Home Routines

I thought about my home routines for most of last week. I would like to add one item to my morning routine, something that is absolutely key for me and it would be one of the first things I do: shower and dress.  Even if I am going to go outdoors to work in the hot sun.  Even if I am going to be home all day long.  Because I find that mornings when I schlep about in my night clothes, I have to break up my morning to dress for the day mid-way through a job or two and that means I might not get back to finish off something.  At Granny's, we weren't allowed so much as a drink of water, much less come to the breakfast table, unless we were fully dressed and ready for the day.  I'm seeing more and more the wisdom of that rule of hers and I mean to incorporate it into my day.  Right after I get out of bed, open the window and throw back those covers, I'm headed to the shower!

I sat down last night before bed and set down my current routine and what I thought would work better for me.   I wrote out a zone list and realized I liked the principle of it just not the way I've been doing them which was to focus all week long on that one area and then move to the next zone.  I came up with something and think it's just the answer to my need to add a spark to my routine housework once again.

I've found that staying away from computer in the mornings is most helpful though I will go online on John's work mornings because I can run Swagbuck videos at that time.  It's the only time I get to hit at those small earnings.  BUT I always stop running videos by 7am so it shouldn't be a problem to hold off on that.

Come afternoons I usually am ready for quiet work.  I can write my posts without reading emails and going on Facebook or playing games.  I had just allowed myself too much slack in those areas.  I'll be more disciplined now that I'm mindful of the big black hole of wasted time.  I have so much I want to get done besides housework and writing, that I really can't lost a portion of my workday to something like games.  They can have their place in the evening hours.

I felt excited to get up this morning and work in my area and got a lot accomplished. It's a good indicator that I have hit upon the right idea for me at this time. I like feeling excited for my work!

Sunday:  Beds and baths.  I almost always change my bed sheets on Sunday.  If we have guests in the house, nine times out of ten, those sheets are changed on Sunday after they leave.  So this just made good sense to me.  I'd been trying to cram the kitchen into this day but was always working on the bed and bath anyway.  So now I'll concentrate where I really was focused anyway.

Monday: Living and Dining Room, Front Entryway, and the small hallway outside the guest room.

Tuesday:  Porches and Patio.  Not to be confused with yardwork!  The porches always need some little attention.  Things get dirty.  It will be good to focus on tasks that might make them more pleasant.  We are on the porches at some point nearly every day either morning or evening and I want them to stay pleasant through these warm months.

Wednesday: Kitchen, desk and sitting area.  This area has four large windows and a small window above the sink.  Plenty of surfaces to get dusty, cabinets to wipe down etc.

Thursday:  Back entry, laundry and the back pantry.  I know the pantry isn't connected to the laundry but it's another area that can go downhill quickly and really does need weekly attention, too.  The back entry and laundry generate more dirt in a week's time than you can possibly imagine, so I want to spend a small portion of time each week making sure they are kept clean.

Friday:  Yard or shed.  Also a good day to catch up on other work if John has been particularly spontaneous during the week or it happens to be raining.  I always give the house a good going over on Friday because of Shabat, but I tried this new routine out today.  I happened to have cleaned the house on Thursday and readied it for Shabat because John was working and I knew he'd be restless and irritable if I was too busy.  I was able to go outdoors and pot up the plants I bought on Thursday.  I also had a bit of time to work on the new back door wreath.  The outdoors got the attention it needed and deserved and I'm one step closer to having the pretty yard I hope to have this warmer season.

So that's my idea.  I've written out a list of things to accomplish weekly and monthly and I'm just fine with those lists as they have stood the test of time.  None of these areas need 8 hours of attention but the main focus will certainly be there on the designated days.  After all, I still have to fit in projects, crafting, writing, making meals and clearing up, days out,  etc.  But I'll know each day where I am meant to be and will make sure to attend to some cleaning or other needed tasks specifically for those spaces.

I've really been enjoying the conversations about your home routines.  I thought I'd share them in this post because people who might not read comments are going to miss the treasure trove of good advice.

I love that all of our routines are varied and fit each of our lives right where we are now.  Becky reminds me that children drastically change up a routine, as does a job outside the home.  Sarah reminds me that husbands who retire can switch things up for us, too!

Now on to the wisdom of others who've stopped to share.  Y'all be sure to click on links where names are highlighted.  Some of these ladies have blogs of their own and I'd love to see you all go visit them:

Christie HoganOur daily routines are very similar. I am, by nature, organized and routine oriented. Having a daily, weekly, monthly and "as needed" schedule of housework helps keep me feeling on top of things and by doing them, our home, yards and vehicles are pretty much always clean. Especially since there are only 2 of us at home now, things don't get quite as messy and out of order as when our son was still at home --not that he was messy--but boys don't tend to out things back where they found them! Lol

I do budget/banking work every few days and buy groceries every 2 weeks, with the occasional stop to top off milk, bread and/or produce.

beckyathomeI have a routine I'd like to follow, and then there's reality! My days are so full and busy that I have a hard time getting to do any one thing for very long. But, I really, really like things tidy--I feel so much rested, so try to whisk around and clean up the clutter and work on dishes, at least, before we start in on homeschool, etc. I have quite a bit of school that I need to do with the girls, but there are a few things that they do by themselves, like practice guitar, and I often do a few more chores during those times, then I re-join them. I have also decided to not do school with the girls on Friday mornings. They are to finish up with assignments, etc., and then I have some time to either shop, or try to clean things up.

