Home Forums Welcome Hello! what are your must-do household routines?

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  • #159563
    Profile photo of whit
    whit
    Member

    What are the chores that get first priority in your house? The stuff that gets done even when nothing else does? (Not counting feeding and personal care, though)

    For me, it’s the cats’ litter boxes. They’re in the guest bathroom, and they smell bad if I leave them too long, so they always get scooped as part of my morning routine. I wish I could say there’s more, but making my bed, washing the dishes, and picking up clothes off the floor are all second-tier and get ignored if I’m in a hurry. Unfortunately, actual cleaning is third-tier and so the floors are often pretty dirty. :(

    But I’m curious to know where others’ priorities lie.

  • #196076
    Profile photo of Sky
    Sky
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    I work at home and since I am not in a mad rush out of the house, everyday I….make my bed, wipe over the bathroom, dust mop the floors, clean the kitchen sink and counters (every night after dinner) and take the trash out.

    I always put dirty dishes in the dishwasher after eating and keep everything picked up and put away.

    It only takes about 10 minutes and if I go somewhere, I always come home to a tidy house. I’m told I am OCD but my goal is to keep up rather than catch up.

  • #196080
    Profile photo of Ella
    Ella
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    My variation of the White Queen’s “six impossible things before breakfast”… :)

    Every morning I do these six things after breakfast and before going out for a walk:
    – do the dishes and shine the sink (a la FlyLady)
    – make the bed
    – light vacuum (cat hair is never-ending)
    – empty and swish the litterbox with hot soapy water, refill with fresh paper shreds
    – clean the bathroom sink and toilet (FlyLady again)
    – take out the trash as I head out the door for my walk

  • #196081
    Profile photo of herisff
    herisff
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    I always make the bed. My two dogs live on the bed while I’m at work, I don’t want to sleep with what they pick up on their feet. And I always bring my lunch to work with me. Oh, and laundry gets done every weekend.

    I’m trying to get in the habit of making a poop patrol in the backyard every day (I like my yard MUCH better that way), but that goal is still in progress.

  • #196084
    Profile photo of luxcat
    luxcat
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    I try to assign a task per day to keep it easy (groceries, laundry, dry cleaner, pharmacy, bank, water plants, do checkbook/bills)

    Daily I do (or hubby does): dishes, the “room by room” 10 minute tidy up- where I set a timer for ten minutes and then go through each room putting things to rights- we are tidy people so it doesn’t take longer than 10 minutes usually- make bed and take out trash and recycling daily or every other day.

    For heavy cleaning I am blessed as we have a housekeeper come in every other week to do dusting, floors, change the sheets, and clean the bathrooms. I usually wipe off the bathroom sink and swish some soap in the loo about every three days though.

  • #196085
    Profile photo of lucy1965
    lucy1965
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    DH has allergies to cats and dust mites; all of our cats are now seniors (the two oldest are 15) and one has feline cognitive dysfunction. So this might seem like a lot to do daily, but it’s cheaper than medication/vet bills:

    Litter boxes are scooped twice a day; since the boxes are in the same room as the washer and dryer (with a small bathroom with shower to one side), I will usually sweep the floor and throw in a load of laundry after scooping. I pass the back door on my way upstairs, so I’ll take the 10 extra steps to put the bagged litter in the landfill can.

    Kitchen is clean before bed: all dishes either in the dishwasher or in the drainer, counters and stovetop wiped down, sink sprayed with bleach solution and rinsed (I don’t cook meat every day, but all three indoor cats are on a wet food diet and I have to rinse the cans before putting them in the recycling bin), recycling and food scraps taken outside and put in their appropriate bins, floor swept, clean cloths set out for the next day.

    (This may sound like too much, but it’s in the interest of self-preservation: I have an eating disorder, and if the kitchen smells bad in the morning I can’t eat. As it’s already an act of will to eat breakfast, this is not a good way for me to start the day.)

    Trying to stay on top of the dust in a big 100-year-old house makes me cry; ask me how much I’m longing for a small modern apartment with hardwood floors/underfloor heating and air filtration. The whole house is vacuumed twice a week (canister with HEPA bags) in an effort to keep the cat hair buffalo from ranging too widely over the plains. Microfibre cleaning cloths are one of the greatest inventions ever.

    I hate washing windows with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns, and won’t do it until they are fairly nasty. Making the bed happens at some point during the day, usually when we’re ready to get into it and realize that the top sheet has pulled loose AGAIN.

  • #196119
    Profile photo of Gypsie
    Gypsie
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    The bed is made daily. Unfortunately, our 70 lb lab picked up the bad habit of sleeping on the bed when we lived in a one room hotel for over a month.

    The litter box is also cleaned daily as well. We try to keep the kitchen cleaned up but sometimes, time gets away from us and it happens the next afternoon.

