Originally written in May 2007 but revised to reflect changes for 2009.
Confession time! I am not a highly organised person. I like the cosy warmth of clutter. I love my ornaments and nick-knacks as they all have a story behind them…they have sentimental value. I can’t take them with me when I go to be with the Lord, and I can live without them, but they are like good friends- I like to have them around.
I used to love decorating and making my home a cosy place to retreat but it has become harder to do as we move around frequently. I also find that modern homes, while clean and lovely, don’t have the same warmth and character- they lack the homey ambiance of older homes. However, I didn’t set out to write about decorating or house style but organisation so I need to get back to the point!
So I’m not overly organised…my home gets messy but it’s always clean. I can look beyond clutter. Okay, I can even look beyond dust but I can’t look beyond dirt or filth. I loved homeschooling in our home! I could hang time lines on the wall…and draw the measuring chart on the architrave, and hang beautiful pictures on the wall. This is not practical in the homes we have been living in…especially as we’ve only been in them for approximately 12-18 months at a time.
My mother always told me that the most important things to get done in the morning are the beds to be made, dishes done and the bathroom needs a quick wipe over. I can get this done. This way, if I have friends or company drop in unexpectedly I don’t mind. Since we’ve been in the rental homes I struggle with just doing this before lessons. I often want the house to be spotless (or my version of immaculate) before I start our lessons but the problem with this is that by the time all the work is done, I’m tired and it’s time to start cooking tea! So, I know that doesn’t work. I also put on a load of laundry every day. I’m also Out and About every single day…it wasn’t always like that but as children get older and we outsource to develop their interests it just means that I have to go out! Yes, our learning is based-at-home but isn’t limited or confined to the home only. I have days set aside where I aim to get certain things done. However, they may not always happen on those days- it depends on who is working on what days and who has to be where!
Each day, the boys unstack the dishwasher and drainer board. They also clean down the table and re-stack the dishwasher. Three times a week Master C vacuums the floors while master J is responsible for the shower cubicle as well as the kitchen benches and door fronts, etc.
On Monday, I like to go right through the house and clean all the floors– vacuuming and mopping. This gives me a fresh start to the week. Clean floors and a clean kitchen. But Monday is also my laundry day. I get any linen done along with the dark clothes from the weekend. I aim to have them washed, dried and put away by 4pm. I also like to clean right through teh house- bathrooms, dusting, cleaning bookshelves, etc. Monday is a full-on day.
Tuesday is another busy day as Master J has cadets Tuesday evening so I try and prepare a meal that can be eaten and cleaned away by 5.45pm. John takes Master J to Cadets and Miss A goes straight from work to softball training. We aren’t all home together until 10.30pm that night, by which time I’m usually in bed. Today is a fairly ‘light’ housework day with just a load of washing to be done and general kitchen maintenance. We do try and have a quick Neat ‘n’ Tidy about 4pm, in time for Dad to come home to a fairly neat home.
Wednesday is another laundry day. Oh! confession time. I don’t hang underwear (except white singlets), socks, handkerchiefs or other fiddly, small items on the line. I used to but not anymore, for two reasons. I love the feel of crisp, sun bleached clothes but we only have one of those clothes lines that folds up alongside the dark, sheltered side of the house. (Why they install them in the shade, I will never understand) I also have decided to maximise my time. Honestly, socks don’t last that long in my house anyway so there’s no need for me to try and preserve them as thoroughly as I might other items of clothing. So, I tumble dry them! So much easier and quicker. I think to myself, “What would I rather do? Cook a meal, iron a shirt, write a blog post, read a book or play a game with my children, speak on the phone with my dad or hang up socks ‘n’ jocks!!!!” I would rather do all those things rather than hang up socks. Anyway, I aim to have the loads of laundry, washed, dried and put away by 4pm, but this rarely happens. Master C vacuums again this morning while Master J tends to the kitchen. I potter with laundry, bathrooms, meal preparation, etc. ‘Master C’ does excellent 15 minute tidies. He goes around and put all the stray things away where they belong- shoes in people’s rooms, blocks in drawers, books in booknook, pens, cups, papers, etc. I used to have my office/accounting time on Thursday but this has changed. I now try and do organise my finances and look through catalogues for specials in preparation for our Out and About Day on Friday. We do a quick Neat ‘n’ Tidy in preparation for John to come home.
Thursday is the day where we’ll go shopping, pay bills, etc. If I haven’t cleaned the fridge and pantry on Thursday (in preparation for shopping day) I will do it today. Other that that, if I am home it is a fairly ‘light on’ housework day. or, I may end up doing the shopping on this day, leaving Friday free to do other things.
Friday is a big day for me. If it is not Out and About Day, we will clean the house, vacuum and do bathrooms, etc. It is also laundry day, in preparation for the weekend. If it is Out and About Day, we’ll go shopping, which is a pretty full on experience in our home! I like to look through catalogs and select where to shop but this all takes time and I don’t like to waste too much fuel just to save a dollar. Sometimes, if it is Out and About day we won’t have gotten the vacuuming and wet areas done…but I don’t try and play catch-up…it’s not going anywhere.
Saturday– Is my Day of Rest. I don’t do housework or meal preparation on this day, unless we’re having a celebration or something in particular. I like to read, spend time in God’s Word, listen to an audio sermon and write a blog post or two. I like to make myself available for John if he ever wants to do something. In the summer months we refresh, rest and then go to softball!
On Sunday I will usually put on two loads of laundry so that everyone has clean clothes for the Monday. Most people probably do them on the Saturday but that is my rest day so I do it today! I’ll get the clothes washed and ironed today. We may do a quick Neat ‘n’ Tidy in the morning, as well as the vacuuming (if it wasn’t done on Friday) but this is so we can continue to enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Monday: Floors | Laundry | General Housework and wet area
Tuesday: Odd jobs | Wet areas
Wednesday: Floors | Laundry | Finances | Grocery List
Thursday: Out and About
Friday: Floors | Laundry | Bathrooms
Alternate Friday: Out and About Day
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Neat ‘n’ Tidy | Quick Clean | Laundry
This is the routine that I have created while in this house, in this situation. However, the routine changes with each move…and as the children get older. With ‘Miss A’ working full time, and Miss R is a senior in High School, my laundry routine has changed. John also doesn’t come home for lunch nowadays which seems to give me a few extra hours in my day. I loved it when he came home from work but it did eat into my day a lot and I found I was often behind in work.
After being in any new house for a few months, allowing the new routine to settle, I ask John in what ways I can serve him better or more effectively. He does not like to answer this as we live by grace in our home but he has learned that I need this in order to focus- it is really helpful for me. So now, I try to always have the clothes washed, dried and put away. Does it always happen? No way! But it is a focus point…without it, we’ll never have clean clothes that are easily accessible but I’ll get loads of lessons done or wonderfully lavish meals cooked.
My other focus point is clean floors, (I hate crunchiness or stickiness under my feet!) and wet areas. Looking after wet areas is something that I’ve learned slowly, after being in army homes. It makes sense though. Wet areas are subject to moisture- thus susceptible to mould, grime and bacteria. They’re also hard to clean when left for too long and they can be expensive to mend. Don’t fuss over the dust, but keep on top of the wet area!
How about you? what is your weekly domestic routine? If you share, please drop me a note so I can visit your blog post…I’m needing more ideas and inspiration. 🙂