference one person at a time. 🙂

    • Cecilia M. says:

      I´m doing the same: I Only read Day 1 and started cleaning the kitchen in the evening, until it becomes a habit, then I´ll stat with Day 2.
      I hope to become an enthusiastic cleaner some day!!!!
      I live in Argentina and work full-time, I have 2 kids, and a lady helps me with the cleaning tasks once a week!!
      Thank you for sharing and inspire!

  50. Sharynt says:

    I have never been more excited about cleaning and organizing in my life! I am generally disorganized yet I have always wanted a clean, organized, attractive home for my family. A bowl full of lemons has given me hope. Wish me luck tonight on the kitchen assignment.

  51. Kim says:

    I love this! I know others have asked about everything else in your kitchen, but my eye was immediately drawn to whatever is holding your Pellegrino bottles. What is that? It’s awesome!

  52. Brenda says:

    I love all your info. I have to ask – where did you get your faucet? (Kind of a crazy question – but I love it!!)

  53. Melissa Huenergardt says:

    I’m curious if the plants to the right of your sink are real or faux? If they are faux, did you make them or purchase them?

    • Admin says:

      The plants are real and “Dried”. To care for them, I spray with water once per month. They are from TJ MAXX.

  54. Amy B. says:

    I just renovated my kitchen and want to keep it shiny and new for years to come. I LOVE your website and my order from Shaklee just came in! Quick question: I forgot to get vinegar at the supermarket today, could I just use my basic H in the meantime? Thanks!

  55. I love all your cleaning and organizing tips!! Your kitchen is beautiful!

  56. Juanita says:

    Where can I get something laminated?

  57. Terry says:

    Have to ask where you found that lovely dining room table & chairs? Love your site, what an inspiration!!!

  58. Natisha says:

    I guess for now i’ll accept book-marking and adding your RSS feed to
    my Google account. I enjoy brand new updates and can share this web site with my Facebook group.
    Chat soon!

  59. Angie Bumgarner says:

    Do you have a post about “deep cleaning’? We are just moving into a house that is a Mid Century Modern bi-level and it desperately needs a good deep cleaning…..not sure where to begin. Help?!

    • Rachel says:

      No posts as of yet for ‘deep cleaning’ but if you visit the blog and click on the ‘cleaning’ pull down menu you’ll see all the posts that Toni has done on the topic. There are some great tips on specific cleaning that might be of assistance to you.
      Congratulations on the new house!

  60. Connie says:

    I love this site and have been so excited to get started!! I now have everything I need for Step 1 as my Shaklee products just arrived!
    Wondering if you run your dish sponges & J-cloths thru the dishwasher to disinfect, and if so how often? Also, are the microfiber cloths safe to run thru the laundry with Shaklee cleanser residue on them, I know other cleansers are not safe.

    • Anonymous says:

      I had the same question! I am trying to use the disposable wipes less but wonder about washing the cleaning cloths – – do you do that every night? And any special way? For some reason it’s a roadblock for me -dealing with the pile of dirty cloths that I’ve used to dust or clean with throughout the day. Love this site!

      • Rachel says:

        I keep a plastic bin (think mini-laundry basket) in my laundry room. When the bin is full, the rags get washed.

  61. Melissa says:

    Ma’am…This is the first time I have been on your blog and…I HATE YOU..Are you kidding me?! Please, for my own sanity tell me your kitchen DOES NOT look like this when you wake you wake up!! =0
    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh…I am hoping that you have an avalanche of CRAP pushed off to the side right? ugh…I live with 5 primates and I swear they have a life long mission to turn my home into a petrie dish..EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.. =..<
    Kidding about hating you..I guess what I should have said is :"I am INSANELY jealous of you and…can I move it?" hahahahha Have a great day! New "Enabler" ;}

  62. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog and check it our every sinle day and whenever i need an idea for my home. One quick question. Where did u buy the green rug? I love it. Can you please give a link if you bought it online. Thanks!

  63. K8 says:

    Just did the baking soda in the sink…oh my word! Gross! It got so much grim off the sink that I didn’t even know was there…I use a brand name all-purpose cleaner every day…obviously it was not doing the trick! Thank you! LOVE this blog.

  64. Gemma says:

    What kind of vinegar do you use for your daily kitchen sink cleaner?

    Going to start this tonight. 🙂

  65. Helen says:

    I’ve just stumbled across this website in my quest to become a more organised person! I have a 6 month old daughter and am finding it hard to fit in all my daily chores and keep my schedule organised in between naps, feeds, baby groups and dinner prep! My current system is to ship her out to my parents one day a week so that I can clean the house from top to bottom and my diary and handbag are overflowing with scraps of paper and receipts. I’m hoping by following your steps I have a tidier home at the end of each week, an organised handbag, and a happy baby 🙂

  66. Cassandra says:

    You are officially my new favorite person 🙂 !!!!!! I have been soooo overwhelmed with maintaining my household family of 6 (+1 including Tembi the dog). Your blog has just been a breath of fresh air for me these past few days. Thank you for inspiring me to be more organized and making it so doable!!! I’ve printed the daily cleaning list and will be putting together my cleaning caddy tonight!!
    Thanks again.
    Your new best friend (in my head!),


  67. Christie says:

    For the daily kitchen sink cleaner recipe. Do you think I can add in some essential oils? I would love a little scent mask over the vinegar 🙂

  68. Katie says:

    I really enjoyed this post and look forward to trying some of the ideas here. I am skeptical about the time estimates however, perhaps I run a bit slower (and our house is huge ~4000sq ft), but I really can’t imagine completing any of these things in the allotted time schedule.

  69. Andrea says:

    I can so attest to the clean the kitchen before bed no matter what (with very few exceptions) because waking up and knowing everything is clean and ready is the most awesome uplifting feeling in the world. It does affect my mental state in the morning. It didn’t happen overnight, it was painful but it was gradual and now even though it’s still a chore, it’s not as much a hassle and I am just so glad I do it every night. My treat in the morning is using a stove top Percolator for my coffee (first it was lack of space, now I just like the coffee better) and by the time my coffee is ready, my dishwasher is unloaded, and my kitchen is ready to take on the day. 🙂

  70. Bre says:

    I absolutely love your website & blogs! I seriously could sit here all night and read each and every single one of them! I’m even writing down all the cleaning tips. I’m definitely going to try out your way of cleaning, organizing, tips, etc. Please please keep posting!! I loveeeeeeee your blogs!!!!!

  71. Jessica says:

    This is awesome! Love the checklist. I’m inspired to add something like that to help me remember all those little things each day.

  72. Rachel says:

    This may seem like a silly question, but where do you keep your sponges/rags/washcloths that you use to wash dishes?

    • Rachel says:

      they can be laid neatly in a drawer or in a bin under the sink. I have a small plastic bin in my laundry room that they are tossed into until I have enough to do a ‘full’ load.

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