  • #196124
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    we live in a big basic shed with very simple and few furnishings.
    we choose to employ cleaners once a week, rather than extra staff in our business.
    i also have a guy who just does windows, once a month, for the house and the workshop.
    the place is pretty clean and tidy most of the time now.

    i make the bed daily…shake the pillows and duvet, throw them back onto the bed.
    about every second day, i put pillows and duvets out in the sun for the afternoon.
    the kitchen has to be kept clean and garbage/recycling/compost bins emptied daily….but i don’t mind if dishes sit draining in the rack all day, as long as they are clean.
    shopping has to be put away immediately upon arrival.
    we have six outdoor cats who track in a truly astonishing quantity of grass clippings, small rocks, grit, mulch, twigs, leaves, grass seeds, mud, dust, lizards, bugs, frogs, mice, rats, not to mention the odd frothy sicking up of gobbled food or grasses, and despite daily brushings, an incredible amount of cat hair, really, enough to make a whole other cat every day or so….so the floor needs a sweep or a vacuum or a mopping pretty much every day but it usually goes two days, by which time we are ankle deep in debris and corpses.
    one catboy in particular has very soft long fur and short legs and i can remove handfuls of crunchy brown leaves from his trousers and chest, several times a day when he is in a rolling mood. and he always is!

    the bathroom is miniscule and is dealt with on an as-needed basis.
    it gets the big clean once a week, but everyone knows where the brush lives and how the handbasin should look.
    if the shower feels grimy in between cleaner visits, i have a pouffy thing and baking soda and orange oil.

  • #196125
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    i should add…my office is in the house and i am fanatical about it being wiped down and dust free.
    i like my tech to be clean and well-kempt.

  • #196129

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Wow, you folks are truly inspirational. DH and I both let clutter collect on flat surfaces throughout the house, but we do manage to keep the floor clear. No pets, so no litter boxes; a tile floor, so no vacuuming. When the clutter has reached a point that bothers me, I tackle it. But not DH – it really doesn’t register with him. <sigh>

    I don’t believe I’ll ever be as tidy as you all, but you’ve inspired me to keep up the uncluttering and to go beyond the basics. Thanks!

  • #196130
    Profile photo of Zora
    Zora
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    All the dishes are washed and everything put away before I go to bed. In the morning, I make the bed, feed the cats, put away any dry dishes, wipe down the bathroom, scoop the catboxes, sweep, and swiffer. I take a turn in my tiny garden most days, picked up dead leaves and watering if necessary.

    More extensive cleaning of the bathroom and kitchen, dusting, and mopping are spread out over the week. I try to do one thing a day so that the house is clean for the weekend. But I can’t say that I always manage to stay on schedule. At least the daily chores keep things looking clean, even if they aren’t quite as clean as I would like.

  • #196131
    Profile photo of xarcady
    xarcady
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    In the morning, while the water boils for tea:

    feed the cat the wet food
    make bed
    empty dishwasher and dish drainer

    In the evening:
    cat care–scoop litter box, rinse and refill water bowls, fill kibble bowl
    clear off kitchen counters
    make sure kitchen sink is empty, wash dishes/put in dishwasher as necessary
    quick swipe of bathroom sink and counter with microfiber cloth (this really gets the chrome shining and cleans up all the water I splash when washing up at night)

    Clothes get re-hung or put in hamper as soon as I take them off.

    What I’m working on now:

    Tidying up living room every single evening before I go to bed–remotes put away, dishes/glasses taken to kitchen, books and magazines tidied up, throws folded neatly. I’m getting this done about 50% of the time; it’s a work in progress.

  • #196132
    Profile photo of xarcady
    xarcady
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    @Lucy
    About that top sheet that always pulls out during the night–I always try to buy sheets separately, not in a sheet set. That way, I can buy the next larger size flat sheet, i.e. for a full-size bed, get the full-size fitted sheet, but the queen-size flat sheet. That’ll give you enough extra fabric to tuck in, and it should stay tucked in for a week or so.

    If you have a king-size bed, you can sew a strip of plain fabric to the bottom of the flat sheet–12 inches would be enough. It will get tucked in, so it won’t matter that it doesn’t match the sheet–you won’t see or feel it on the bed.

  • #196133
    Profile photo of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Excluding taska related to 2 small children and an assortment of pets (cats, chickens, gerbils, fish), I always get the laundry done and we never run out of clean things.

  • #196135
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    looks like lots of us are just housekeepers for the cats, no?

  • #196137
    Profile photo of xarcady
    xarcady
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Housekeepers for the cats in more ways than one. If my bed isn’t made by about 7 am, the cat comes and gets me, meowing frantically until I follow him into the bedroom. Then he hops up on the bed, still meowing. I can’t adequately describe this meow–it’s the feline equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. Once heard, you will do anything to stop from hearing it again.

    So I have to make the bed, with the cat prancing around on top of it, getting in the way. He will meow until the little decorative pillow is properly positioned against the sleeping pillows. Then he’ll hop off the bed, happy and content.

    I am not making this up.

  • #196138
    Profile photo of Charity
    Charity
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    AS the saying goes, dogs have owners but cats have staff.

  • #196175

    what are your must-do household routines?

    A house-proud cat! LOL!

