Tag Archives: housekeeping

Week One, Done!

newscan189So, I finished my first week of using my weekly Chore Lists again. I’m sitting in a neat and tidy living room realizing that by just doing the daily chores, it’s made a big difference. One room at a time, I think I’m digging back out of the general messiness that had developed during the most recent season of life. For me, stress and depression can really effect my abilities to keep up on chores. And then the house gets messy and I feel even more down. Seeing a tidy living room is a great mood lifter.

Things I learned this week:

1) Make the bed as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning. That way, as I leave my room and walk into the kitchen, the first thing I do is mark off “Make bed” on the Chore List. Makes me feel accomplished in the morning before I’ve even had my coffee.

2) Sweeping the kitchen every day, rather than every few days, makes a big difference. I can’t eat off the floor, but it’s noticeably nicer to be in the kitchen.

3) If I don’t have time for a bigger chore, at this point I’m just putting it off until next week when it rolls around again. When I miss a chore, I don’t worry about it and know it’s coming back around soon.

4) Many of the chores are a bit time-consuming right now because I’m behind and things are worse than normal. Once I take the time to do the chore well, it’ll be easier next time it comes around in the rotation and will go much faster.

5) I realize how often I was forgetting to do things around the house. Just basic upkeep types of chores like emptying the dishwasher or wiping appliances. Now that those things are on the list, they’re getting done and I don’t have to rely on my memory.

6) Don’t worry if a chore is too big to tackle all in one day because it’s been skipped for so long. I set a timer (5 or 10 minutes) and worked on things until time’s up. The chore will come around again and I can work on it again for a few minutes. I can do anything for ten minutes, even nasty chores.

7) Music helps me move a bit faster and gets the chores done more quickly.

This past week was sort of my test run to see if the Chore Lists still work for me. I have to say the test was a success. I’m still behind in a lot of areas, but as the chores keep coming around, I’ll keep working on things. The house is noticeably tidier.

Onward and upward!

Family Chores

One of the things I struggled with over the years of parenting was getting the housework done. I tried chore charts and rewards for the kids, but honestly, I wasn’t setting the greatest example for them, so those things always ended up feeling more than a little bit hypocritical.

Then I discovered if I made up chore lists of all the regular household chores and set about doing those things, myself, I could start encouraging the kiddos to work with me to get the chores done. Continue reading


If you’re new to this blog, start here.

broom-womanToday’s Chore List states that it’s time to clean the bathroom(s). This particular group of chores comes around each week on Thursdays in my chore rotation. The problem is that my bathroom is so cluttered at the moment, I wouldn’t be able to do the Thursday bathroom chores.

The list for today looks like this: Continue reading

Start Where You’re At

chores_logoI’ve heard from people who’ve used my Weekly Chore Lists that they found that just starting on whatever day it is currently works fine. You don’t have to start on Monday. If you’re starting mid-week, just do what I would do …check off all those chores you missed earlier in the week. Mark them as done. Crossing off the earlier chores is a reminder to not go back to the top of the list and try to “catch up.” The gotta-catch-up mentality kills the whole process. Believe me, I know this from firsthand experience.

Also, several people have told me that they were facing a huge mess, but just started in doing the daily chores. In a couple of weeks, they found they’d actually made headway with the bulk of the mess and clutter without ever really having to focus on it too much. The daily chores took a bit longer when things were starting out from the messy phase, but once things started getting in order from regular upkeep, it went much faster.

Onward and upward.

Happy Monday!

If you’re new to this blog, start here.

th9KXQ6UC4Oh, wait. It’s not Monday, it’s Tuesday. Well, happy Tuesday, then. I guess it just feels like Monday to me. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

So far, so good on following the weekly Chore List. I was able to check off nearly all of the Everyday chores and nearly all of the Monday chores yesterday. Winning! (Hey, if I’m not my own cheerleader in this, I’ll never hear cheers … it’s not like I have a pep club following me around encouraging me on. It’s more like I have an anti-pep club living in my brain telling me that I’m a housekeeping loser.) Continue reading

Garage Sale Tips

If you’re new to this blog, start here.

9e5dc-1408728352252Spring Cleaning – or even just a thorough decluttering of your house anytime of year – is a wonderful accomplishment. Everything is fresh and clean. Doesn’t it feel great? But what do you do with all those junky doo-dads (I mean “treasures”) rescued out of the closets and garage and now needing to find new homes? Making a few extra pennies by holding a Garage/Yard Sale could be just the ticket.

A number of years ago, I held a four day Garage Sale that was successful beyond my wildest dreams. I thought I’d share some of the ideas I used during my sale last year in case anyone else is thinking about holding a Garage Sale or Yard Sale. Continue reading

Dusting Lampshades

I’m going to start updating this blog again. It’s always been something I’ve worked on in bits and pieces. Once again, I fell behind in things (life happens), but I want to start back to some of my tried-and-true methods and ideas that used to be helpful (and I imagine will be again).

