I live in two different places. Every other week I live at work, so I only spend half of my time at home. Because of this it can be very difficult to stay on top of chores, especially if I leave town for a week off. I have still only spent 2 full weeks at my new house. There have been other times that have come close, but little things like busted pipes keep getting in the way.
As a result of my life switching back and forth my house often suffers, but I can also go almost a month having barely slept in my bed, so my housekeeping needs are a little bit different than a typical families.
Combining suggestions from different friends, blogs, and websites (such as fly lady) I have finally thought of a system that I think will work for me. I have broken my home up into 4 zones. Each zones chores are broken up into a list of chores than need to be done every other week I'm home. (That means it's getting done about once a month. Some of these things that seems quite reasonable. Some of these things like washing sheets that seems like too long, but I promise that if it needs it it will get done more, and really that's like a week and a half of actual use which isn't so bad). Each zone also has one or 2 quarterly checklists. So, each week I can tackle one quarterly task.
There is also a seasonal list of chores. I have broken those down into monthly tasks, instead of one overwhelming week of spring cleaning. But I'm still working on that list so it will have to wait. until part 2.
The final part of this is that I have worked daily tasks into my morning and nightly routines (there are some great posts about routines in my Jan links, but I will probably post more on these later, after I've tried them out for a while.) This includes tasks like doing dishes and making the bed. Some things aren't included like closing the blinds (which I tend to do as soon as it gets dark because I don't like feeling exposed to the night) and doing laundry (which I -well really Zach- tend to do as it accumulates and then put away as it get's done, or at least within a day or 2). The tasks that need to be done every week are done on Monday night since Tuesday marks the beginning of my work week.
This is a new system so I'm not sure how it will work yet, but it's better than all of the charts and calendars I have created so far. I'm very visual and hands on with this wort of thing so it helps me to know I have 5 cards worth of chores to do each week. I can get them all done in one day if I'm feeling ambitious, or I can tackle them one day at a time and still feel accomplished.
A few notes on logistics. With the quarterly cards- I will just write the date they were last completed on the back of the card to make sure I don't slack for too long. Also, any time something doesn't get done soon enough I can just do it an extra time, but I think this system will keep me from getting to that breaking point of feeling like I live in filth (lately this has been my strategy, when I can't stand looking at the mess any more I clean it up, not ideal for a "welcoming" home)
The cards will be laminated, color coded (week 1, week 2, quarterly) and kept on a ring on a hook on the fridge
I think this system will work just as well for a normal - home every week- home. Maybe tweaking a few things on each list and picking a different day for the little tasks that need to be done every week. I hope that as life continues I will be able to modify this system to fit my needs. Including making cards for my kids so they can get in on the household chores too.
Bathroom- Week 1
Wipe off sink
Trade out Magazines
Bathroom- Week 2
Wash towels & bath mat
Wipe off sink
Sweep & Mop floor
Clean out toothbrush holder
Organize all bins etc.
Wipe all storage surfaces and cabinets
Clean shower curtain
Clean Haley’s toys
Bedrooms- Week 1
Wash sheets- including crib & changing table
Stock changing table
Bedrooms- Week 2
Pick up all trash and return things to their place
Straighten book cases etc.
Get rid of old clothes and jewelry
Switch out Haley’s clothes and toys if needed
Dust off all surfaces such as nightstands and dresser tops and lamps
Wash blankets & Duvet Covers
Office & Living room- Week 1
Prepare birthday cards & gifts (wedding, baby etc.) for the month
Office & Living room- Week 2
Dust book shelves, TV, mantel etc.
Sort and file all papers
Clean off desk
Organize all craft supplies
Office & Living room- Quarterly A
Clean out and organize closets
Clean all light switches, door handles etc.
Office & Living room- Quarterly B
Clean under furniture
Vacuum furniture & under cushions
Kitchen- Week 1
Clean stove catchers
Wash dishrags, bibs & napkins
Kitchen- Week 2
Sweep and Mop floors
Clean off table and find places for boxes etc. that have collected
Sweep out Under Fridge
Wipe down oven
Wipe down table and chairs
Clean out all cabinets & drawers
Clean out and stock pantry and fridge
Put on work out clothes
Drink a glass of water
Before Bed Routine
Pick up toys
Clean sink & counters
Fluff couch pillows
Throw out leftovers & food that will expire this week
Take out trash and recycling
Put away all laundry, books, & toys
Pay bills return mail etc.
(I'm linking to Works for me Wednesday)
What cleaning system works for your family? What little chores am I leaving off my list? How would you modify this for your family?