happy housekeeping

for your viewing pleasure today we have my high tech home management system:

i cut my house cleaning teeth on this system and have used it to attempt to stay organized for the past twenty years or so.

my mother discovered the book sidetracked home executives: from pigpen to paradise when she was raising us children and implemented the system in her own home, training us as she went.   shortly after i was home from my honeymoon and the dust settled from all the wedding planning, mom came over to my  house and the two of us sat down together to create my own card system for my home.

every single household chore, inside and out is carefully recorded on a single 3×5 card.  the cards are then categorized according to frequency: daily (yellow), weekly (blue), monthly (pink), seasonally (also pink), etc.   using numbered and monthly dividers, the cards are scheduled throughout the week, month, and year.   ideally, this system enables the housekeeper to easily maintain the household, keeping track of every task that needs to be done.

for example: decluttering is one of my daily chores.

i have this listed on a single card marked “daily”.  once the card is completed it is filed to the next day’s date to be done again.  cleaning the bathrooms is a weekly chore, typically done on tuesdays.  once this card is completed it is filed away to be done again the following tuesday.

one friendly rule offered in the book is that one should not allow uncompleted tasks to accumulate.  should tuesday arise and, for whatever the reason, i cannot complete the bathroom, it is filed to the following week as if i had.

having proudly displayed my wonderful system, i now humbly offer the following confessions:

~ i have housekeeping lapses.  long ones.  i frequently go for a few weeks where it is all hit and miss.

~sometimes i will decide to catch up at the most unusual and often inconvenient times.  at 11pm on a wednesday evening, instead of going to bed, i will suddenly decide to wash down my dining room table with murphy’s oil soap.

~ i love to declutter.  i hate to deep clean.   i shuffle a lot of deep cleaning monthly chores and file them as though they had been done, when in reality it has been months since they have even been considered.  as a result i have a very tidy house, but my baseboards are often dusty.

confessions aside: the wonderful thing about this system is that it is always easy to jump right back into it and get back on track.  after twenty years of repeatedly “getting back on track”  i refuse to consider anything else.


2 Comments to “happy housekeeping”

  1. OH MY GOSH! This is awesome! I’m doing it!!! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You should read the book Monica. You can probably get it at the library or on Amazon for next to nothing. It is an easy, fun read and a really great system to implement.

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