To start things off, here’s a quick tip:

I learned a super easy trick for dusting the lampshades … use a lint roller! Cuts down on dust in the air and also picks up things (like pet hair) that don’t always want to let go of the lampshades easily. Works like a dream.

In case you’re new to this blog, visit the introduction page here:

Dishes and kitchen chores

dishwashing (2)A friend of mine and I both live alone. You’d think it’d be simple to keep up on dishes for just one person, but we both have found ourselves struggling with dirty dishes piling up in the sink and on the counter. I started paying attention to my actions in the kitchen, and I may have found the answer(s) to my dishes situation. Continue reading

The best laid plans of mice and …… me?

(New to this blog?  Start here.)

Can’t find my way out of the distractions of life at the moment.  Wow, this has been a week!  I still don’t have the storage room switched over to a guest room (so my guest has been sleeping on the couch).  Fortunately I have a big comfy couch that’s great for sleeping on.  But still.  I feel sad that the room wasn’t ready prior to the crisis.  But I had no way of knowing I’d need the guest room ready so soon.  Blah.

Anyway, I’ve been running from one thing to another every day, hoping to find myself at the end of all the nonsense that has suddenly become my life.  But no such luck.  It seems we’ve entered a new season of life completely unexpectedly and housekeeping seems like such a low priority now.

BUT … !

Yes, there’s a “but” to the story.  It’s actually sort of a good “but” too.  🙂

Housekeeping is a low priority BUT … my dishes are caught up.  My living room is vacuumed.  My piano wall is still neat.  My bathrooms are staying clean.  And my bed is even made most days!

Spending those couple of weeks focusing on just some of the bare bones basics (dishes, bathrooms, bed, living room) and then trying to keep in the habit of quickly running through some of the things on the daily Chore Lists has actually kept me from getting completely swamped when life went kaput!

By golly, I think it’s working!

I haven’t had time to keep up on this blog.  I haven’t been able to continue the decluttering project.  And I’d still be embarrassed if someone showed up on the doorstep unexpectedly.  BUT … they could use my bathroom, they could find a place to sit on the couch, and there’s even a table in the kitchen that they could sit at.

Although things aren’t where I thought they’d be this week, considering how much a crisis would’ve thrown me and my house into disarray in the past, there’s been a big improvement!  Not a monumental improvement, but the fact that there’s anything at all is huge to me.

Plus, I’ve been trying to remember not to nag at myself about everything I haven’t been doing.  And trying to remember to focus on the things that I have been doing (providing a temporary home for someone whose marriage is falling apart is no small thing to tackle, me thinks).

I’m going to go dig around in the storage-but-soon-to-be-guest-room again for a bit before dinner.

Onward and upward!

Tomorrow’s the first Monday of the new month …

Distract yourself from housework by coloring your own calendar page! 😉

(New to this blog?  Start here.)

Tomorrow is the first Monday in August.  I’m going to begin the rotation of my Chore Lists starting with Week One tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Actually, I’m hoping to really “work the plan” this week.  Really.  If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’re probably laughing at me. 😉  Well, you did notice I said I’m “hoping” to do it rather than I’m “planning” to, right?  Yeah, that was intentional.  Using the word “hope” leaves room for NOT being Susie Homemaker.

I used to think I had to speak very firm, non-wishy-washy words like “I WILL do such-and-such” or “I PLAN to do this-and-that” … but honestly, being so firm and positive just made me feel guilty when I didn’t live up to my own plans and expectations.  It kept me in bondage to failure and guilt rather than giving me the freedom to take steps (even small ones) and actually succeed.  Seriously, that’s how my mind works.  I think I’m wired backward or something.  😉

Anyway, now I HOPE to do things!  Hope is a very good, positive word.  It has all sorts of possibilities, doesn’t it?  But it also allows room for being human without feeling like a failure.  (Yeah, you stumbled upon some quasi-profound housekeeping psychological mumbo-jumbo.)

So feel free to join with me in hoping to begin implementing the Week One Chore List … and then we can all report back how little we’re actually checking off the list each day.  (Just kidding!  Sort of.)  😉

You can print out a PDF of the Week One Chore List.

Over the past couple of weeks since I started this blog, I’ve gotten in the habit of doing the dishes everyday (more or less) and making my bed (more or less), so now it’s time to try adding in the habit of using the checklist for all the daily chores.

I have about six weeks until Grad School starts up.  According to the “experts” it takes about six weeks to develop a new habit, so I want to be in the habit of using my Chore Lists to keep me on track when school starts up and I’m distracted from my house again.

Oh, you probably noticed I only posted Daily Tips for about three days.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and … me.  For the future when I think of something that’s a helpful little tip of some sort, I’ll post it.  But a Daily Tip seemed too much like work.  And I balked.  😉

I’ll still be posting more or less daily updates to the blog, however.  Just couldn’t get my brain to handle the whole tip-a-day thing.  I think I need tips for myself more than I need to be giving them out.

Onward and upward, my haphazard housekeeping friends!