3 days a week, I do homeschool all morning, leave about 1:30 for work, work from 2:15-6:15, 2 x a week head straight for the YMCA for exercise and/or dance lessons for one of the girls, then home by around 8. One night is church. One night I don't work, I have dance from 7:30-8:30 at the YMCA. One night I come straight home by 7. Today, one girl had driving lessons, so I took her there. You get the idea.

In all reality, by the time I get home from work and evening activities, it's usually between 7 and 8:30, and I'm really tired. So, I usually just sit down.

On Saturdays, I often assign out some chores like cleaning the bathroom to the kids and I also clean things. I used to call it my "sacred cleaning Saturday" because for years I wouldn't let anyone make plans on Saturdays so we could clean. Now, not so much, but we still get things done on a lot of Saturdays. I go outside and work on any day that is sunny and I can carve out even 1/2 hour. When I keep my nephew on Saturdays or Sunday afternoons, he takes a lot of care.

SO, my routine is to clean like a maniac whenever I get a moment. Rest when I can. Give myself grace because it is never, ever done to my satisfaction and I never, ever have enough time or energy. And, be glad for whatever I can get done before I peter out. I don't regret my choices. They just don't always make things easy because I'm always multi-tasking and trying to get things done ahead so that I don't feel pressured. Today, for instance, I worked on Easter a bit between things, as the weekend is busier than normal.

Debby in KS:  I have a good morning routine, but I think I need one for night. The house is mostly tidy when I get up, but it can also be a mess. I hate that! I'm naturally a robin and by 5 pm, I'm a sloth. By 7, I'm sleepy, and by 8-8:30, I just don't care! Today was a screwy schedule so I'm awake, but just barely. I'm waiting for the hubs to finish up what he's doing.

Jayne MVery similar to yours. But my most important evening routine is one I read years ago (pretty sure it was FlyLady) which said never leave the kitchen messy. So I always make sure all dishes are done, everything wiped down, etc. So much nicer to get up to a clean kitchen and gets the day rolling much quicker than if you needed to wash dishes, etc. first up.

Sew Blessed Maw (Judy):  Terri, I too have a morning/evening routine.. Very similar to yours

Morning Routine. When my feet hit the floor-- I make my bed [if i wait , I can't seem to make it back to do it] I put away the dishes in the dishwasher, so it is ready to be filled when needed. Sweep living area and kitchen. Do a load of laundry [if needed.. from start to finish]

Night routine--- Cook supper [usually, some thing is started earlier in the day], after supper, I put dishes in dishwasher /or hand wash? Wipe up all counters. 10-15 minutes before bedtime.. I do a quick pick up. I return anything that does not belong to its correct place. I do a quick sweep of living area/kitchen. I tidy the bath room [wipe sink counter, commode lids etc with clorox wipes.

I do many other chores through out the day.. But, these few morning/evening routines.. Keeps the house tidy and if other things come up.. The house is still presentable for company.
Thanks for sharing your routine.. Love to read about others.. to get hints..

Sarah:  I read too that it is also good to pull back the covers and air them out to keep the mite population down. They like the warmth. Bringing the covers down and airing things cools things right down. :) I think I remember you also said you set the coffee maker and perhaps [?] get things out to be ready to make breakfast the night before? I set the table and put out everything too for our breakfast that way. That is the last thing for the house I do at night. Also each evening I set out the clothes for the next day. I keep it all together on a hanger. You have your outfits figured out..the same thing.

There are times of the year things have to be revamped like canning/ gardening season or holidays but as you said by keeping things as neat as possible daily you can get through these busy times and then get back to your usual routines. 

One thing that really helps is trying to declutter as much as you feel comfortable doing. Some people like 'things' around them more than others. But any extra really slows down cleaning. Also we have found that the more 'little' things you have around on top of tables etc you tend to not notice the special things as there are too many distractions. 

A place for everything and everything in its place has always been a good rule we all know. Mail and bills in one place, scissors and such in another. Hunting for things takes time and is frustrating! :-) To be able to open a drawer and deposit things quickly and find them as easily is great! :-)) 

I have little time anymore to do cleaning cleaning but I can keep things as neat as possible. The when I do get time for a clean it can happen quicker with more time to do the best possible job. No matter what time of the day I have to do it. People have commented that my home always looks so neat and clean. I am surprised. I realized what they saw did look clean but if they looked close they could see dustin things many times. In general it looks good though. We all have different lives and do the best we can. I would love to have time for a real full routine like I used to have but that was another life ago.

