Monday, March 29, 2010

Household Journal #3 -- Housecleaning Schedule

Edited to link to a keeper post from Like Mother, Like Daughter on The Reasonably Clean House.

It's been a while since I've actually talked about anything going on in the household. I'm on my second run through the house and I think I've accumulated about 10 more bags of things that I've given away or thrown away. So I'm up to 60 total. It might be good to keep track of it just as someone might keep track of their weight loss journey, to remember how hard it was and as a reminder not to get in that situation again. It's getting easier though. Things that I hardly would have considered getting rid of in the past, "good things", I can let go with just a small twinge.

My housework has developed naturally into a pattern -- on Mondays and Fridays I am gone all morning, leaving my work-at-home husband and sons holding the fort, while I drive another son to college and get Aidan to his therapy (and zip across traffic to morning Mass, and usually drop off boxes and bags to donation centers wherever I can). When I get home on those days it's usually all I can do to help the kids with their schooling and get dinner, so I don't do much housework. I usually vacuum and do laundry on Monday and on Friday I straighten the house and get things ready for the weekend.

On Tuesday I have more energy and time and I usually go through the whole house and clean. I also make phone calls that need to be made.

On Wednesday I usually do some project -- I guess a "zone" deep cleaning, basically. These deep cleaning things are usually the most irksome for me so it helps to have a day to focus on bracing myself up for them. It's also library day (our little local library is only open 3 days a week for 4 hours at a time).

On Thursday I have been doing deep rearranging. I have moving bookshelves and furniture and trying to bag up stuff to get rid of. This is usually fun, much more fun than the nitty-gritty deep cleaning. I'll probably still be thinning out our stuff but I thinking I'm getting close to being done with the heavy moving. Pretty soon, hopefully, it will be spring and we'll be able to do some serious repair work around the house, though that will be more my husband's and sons' job than mine.

Friday, I basically get things ready for the weekend.... do more laundry and tidy/straighten. When I've worked hard on the previous three days the house is usually more rewarding to tidy up. I also deal with schooly wrap-ups on this day. I used to always do lesson planning but nowadays there's less work involved with that, though I have started planning for next year for my son who will be a freshman.

Saturday, I usually go through papers and spend time with my husband and read books related to the kids' school. I try to do more lesson planning.

I would really like to get things so regularized and simple that I can almost autopilot through it. But I am just not there. I used to make complicated schedules but I realized that this worked against simplicity for me because I constantly have to refer to little lists which adds another step. I think though that maybe having a sequential order for what rooms I'll target might be helpful. Then I'll always know what room is next on the list. Basically, the principle would be to start with the "heart" rooms -- the ones in the center of our home that get trashed most quickly. Then I'd work out towards the periphery, and at times when I wasn't getting to housework so much for whatever reason, I would be able to just skip the periphery rooms and closets that stay in good condition for longer.

I used to do housework in the afternoon. Recently I've been starting in the morning since I get up early to see the two boys off to school, and the homeschooled ones get up later. Then if anything's left I finish it up later in the afternoon or after dinner. I have to be careful in two ways because I often either neglect it entirely for days or else I get too immersed and let other things slide. So having specific times that are devoted to housework is useful for me (though it didn't work that way when I had babies, and lots of kids homeschooling -- I'd just fit the housework in wherever I got a chance and oddly enough, it still got done).