Operation Organize: A Weekly Plan

I've been reading a lot of home organization blogs, and I found a method of organizing housecleaning at Organized Home that I'm giving a try.

One of the first things they suggest is to set up a regular weekly schedule, with days dedicated to the following.
  • a heavy cleaning day
  • a light-moderate cleaning day
  • a quiet day (for bills and paperwork)
  • a shopping/errands day
  • a family day
  • a free day 
Wait...there are only six there!  Only two cleaning days?  How can I possibly keep a clean house with two cleaning days?   I thought about it, and that free day looked awfully I decided to try it.  My schedule came out like this:
Monday: Desk Day. First I deal with paperwork that needs filing, mailing, shredding, scanning or recycling.  I walk through each room and pick up papers, put them in one big pile and deal with them.  I pay any bills due that week, check balances on accounts, and followup on any e-mail that needed dealing with.  I also use the day to plan the week-figure out a menu, check schedules and make appointments.

Tuesday: Errands and Shopping.  I live in a small town that I can get groceries and a few other things, so I try and concentrate most of my errands that require a trip "into town" on this day to save gas and time. After trying this schedule for a while, I found I was a lot better about getting heavy cleaning done if I had the basics done, (vaccuming, clean kitchen counters and floors, etc.).  I also found I rarely needed the full day for errands, so I moved my weekly chores to Tuesday.

Wednesday: Heavy Cleaning.  This is the day that I try and get some of the cleaning done that goes beyond weekly chores.  In my next post I'll explain how I rotate these jobs, but they include things I only need to do monthly, or every 3 to 6 months.

Thursday: Personal Day.  Whee! This is when I work on hobbies and projects I want to, or take the day to finish a book or pinterest or blog...without any guilt! I wanted a free day in between the cleaning days.

Friday: Moderate Cleaning Day.  I use this day to finish any big projects that I didn't get done on Wednesday, and to get the house looking nice for the weekend.

Saturday: Family Day.  I picked this day for family day, because everyone is home and we end up planning most of our family activities this day.

 Sunday: Another Free day, this is our Sabbath. 

There are still daily chores that need attention regardless of what the day is dedicated to-we still need to eat, the baby needs his routine, and I like to try and get dishes done and toys picked up daily etc.  Some activities (like reading or mopping) are currently limited to naptimes, but the point is that I now have a specific time set aside to get it done-and I get things done a lot faster now that I've mostly eliminated procrastination.  It is easier to dig into the housework when I don't feel it hanging over my head constantly. I set aside evenings as family time as well, and try to get that day's tasks done by then. 

After following this schedule for a while now, I've found it works really well for me.  It has reduced my stress level considerably, and it is flexible enough that I can rearrange dedicated days to fit that week's schedule.  Most importantly, I still have time dedicated that week to get housework done-but it no longer dominates my schedule.  I now have time for the important things that make life worth living.

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