I view this blog as a way to keep myself in line. If it helps anyone else, that's great, but there's nothing like some good ole public accountability to encourage me to stick to my goals. So, I'm trying something new, a Monday through Friday task list that I'm starting this week and hoping to continue (no doubt with modifications) through the end of my leave of absence from work in August 2013.
I'm doing this new system now for a few reasons:
1) Though I used to pat myself on the back for just emptying the dishwasher in a given day, soon I will have had a baby for half a year (!) and I think it's about time to step up my game.
2) A mom friend of mine helped push me in this direction as she shared her attempts at getting a couple things done a day.
3) I have a tendency to get hyper focused and want to clean the entire house and run 15 errands all in one day and then not do anything for a week. That's not only unhealthy, but it's just impossible now. By giving myself a couple tasks to complete per day I hope I'll feel less overwhelmed. I also just need to be honest with myself and what I can realistically accomplish.
4) I've felt less of an urge to keep our house clean since Natalie's birth because, you know, I've been kind of busy and all, but as I spend more time at home I have increasing opportunities to see the dust bunnies or, more realistically, the piles of dog hair everywhere. Oh my god, I am covered in dog hair and it disgusts me. It is seriously taking away from my happiness even though I am an otherwise completely happy person with lots to celebrate.
OK, so here goes:
Meal planning and grocery shopping!
A rotating task list...
One week: Clean the bathrooms.
Following week: Dust.
One week: Natalie's laundry
Following week: My laundry
A rotating task list...
One week: Wood floors and walls/doors (by this I mean get out the Magic Eraser to handle any obvious dirt/marks that have accumulated)
Following week: Windows and sheets
Kitchen wipe down -- counter tops, stainless steel appliances, check fridge for expired food, etc.
Every other day....wash a load of cloth diapers
On those days, like today, that I do not have to wash diapers I will dedicate that time to Furminating the dogs, which will hopefully help me maintain my sanity a little longer between vacuuming sessions.
A few important points about this list:
1) This is a "good enough" list. While my standards of cleanliness are maybe greater than those of the average person, experience would indicate that they are not greater than those of the average reader of an organization/home maintenance blog. So, when I say "windows" every other Thursday, I don't mean I'll be cleaning every single window in my house, but rather I'll attack those heavily trafficked windows (the front storm door and the bay window in the living room where the dogs hang out come to mind) and when the spirit moves me on a rare occasion I'll get to other windows.
2) On a similar note, it may gross some people out to only change your bedsheets once every two weeks, but that's good enough for us.
3) Matt will assist with this list. He still does the majority of the vacuuming in our house (and DJ Roomba continues to assist with keeping the main level of our house tidy), and he does all the cooking. Although I've taken on more grocery shopping than I have in the past, he continues to do a significant portion of grocery shopping and did, for example, go to both Wegmans and Costco last night while I was spending time with Natalie and putting her to bed.
4) I am already resisting the urge to be unrealistic in my expectations and deviate from this schedule. For example, I can see right now that the fridge and the coffeemaker both could use a wipe down, but I am resisting the urge to add that to my list of responsibilities today because I know I'll do it Friday. Or, today's Tuesday, and the bathrooms could use cleaning and the house could use dusting, but I'll have to pick one and save the other one for next week. It is oddly liberating, at least as far as a schedule can be liberating.
5) Obviously there will be other things I will do each day, some mini-projects (right now figuring out what to do with my classroom that it still packed up in my car will be a priority), but overall I'm most concerned about maintaining the schedule I've had going for the last few months that includes a social activity or excursion every day to introduce Natalie to new people, environments and activities. That is more important than a clean house.
Oh, and when I go back to work full time I think we're going to have to hire a cleaning service, because there's no way I could do this schedule, work full time, care for a baby, and still have some fun. Major props to you if you can!