From Goal to Action: Home Life

Housekeeping. Besides ironing and grocery shopping, it’s probably my least favorite chore. And for years, I’ve had loads of help with this area of my life: assigned weekly chores for my children to help complete. But now that they are older and have their own lives, it doesn’t quite work to have a chore chart that we complete every day.

Don’t get me wrong. My nest isn’t fully empty just yet, and those who still live in my home are almost always more than willing to pitch in and help out when asked. But I’m looking ahead to the not-so-distant future when my nest will be empty, and the routines I need to have in place to keep a welcoming home environment once my helpers have all left.

I’ve yet to find the perfect plan that works for me. There are probably hundreds of printable housekeeping schedules out there with daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal tasks to be completed, but in the interest of transparency, here’s how that usually goes: I print or pin the schedule, and promptly forget about it. When I get home from work, I promptly forget about it. I start dinner, sit down for a few minutes to read or decompress, or go to the gym, and I forget about it. (Do we sense a theme here?) Housekeeping just isn’t on my priority list until someone is supposed to come over, and then we run around the house, cleaning like mad-people.

One thing I recognize in myself: I am sentimental and have a lot of stuff. But stuff leads to clutter, and more things to dust. I’m not going for a home that looks like a spread in a home magazine, but I would enjoy the freedom to only have to do a light cleanup prior to guests arriving than the full meal deal.

And of course, we can still work on normalizing lived-in homes, not caving into the pressure of keeping up an unrealistic image that doesn’t reflect the true way we live our lives. But there is certainly something calming about having a clean home, and I, personally, need to find some systems to put in place to help my future self.

So how am I doing this? Well, baby steps, I guess. Here’s how I’m breaking down this goal into action steps:

  • Before bed, make sure my personal belongings are tidied from our main living spaces (kitchen, living room, dining room) Daily
  • Systematically declutter and give away items that we no longer use. Weekly
  • Keep a running list of repairs/projects that need to be completed and schedule service checks on overdue items. Monthly

A next step that I hope to implement during the second quarter (remember, this is the long game for these yearly goals) is to complete a deep Spring clean in April and then implement a “keep it clean” weekly plan to help with the big stuff.

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