Homemaking Card System

CIMG8713 A few years back I read at 50’s Housewife about her homemaking card system she used.  Years later, married, with a home, I have begun to adapt the same card system and have found it amazingly helpful in keeping my housework in line and consistent.CIMG8715How it works is I have the whole month divided by each day (the numbers) and the year which is divided by months.  Each card is labeled with a job, how often I am to do it, and how long it takes. 

For example: Water Plants: Daily: 10 minutes

Each card color is divided by how often it is done.  One color for daily, one color for weekly, monthly, a certain amount of times a year, etc.

After all cards are made I organize them into that month and for items that only happen a few times a year, I put those in their designated month. 

After I have completed a task, I insert the card into the next time I need to do it…next week, next month, etc.

One area that I have found most helpful is the time it takes to do things.  Before this card system I would make excuses that I did not have enough time to start cleaning something because I needed to be somewhere in 20 minutes.  But by labeling the time and splitting up jobs into individual tasks (like clean toilet bowl vs. clean whole bathroom) I am able to tackle smaller tasks here and there when I have a free moment.  My time is used so much more efficiently and I do not have to feel like I must have large chunks of time free to get anything done. 

The system also includes a color card for personal items.  This includes things like doctor’s appointments, painting my nails, and returning library books.  Not only am I making sure my home is taken care of, it helps me to keep myself a priority as well.

I was amazed at how easy and efficient this system has been in keeping our home clean and organized.  I never have to worry about a dirty toilet or that it has been months since I dusted.  I now have a personal reminder each day of what needs to be taken care of.

This system can be as flexible or rigid as you make it.  Obviously, there needs to be some sort of commitment to getting it done but it does not have to take over your life.  If I pick up more work last minute or schedule lunch with a friend and do not have time to get to all of my tasks for the day, I just move the cards to another day or next week.  I also use a small calendar where I write a check mark on days that are full of jobs already (or on a day I will be busy with something else and will not have time for housework).  This helps me to organize the jobs evenly so that I don’t get stuck with an overwhelming amount of jobs on any certain day. CIMG8721The card system is adapted from this book that gives full and complete details.  It is a very easy read and gives lots of helpful information that I could never type all out in this one post. :)

How do you keep your home {and yourself} in order?


  1. Sounds good in theory but I would procrastinate make those cards so long I would NEVER get to the house work.

  2. I love your idea. Its so neat and organized. I usually make lists.Usually while at work I start writing down what needs to be done (both at work and then when I get out)
    I don't like to schedule much on the weekends a) because I work Saturday's and B) because thats our family time.

    My cleaning day is Thursday and I try my best to do things in between, like clean the bathroom sink, or vacumm the dinning room - tasks I know I can do in less than 15 minutes.

  3. I agree... LOVE this idea. But I'm kind of with Rebecca... I would procrastinate and my whole system would fall apart. Do you find that you stick with it pretty consistently? If so, hats off to you!

  4. my mom used to do this too. now it's online....flylady.net. it may seem like a lot, but it is actually easy and keeps your house clean consistently.

  5. I watched them on television years (as in over 30 yrs) ago. Bought their book - and made file box with index cards and made the system work. My husband loved it. Organized home keeping. Made a file box for my daughter when she was young. Doing less than 5 minute jobs was a snap - our home was spotless too.

  6. Ladies - this is a real system. I was introduced to the Side Tracked Home Executives over 30 yrs ago. Take the time to read the book - make yourself buy the colored file cards - take the time to write out the chores - it will make you very aware of what it takes to make a home the way you always wanted it to be. Make your file box and one for your children. The system works. Trust me. I'm 72+ and know how to run a household. It is called being organized. Just knowing each morning the bathroom chores were completed in less than 5 minutes made a believer out of me. My husband appreciated our home and the 'work' that went into it. Read the book. My son asked me for the system a few months back. We walked the talk.

  7. I have been using a card system for over 35 years and still think it's great.
    I've added and subtracted tasks over the years and even thrown a few cards away. If I go to clean it and it's not dirty, I can reduce the frequency and refile. My kids (now adults) and husband found it good too.


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