After three and a half years of being a stay at home mom I found I was still struggling with maintaining a cleaning schedule that kept the house presentable most of the time. I have tried a few different chore rotation schedules and even tasked myself with getting a few regular chores done each day, but for some reason nothing I tried seemed to work. Dishes piled up, laundry sat in hampers, dust collected, and floors got sticky.
When I moved into our new home I decided it was a good time to start breaking old bad habits and start making new good ones. After a little consideration I realized that there are four chores that simply must be done on a daily basis. These chores each have the nasty habit of building up throughout the day and if they are not taken care of will also cause problems, such as odor or attracting pests.
4. Pet Care (if you don’t have pets, rejoice! You get to do three chores!)
Once I recognized what needed to be done, I had to make sure that I did it. Making these chores part of my daily routine was the only solution. At first I tried breaking them up and getting each chore done at a different part of the day. My thought was that if they could be done slowly throughout the day it would not be such an imposition.
For example, I emptied the dishwasher first thing in the morning. I also started a load of laundry at this time. At lunch I would feed the pets and move the laundry into the dryer. After dinner I would load the dishwasher and take out the trash. Theoretically this works fine, but I found that I felt like I was doing chores all day, and after dinner I enjoy relaxing and put off the trash pretty regularly. I also found that if something interrupted the schedule, such as a trip into town or a cranky toddler who didn’t want to take a nap, the rest of the day fell apart and the chores did not get done.
So I readjusted my schedule and I now try to get as much done as I can first thing in the morning, usually while the children work on their breakfast. I try not to allow myself to do anything else until I get the chores done.
This is how my morning goes now:
I collect laundry from each of our bedrooms and the hamper I have on the main floor, I sort it and if there is enough laundry in one of the sorted bins I start a load. I set up a reminder note upstairs to move it into the dyer later in the day. (Or, if you prefer to be a techie about it, Ken can help.)
I start this in the basement when I go down for the laundry; the litter box is there as well so I clean that and then go around gathering up the trash in the other trash cans and put them in the main trash can in the garage.
I unload the dishes that were washed overnight. If there were too many dishes for the machine the night before I load up those and will add to them during the day as I go. I also go ahead and get any items that needed hand washing done at this time too. At the end of the night I just have to put the dishes from dinner in the dishwasher and let it run.
The litter box has already been done, so all I have to do is check their food and water bowl and refill as needed.
Once I started getting all of these chores done each morning I found that my house seemed tidier and cleaner. I was also able to get other chores done throughout the day that need to be done, like washing windows or cleaning the toilets. So making sure to tackle the dishes, the laundry, the pets and trash each day has really added a lot of peace to our home.
Do you have any regular cleaning habits to share with us?
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