Sunday, September 8, 2013

home routines

Sunday morning.
Reading--nicer in a clean room.

I'm not an expert house cleaner by any means. Quite the opposite.  I struggle to keep up with housework.  I just don't enjoy it and I'm much more a couch potato by nature.  But--oh how I hate a discouragingly messy house!  I hate looking around and having the feeling of never being able to catch up.  Very quickly my thoughts go down a path of "I could clean all day, every day, and still never be done."

One thing I understand about myself is that I love order and routines.  I found the Flylady system a few years ago, and it really resonated with me.  Basically, Flylady encourages us to let go of the perfectionism that prevents us from cleaning.  I don't consider myself a perfectionist in most ways, but this really rings true to me when it comes to house cleaning.  I feel like, "why even start because I'm never going to be able to do it "right" or thoroughly."  Ugh!  But Flylady implores us to get up off the couch and at least "take a lick at a snake"--it's better than doing nothing!  And she reminds us that "housework done incorrectly still blesses the family."  It's so true!  I want us to live in a orderly, uncluttered, and reasonably clean home so we can enjoy our time in it.  But I don't want to be a slave to cleaning or to constantly feel discouraged about the imperfections around here.

If you want to read more about the Flylady system, I suggest reading her book.  I find her website a bit hard to navigate.  The book lays out the system most clearly.  I don't stick to her suggestions exactly, but the basic method of having routines and eschewing perfectionism are gold to me.

So . . . all this to say that I found an iPad app that is helping me stick to routines.  It's called Home Routines.  It's a very Flylady oriented app.  You can put in your morning and evening routines (I also added in an after work routine), weekly routines, and the zones are already programmed in there.  You can change them around as you like.  It's very customizable.  You can set routine reminders if you want, or leave them turned off.  It's up to you.  As you do the items in your routines you can check them off and ear a "star."  I love earning stars!  It's very motivating for me.

I have very very basic daily and weekly routines.  I'm keeping things very realistic.  I know I will never stick with the program if my home life feels like a treadmill I can never get off.  I hate that feeling!  I want to enjoy my home and family!  My philosophy, since I work full time and commute, is that if I can keep up with very minimal tasks, nothing will get too far gone and I won't get that discouraged, defeated feeling.  I'm putting it to the test this year.  I've ditched routines that weren't working for me and made everything more doable.

For example, my afternoon routine is pretty short.  When I get home I have to . . .
  • put my belongings away neatly
  • charge my phone
  • unload the dishwasher
  • take a walk (the walk is what still eludes me most days . . . )
My evening routine is longer . . .
  • make dinner
  • kitchen cleanup
  • set the coffee maker for the next day
  • make lunches
  • read to the boys
  • enter the day's receipts into Expenditure (another app I love)
  • set out clothes for the next morning
  • wash face and use serum or moisturizer
  • brush teeth and floss
  • go to bed by 9:30
Ideally, I'd have a 5 minute tidy up in there too, but I'm trying to make it realistic and doable.

 My morning routine is pretty obvious . . .
  • brush and floss
  • dress and get ready :: hair and make-up
  • unload dishwasher
  • breakfast
  • leave for work
Plus, I have additional nightly chores.  These are what keep the weekends from being jam packed with ALL the cleaning:

Monday :: bedroom (change sheets, dust a bit, maybe sweep the floors, etc)
Tuesday :: quick bathroom
Wednesday :: boys' bedroom
Thursday :: finalize grocery list
Friday :: grocery shopping on the way home from work

Saturday and Sunday have more tasks.

  • do 15 minutes of cleaning in the current "zone"
  • run loads of laundry
  • thorough bathroom
  • fold and put away laundry
  • do 15 minutes of cleaning in the current "zone"
  • clutter hot spots
  • wash car
  • put gas in the car for the week
 I know this probably doesn't sound like enough cleaning to most of you, but honestly, with working and commuting and my couch potato nature this is what I can manage and it helps me maintain a balance in my life.  The point of having a cleanish house is so I can enjoy family life with Ken and the boys.  So I never want to go crazy with the cleaning.  I'd LOVE to have a perfectly clean home, but that is never going to happen. 

