Today’s post was inspired by Leena from Onshore. Originally, I was just going to share my failed project, but she had a great idea of sharing her new homekeeping schedule. It’s always great to share our systems and get ideas to tweak and improve our own! So here is what I do:
To keep things clean and orderly around the house, I use a simplified version of The Sidetracked Home Executives card file system. Well, when I remember to use it, things stay clean and orderly… It’s a fairly simple cleaning schedule already, but I’ve found it easier to stick to if it’s even more simplified.
Basically, you write down each household task you have to do every day and week on a 3×5 card and file each task into a the day it needs to be done. (I have dividers for each day of the week.) For example, today is cleaning day, so I have all of my daily tidying tasks (washing dishes, clearing off tables, etc) along with the weekly deeper cleaning jobs like washing the towels and vacuuming filed under “Monday.”
As you do what is on each card, you file it into the next appropriate day. So when I wash the dishes, that card will get moved to Tuesday; when I wash the towels, that card will get moved to next Monday.
It’s very motivating to have the jobs broken down into quick easy tasks, it makes you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot and you can get through everything so quickly.
So where does the failed project come in? Back when I had the Etsy shop, I kept a card file for online tasks as well.
Since I used a simplified version though, I only had a dozen or so cards to flip through, so I didn’t need the whole big plastic card file box. I cut off the lid and tried using that for a while.
But it was ugly. I had some leftover balsa wood from dollhouse projects, so I attempted to make a simple new card file box with the balsa wood. It was going to be pretty cute.
I used one of the cards to measure the width. Then I cut out the other pieces based on that width. And then hot glued the pieces together, and I was very pleased.
Then I tried to put the cards in.
I measured everything wrong. Looks like the old plastic box lid will work just fine.
Anyway…it does sound funny to have cards for the simplest of tasks, but it’s the little things that make the house a mess and when one is left undone, it’s easier to leave the rest undone. Like Martha says (and I so often repeat…) “Tidiness begets tidiness.” When I actually follow the card system, the daily tasks only take about 15 minutes and then I have the rest of the day free in a tidy house.
Have you found a system that really sticks and works for you? Any tips?