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My Brain Needs a House Routine

Routines are something I need to get back to for my own sanity. I had a great one (on paper) for our old house. Since moving, it's been hard to find the right rhythm for routines at this house. That's no excuse to excuse routines, though.

At the old Marks's castle, I would start at the top--upstairs--and work down. Make beds, tidy up in bedrooms, dust (not enough), clean windows and mirrors. Then it was ready for vacuuming when I did floors. I did make the kids clean their rooms, but it was never quite Mommy-clean.

Then downstairs, my method was front door to back. Tidy up the living room and entry room. The dining room always would take longer because the table was the catch-all for my brain.

Then clean the bathroom and laundry room, and vacuum the carpets.

The kitchen was last. All the work on the rest of the house would fuel the motivation to finish the kitchen. It allowed me to focus my efforts on the last beast of the house.

I had specific days for grocery shopping, doing laundry, working on finances, and finishing outside work.

Now... I'm struggling to focus as my house feels as scatter-brained as my head. Order comes to me naturally, and I can hardly think when there are not any systems in place or a place for everything to be.

Plus the junk has to be gone. I hate clutter. A healthy disgust of clutter helps me be ruthless in banishing unused, unloved, unwanted, and worn-out items to the donation bin or the bonfire heap.

Part of my reason to write on this today is to help myself write down and follow a routine to keep the house reasonably orderly and clean. Back to the old drawing board:

Clean routine for now:

  1. Start a load of laundry.

  2. Make beds and tidy up the bedrooms.

  3. Tidy up and swipe the bathrooms to keep the gross factor away. A swipe is the lick-and-a-promise cleaning in between the real, deep cleaning.

  4. Tidy up the living and dining areas, plus the family room.

  5. Load dishes, clean kitchen counters.

  6. Dust, vacuum, broom sweep, and mop.

When I only have a few minutes to devote to anything house-related, dishes and laundry get top priority. No clean clothes or dishes will gum up the wheels of the house faster than anything.

Even with a good system in place for the house, I still am wishing for Mary Poppins's snap power that makes everything hop back into place. Until then, I'll be putting away dishes by hand.


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