What about you?  Do you love cleaning and pride yourself on an immaculate home?  Or do you fall into the couch potato camp, like me?  I'd love to hear any tricks or tips you have.  (And if you have a vacuum cleaner you love, I'd love to hear about that too). 


Finn Felton said...

In morning i enjoy a caramel cappuccino.But the idea to have salt in chocolate seems weird and not sound so good.

Finn Felton

Kopi Luwak

blueberrybecky said...

this sounds perfect to me!
Before kids I was very particular about our house, I couldn't go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink or the floor unswept. These days life is very different and goals are aligned differently, too.
The only thing that would have to be different in our house is the sweeping...somehow no matter how I try to not have to do it so much it ends up being done multiple times a day.
But oh, well, ce la vie!
Enjoy week 3 :) Think of us as Isaac starts week 1. I am hoping it just works smoothly and that he wants to return each day! :)

Sarah said...

HA! I had no idea my little sister had logged, that was my comment above, not hers:)
Have a lovely night!

Zena said...

Hi there, this is my first time commenting...i really enjoy your blog! I'm a stay at home mum and I feel like I am forever doing chores. It's a ever ending cycle and I somehow never sit down to do regular crafting for myself, always lots with my eldest and play with my toddler. I'm going to give your suggested app a go. Thank you! And you have a beautiful family and beautiful blog.

Gabi B. said...

Oh, how I enjoyed this post, I looove to read about other peoples' routines. I am FLYing at the moment, but on and off... I love to have a clean home, but get discouraged if I clean the whole day and it gets dirty again within 5 minutes. Our home is far from being perfect, but it's okay for me. Love your routines, they sound so do-able to me. I really must check out this app for routines, routines are so easy, it is really like being on "auto-pilot". The one thing I struggle with is paper work and financial stuff, how do you handle this??
This year, I want to free the weekends from cleaning all day, still working on it...And routines for my son, he's struggling with school so much :-(
Have a wonderful week!

Gabi B. said...

One more thing: I absolutely agree with you on the couch potatoe nature: just let me sit at the kitchen table with a cup of tea and I am happy :-)

catie said...

hey mary beth!
first off, in response to your first comment, i LOVE salt in my chocolate. i even like a SALTED caramel cappuccino ; )

second, i have really let things go with cleaning. i used to do flylady, and maybe it's time to revisit her routines, because when we clean it's more of crisis cleaning these days.

you are getting me motivated.

Our Adventures As A Family of 4.... said...

Couch potato camp. But, the girls are old enough to help now (9 and 11 1/2) so they help with chores on the weekend too and I find that makes ie easier for me. I don't work so I do have time to do chores, I just hate them and hate having to clean house. So we all help and it works out better for me. When we adopted the girls 5 yrs ago and up till this year, I did all the housework and did it before everyone got home and school pick up. Now we all help and I find I don't have to do it all myself anymore. I like that. I still do laundry and put it away as I have a system for that and for putting it away, but at some point the girls will be responsible for putting their laundry away. They do help fold towels and put them away in their bathroom. I am just resigned that my small house will be a bit cluttered and not always like I would like it to be.

Andrea said...

Ugh, no, I'm with you; I hate cleaning, but I like a clean house. We've definitely refined our cleaning routines to quick pick-up, vacuum, laundry (tons of laundry), and bathrooms on Saturday morning. I just bought a new vacuum after 14 years of using an Electrolux that was older than I am. It's this: I'm pretty happy with it so far (we have all hardwood floors, so it works for us).

Julie said...

I tend to get overwhelmed and struggle to keep things up. I have a couch potato nature, but I like to have a clean house. Some things have become a routine, but a lot of jobs are not! We love our Dyson vacuum. We have owned it for many years-- it is still working and we still think it was a great use of our money.

Sarah said...

Just wanted to thank you for posting this. I've tried to keep everything covered, but I don't think I'm going to stick to it until I've mapped it out like this.