Thursday, February 3, 2011

celebrate the successes: keeping a home

After 4 years of struggling with "keeping our house" I have finally made a breakthrough!  I am not an expert in this area but I figured if I have found something that has really helped me, I may as well share it because it just might help someone else.

Until about...3 months ago, I never really had a routine for cleaning/caring for the house.  I would do things as it became clear they needed to be done.  This included dishes, cleaning the kitchen, laundry, etc.  This meant that I would wait until the laundry was overflowing or Jackson said he had no clean shirts to wear to work.  Some days Jackson would come home to clean house, other days he would come home to something that resembled a chaotic zoo.  It was unpredictable and stressed us both out.  Not exactly the best way to serve my family.

I was always frustrated at the way our house was and frustrated with myself that I wasn't doing a better job.  After all, so many women keep their homes effortlessly spotless, right?  Well, the answer to that is NO.  Keeping a tidy, organized and efficient home is not effortless.  Anyways, I really wanted to improve in this area for the sake of our whole family.  I realized I was going to need a system or some kind of routine.  I'll share with you the routine that I've developed over the past few months and share the results, they have been amazing and have really changed our home!

For starters, I asked Jackson the top three things that were important to him in terms of home maintenance.  I'd encourage you to ask your husband if you haven't already.  His answer was 1) clean laundry, 2) clean kitchen counters 3) clean bathroom counters.  Ok, easy enough.  As I planned my routine, I made sure his top three things were incorporated on a regular basis.  Because I'm currently a stay at home mom, I decided to organize my cleaning routine around the existing rhythm of our days.  This is my current daily routine:

 daily routine
  • shower & dress -- this does not always happen :) 
  • make bed
  • straighten room
  • start laundry
  • clean up breakfast dishes
  • unload & load dishwasher
  • wipe down kitchen
  • 5 minute pick-up
  • switch laundry
  • 2-3 cleaning tasks - I rotate these activities based off a master monthly cleaning schedule. Each week of the month focuses on a different part of the house so each day has different cleaning tasks. 
  • clean up lunch dishes/wipe counters
  • load dishwasher
  • sweep kitchen floor
  • swiffer main hallways
  • fold laundry & put away
  • 5 minute pick-up
  • check counters/bedroom **Jackson's top priorities!**
  • clean up dinner
  • load dishwasher & run - this has made the biggest difference in keeping our kitchen clean! Every morning I unload the dishwasher and it's ready for the days dishes, no more piling up in the sink.  
  • wipe down bathroom
  • pick up Park’s room

As I noted, I do different more in-depth cleaning tasks every day after the "morning chores".  But this basic routine of keeping the floors clean, house picked up and kitchen clean has been HUGE.  Life-changing really.  And the best part is, when you are on a routine like this, nothing takes that long.  I usually have my morning chores and cleaning tasks completed by 8:30 or 9:00 am at the latest.  Then I have the whole day to enjoy knowing I've already taken care of my chores.

Laundry is the other area that has drastically improved with this routine.  I don't actually do laundry every day as this routine suggests, we simply don't have that much right now.  I do laundry every Monday and Thursday and this is the perfect schedule for us.  I also make sure to fold and put away before Jackson gets home from work.

I stay focused on my routine by using a checklist of sorts that I created to fit my needs.  It's very similar to some other ones I've seen on the blogosphere but I felt like making my own because then I could include exactly what I wanted.  Every night before bed, I fill out the next day's sheet.  It includes my daily routine on the left that I already showed you all, and then a schedule in the middle for any appointments we have and then my to-do list on the right which is where I fill in my cleaning tasks for the day.  At the bottom I have an expense tracker to help me with our budget, what's for dinner that night, and my water intake tracker.  At the very bottom is a blank space for whatever I need to jot down during the day.  Checking things off from my routine list and to-do list everyday makes me feel productive and keeps me motivated.  Call me crazy but it really works for me.

I absolutely love this system and it's changed our family life.  I'm happy, Jackson is happy, and well, we think Parks is happy about it.  When our house is out of order, it makes me feel like life is out of order.  A well-run, well organized home is such a blessing to everyone in it.

I know I've been a little MIA from the blog lately but I've just been so encouraged in this area that I wanted to share it with you and hopefully it will bless you in some way.  If you struggle in this area, don't give up.  I, just now, after 4 years of being a wife and 2 years of being a mom feel like I've made significant progress.  It's never too late to start! Your family will thank you!

1 comment:

Melissa Coleman said...

Hi Mallory, my wife really likes your "daily plan" and we'd like to copy your idea (if that is ok). If you don't mind, could you send us the electronic file of your plan? You can send either to kylecoleman1@gmail or

Thanks so much!