Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Homemaking for Beginners, Part 4: Monthly Household Routines

Welcome to the Homemaking for Beginners series!  You can find the rest of the HfB series HERE.


So many possibilities.

Ha!  Bet you thought I'd forgotten about this series.

The point of a monthly routine is to automate all the monthly household things so you don't have to figure out when to do them 12 times a year.  Much like setting up an automatic draft in your bank account.  The key to my system is to link your routine items to something that is already in place on the schedule.

At the risk of sounding like that person who thinks they are really profound but in actual fact they are just high, here's what I recommend:

Step 1:  Decide what you want done on a monthly basis.
Step 2:  Identify existing activities and events that relate to the items in Step 1, then link them on your schedule.
Step 3:  Do the things.

For example, on my street the trash is picked up every Tuesday, but recycling is only picked up on the second Tuesday of the month.  Since the city of Nashville has helpfully set up this periodic household garbage schedule, I tie all my garbage-related activities to that schedule:

1st Tuesday:  trash pick up - wash and sanitize trash cans.
2nd Tuesday:  trash and recycling pick up - take glass to recycling center. (The city doesn't pick up glass)
3rd Tuesday:  trash pick up - pest control appointment - sweep cobwebs out of corners of the porch, apply monthly flea and tick control.  (We recently started using Seresto collars for all our pets - they work great! - so flea and tick control have now moved to the seasonal schedule, but I mention it here because it was an important part of the routine.)
4th Tuesday:  trash pick up only - turn/stir/shake the composters.

Apply the same system to all your non-garbage needs.

What happens when there are five Tuesdays?  The fifth Tuesday is the wild card day.  I use it to catch up on a missed Tuesday when I was out of town, or a Tuesday when I was, let's say, "less disciplined".  Or I can pat myself on the back and have tell Facebook that I'm on track.

When I have a chance, I will put all this in handy-dandy worksheet format.  Until then, you can print out a blank calendar from my favorite organizing website, DonnaYoung.org Printables and Resources, and jot down what you want done when.  Use your starter schedule for a month then adjust as needed.

Remember, this is what we're trying to avoid.


VoHo Poll:  What is your default setting on things that are damaged or broken - keep and repair, or get rid of them?  I'm in need of making that decision on a few major household items and I'm torn.

1 comment:

  1. I'm attempting to be a minimalist, in my own way. If something is damaged, if I can fix it right away, I do so. Otherwise if I find myself making excuses as to why it can't be fixed right away, I figure I probably don't need it anymore, and I get rid of it.