Sunday, January 17, 2016

House Keeping made Simple - Thanks to Grandma

It's the oddest thing.
We plan our retirement (hopefully,) our travel, our special events,
our gardens, and so many other things, 
but honestly, when was the last time you heard or read
about a house keeping plan?
I realize I'm a minority, 
but I enjoy reading about house-keeping, cleaning, decluttering and the like.
There is a ton of information that suggests
how often to clean various items
and methods by which to clean them.
My issue has always been. . .when?
Finding the time to stay ahead of the spider webs and dust bunnies
can be challenging.
I've considered an 'Adams Family' style decor,
but it's just not me.
That being the case, like many others,
I have struggled at times continually just to keep up
until I found a plan that is finally working.
Is our house spotless?  Hahaha, I should be a comedian.
Is it livable and improving?  Yes.
Credit goes in part to our grandmothers and great-grandmothers.
Do you remember those dish towels with days-of-the-week
chores embroidered on them?
Monday - Laundry
Tuesday - Iron
Wednesday - Sew
Thursday - Market
Friday - Clean
Saturday - Bake
Sunday - Rest
These days and chores were pretty much set, and
few deviated from them.
I've seen them so many times, they have become simply nostalgic.
I still have an elderly friend who does his laundry on Mondays, 
because that's what his mom always did and taught him to do.
If you look into it more,
there were some entertaining reasons behind
why they did certain chores on set days.
But that in itself would make a very long post
so I won't add it here.
However, beyond the nostalgia is really brilliance.
This is what makes it simple.
I had to play around with it a bit until I came up with what works for me.

Monday - Iron (I still do, some folks don't)
Tuesday - Dust & do Floors (upstairs)
Wednesday - Porcelains (tubs, toilets, sinks ~porcelains just sounds nicer)
Thursday - Laundry
Friday - Dust & do Floors (downstairs)
Weekend - Free

To explain my reasoning and why this works for me,
let me start with laundry.
I can't seem to relax having full baskets of dirty laundry hanging around.
Since I am at work all day, I start it Thursday morning
and might not finish until Friday.
I am evidently okay with not having the ironing part of laundry done
until Monday - at least it's clean.
The weekend is when others are most likely to be at our house
so dusting and doing floors downstairs on Friday works well in that aspect.
Then I just filled in the blanks.
I don't have set chores for the weekends on purpose.
Part of what makes this so simple is that there are 6 days of the week
that I don't even think about laundry, or which ever one.
It's like knowing your paycheck is direct-deposited on the 1st of the month.
You don't have to worry about getting the check,
trying to make it to the bank before it closes,
or thinking about banking holidays & when/if you can get there on time.
It's a plan.
It just happens.
It creates that guidance we need so we are not just going at it helter-skelter. 
By the time you decide to look at the floors,
they are so sticky they pull your socks off.
Or the pile of laundry is so massive in order to move it,
it would take one of those strong men who can pull buses full of bricks.

Often times, we set ourselves up for failure.  
I would rather set myself up for success.
The days of the week are pretty reliable.
They haven't changed much in the last couple hundred years.
If I don't get the dusting done upstairs, not to worry.
I will have another Tuesday in just 6 more days.
Identify what needs to be done regularly and give it a day.
That's it.
Then allow yourself some grace.
It's okay to be human once in a while.
There will still be daily chores like dishes, and every so often chores
like cleaning out the fridge, but those are a lot less daunting if
they are not in addition to a long list of other chores.

So go ahead and embroider your dish towels.
You'll know it's laundry day when you are on your last towel.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches


  1. love your post, i'm always checking out new ways of doing things- i do remember the towels lol

  2. What a terrific post! I have something similar, and it has helped tremendously through the years :0) thanks for sharing... mari

  3. you are organised but I think when I worked I have more of a routine. It always amazed me they washed whatever the weather as of course no central heating tumbler dryers etc in those good old days! I have become lazy as I get older and living on my own and very rarely having a visitor I have to own up to being a bit lazy re housework!

    1. Not lazy - just selective. See it's all about the wording:) heehee

  4. I've thought about that little ditty in the past and wondered if I couldn't do something with it. You've adapted it wonderfully! It gets wearisome having to make a whole day of house cleaning; spreading it out into smaller tasks truly simplifies and makes sense.

  5. I am a first time visitor from Stangers & Pilgrims on Earth. I was gifted a set of those towels made by my husbands grandmother when I married. Sadly they were in a box that was somehow lost in a move. I might have to find a pattern and make a set. Not that I would follow them, but I find them adorable.

    Enjoy your week!

  6. I had never heard of or saw those daily dish towels with accompanying household chores! I love those!

    I really need to get back into a room a day or a task a day mentality. Now, at this stage of my life, I tend to clean when someone is coming to visit and that is not too often. lol. When people enter my home, they always say how clean it is. Indeed, it is picked up, but I know it needs dusting and scrubbing. A discipline I need to develop more. And the daily room is hard for me as I like to get everything done at once, but then that does set me up for failure. Soo, you have inspired me to try out my own daily schedule of house cleaning.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Your modified schedule would work better for me too since I too work all day outside the house, and travel an hour each way. We are not super tidy but we are neat enough, except right now while we are going through all the rooms to throw things away we no longer need. We have bags and bags stored in rooms so we need a dumpster since we don't have regular trash pick up (90% recycle, burn paper and try to figure out what to do with jar lids!!)

    1. You inspired me when you mentioned the jar lids before. I'm working on it, but it might be more towards summer before I can get to a post on it:)

  8. Love homemaking schedules too (but I think you know that ;)

    My daughter is embroidering the days of the week towels right now in pure red on tea towels that have a red stripe across them. They are darling! There is something to be said about great grandma's wisdom! :) Thanks for sharing!