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Daily Rhythms: Housekeeping

Maintaining a home is work, it can be time consuming and tedious, or joy filled and fun.  Yes, I believe that. Crank some music and get to work. If clutter or unwanted abundance is keeping you from freely functioning in your home – check out my friend Allie’s free course on 3 Steps to an Uncluttered Home.  Want to go even deeper, then check out her amazing course Uncluttered Home  that’s actually on sale today!   (I promise, this isn’t a sponsored post – I simply love Allie and her business, and believe in the truth and wisdom she shares and champions for every home to have more space to live for what matters.)  

 

When we bought our current house in 2016, we were incredibly intentional regarding what came into the house.  We’ve been conscious about almost every item we bring into our space, and thankfully moving enough has helped us lighten our load.  Our first house here in the Cincinnati area was 2400 sq ft as a couple, then family of three. From there we went down to a 1200 sq ft apartment, then 800 sq ft apartment in Brooklyn while I was pregnant with P, a few more small spaces, and eventually landed in a 1700 sq ft Cape Cod style that we now call home.  Our home isn’t huge, and we didn’t want it to be because we wanted the ease of packing up and heading out whenever the opportunity arose – but again, this is our conviction, and not everyone’s reality. Nor should it be. This is simply our journey, and what has worked for us. Being intentional with what crosses our threshold really has given us that freedom – physically and mentally.  (Spiritually too, but that’s another post 😉

 

When it comes to keeping our home physically clean, we view that as an extension of how we steward what we’ve been given.  Now, I’m not saying if your house isn’t tidy all the time you are a bad steward. Everyone is in a unique space and season and I believe that our day to days all differ.  What I am saying, is that keeping a tidy and ordered house was a process for us, and when we all started to see it as an extension of stewardship – over time, it became more deeply rooted as a family rhythm.  

 

So what does that rhythm look like?  For us, it means everyone has a job to do daily — many hands make light work — and just like any goal, we write it down so everyone knows what they’re responsible for and accountability is visible.  

 

Here’s our weekly breakdown:

 

Monday:

Sam:  Post dinner kitchen cleanup

Ash: Laundry – Sam & Ash’s clothes

T:  Vacuum the first floor of the house, all rooms except the play/school room

P: Dust table/shelf surfaces on the first floor

 

Tuesday:

Sam:  Post dinner kitchen cleanup & garbage/recycling roundup, containers cans to the curb

Ash:  Laundry – Sam & Ash’s clothes

T:  Vacuum the second floor of the house, all rooms

P: Dust table/shelf surfaces on the second floor

 

Wednesday:

Sam:  Post dinner kitchen cleanup

Ash:  Clean bedroom + help kids tidy their rooms if needed, any special cleaning/organization project

T:  Clean the upstairs bathroom + Kid’s Laundry

P: Clean the upstairs bathroom + help fold/put away laundry

 

Thursday:

Sam:  Post dinner kitchen cleanup

Ash:  Laundry – Linens

T:  Vacuum the school/play room

P: Wash/clean school room table, white board, and dush shelves

 

Friday:

Sam:  Sabbath Sweep

Ash:  Deep clean kitchen

T:  Clean the downstairs bathroom

P: Clean the downstairs bathroom

 

What is Sabbath sweep you ask?  Well we observe Sabbath (a day of rest)  from Friday sundown, to Saturday sundown – which means anything that isn’t restful, doesn’t happen – especially cleaning.  So, Friday when Sam’s work day is done, he leads us in a one hour tidy up from room to room around the house so we can go into Sabbath in a clean and organized space.  No temptations to distract us there! One of the things we are sure to do is make sure our dishwasher is empty and ready to load dirty dishes in, so when Saturday night rolls around we can start that bad boy up and be ready to go.  No one loves a sink full of dirty dishes. Especially my husband.

 

The important thing to remember is that this is just a list – that you made – that works for your family.  Ours is always changing. As the kids get older, their responsibilities around the house change too. In addition to weekly responsibilities, they also have daily checklist.  Can you tell I’m a Type 1 yet? Lists, lists, lists.

 

For T:

  • Get dressed + ready for the day
    • Brush hair, teeth, put PJs away
  • Make Bed
  • Rinse/Load Dishwasher after meals
  • Clean dining room floor after meals
  • Get ready for bed
    • Brush hair, teeth, put away dirty clothes
    • Make sure bedroom is picked up

 

For P:

  • Get dressed + ready for the day
    • Fix hair, brush teeth, put PJs away
  • Try to make your bed
  • Unload dishes and put away
  • Wipe dining table after meals
  • Get ready for bed
    • Condition hair, brush teeth, put away dirty clothes
    • Make sure bedroom is picked up

If it’s not clear yet, we believe age appropriate tasks are great for kiddos.  These are ever changing too. The key is to not get locked into anything, but try and see how it goes.  P has always been an eager little helper, even though she is only 5, she takes on her tasks and rocks them.  Some days better than others, but for the most part – she’s happy to help. Our kitchen is organized minimally and with ease for her to be able to put dishes away without help.  (That’s probably another post too.) Bedrooms seriously are picked up every night at bedtime…for the most part. This has been a game changer. While T is older now, and doesn’t really make much of a mess, it has establish a rhythm of ownership in his space.  P can still, well, be a very alive 5 year old. Nonetheless, she gets her toys picked up and put back into place before crawling into bed. Keeping things minimal in regards to toys and what’s in their bedrooms has also helped.

 

It may sound like a lot, but I promise – it’s isn’t.  This also isn’t a one-size-fits-all game plan for how to run your home.  Everyone’s day to day and space is different. The mindset though, that can be shared – how do we steward well the space we’ve been given? In this season of new with spring around the corner, I hope that this encourages you to take a fresh look at your space, make it yours, take care of it, and clear out the distractions that are keeping you from fully living.  There’s no shame here friends. Embrace your space in this season with gratitude and receive it as the blessing it is.

 

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