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I have an aunt who is an expert homemaker. And when I say expert, I actually mean ninja. She does not have a speck of dust anywhere in her house, not even under the furniture in the spare bedroom. Because she physically moves it and vacuums under it. Every single week. No joke.
See? Ninja. She’s an eighty-something-ninja-housecleaning-warrior.
I am not like my aunt.
She enjoys obsessively cleaning her house and keeping every single inch of it in perfect condition. I, on the other hand, do not enjoy cleaning any inch of my house. I never have, and I probably never will.
My silverware drawer will never be completely free of crumbs. My tile floors will never be without a little bit of dust and paw prints. And I will never vacuum underneath the furniture every week…or maybe ever. It’s just not in the cards for me. Not gonna happen.
But my real problem is that I like having a clean house just as much as my aunt does, even though I don’t have the natural skill or desire to make it happen.
The fact is, when the house is messy and the dirt starts to show, I get overwhelmed by it all and stop feeling the peace that I really, truly long for. Then, once I’m overwhelmed and behind, the clutter just piles up, and I feel more and more frustrated. It’s a vicious cycle.
It is impossible for me to do what my aunt does, but I also can’t let myself give in to my natural tendencies to ignore the grunge until I can’t take it anymore. That’s no way to live!
To protect me from falling into a homemaking hole, I use some basic To Do Lists that keep me moving in the right direction. The two main lists that keep my home and life looking like I have the cleaning and organizing skills that my aunt possesses in her little finger are my Morning Routine and my Weekly To Do List.
Elements of an Effective Weekly To Do List
Include the cleaning tasks you want done every week. Even if you don’t have the time to complete every item each week, seeing it written on the list will remind you to tackle the missed chores next time.
My list includes things like vacuuming, dusting, and spray-cleaning the fronts of the kitchen appliances. While some people see a dirty floor and simply get out the vacuum, I tend to procrastinate the basics until I’m embarrassed to open my door to friends and family members. My list gives me the kick I need to keep on top of the dirt and clutter.
Everybody has certain chores they absolutely hate to do. For me, it’s mopping…and cleaning the bathrooms…and organizing my purse…and, well, lots of things. Be sure to write down even the chores you dread the most. Having them stare back at you from the list week after week might be the incentive you need to grab a timer and simply get the job done.
A Weekly To Do List can contain much more than cleaning tasks. This is the perfect list for adding items like “balance the checkbook” or “trash to curb on Monday.” It’s also a good spot for reminding yourself to make next week’s menu, perform treatments on the pets, and look at your calendar so nothing falls through the cracks.
It’s easy to forget things like picking up the dry-cleaning and dropping off the library books. Having these errands on your list will keep your husband in clean shirts and your library card from accruing ridiculous fines (I speak from experience on this one!).
Sample Weekly To Do List
My own Weekly To Do List includes:
- Calendar planning
- Menu planning
- Grocery list + Shopping
- Clip + File coupons
- Finances + Paperwork
- Appliance fronts
- Trash + Recycling
- Clean purse
- Library returns
I also might pencil in things like:
- Clean and treat dog’s ears
- Change litter box
- Bake cookies or muffins
- Clean refrigerator
- Make pill boxes
The possibilities are endless and will be unique to you and your family. But, please, don’t keep trudging along, trying to carry all those regular responsibilities in your head. Get them written down (or print out the list I use) and then just set your mind on “repeat” each week. I promise that you (and your sanity) won’t regret it!