Thursday, June 4, 2009

Adventures in Homemaking... Part 3: Real life?

As promised, today I am going to talk about what my life looks like on a "normal" day.

Here is my daily "Morning Routine."

Morning Routine

 Make the beds.

Get showered, dressed and ready for the day.

Wipe down the bathroom.

Bring down the laundry.

Help Eden feed the dogs. 

What a way to start the day!!!

I am usually out of the bed around 7-7:30.  If Eden is not awake yet (pretty rare) I go ahead and make the bed before I head downstairs with a load of laundry (although I have been really slack with this one since I have had some pregnancy issues that have made lifting and stairs impossible for me).  If Eden is awake, we leave the beds for later, potty and head downstairs for breakfast.

If I did my bedtime/ evening routine, my kitchen is clean!  Brandon makes his lunch and unloads the dishwasher while Eden and I eat.  After we eat, I help Eden feed the dogs (her "chore").  After Brandon leaves for work (around 8), we head upstairs for bed making and getting dressed.  If we have somewhere to go that morning, I shower, if we are staying in, I wait until naptime to shower (Eden likes to talk, and I am a completely captive audience for her while I am in the shower... it is a little exhausting).   I wipe down the bathroom counter and swish the potty (admittedly, I am not as  diligent about this as I need to be).  We head downstairs with our load of laundry (if it hasn't already been done).

At this point, the morning is free.  If I have been keeping up, the house is neat and I don't feel oppressed!  We play and pass the time however we want.  Sometimes, I will get started on my room for the day.  The living room and kitchen are the easiest as they are where we spend a lot of our time anyway.  I prefer to do my jobs when the little "helper" is napping as she can add a special level of frustration to cleaning!  She is really good at dusting, though, so I almost always let her help with that! ;)  If I have To-do list items that need to be done, I work on these now.  For example, this week I had to call the hospital about setting up a payment plan for Eden's ER visit bill, find out how to return the non-functioning iron I just purchased off of Amazon, pack my hospital bag, and a few other things that are not normal weekly tasks.

After lunch, we wind down for nap time.  I can usually count on an hour and a half of down time (sometimes she sleeps and sometimes she just has rest time).  If I am efficient, I can catch a nap myself (during early and late pregnancy this has been a really important part of my day)!  I shower and get to work.  I have considered changing the name of the Naptime Routine to the Afternoon Routine since more often than not the Naptime Routine gets done when Eden wakes up.  These are all things that can be easily done while she has a snack or depending on the meal, she can help with dinner prep (she LOVES to cook)!

Naptime Routine

Get dinner started.

Fill sink with soapy water/ clean as you go!

 Clear and set the table.

Freshen make-up.

Brandon will be home before you know it!!!

This part of the routine is pretty self-explanatory.  The cleaning as I go is the most important part of the whole thing.  I feel a real freedom working in a clean kitchen.  I keep a hand towel on my shoulder, a basin of soapy hot water in the sink, and a fresh washrag hanging on the edge of the sink.  This allows me to quickly clean up spills, rinse the dishes so they are ready to go in the dishwasher as soon as I am done with dinner prep, and keep my hands clean.  When I am done, I either put on a little makeup or freshen up so I don't look like a haggard housewife when my sweetheart walks through the door.

Let me just take a second to talk about how important I believe it is to "get pretty" in preparation for your partner to come home.  For any of us who worked outside the home (especially in a corporate environment) we know that the wardrobe of a SAHM is quite different!  I am not scrubbing toilets and changing diapers in my business casual.  Let's be honest, "dressed up" becomes jeans and a t-shirt with no stains.  I am not saying you have to get all dressed up for him to come home, but think about it for a second.  Your partner has been seeing strong women at their best all day.  They may not be gorgeous women (they may be, I don't know), but they are likely neat and clean and they look like they care about their appearance!  If he has to leave that every day and come home to a wife who is worn-out, haggard, unkempt, and wearing stained sweats, he may prefer to stay at work!  Let's make our partner's homecoming a pleasant event!  Wash your face, comb your hair, put on a clean shirt.  If our homes are going to be clean and pretty, we should try to be just as clean and pretty!  

