I have always struggled with tidiness. With my house under construction almost constantly, things are being displaced and there is always some sort of chaos. It got worse though, and I remember at one point making a conscious decision to give up caring. I did what I could, but really only put minimal effort toward the organization in my home.
I tell people I had postpartum depression because it’s something people can understand. I don’t know if it was (is) postpartum depression, or just an inability to cope with life after a series of events that happened to include having kids. The state of my home suffered even more during this time because I felt like I couldn’t keep up. Things became messy faster than I could clean them.
On my blog, I talk quite a bit about what I call my Darkness, how I fell apart, and the healing that began just under a year ago. When I began the path to healing, one of the first things I did was to gain some control over my home, and consistency in these 5 tasks made the most difference.
I’ve always been ashamed of my housekeeping abilities, or lack thereof, so I knew I needed help. I went to FlyLady for hand holding and step by step help to make systems in my home that were manageable and sustainable. I needed a way to easily track what had been done as well as give me a sense of accomplishment by being able to check something off. And with that, this calendar was born.
Not everyone needs a calendar like this. For some, household chores come naturally or just the thought of clutter causes anxiety so you’ve learned to keep clutter at bay. Some people have really neat spouses or rules in place so your children learn to be tidy.
Unfortunately, I have none of these. I live easily in clutter, chores are a drag, my husband leaves his socks everywhere (EVERYWHERE!). I’m not routined enough by nature to enforce lots of rules (but I’m working on that). For people who are like me, I hope you will find this calendar a useful to guide for gaining some control over your home. For people who aren’t like me, I hope you will find great satisfaction in making perfect Xs in the spaces showing all you’ve accomplished!
Cleaning Calendar Tasks
I used FlyLady’s terminology to make this calendar so here is your explanation of the terms used on the calendar. Grab your timer and let’s get going!
5 Minute Room Rescue
Some rooms, closets, drawers, or basements are too overwhelming to tackle at once. For this, use a 5 Minute Room Rescue. Set your trusty timer for 5 minutes and do what you can in that time. Throw things away, put items in their appropriate places, do what you can for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, you’re done. Move on to something else. You’ll be surprised at how quickly 5 minutes a day can turn into real results in your home.
Swish and Swipe
This is for the bathroom. Swish & Swipe means doing the following: grab a rag and wipe down the mirror, faucet, sink, and toilet; grab your toilet brush and a little soap and swish the inside of the bowl. It takes less than 2 minutes. If you do this daily, or at least every other day, you won’t have to run to scrub the bathroom when unexpected company comes over. You also won’t get dried ick, if you know what I mean. I have boys. Enough said.
Grab your timer and head to this week’s Zone (see below). Spend 15 minutes decluttering. If you have more than one of something, get rid of one. If something doesn’t have a “home”, find one or get rid of it. If something doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. Don’t worry about hurting Aunt Mabel’s feelings by getting rid of the knick-knack she bought at the church yard sale. You have to live in your home so you need to find it peaceful.
Laundry. Ugh. In a home of 6 people including a husband with dirty jobs and kids who are anything but clean, I have a lot of laundry. I tend to wait until the baskets are full and then do laundry for 2 days straight. Instead, do one load a day. Wash, dry, fold, and put away at least one load of laundry every day and Mt. Washmore won’t have a chance. You may have to do more than one load some days to catch up, but you won’t end up with the backlog that happens when you wait to do it all at once.
Zones feel so ingenious to me. Break your house down into 5 zones. For the first week, you work in zone 1. The second week you work in zone 2, and so on. Spend 15 minutes each day cleaning in your zone, or choose one “big” task to complete in your zone.
When I’m actively working on this calendar, I’m spending an hour or two a day working on chores but the overall effect is remarkable. I start to welcome guests into my home and I don’t stress out about if I have time to clean before someone comes over. I also feel more at peace in my heart because the visual chaos isn’t contributing to my emotional chaos.
So are you with me? Let’s get control of our homes so we can freely enjoy our space again!
Do you have a cleaning calendar? How do you keep track of which tasks still need to be accomplished?
How do you tackle cleaning in your house?
Want to read more posts from the 31 Days to Health and Wellness Challenge? Check these out!
My Favorite Stress Relief Techniques That Don’t Cost a Fortune from Sensual Appeal
You Can Poo Better Than That from Homemade Health Happy
Fighting Off a Cold from Crunchy Savings
8 Times To Be Intentional About Praying from More Than Four Walls
Easy Exercises You Can Do at Home from A Delightful Home