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
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.