Okay, back to the day!  In the evening, after Eden is in bed, we move on to the before bed routine.

Before Bed Routine

Clear out sink/ load and run dishwasher.

 Prepare clothes for tomorrow.

Brush and floss teeth.

Check calendar for playdates/ appointments.

Go to bed at a decent hour!

This is all self-explanatory!  I wanted to develop a flossing habit, so I added that to the list.  Making sure I have something to wear the next day makes the morning go smoothly (especially if I have somewhere to be).  

So, now you know all about my daily tasks, but what about the weekly schedule?  I made a list for each day of the week, Monday through Friday. One room (or 2) per day… if I don’t get to a task or room this week, it waits until next week.  Sometimes this is not ideal, but I won't throw off the rest of the week to finish what I should have done today.  I do no housework (other than daily tasks) on Saturday and Sunday.  Each day has a room and the list of all the possible things that I could do to clean that room.  I do not necessarily complete all of the items on the list each day.  I do the main ones, and others can be done less often (washing curtains, for example).  So, here it is...

Monday Cleaning List

 Entrance, Front Porch, and Dining Area


Entrance Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs 

2. Wash inside of front storm door 

3. Clean switch plate of hand prints and walls if needed 

5. Clean off coat rack

6. Straighten the coat closest 

7. Sweep or mop the entryway 


 Front Porch Detailed cleaning:

1. Sweep down cobwebs and spider webs

2. Sweep off porch furniture/ wash table 

3. Sweep the porch. 

4. Water the plants/ hanging baskets 

5. Refill bird feeders

6. Wipe off light fixtures


Dining Area Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean the cobwebs 

2. Dust fan

3. Dust window sills 

4. Clean the window 

5. Dust boxer calendar

6. Wipe down Eden’s chair and booster

7. Clean off top of Dining table and scrub any stubborn stains

8. Dust the rungs of the chairs

9. Dust the baseboards

10. Move chairs and sweep underneath

Tuesday Cleaning List



Kitchen Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clean microwave inside and out 

3. Clean stove and oven 

4. Dust fan/ vent/ hood

5. Wash inside windows

6. Dust window sill and knick-knacks

7. Empty refrigerator and clean

8. Wipe down cabinet doors (a few per week)

9. Check light fixture for bugs (clean if necessary)

10. Clean dog dishes

11. Clean inside any cabinet/ drawer that needs it


Wednesday Cleaning List

Downstairs Bathroom and one Extra Room


 Bathroom Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Wash area rugs 

2. Scrub floor/ baseboards

3. Straighten cabinets

4. Clean tub/ bath walls

5. Wipe down shower curtain 

6. Wipe down sink

7. Scrub toilet inside and out

8. Wash mirror


Extra Bedroom Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Straighten closet 

3. Sweep floor

4. Beat rug

5. Dust/polish furnitrue

6. Wash window/ sill/ dust shutters

7. Dust knick-knacks

8. Wash mattress pad/ sheets if needed

9. Clean sewing area

10. Straighten shelves


 Office Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clear off desk surface

3. Straighten one drawer

4. Dust furniture/ knick-knacks

5. Clean off computer screen/ keyboard

6. Sweep floor

7. Wash dog bedding/ towel under crate

8. Clean window sills/ windows

9. Shred documents

10. Dust fan


Laundry Room Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Clean under washer lid

3. Clean top of washer and dryer 

4. Vacuum floor

5. Check behind appliances for odd clothing items

6. Wipe down table and countertops/ sink


Thursday Cleaning List

Bedrooms (Master and Children’s)


Children's Bedrooms Detailed Cleaning List:

