Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Setting Up a Routine, Revision 1

Proverbs 12:25
25 An anxious heart weighs a man down...

At one time schedules and "To Do" lists motivated me, but today schedules and "To Do" lists overwhelm me. There is always something unexpected going on with a Little One and trying to keep a rigid schedule or crossing everything off a daily "To Do" list is nearly impossible, at least for me. When I tried to keep a schedule or a "To Do" list with my Little One, it made me frustrated that I could never get things done on time or cross everything off. Therefore, I've been fine tuning a routine that is still methodical, but less overwhelming. I don't have a name for it so I'll just call it "MyRoutine".

I call it a "routine" because it is a "regular course of procedure" done on a daily/weekly basis. The jist of MyRoutine is cleaning in bite sized pieces and addressing the highest prioritized needs first and making time for the lower prioritized needs. Thus, there are EveryDay Tasks and Weekly Tasks. The difference between MyRoutine and keeping a schedule or "To Do" list is its simplicity. The same things are done on a daily/weekly basis so that there is very little planning or writing needed.

So far the following have been identified as our highest priorities. These are the things that I must make sure, on a daily basis, my family has available.
Highest Priorities: Time to do Devotions, Clothes to Wear, Food to Eat, Dishes to Eat On, Time to practice Good Hygiene, A Place to find Refuge and a Safe Haven
If all else fails and nothing can get done that day, stack the dirty dishes neatly on one side of the counter, get the beds made, trash taken out, and things picked up. These things at least make a house look orderly and an orderly looking house keeps the anxiety away.

I consider every thing else a Lower Priority and can be spread out by days and weeks. To ensure that the Lower Prioritized needs are taken care of, I have determined that each week I will focus on one room, with the exception of suface vacuuming and bathroom cleaning. When it is time to clean a certain room I will surface vacuum AND deep vacuum as many areas as I can get to that week, I will dust as many areas as I can get to that week, and I will purge and organize as many areas as I can get to that week. If I do not finish the room, I note the things I have done so that next time I will start in areas that I did not yet touch.

Surface vacuuming is vacuuming only the visible floor areas and not under furniture or area rugs. For me, this is important because my Little One puts every little crumb in her mouth. Therefore, Tuesdays and Fridays are my surface vacuuming days of all the areas that my Little One has access to.

With regards to my bathroom, I clean my bathroom according to need. I recognized that the tub stayed clean for about 3 weeks, so every 3 weeks I clean the tub. I recognized that the toilet stayed clean for about 2 weeks, so every 2 weeks I clean the toilet. I recognized that the overall bathroom stayed clean for about 3 weeks, so every 3 weeks I clean the overall bathroom. What it comes down to is that I don't clean my bathroom in one shot and I have broken down the task of cleaning it into 3 bite size pieces ranging from 5 minutes to 30 minutes which I can easily do some time during the week.

This is as far as I have come to MyRoutine. I have been practicing this routine for several weeks. I am still determining how to fit in other projects such as hobbies and exercise. I will update regularly as I continue to fine tune and work out MyRoutine.

EveryDay Tasks:
1. Devotions
2. One Load of Laundry (washed and folded)
3. Dishes cleaned
4. PersonalShower/Dressed by 12pm
5. Cook/make meals

6. Beds made, toys put away, things put in their place
7. Trash
8. Sort through mail

Weekly focus on ONE Room: Vacuum, dust, purge and organize as many areas that week

Sunday: The Lord's Day!
Monday: Grocery Day
Tuesday: Change sheets and towels, Bathroom Cleaning, Exercise
Tuesday and Friday: Surface vacuum
Wednesday: Look over budget, Dust ONE Room
Thursday: Vacuum ONE Room, Exercise
Friday: Purge and Organize ONE Room
Saturday: NO Housework! TIME with FAMILY!

Revision 1 (12-04-06):
Added "Sort through mail" on Daily Routine
Added "Exercise" on Tuesday and Thursday tasks

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