I’m not a naturally tidy person, but since I have this opportunity to stay home and raise our daughter and keep house (which is, quite frankly, the only thing this formerly-six-figure-earning Ph.D. ever really wanted to do), I feel that I should make a good job of it. To do that, I need reminders. So I’ve been grooming my Google calendar to remind me.
I have added all the tasks that repeat, at the intervals I feel they ought to occur. This includes maintaining myself (exercise etc), maintaining the gardens, maintaining the house, and keeping up with birthdays and other special occasions.
There are a lot of tasks I probably don’t do as often as you do. For example… I’ve decided I’m only going to dust furniture once a month. On the other hand, I thoroughly vacuum once a week (which I enjoy, because I have a new toy… a Shark Navigator… best vaccum ever.)
Here’s what an “easy” week with no extra tasks looks like right now.
And here’s a week where a lot of tasks piled up on Monday. They do that. There are times–usually around month beginnings and the quarter-years–when a whole bunch of tasks come up all at once. When that happens, I cut and paste them into a Notepad document that I keep on my desktop, and get them done with all due haste. All due haste isn’t necessarily very quick. It took me two weeks to get all of our wood floors thoroughly washed, for example.
Then there is the list of daily chores that I didn’t bother to put down… make the bed, put clothes in the hamper, clean the kitchen and check the cat’s food and water. I also have a shopping list on my computer’s desktop, which I constantly update throughout the week.
I’m pleased with the way the house is, mostly, visitor-ready most of the time (with the caveat that things are still untidy because, you know, baby!) and the way that certain annoying things have stopped building up. On the other hand, there is a crazymaking aspect to regular housework that you have to make peace with. You have to accept the fact that things will start to get dirty again right away, for example… that’s a big one. You have to remember that a task will be done again on the appointed day, and until then you need to, and are allowed to, cool your heels about it.
No two people go about housekeeping in the same way, but if you’re interested, I’ve created a public version of my calendar for you to look at. Maybe you want to snag it and edit things to happen at your own frequency. Maybe you want to snicker at how I only wash windows once a year. Anyway, have fun with it, and here it is.