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February 11, 2011

Since I spend my days caring for two people other than myself, I sometimes gets absorbed by chores.  Brushing teeth, combing hair, pulling on sweaters, tumbling down the stairs, stuffing crumpled t-shirts into dresser drawers, gathering around the table, cutting, gluing, snacking, washing, entertaining, engaging, calming, rinsing, resting, nesting, snuggling, sweeping, mixing, encouraging, wiping, smiling, counting backwards from 100, caffeinating, laughing, chopping, smearing.  It’s easy to go from playing in the corner, to noticing the corner has a cobweb, to dusting and vacuuming the entire downstairs of the house.

Armed with a strong sense of curiosity and a nerdy nature, I’ve approached this situation like I would any other- by studying.  I did the same thing with gardening, and, recently, stationed at Laurie’s dining room table with a stack of books, notes, charts and plans, I remarked “I feel like I’m back at exams” and Laurie asked “but who’s giving you the test?  Yourself?”

But, yes, of course, that’s who.  I tend to live life through stages of an outline:  ponder, research, organize, create, schedule.

Anyway, the truth is, I’ve discovered the need to be careful and methodical about this subject, homekeeping, and therefore, I’ve consulted the president and ceo of Living.

I feel a little concerned that Martha agreed to be photographed with a roll of *gasp* paper towels, but otherwise, I feel like she and I are very like-minded in our homekeeping philosophy, ie we obsess easily.

So far, I’m pleased to discover Martha and I have a similar fondness for glass jars, storage, recycling  and calendars.  I’m not convinced, though, that my current weekly chore schedule would impress her, but nonetheless, with Martha’s helpful advice, I’ve created and implemented one, and for the most part, stuck to it for three weeks now.

Weekly house cleaning schedule

Monday: Clean out and organize cabinets and refrigerator.  And just do a general check-over in the kitchen, laundry area and party pooper (downstairs “bathroom” which is a toilet in a room).

Tuesday: Take out trash and clean bathrooms.  Clean toilets and floors, sinks and showers.  Take trash out and down to curb.  Rinse out trash cans. Replace can liners.

Wednesday: Vacuum entire downstairs, and tidy up coat closet, art shelves, nook and toy areas.

Thursday: Vacuum entire upstairs, including both kids’ rooms and hallway and staircase, and dust and organize the master bedroom.

Friday: Every other Friday, mop the kitchen floor and clean all heat registers.

Saturday: Dust and organize Irene’s bedroom (including sorting out outgrown clothing).

Sunday: Dust and organize Judah’s bedroom (including sorting out outgrown clothing).  Prepare recycling for the curb.  Rinse recycling bins.

Daily: Sweep floors, laundry, dishes, clean kitchen, generally tidy, pick up after ourselves, that sort of thing.

Although I really enjoy cleaning, I generally try to get my weekly chores completed as early as possible in the day so I have plenty of time for things like, oh, you know, reading about cleaning.  One of my new favorites is Mrs. Beeton, who died at age 28 but still had time to be a homekeeping expert.

Irene has a chore chart, and helps me put away laundry and clean dishes, cook dinner, pack lunches, etc…  Judah’s job is to not eat everything he picks up.  He stinks at his job, and Irene doesn’t love helping with chores, but she loves drawing a clumsy smiley face on her chart at the end of the day, so that’s still a win, I say.

Martha is teaching me how to make my own cleaning products, and the best way to store bulk items.  Slowly and carefully, I’m becoming a homekeeping nerd, and I like it.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2011 1:17 PM

    This got me all excited! And I *must* share this with you:

    Home Comforts is written by a lawyer who had a secret: she loved house-keeping. So once she let go her secret, she compiled a tome (TOME!) of how to clean and maintain (and pick and discard) *everything* that a home needs to be tidy and comfortable.

    I started reading it from page 1 a few months ago, and though I’ve put it down, I’m pretty sure I’ll pick it back up when I have the brainspace. It’s an easy read. And it’d be just as easy to use it as a reference manual.

    That you will get sucked into.

  2. courtney permalink
    February 11, 2011 2:44 PM

    I LIVE for your updates!!!

  3. February 14, 2011 9:45 AM

    I adore the CRAP out of Martha Stewart. She’s seriously one of my heroes. She’s a bitchy, uncompromising, introverted animal lover who looks down upon most of the human race with disdain. What’s not to love? I also think she’s honestly hot as hell; I aspire to be that smokin’ when I’m in my sixties.

    Remember this?

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