Housework seems overwhelming, especially for first-timers like me. I had no idea where to begin, how to keep it going. I felt like there was always more to be done and no energy with which to do it. So where does a person begin? If my end goal is to make our home homey and approachable, a sanctuary as well as a place of great movement and life, how do I do that and still keep it clean and ordered enough that people can pop over without reducing me a sheepish, Sorry my place is so messy, again.
Let's look at laundry for a sec. What was my old method? Do a load whenever I could swing it. That meant doing about one load a day on average. So I felt I was in constant laundry mode and yet whenever Hawk needed a white undershirt for work, they were never ready. How does that happen? Can you relate?
Ms. Mendelson suggests that laundering be done one day of the week, possibly two, with a different and specific focus for each of the days. Traditionally laundry was done on Mondays because the work was so difficult that people appreciated having the weekend to rest up for it. If more items needed laundering, a separate day was set aside for that activity.
I wash all our clothes (including underoos and socks) on Mondays (about 4-5 color-separated loads) and towels and sheets on Thursdays (about 2 loads). I find that the doing the major stuff on Monday works for me, and here's why I lurve it:
- It starts the week out with something I can actually accomplish
- I'm ready to jump in after a weekend (and week) away from it
- I know we'll have clean clothes the whole week!
- Mondays rarely see playdates, meetings, etc., so I have the time
By the time Thursday arrives I don't mind throwing in two loads of towels and sheets (one dark, one light). And if for some reason it's just too crazy of a week, I skip it. YUP, I skip it. We have enough sheets and towels that we could manage. We're a relatively clean family (I hope).
Suggested Weekly Housekeeping Chores
Change bed linens 1-2 times weekly
Vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, and lampshades
Wash all washable floors
Dust all dustable surfaces
Wipe fingerprints and smears from places like mirrors, doorknobs, etc.
Wash entire bathroom, including floor
Wash all combs & brushes
Clean entire kitchen including fridge, backsplashes, and floors
Clean air-conditioners and humidifiers
Wash out and sanitize garbage cans
Okay, before you freak, take a breath. The author is constantly reminding her readers that she includes everything but that we are to discern what is appropriate and plausible in our own homes.
So mine looks like this after tweaking it five times over the past four months:
A couple of things to notice that I figured out through trial and error:
- Monday & Thursday are basically the same
- Tuesdays are terrible marketing days for me because our stores restock on Wednesdays, so Tuesdays are really slim-pickings. Plus, Wednesday is closer to the weekend, so I can plan according to our outings more accurately.
- I don't change out AND wash towels and linens on the same day. This is HUGE. I have at least one extra set of linens for each bed (4 for Ace's crib) and 2 different colored sets of towels. We only go through 2 towels a week per person, so it's totally manageable. It makes me keep fresh stock in our linen closet, but it also means that I'm not scrambling to replace towels and linens by first washing and drying them.
- Friday is fun
- Saturday is a natural mini-cleaning day because Hawk is home to help
- Sunday we really do need to just rest and relax. We usually spend time with neighbors, friends, or family, so it's a big deal to not have any other responsibilities.
Okay, that's a lot to ingest. Are you still with me? I hope so, because here's a little thank you from my heart to your home. We're offering a little giveaway during the month of March having to do with this series, so stay tuned!