Homemaking Zero to Hero Week 1_ Creating your Cleaning System Template | AuthenticallyAsh.com

Week 1 : Making your cleaning system template


Welcome to the first week of a brand new year and a brand new home. Before I begin don’t forget to subscribe if you want to receive an email every week with the week’s challenge.

This system is a combination of the ones found in the books: Sidetracked Home Executives, Sink Reflections, Getting Things Done, Organize Now! and other books and websites.

This week we are going to create the template for our cleaning system and add 3 daily activities. What I really like about this system is that it is flexible and can quickly adapt to changes in your lifestyle without needing to rewrite or retype pages of routines.

What you need to create this housekeeping system

You will need the following:

  • 300 to 400 index cards, either 3×5 or 4×6 depending on how big your handwriting and container is.
  • a container that can comfortably hold the index cards in an upright position
  • 6 different colored highlighters (yellow, pink, blue, purple, green, orange)
  • ballpoint pen (black or blue)
  • black sharpie marker pen (or any permanent marker pen)
  • scissors
  • ruler

Tasks for this week

Create 31 index dividers labeled 1 to 31.

You do this by measuring the width of the index cards with the ruler and dividing the width by 5 (if you bought 3 x 5 index cards) or 6 (if you bought 4 x 6 index cards). Cut the cards as shown in the picture below, I used 4 x 6 cards.

Image to demonstrate how to cut the tabs into the index cards

Number the cards 1 to 31 with the black sharpie/marker pen. These cards will represent the days of the month.

Image showing how the tabs work when they are stacked.

Create 12 index dividers labeled Jan to Dec.

Cut these cards the same way as you did for the 31 index dividers above, but this time label them Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov and Dec. These will represent the months of the year. See the example below.

Jan to Jun tabs - Homemaking zero to hero Week 1 | AuthenticallyAsh.com

Label 6 more index cards Week 1 to Week 6.

These dividers you don’t cut like you did the others, just label them as seen in the picture below.
The weekly tabs for this index card system

Place these dividers into the container.

First put the month dividers in place, then put the days of the month dividers in front of the current month. Finally put your weekly index cards in place.


If today is 5 January 2019 and your week starts on a Sunday (some people prefer starting their week on a Monday) then the cards will be in the following order:

  • 5
  • Week 2
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Week 3
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • Week 4
  • 20
  • 21
  • 22
  • 23
  • 24
  • 25
  • 26
  • Week 5
  • 27
  • 28
  • 29
  • 30
  • 31
  • Jan
  • Week 1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

How to use the system

When you get to the end of the 5th day of the month, you need to move the card labeled “5” to just after the “4” card and just before the “Feb” card. When you get to the beginning of a new week, then you will also need to move the Week divider card to the beginning of the the week in the following month.

When the month of January is over, then move the “Jan” divider to the end of the file, after December.

Update this calendar every day as the year progresses.

If you are confused about how this works, perhaps watching the video below will make it clearer.

Creating 3 daily routine cards

To help practice using this system. We are going to create daily routine cards. Cut the top of the card off so that the card is in line with the bottom of the index tab we made.

Write “Daily” or “Daily Routine” on the top of the card and colour the top of the card Yellow. Yellow will be used for all our daily routines.

2 rows under “Daily Routine” write “Personal” to indicate this is a personal task, the two rows under that write “Get dressed to the shoes”.

Daily Card Example | Homemaking zero to hero in 52 weeks | AuthenticallyAsh.com

If you are a person who doesn’t wear shoes in your house, that is perfectly Okay, just write “Get Fully Dressed” on the card instead.

Make 2 more cards like the “Get dressed to the shoes” card for 2 more tasks of your choice. Pick any 2 tasks that you know you have to do every day.

Please do not make more than 3 cards for this first week, I know you will be tempted to do so, but I don’t want you to get ahead of the system. The point is to start learning to use your cards, not have a whole cleaning system in a week. As the weeks move on we will add more items to your daily routine. We will also add weekly, monthly, seasonally and yearly routine cards.

How to use the system, part 2

Put the cards in front of the today’s date. As you complete the task on the card, move it in front of tomorrow’s date card.

Practice this for the first week.

Don’t forget to check back next week for Week 2, or subscribe to get an email reminder when Week 2 is published.



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