Jan 15, 2011

Accomplish more by doing less

My house is in serious disarray at the moment.... if "a moment" means for the past two weeks, since I began my sewing room re-organization. It's as if someone came along, picked up my house, turned it sideways - and shook it. Everywhere I look furniture has changed location, boxes are waiting for freecycle pick ups, items are looking for a new home.

While this chaos has it's drawbacks (I feel as if I live in a giant "To Do List"), it also has its perks! I've been cleaning as I move furniture - those pesky cobwebs on the back of furniture too heavy to pull out when I do my normal cleaning are now gone. Walls and woodwork behind that same furniture is now wiped clean. Furniture being moved is given a thorough inside and outside cleaning and then wiped down with lemon oil, so it's got a sparkle to it that hasn't been seen here for awhile. And much of the decorative items I've grown tired of after too many years of looking at them have been packed to go over to our booth at the antique mall.

It's better than Spring Cleaning... which, by the way, I won't have to do this year.

As I was drinking my coffee this morning, I was spot-reading the book "Simplify Your Life" by Elaine St. James - written back in 1994 before Hoarders and Peter Walsh were popular. It's a good book with a common sense approach to paring down your household to enjoy life and relationships more than the amount of items you own. One of St. James' suggestions has given me reason to pause and reflect this morning... coming up with a daily routine of housework that allows you to actually spend less time cleaning house.

In recent years, with the exception of things I routinely do every day (make the bed, clean dishes away, sweep the kitchen floor, clean sink, stove and countertops, and a general all over good pick-up of stray items), I've gotten away from the habit of an "on this day I do this" routine.

With my house being newly purged and, with the exception of the master bedroom, kitchen and bathrooms (3), newly cleaned and shiney, it seems like a good time to re-establish a daily routine to 1) get the rest of the house clean and organized and 2) maintain what's been recently done. So here is what I have come up with.

Monday - Vac and dust the downstairs.
Tuesday* - Purge and clean one storage area - closet, drawer, shelf, cabinet, etc. Also clean out refrigerator and collect all trash upstairs and down.
Wednesday - Vac and dust the upstairs.
Thursday - Clean all bathrooms.
Friday* -  Change sheets and towels. 30 minutes with Windex and a clean rag.
Saturday - Laundry - Wash, dry (hang outside as weather permits), fold, put away. Ironing as needed (husband's dress shirts need to be ironed about once every three weeks).
Sunday -  Time with my husband. In warm weather, work together doing outside maintenance and/or gardening. Watch a movie, go to the flea market - some activities together.

*Tuesday and Friday are the days I have Mr. B. all day, so I need to have activities he can help me with and that won't take more than 30 to 45 minutes. He is also with me on Thursday, but only for two hours in the late afternoon.

I like this schedule. This is in addition to my normal routine of daily must-do housework, but it is definitely do-able and should take three hours or less (if I don't allow myself to get side-tracked) on even the heaviest housework days.

Accomplishing more by working less -- what's not to like?


jillyヅ said...

Great plan of action. When your done, it will look like you have a brand new home!


Karen said...

I know what you mean about chaos....we just had that for the weekend while we re-did the bedroom floor. But it WAS nice to move the armoires and the computer table in the bedroom and clean all the dust and cobwebs from behind. The room sparkles now!

Peterson Party said...

Awesome. I love to see how other people clean and keep house, schedules, etc. Good luck and I hope you love your new schedule.
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