Fall is coming quickly and the school year cycle has begun as well. I love natural pauses for reflection and reassessment…and drinking coffee. The way we’ve done life through the summer is different than how we need to do life right now. The sunrise was later this morning, the air was crisper, and it rained this afternoon. I’m in the process of finding my new rhythm.
In this season of life, I do things much differently than years ago. Five years ago I had a one and a half year old and a four year old. During that season a friend asked what my daily schedule/cleaning schedule looked like. In 2010 this is what I told her:
“Your question about daily schedule/cleaning has had me thinking, thinking, thinking! The motivation and why I do things this way, but also with the sense that the purpose is so that we don’t feel like we’re living in chaos or that these tasks take away from family time. I’ve also had to tell myself, I’m not trying to create a house showcase everyday–we live in our house.
So here is the list of tasks I have set out for myself each week: white laundry, dark laundry, sheet/towels (wash, dry, fold, put away), ironing, vacuum house, floors/mop (by this I mean kitchen and bathroom floors–the linoleum), bathrooms, dust, bills (which I have a place for but don’t usually file!), budget watch (I use www.mint.com) so I can keep an eye on what is happening each week, and then dinner (which I try to do a dinner plan for). Here is how I typically break these tasks out during the week–but I also switch things around if I need to. Like, I might plan to vacuum but my one and a half year old is sleeping so I can do something quiet instead and vacuum a different time.
Monday-sheets/towels (so I always know when they’ve all been changed each week), dust (not my favorite so I try to do it early), ironing (which I might do in the evening while watching a TV show or I save it for two weeks and do it at one time).
Tuesday-dark laundry (might be two loads).
Wednesday-white laundry, vacuum.
Thursday-bathrooms (I clean them at the same time like both mirrors, both sinks, both toilets, and go back and forth between the two) and floors (they usually have been vacuumed the day before, so I might just need to sweep a little before mopping OR I don’t vacuum them at all and just sweep then mop).
I try to plan ahead like I would for work someplace else. Knowing when things are going to happen makes me feel less anxious and I can focus my attention on other things because I know when I’m going to take care of stuff.
I use a medium size spiral notebook and write out a “to do” list on one side and then the day and date on the other side. Because each day space isn’t HUGE I’m more realistic about what I try to finish in one day. I write down the things I’m going to do on the date/day page (with my little box that I can make an ‘X’ through) and then when I have some time I can choose what I have time to do from the “to do” list. On Sunday nights I fill out the days, etc so I can plan ahead. If I don’t get to something I needed to do one day, I circle it and then write it down for the next day to do. Like I didn’t dust Monday or Tuesday but I did this morning.”
Five years later I have a six year old and a nine and a half year old. I have some of the same responsibilities and some new ones. Our kids are now better able to be a part of home care–and home care is just another way of caring for one another. How we do it looks different from five years ago but much of the purpose is the same: our home is a haven. It is a safe place. We prefer order over chaos so we choose accordingly. We can be relaxed here–or have dance parties here!
I’ll share what the new rhythm looks like in this simple, sacred, space.
Can you see how your habits and routines have changed over the years? How new seasons need new rhythms? What is the biggest change you notice in these new rhythms?