If you have no system, you have to reinvent your housekeeping or debate what to do first every time you do it, and the required mental effort is a major obstacle, especially when you are tired.
Cheryl Mendelson, Home Comforts
Homemaking is not something that stands in the way of our deeper fulfillment; it becomes the ground that feeds it.
Shannon Hayes, Radical Homemakers
Good morning everyone! I started working on my own chart earlier today, it looks so similar to Jenny's that I didn't take pictures (instead you get a gratuitous shot of a fall still life, with needle felted pumpkin, Trader Joe's gourds and a special French clay rabbit, all on top of the cake stand I used at my wedding). I also spent a few minutes gathering inspiration from two seemingly different (but actually related in many ways) books: Home Comforts (that I mentioned the other day) and Radical Homemakers.
I mention Radical Homemakers to offer some context for where I'm coming from. First, I want to be sure my intentions are clear in wanting to develop a housekeeping routine, because oh my goodness sometimes when I read these types of blog posts on other sites my blood pressure goes up! I want to:
- spend less time on household work so I can pursue other interests
- make lists so that all members of the household can participate and learn new life skills
- use fewer resources by taking care of and utilizing what we already have
- maintain a space that encourages creativity and building relationships
BUT: I do have to clean, and even though I fancy myself a Radical Homemaker, I am a homemaker all the same. And I want to do it efficiently so I don't have to recreate the wheel every single time, as the quote from Home Comforts says above. I spend more time looking for stuff, and finishing things halfway before wandering off to do something else, and I'd love to have that time to do things like sew! I also have a LOT of chores outside every day, and they get set aside for mismanaged inside tasks way too often, which leads to a super messy outside and a poorly maintained garden.
Also, living in a house that's over 80 years old means a lot of maintenance on things like window frames, baseboards, keeping the basement dry, etc. I don't know about you, but I am completely clueless about the best way to do most of these things. I'm thinking I'll have a daily list, weekly list, monthly list, and seasonal list.
Will everyone's motives or reasons be the same? Of course not. Your lists won't look like ours either, how could they? We all bring different things to the table, and have varying amounts of time and interest. I sincerely think Home Comforts can help anyone, full time homemaker or 40 hour a week employee, with kids or not, in a house or apartment figure out what works best (and why) for each situation. And for me, Radical Homemakers fits in with my personal goals and gives additional meaning to these types of household tasks. But your mileage may vary!
Jen, I am so glad we're doing this! It helps to have you as encouragement along the way, you are so much better at organizing than I am.