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 Hogan: Our 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.
beckyathome: I 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 M: Very 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!