Baby Steps

Slowly but surely I’m adding new things to my routine so they are more likely to “stick.” This summer I hired a cleaning lady to come once a month to do deep cleaning in my house. The first time she came it took her eight hours to power through the grime, and I was a bit horrified. After that initial visit it only took her four hours each month.

Part of her routine was to change the sheets on our beds. And in full disclosure here, I will admit that my sheets were only changed once a month during that time. But to be totally honest, that was more often than they were getting changed before she started coming, so every four weeks was an improvement.

Her services were a gift to myself and our marriage, and intended for the summer only. I hesitated to let her go this fall, as our house was always so clean and refreshing. But for reasons of paring down our budget for leaner times, and for reasons of sticking to the original plan of summer only, I was on my own again.

As of this writing I have changed our sheets every Monday for three weeks, and I am frighteningly surprised to find that it is really not that big a deal. It’s not difficult, time consuming, nor a pain in the neck. I just take off the old sheets and put on the clean sheets – takes about ten minutes per bed, and then I wash all the dirty sheets and towels in the house.

It just goes to show me how bogged down I tend to get when looking at the bigger picture of Getting Things Done, but when I break it down into small duties it feels ridiculously simple.

Next on my list is the bathroom – I’ve only cleaned it twice since the housekeeper quit coming, and I do not want this experience with my shower again.

What things do you get stuck on? How do you get unstuck?

3 thoughts on “Baby Steps”

  1. good for you!!
    I definitely do not like to clean the bathroom(s). The pull-out wipes are wonderful for a quick wipe-up around the sink and toilet.
    And washing the kitchen floor is another infrequent chore – it seems so futile (is that the right word?!) But it does always feel good when I’ve done it.
    And I DEFINITELY never look under my kitchen sink!!! Ignorance is bliss!

  2. I can so relate to this… My mom was paying for me to have a housecleaner twice a month and I got so spoiled. But because of some financial changes in her life and since I now have one child in school full time, I let my housecleaner go…My mom told me about this book that she used to use back in the 70’s-80’s called “Sidetracked Home Executive”. I think you might enjoy it since you like organizing things…you write out all the tasks for each room on 3×5 cards and organize by things that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Then you decide what your weekly schedule will be…its a little anal, but I’m acutally enjoying it and its easy to modify also, as the kids get older, they can have cards that they are in charge of. If you want to know more I’d be happy to share…

  3. small steps! find “more hours in my day” by emilie barnes.
    she suggests breaking down chores in your house by day – Monday, sheets & towels, tues – laundry, wed – vacuum, etc. – Sounds like you will be a slave to housework, but not really. Once you break it down, the individual tasks don’t take that long.
    Disinfectant wipes are the greatest invention ever. Try windex wipes for bath mirror & countertop appliances.
    Start giving those precious angels in your house their own chores. It will take twice as long, it won’t be done they way you would do it, but they will learn responsibility and gain a sense of accomplishment. Get Ruthie a pair of rubber gloves & a kitchen stool & let her wash the tupperware. She’ll have a ball.

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