Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Week -- thinking about routines

A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.
William Lyon Phelps

How are we all doing on our household routines? Most of my homemaking failures can be attributed to a failure to keep up with basic routines. I can do a whirlwind cleaning job and get everything in its proper place. If I don't follow through with the daily discipline of keeping things clean and in order, though, any progress I made is soon wiped out by disorder and dust.

One cleaning expert maintains that all good home managers have a system. For some, their orderly routines are so ingrained in them that they don't even realize that they are keeping to a system. Yet, because they have habits of doing certain things at certain times, they function well as home managers.

The best home managers are those who have achieved that perfect blend of order and flexibility. A good home routine should be bendable to accommodate unexpected happenings, yet not be so bendable that it falls apart.

There are many ways to establish your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly routines. Perhaps, you already have workable routines. If not, we'll talk more about establishing routines later on.

In mild to moderate climates, such as where I live, January is a good time to begin a thorough house cleaning and reorganization project. This is a time you can begin to tackle yearly chores. We are past the bustle of the holidays, but before the extra activity that comes with spring and summer. If you live where it snows constantly or in conditions with stuffy heating, you might not be able to do many of your yearly chores until the time of the traditional "spring cleaning".

Two things we can do this coming week are

1) Make sure we've put away all holiday decorations, wrapping paper, etc. -- taken down the tree -- and found homes for new items we might have received for Christmas.
2) Walk into our entry ways as if we are visiting our homes for the first time. Take stock of what needs to be done to make the entry way neat, orderly, and fresh looking. If you don't have an entry way, walk into the room that you first enter upon coming through your front door and do the same. Clean out closets and drawers. Organize winter gear that might be stored there or that might have been casually tossed there.

We can also continue to stick to our basic morning routines, meal plans, and desk/planning hours.

Happy Homemaking in the New Year!



topaztook said...

I have found that the successes I have had in homemaking over the past year or so have come largely because of getting routines in place, and am thinking about putting additional ones in place this year...still trying to figure out exactly how they are going to work, though.

It is too cold and snowy in Minnesota to do a major cleaning, but one thing I have been doing the past couple of days is organizing/purging: getting rid of expired makeup, inventorying the pantry and freezer and sorting the excess for donation to the food shelf, doing a post-holiday toy purge while the new ones are still shiny and distracting, etc.

GritsGirl said...

I look forward to the posts on about establishing routines. I definatly fall short in this area!!