Lana: Oh how I hate dusting! Martha Stewart Living recently had an article that said you should dust the entire house daily. Never! But really, our bedroom is upstairs away from all entrance doors and on a separate A/C unit from down and we typically never go in there except at night and to clean and it has hard wood floors so I am thankful that I do not have to dust it everyday. 

Gracious!  I don't believe I will follow Martha's example at all!  Even this 1924 book doesn't recommend dusting daily for every room, just the bedrooms.  And while dusting is done daily, it's recommended that the bedrooms be cleaned (I'll assume they mean vacuuming and that sort of thing) be done just every other week.  Sheets are recommended to be changed weekly with pillowcases freshened (a fresh set put on and the others sent down to laundry), every three or four days! Imagine that!

 I am with you, Lana, dusting is my least favorite activity though it's been helped somewhat by having the Swiffer duster.  But yes, I shall try dusting the bedroom daily for a bit and see if that becomes a habit.  We'll see.  Just you believe, the other rooms mightn't be done but a once or twice a month tops though!

I am still reading the Good Housekeeping book on Housekeeping and will share some of that with you all when I'm finished with it.  I guess I've sent myself off to another of my boot camp sessions as I've a stack of books by my chair to study.  There are three or four more after I finish this one.  I'll try to report on them as I finish up if they are worth repeating.  This one from 1924 sure is!


susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

There was a lot of inspiration and good ideas on this post from you and from your readers. I must admit I agree with Lana about the dusting. The whole house every day may be a bit much for one person to accomplish and still manage to get everything else done. I'm pretty sure Martha S. has plenty of help around her house.

Your Good Housekeeping book on Housekeeping from 1924 sounds so interesting. You were lucky to find it.

Lana said...

I think Martha has an entire staff to dust for her!

Anonymous said...

A new routine sounds nice. I'm also a zone cleaner. My friend loved Flylady and that's where I got the zone idea. I started there and fine-tuned it to fit me. I have daily zones and weekly zones. Since most are probably familiar, I'll be brief.
Monday-Upstairs bedrooms
Tuesday- Living Room, Dining Room, Entry, & Front Porch
Wednesday- Upstairs bathrooms and hallway. Entire basement, including bathroom.
Thursday- Ironing, bill paying, desk work like shopping lists, bday cards, etc. Essentially all the things that make life run without curse words.
Friday- Kitchen & laundry room, clean out cars, purse.
Saturday- Yard

Week 1- Basement
Week 2- Kitchen
Week 3- Bedrooms
Week 4- Bathrooms and hall pantry
Week 5- Living room & Dining room

I have a chore each day for deeper cleaning. Like the kitchen may be
M-Clean & reorganize a drawer or pantry shelf.
T- Check stock of homemade soaps & make any, if needed
W- Deep clean fridge
Th- Deep clean freezer
F- Clean windows

I have two monthly lists that I change every other month. Some chores are needed like the deep cleaning fridge every month. Others are only on one because they need doing less often, like making soaps.

My regular thing is to vacuum every day. We have a lovable hairy mutt that sheds and I have asthma. For the same reason, I dust the bedroom daily. I swish the toilets daily with baking soda between big cleans. I also check the calendar, sort the mail, & make any needed calls in the morning.

As a general rule, the big cleaning is done in the morning before lunch. Once I have lunch, I get to do fun activities like sewing, mending, or essentially anything that doesn't require my back!
I keep a basket near my office shredder and put stuff in there for weekly shredding. That's Wed. because I split the shreds among clean wastebaskets. If someone wants to dig thru' them, be my guest, but do so at your own risk!! I used to mix it with cat litter for my cat. :D

Terri, you have me thinking about shaking things up a bit just for my boredom....

Debby in KS

Anonymous said...

So much for brief, lol

Debby in KS

Tammy said...

We were all sick last week, so I'm catching up on blog reading now. Recently I adopted a new-to-me routine around the house that seems to be working for us for now.
Monday - kitchen day - clean out the refrigerator, quick inventory of the pantry, prep food for the week including baking, then cleaning of counters, floors, and straightening cupboards and drawers as needed
Tuesday - deep cleaning day - weekly rotation of concentrating on "zones" which include living/dining, bedrooms, bathrooms, porches/garage/car.
Wednesday - laundry day - we do laundry daily, but this is the catch-up day. I do our sheets, rugs, any odds and ends in the laundry room. I also take this day to clean the laundry room and check inventory of supplies.
Thursday - office day - work in the den, pay bills, do correspondence, etc.
Friday - errand day - I have to go to town on Friday mornings to do some things at work, so I do my errands then, too. These include grocery shopping, library, post office, dropping off donations, any other shopping that needs done.
Saturday and Sunday are catch-up and rest days. Lots of times I work one or the other or both days, so instead of assigning chores, those days are open to just whatever needs doing.
There are daily tasks, of course, like dishes and keeping the bathrooms picked up and neat. The kids help out before bed by picking up their things. This summer they'll have a daily/weekly chore list to get done before any pool time or library programs.

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