Cleaning: Routines, Not Schedules

So, when I wrote my little intro about how this month’s focus was on cleaning… I mentioned some pretty lofty goals for this category. In fact, they were lofty enough that overachiever recovering perfectionist me even admitted they would take much longer than this month. To be completely honest, when I wrote that I don’t even think I knew exactly what I was looking for or the components of what I needed…

After that post, I got some great suggestions for where to look for home management binder materials or cleaning schedules PLUS I checked in with a few of my pinned or liked forever ago ideas on Pinterest to check out a few more sites and blog posts.

When I began to search, I think I had this fairytale notion that if I clicked enough links I would eventually stumble upon a schedule and a system that was PERFECTLY suited for me and I could print it and stick it in a pretty yet classy and minimalistic binder and that would be that. After my 20th or 30th website I realized that was not going to happen. No one is going to have exactly the same needs as me because they don’t have my same house, family, schedule, or skills. Maybe it only takes YOU 10-15  minutes to pick up and declutter each day before dinner, but maybe YOU aren’t re-circling back watching your toddler pull out everything you just put away. And maybe you need to spend extra time on your master bathroom because you have jack and jill sinks and a shower and a bathtub, but my master bath is (blissfully when it comes to things like cleaning and organizing- maybe a post on that later…) more or less the size of a postage stamp. So I gave up on the idea of finding the perfectly pre-fabricated system but I also found in this extensive research that I was starting to get an idea of what I need.

What I need are routines instead of schedules. The images of color coded cutesy schedules are so appealing in all their pin-able glory. They aren’t a good fit for me though because some weeks Wednesdays look great and other weeks I am only home 2 hours of the entire waking day. And it’s not just Wednesdays that work like that. For now, our household schedule is in flux so trying to create a static cleaning schedule would be foolish. Routines, however, are a thing I can get behind and start implementing now. Especially if I remember to keep them simple, one routine at a time. Here are a few sites that helped inspire this revelation:
http://www.flylady.net (search for her control Journal!) (Thank you Tina!)
http://thesecretowl.blogspot.com/2014/08/how-to-create-rituals-and-routines-with.html?m=1
(The printables in this second linked post are what I’m going to start trying first!)

I also found that I liked the idea of having these printable cards for when I have spare moments to tackle an item. I think I might use some of the blank cards for those quarterly or monthly items I mentioned in my initial post. The nice thing about this system is it can easily extend to little man as he grows up with his own set of cards that have age appropriate chores!

Something a few friends mentioned was having a top 3 To-Do list every day and then a secondary and tertiary to-do list so you can see immediately what the priorities are instead of second guessing or getting distracted throughout the day. I found this printable which might be helpful for people who want to try this method, though I think I will try to make my own template with a design and color I prefer a bit more… or maybe make this into a chalkboard of sorts to change out every day.

So there’s a rough breakdown of where I’m at so far… As cleaning is going to extend past this month and I’m still in the midst of shows, I am hoping to do another follow up post or two in weeks to come with more general home management printables I’ve found and am considering using. Have any of you been on the hunt with me? Any favorite sites or layouts/printables you find helpful or exciting?

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