1. Clean cobwebs

2. Dust/ polish furniture

3. Straighten closet/ shelves/ drawers

4. Wash sheets 

5. Clean window sills

6. Straighten toys

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards

8. Dust fan



1. Wash area rugs 

2. Scrub floor/ baseboards

3. Straighten cabinets

4. Clean tub/ bath walls

5. Wipe down shower curtain 

6. Wipe down sink

7. Scrub toilet inside and out

8. Wash mirror



1. Clean Cobwebs

2. Dust/ polish furniture

3. Straighten drawers 

4. Wash sheets 

5. Clean windows/ sills/ blinds

6. Empty trash

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards 

8.  Dust fan

9. Wash dog bedding



1. Straighten shelves/ shoes 

2.  Hang any un-hung items


Friday Cleaning List

Living Room


1. Clean cobwebs 

2. Clean windows 

3. Straighten bookshelves 

4. Dust/ polish furniture 

5. Wash couch blankets

6. Straighten couch cushions

7. Vacuum/ dust baseboards

8. Straighten toys

9. Purge magazines

10. Straighten linen closet


So there you have it!  My weeks in a nutshell (okay, maybe it's more like a coconut shell).  I feel like my explanations of things are a bit fragmented, so if you have questions, feel free to ask.  Once I get my monthly lists done, I will post a Part 4!  


  1. I've enjoyed reading these past couple of posts Amy! I really like the breaking up the house and working on it throughout the week idea - I'm inspired, I'm going to give it a try. :) It HAS to be better than my current "plan" of doing it all in one crazy, exhausting afternoon because people are coming over for dinner that night!

    So when do you do your grocery shopping?

  2. I love it :) Seeing your list(s) and how simple and easy they look has made me look at mine again and see that mine are just as simple and easy to do! I like how you have your's broken into morning, afternoon and evening. Maybe I should break mine into general time frames, too. That might help, if I know that after I get x things done I can take a break until after lunch or whatever.
    I appreciate your openness here! We should get together sometime. Any sewing bees scheduled?

  3. Hey! Thanks for the feedback!

    Laurie, we do our "big" grocery trip once a month. Since I have been couponing and stockpiling, it is getting smaller every month!! I also do a coupon deals trip once a week if there are killer deals on things I want. Since the produce stand is open now, I go to Pole Green Produce once a week too (Eden loves the "fruit stand")!

    Miriam, I have put the sewing machine away until after the baby comes and my MIL's visit is done (she will be coming for a week at the beginning of August). I may host one (I never end up sewing when they are at my house anyway) soon. I'll let you know!!

  4. I really need to get back to having a more structured housekeeping routine! My environment is so closely linked to my emotional state - grungy house, grungy cluttered mind. :)

    Do you follow along with the FLYLady at all? Your cleaning routines remind me of hers a little.

    I have to agree that paying attention to personal appearance is a good thing, although I shy away from saying that women *should* do it, that gets a little too tangled in gender issues for me. Still, it's something nice that one can do, and little kindnesses add up. Have to laugh a little, because it reminds me of the Housekeeping Weekly clipping my mom found in my grandfather's belongings...which is apparently well-distributed:'s_Guide

  5. Jessica, Part 1 and 2 go into a bit on how I came to the particulars of this routine. Flylady was a factor! I had to take her off the crack, though!

    I really hear you on the state of the house being related to the state of your mind. My mood is really uplifted by having the house in order. I *do* still have some places that are real sore spots in the house and those are works in progress for now... My commitment to only doing certain places in the house on certain days and leaving them until the next week (guilt-free) has made it slower going, but it has also served to help me get deeper into the clutter removal and helped me not become overwhelmed (easy these days).

    As for the getting "pretty" for your man, I would take issue with him if he didn't shower and get out of his boxers and t-shirt all day, I feel like it is something we "should" do (if for yourself). I have a Singer Sewing book from 1947 that says you should be wearing makeup and a freshly ironed dress and apron before you sit down to sew!! I wouldn't go that far, but an apron does feel a little bit like a housekeeping "uniform" to me and I am much more productive while wearing one. Unfortunately, I am not wearing them these days as the baby bump is all in the way! ;)