Who knew?! Routines are actually helpful!

So far,  this new year has been treating me well. I have no idea what is different other then the process by which I’m working on things. And perhaps my attitude. Not sure, but things seem better this month. Is everything “just right”? Nope. Is everything sparkly and perfect? Ha! Not ever. But I feel like I have a grip on life, for the first time in a long time. In fact, I think I’ve only had 3 Crazy Days this whole month!

(Crazy Days are those days where I’m not myself. Or, I’m the myself that I don’t really like. You know, the cranky, depressed, unmotivated, anxious, everything-and-everyone-is-driving-me-nuts self. I’m sure a lot of us have similar days. I just dubbed them Crazy Days.)

So, what am I doing differently? I’m making a schedule. Well, more of a routine really. Schedules mean specific times and such to me and that is definitely not happening. But I have the beginnings of some good routines in place, at least for the housework. Nothing too crazy, but a simple guide so I know what needs to happen and when, instead of trying to cram it all in one day. Or, on the flip side, not doing any of it. Ever.

I wrote out this weekly routine on a little dry erase board near our Command Center. (Don’t be too impressed. It’s been our Command Center for at least a year and has yet to be truly functional. But it looks good!) This board shows everyone what area will be worked on each day so they can help. For example, on Fridays we do floors and clean up the family room. Peanut vacuums and Pumpkin dry mops the hardwood floors. (And then I do them again, because she’s only 4.)

Our Command Center. The Menu comes in handy when I plan ahead. The blank frame is for random to do's. The weekly housekeeping schedule is on the weekly calendar board, and the message board on the shelf is for groceries needed. Everything is dry erase to make life easy!
Our Command Center. The Menu comes in handy when I plan ahead. The blank frame is for random to do’s. The weekly housekeeping schedule is on the weekly calendar board, and the message board on the shelf is for groceries needed. Everything is dry erase to make life easy!

This routine is allowing me to get the bare minimums done each week, and then I can integrate “deep cleaning” once a month. The first week of the month, we will deep clean the bathrooms on Tuesday. The second week we will deep clean the kitchen on Thursday, and so on.

Have I actually done deep cleaning yet? Nope – other than 1 bathroom. But this gives me mini goals and allows room for changes without tossing it all out the window. As an added bonus, this is keeping me focused. When I did our bedroom on Saturday last week, I just did what needed to get done to make the room look cleaner. The bare minimums. In the past, I would feel motivated to start cleaning out every drawer and closet while “cleaning” the bedroom – but then get completely sidetracked, lose steam, and end up with a huge mess that can never get finished in one afternoon. So, as much as it pained me to not have it all the way done and perfect, I just did the bare minimums – put clothes away, found flat surfaces to dust, and defeated the dust bunnies under the bed. On a “deep cleaning” day, I will work on cleaning out a drawer, or a closet, or a dresser. Now that I know a “deep cleaning” day will come around once a month, I can stop stressing about when I’ll ever find the time to clean out those drawers!

So, what’s my routine? For now….

  • Sunday: Planning
  • Monday: Groceries/Food Prep
  • Tuesday: Towels and Toilets
  • Wednesday: “Whatever”
  • Thursday: Kitchen
  • Friday: Floors and Family Room
  • Saturday: Sheets and Bedrooms, Playroom and Office
  • Daily – Dishes, Laundry, Clutter, Sinks

On Sundays I look at my calendar and attempt to plan out my week. I’ve only done this once so far, but it has helped me immensely! Mondays I plan to do errands, grocery shopping, and food prep for the week. I chose Mondays because our garbage day is Tuesday morning, so might as well get all the food scraps/meat wrappings, etc. out in time for garbage! My Wednesdays are going to be a catch-up day if needed. My mornings are already busy with a weekly Bible Study, and I know I wouldn’t necessarily get a lot done in the house, so I plan afternoon playdates on Wednesdays, or catch up on bills/computer work on Wednesdays. It’s my “whatever” day! Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are pretty self explanatory. Saturdays look awfully busy, but my family doesn’t get a “weekend” like many others do. Hubby works Saturdays, so the kids and I can spend time picking up those rooms before moving on to fun stuff.

The Daily chores aren’t that bad when we stay on top of them. I typically try to do one load of laundry each day if needed. My dishes are usually under control. The clutter is something that needs work – people in my household don’t always put things away (ever). I decided the sinks should get wiped out each night, too. It won’t take long and makes for a clean start to the next day.

I haven’t necessarily done everything in that weekly routine yet, but it’s a good place to start. I’m working toward progress, not perfection. Baby steps.

And that’s that! One small step for my house, one giant leap for my sanity!

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