Thursday, January 26, 2012



Once you've tried the daily “Basics” plan, you might be wondering about all those things that aren’t on the list.  You could ignore them and let them haunt you… (“Linda… I’m calling you… I’m that dirty bathroom that gives you the creeps…”)  Nah.  That’s not going to work.

I like a clean house.  You probably do too.  I have visions of sipping a cup of tea while smiling to myself because the house is clean.  Of not cringing when my husband invites someone over unexpectedly for lunch after church on Sunday.  Of enjoying the place I live fully, feeling like I belong there, that others are happy to be there, and so on.  Of imparting a sense of being cared for to my family.

I think the thing that women object to is having to do the same cleaning over and over.  Endlessly.  Or perhaps it is having the little munchkins mess everything up right after you’ve cleaned it.  Endlessly.  I remember cleaning all day on Saturday when I was a kid.  I don’t want to give up all my Saturdays in the future in exchange for a clean house.

So here’s the happy medium I found I can live with.  I break up my major chores and do two or three a day and do them after my “Basics” or after work.  Here’s what my list looks like:

Monday – Laundry (2-3 loads)*, Water house plants, Change sheets, Vacuuming

Tuesday – Errands, Bathrooms

Wednesday – Grocery shopping, Face scrub (exfoliation), Mopping

Thursday – Laundry (2-3 loads), Water house plants, Ironing

Friday – Dusting, Glass tabletops, Mirrors, Microwave, Clear out

        leftovers in fridge

Saturday – Take out all trash in the house, Make a menu for next

        week, set TeVO to record favorite programs, Face scrub

Sunday – Church, Day of rest, Call extended family

You will need to adapt this list for your own family.  When I had small kids at home, vacuuming had to be at least twice a week.  The bathrooms they used had to be done more often.

Now estimate how much time each chore will take.  Be realistic.  Some take 10 minutes and some take 45.  I’ve found I can get these done in an hour or two, depending on the day.  But I also found I’d planned to do so much on one day that it would take 11 hours to do it all back-to-back.  That was a shocker!  I realized it was more of a week’s list than a day’s list.  And I would have felt condemned and guilty for not getting it all done if I had not figured the time needed.

Once in awhile you get a crazy day, and none of these chores can get done.  Feel free to move the Monday list to Tuesday or cancel the Tuesday list until the next time if you have to.  I hereby extend my magic wand and grant you the authority to be IN CHARGE of these things!  Don’t let a list control you.  Decide what works for you, then make it happen.  Put on some peppy music, crank up the volume, and MOVE!!

Proverbs 31 talks how the about the virtuous woman smiles to herself when the snow flies because her family is prepared for it.  It says strength and dignity are her clothing because she has it together.  This was written in a day before electricity and washers and dryers and dishwashers and vacuums.  Actually, she may have had dirt floors!  Yikes!  I can take charge of my responsibilities and make my home a lovely and peaceful place.  Then I’ll make my cup of tea and smile.

*More on laundry and other specific chores in tomorrow’s blog!

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