Motivated by Jacqui’s post on ‘running a home‘, I will preface this post by saying that 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. So, here’s a brief run down of my weekly routine.
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. I tried something new last week. John could either the whole kitchen (which is not easy after a cooked breakfast) or I’m happy to clean it but he must do copy work for the whole time it takes me to clean. This gives him a choice…and it helps me to get done quickly as I know he can’t write for an hour!
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 have one more load to do but can’t do them until after tea, as it is ‘Miss A’ ‘s white shirt that needs soaking (it gets covered in coffee) and then washing.
I try to prepare a meal that I can divide into two meals as I will be out on Tuesday night so I like it to be prepared so it can be just reheated and eaten.
Tuesday is a day where we watch a movie, clean a particular troublesome area, spend more time on lessons – we just enjoy being together. We do try and have a quick Neat ‘n’ Tidy about 4pm, in time for Dad to come home to a fairly neat home. If I bake treats, then today will be the day.
Wednesday is another laundry day. I have soaked ‘Miss A’ ‘s whites the night before and they can be washed and hung out in the sun to dry and be sun bleached. 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. Along with a meal on the table after ‘Miss A’ has cleaned the kitchen. She is home today so she does this job for me. John Jr. vacuums on Wednesday – the whole house. ‘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.
Thursday is the day where I sit and 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. If I bake treats, then today will also be the day. I’ll also try to organise an easy meal that can be reheated as I am out at softball again tonight. It isn’t that I’m gone for a long time, rather that it is just at our usual meal time.
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, I’ll only clean the fridge and kitchen so I have somewhere to put groceries once we’ve done the shopping.
Saturday– If it is Out and About week, then I won’t have cleaned the house so I try and organise everyone with jobs so we can tackle the usually mammoth task of cleaning the home in preparation for the weekend- I like to make myself available for John if he ever wants to do something. This is usually my Rest Day.
On Sunday I will usually put on one load of laundry and this will be John’s clothes from work. I’ll get them washed and ironed today. We may do a quick Neat ‘n’ Tidy in the afternoon, so that we get a swift start to Monday morning but this doesn’t always happen.
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 2 full days per week now, 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 a 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.
Monday: Floors | Laundry
Tuesday: Bake | Meal Prep | Odd jobs
Thursday: Finances | Grocery List | Meal Prep | Bake
Friday: Floors | Laundry | Bathrooms |
Alternate Friday: Out and About Day | Clean fridge
Saturday: Quick Clean | Rest Day
Sunday: Neat ‘n’ Tidy | One load of laundry