It's About Time
Use routines to stay on top of daily chores
CAN YOU pinpoint the time in your life when things really began to unravel and get disorganized at home?
I can. It was when I became a mother. I had retired from being an occupational therapist to be a full-time mom.
I was excited, as I thought I'd have all the time in the world for household chores and crafts. Was I ever wrong!
Instead of having lots of time, with two small boys I seemed to have no time, and things were not getting done. The house wasn't clean, the laundry piled up, meals were thrown together, bills and paperwork accumulated and my home was a disorganized mess!
I could never relax, as everywhere I looked, there was something to be done. It was a truly frustrating few years.
Then a friend sent me the book "Sidetracked Home Executives," which gave me the idea to assign certain tasks to certain days.
That idea sure seemed better than my haphazard practice of doing things in a hit-or-miss fashion.
I still remember my first weekly routine: Mondays were for light cleaning, Tuesdays for heavy cleaning, Wednesdays for bills and paperwork, Thursdays for grocery shopping and errands, and Fridays were "free" days.
I thought of the system as a modular one, and if needed, I could switch days, e.g., if I took my free day on Tuesday, then I'd do heavy cleaning on Friday. And if I skipped a week, it wasn't a big deal. At least I wasn't skipping a whole month as before!
Having that structure for my week made a huge difference, as it helped ensure those things got done.
Having routines continues to be one of the most effective strategies to help me stay on top of regular chores.
Since I've resumed working outside the home, I can't keep the same schedule -- I don't have one- to two-hour blocks of time on any given day for light cleaning. Instead, I've broken down cleaning by rooms and try to devote at least 15 minutes to needed areas in different rooms. It's amazing what can be done in even that much time.
Do you do certain tasks on certain days? Does it work for you? What other tasks can you assign to specific days?
I encourage you to begin to identify the routines that you already have. And add other tasks for certain days.
I think you'll find that things will get done on a more regular basis. It's a good feeling!
See you in two weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong, owner of Organization Plus, runs the second and fourth Fridays of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail email@example.com