Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemaking Routine....Yay or Nay?

Monday: Wash Day
Tuesday: Ironing Day
Wednesday: Sewing Day
Thursday: Market Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Baking Day
Sunday: Day of Rest

One of the most common questions I get in my inbox is "Do you follow a homemaking routine?  How do you get so much accomplished and still have time for crafts?".

I thought I would tackle this subject next because I think it's one of those that is talked about a lot, but the answer to this question seems to be varied.  Some swear by routines, others just fly by the seat of their pants.

I think I'm somewhat caught in the middle.

Let me start by saying that when I first got married, I was so scared and overwhelmed with the thought of taking care of a home by myself, that I often wondered if I could do it at all.  So I turned to lists.  I literally had lists for everything, it's like I couldn't take a step without having a list showing me which put to put forward and at what speed to go.

But as I became more comfortable and confident as a homemaker I realized that what works for some, may not exactly work for me, and honestly, I found that out pretty quick, because in my attempt to become like everyone else and feel like I had to conform to some sort of invisible code of Homemaking, I was really not getting anything accomplished and was only giving myself a headache.

The first thing I had to do was sit down and stop to think.  Do I really need a spotless house, do I really want it look like a museum, do I want to be like some of the mothers of my friends growing up who were so picky about the house being immaculate that we were not allowed to play with anything in their bedroom.

I was scared to touch, I was scared to look, heck I was scared to breathe for fear that I would accidentally blow some dust onto the furniture.

That's not me, that's not living, in my opinion.

One of the things that most stuck out in my mind was a quote from Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management:

" THE DAILY DUTIES OF A HOUSEKEEPER are regulated, in a great measure, by the extent of the establishment she superintends. "

Amen!  Because what may be a great routine for someone with a big house and a few kids, is obviously not going to work for someone with a smaller house or apartment and 1 or two children.

But, taking into account what else she says, you can certainly apply it to your own situation and that's what I have done, so here's some examples of how I go about my day.

She should, however, rise early, and see that all the domestics are duly performing their work, and that everything is progressing satisfactorily for the preparation of the breakfast for the household and family.

I'm usually the first to be up.  The first thing I do is set my kettle to boil for my morning coffee, while that is going, I empty out the dishwasher, throw a load of clothes in the washer and set the table for the kids breakfast.  At this point I also pull out the meat from the refrigerator for that night's dinner.

While I drink my coffee, I will sit down and check email, blog, facebook and the lessons for the day.

By this time the kids are starting to wake up, so it's breakfast time.

After breakfast, which, in large establishments, she will take in the “housekeeper’s room” with the lady’s-maid, butler, and valet, and where they will be waited on by the still-room maid, she will, on various days set apart for each purpose, carefully examine the household linen, with a view to its being repaired, or to a further quantity being put in hand to be made; she will also see that the furniture throughout the house is well rubbed and polished; and will, besides, attend to all the necessary details of marketing and ordering goods from the tradesmen.

After breakfast I clear up the breakfast dishes and put them in the sink filled with soapy water.  (I will keep adding dishes throughout the day until there's enough to run another load)

Then I switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and throw in the next load.  I move onto the living room and give it a quick run through, fix the pillows on the couch, pick up any stray toys laying around or books or whatever, just a quick tidy through.

Next are the bedrooms, open blinds, open windows, make the beds, tidy up.

When that is done, I will sit down at the kitchen table and plan the lessons for the day.

This will keep me quite busy for the rest of the morning, then it's lunch time with the kiddos and right after lunch we have schooling.

We're usually done by 4pm, and then the kids have free time to do whatever they wish, while I go deal with laundry....though all day long I am switching from washer to dryer etc.

Then in between laundry and finishing up any school work that I need to go through, I am starting dinner and setting the dinner table.

IN THE EVENING, the housekeeper will often busy herself with the necessary preparations for the next day’s duties.

After the dinner dishes are done, table cleared and kitchen clean, I will give it a quick sweep with the broom, check the menu so I can pull out the meat from the freezer and move it to the refrigerator.

I then move to the bedroom.  One thing my husband and I have done from the very beginning of having children, was to give me at least an hour a night for myself.

Usually it's the time the hubby and kids will hang out, watch tv or play a computer game together.  You have no idea how just one hour of some time to yourself, when you have little ones, will replenish the soul.  It was a huge lifesaver for me when my children were babies and toddlers, it was my time to recharge.

As they have gotten older, that time has now become mine to take my shower and then relax with some crochet or knitting or even watch a show on my laptop.

Image credit: The Shepherds House

Now right at the top of this post, I added the very well known poem.....let's take a look at it again shall we?

Monday: Wash Day
Tuesday: Ironing Day
Wednesday: Sewing Day
Thursday: Market Day
Friday: Cleaning Day
Saturday: Baking Day
Sunday: Day of Rest

These few lines were what kept me sane in the first few years of marriage and though I haven't completely stayed with it exactly as time has gone by, I haven't completely dismissed it either.  To a certain extent I still do go by it......matter of fact, if you're just starting out as a Homemaker, it's a pretty good foot in the right direction  :)

One thing I've learned over the years, don't leave all the cleaning to the weekend or to a specific day, doing a few things a day will keep your house clean and tidy and you will soon find that you're having a lot of spare time to do things that make you happy, whether it be reading, writing, crocheting or sewing :)

So how about it?  Do you follow a routine to keep your home in order?
Do you fly by the seat of your pants?
Or are you somewhere in between?

1 comment:

Elysia Nicole said...

I realize this post is from 2011, but I wanted to respond anyways.

Monday - Laundry Day (all the BIG things like sheets and towels along with the clothes for the week)

Tuesday - Cleaning Day (deep, not the daily stuff)

Wednesday - Office Day (tidy & organize my office/desk, pay bills, menu plan, organize my shopping lists, clip coupons - basic things done at a desk or table)

Thursday - Town Day (run errands, shop, go to appointments, lunch with friends)

Friday - Kitchen Day (clean the kitchen, cook (freeze and make extras for myself and other families), prep meals for the week)

Saturday - Outdoor Day (wash the car, clean the outside of our home, wash the dog, garden)

Sunday - The Lord's Day (church and family time)

This schedule has helped me to be successful as a wife and keep me sane!