I’m not the world’s greatest homemaker. I love organizing and color coding but I am not very cheerful when approaching cleaning tasks and honestly if it’s not on a list there’s a good chance I would not even notice things like baseboards that needs cleaning. Due to this trait, I have tried SO MANY Pinterest approved ideas when it comes to keeping your home clean and clutter free, but I never stick with any of them for long. It has taken me over six months of having the same task on my daily Powersheets goals to figure out a morning routine that works.
To be honest, having a spotless house is just NOT on my priority list. Like… not even close. I mean, basic hygienic cleanliness is, of course, key. I have a small panic attack if we have too many dishes in the sink and I hate seeing the trail of crumbs my kids leave behind on the occasions when we let them have a snack in the living room over the kitchen. And those feelings of anxiety and discomfort have led us to implement what I jokingly refer to as, “The Eye Doctor Method of Household Management” Bear with me, I promise it will make sense…
You know how when you go to the eye doctor you spend half the appointment answering the same question over and over again:
Better 1? Or Better 2?
That’s basically how I approach our household routines. With two small children underfoot, I have failed time and time again at wholesale implementing a new cleaning schedule- especially if it relies on having the same chores done the same day of the week each week. Our schedule just isn’t predictable enough for that to work, especially when I’m in rehearsals or it’s the holiday season.
So what I’ve started doing is figuring out the non-negotiable we all need to feel sane (consider this my baseline of eyesight or prescription lenses), and then adjusting with just the smallest tweaks each week or month with the only question to evaluate being: Better 1? or Better 2? Making the bed- Better 1– where I don’t really care as long as sheets are clean? or Better 2– when I crawl into a nice looking bed each night? For me, that was a Better 2. So then I tweaked again- Better 1– where I steal ten minutes in the morning to make it right away? or Better 2- when I just make sure that it at least gets done before nap time comes to an end? For me, this was a dead tie (The same thing happens to me in eye exams once in a while- sometimes I genuinely wonder if they are just messing with us to see if we will fall for a placebo effect…) Here’s a few other ways we’ve used this test:
Vacuuming: Better 1– tackling a different room each day? or Better 2- Tackling all the rooms once or twice a week?
Meal planning: Better 1– keeping things super simple so they require minimal prep which we can do a day or two at a time? or Better 2– Sacrificing one day each weekend… and from there, Better 1– whichever one we picked before, or Better 2– Sacrificing one weekend a month to make frozen meals we can use throughout the month?
I was surprised with how much I’m loving this method considering I am generally pretty type A and want all the research done and all the options decided on and figured out before I put anything into action, but since realizing that I need to get out of my head more and just go for things sometimes, I’ve embraced this Eye Doctor Method of Household management and am OK re-evaluating as we go. We have family meetings once a week where my husband and I can check in about what is working and what is not- sometimes what worked in one season won’t work in another, the prescription needs to change so to speak, and that is OK and easy to work with by approaching the work this way.
I’d love to hear how you and/or your family makes decisions about household upkeep and weekly to-dos. I talk a lot about goal settings and baby steps to reach goals, but I’m also really interested in the day to day, far less glamorous, to do list type tasks we all have to tackle. This is what’s working for us right now but I’d love to hear if you have a method that just might end up being our “Better 2″… at least until the next life transition hits and we start to re-evaluate again!