  • #196185
    Profile photo of Mimi
    Mimi
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    my dog has staff, too ;) my dog makes me feed her, walk two times a day and she even makes me wash her beds once a week. if i don´t do it she stands in front of the dog bed, barking at it, LOL. i told it to the dogsitter: if the dog is barking in front of her bed, you must wash it or she won´t use it. the dogsitter looked at me as if i was absolutely crazy. when i came back and picked up the dog, she told me that the dog didn´t obey and barked and barked… until she washed the bed, LOL.

    daily household-routines in the morning:
    – pick up socks and other clothes from the floor
    – wash a load
    – empty the dishwasher and fill it.
    – shine the sink and the counter.

    in the evening:
    – dry and fold the laundry.
    – cook a healthy dinner
    – empty the dishwasher and fill it
    – shine the sink and the counter.

    and i have weekly and monthly rountines.

  • #196186
    Profile photo of Netleigh
    Netleigh
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Sadly none really!
    I think therein lies both my organisation and housework problems.
    I keep us clean, in clean clothes and linens and fed, but all the rest seems to become optional when life gets crazy.
    I pretty much always make the bed, the level of dust and the occasional cobweby patch are variable, kitchen and bathroom get cleaned enough for hygeine but would benefit with being shiny more often.

    Xarcady, Love your cat insisting your bed is made for it.

  • #196187
    Profile photo of bandicoot
    bandicoot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    i am dying over xarcady’s cat and mimi’s dog, and their bed iss-yoos!
    we have many freaky little routines and rituals with our cats, but the decorative-pillow-insister stands alone!

  • #196194
    Profile photo of xarcady
    xarcady
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Bandicoot, I tried to declutter that stupid little decorative pillow earlier this year, as I was going for a more simple, streamlined bed-making routine. Tossed it in a corner with some other stuff to donate.

    That cat, that blessed cat, set up a fuss for three hours of non-stop pacing and meowing. During which time I kept telling myself, “It’s not the pillow. It can’t be the pillow. Cats don’t notice things like that.”

    Only they do. Once I plopped that pillow down on the bed, the meowing stopped and he hopped off.

    I only wish I was making this up.

    Oh, well, he’s a good cat in other ways–stays off the kitchen counters and the dining table, mostly barfs on the bathroom floor, always uses his litter box. It could be worse.

  • #196195
    Profile photo of irishbell
    irishbell
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Cat as pillow hoarder! Hilarious.

  • #196197
    Profile photo of lottielot
    lottielot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Laundry, dishwasher, any washing up gets done daily otherwise we run out of clean clothes/dishes/saucepans. Anything else is a bit ad hoc, though I do keep the downstairs bathroom clean and the kitchen floor is swept most days. Hoovering is my downfall, I can’t understand how people can do it every day! But that’s partly having a 3 storey house, it takes forever.

  • #196200
    Profile photo of shebolt
    shebolt
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Well, when I had a cat the litterbox was a daily must-do.

    I have no other daily must-do routines. This could explain a lot.

    Thankfully I have a husband who takes care of dishes and trash.

  • #196203
    Profile photo of debsue
    debsue
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    xarcady – your cat story is so cute :)

    As another cat owner I also clean boxes at least twice daily, sweep and vacuum floors, wipe down bathroom and wash dishes. The bed usually gets made – not because the cats insist, but as I do make the bed Milo and Lucie come to “help” :)

  • #196209
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    what are your must-do household routines?

    First priority: daily or more
    – Daily (or twice daily) litter box cleaning is a must. Our apartment is small, the litter box is in our only bathroom, and boyfriend is allergic, so I’m always on litter alert.
    – Daily cleaning of the cats’ eating area.
    – Dishes need to be done daily or almost daily, since we don’t have a lot of dishes and I’d like to keep it that way.
    – Daily pick-up and put-away is also a must for me – having things strewn around the house stresses me out, and it’s inviting cat hair to accumulate on everything.

    Second priority: weekly
    – dusting, vacuuming, laundry, bathroom and kitchen cleaning are generally done weekly, along with taking out trash, compost and recycling.

    Third priority: stuff that gets done rarely or not as often as it should
    – making the bed. I don’t bother most days. The bed gets made when we change the sheets, when we have people over, and when I’m feeling zealous on our weekly cleaning days. Otherwise, meh.
    – washing my make-up brushes. In my head, I have big ideas of spot-cleaning all my brushes as I use them, and deep-cleaning once a week. In practice, I do my make-up in the morning in about 3 minutes before running out the door, and do touch-ups before going out at night in an equally big hurry, so my brushes get cleaned when I deem them icky enough to warrant deep cleaning, or every few weeks. Unless of course I’m doing anyone else’s make-up, in which case my brushes will be pristine before each use.
    – ironing. Every so often I say “from now on, everything is getting ironed as soon as it comes out of the laundry”. And then it never happens. And then I have clothes I never wear because they need ironing.
    – hand washing. If something needs laundering or dry cleaning, it will get done within the week. If it needs to be hand-washed, it will linger for ages.

    Things to work on, I guess.

  • #196215
    Profile photo of pkilmain
    pkilmain
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    The abosulte necessities:

    litter box, at least once a day
    cats fed in the morning (I get lots of feline complaints if this doesn’t happen)
    dishes, after every meal, and sometimes oftener (by DH, not me, he’s a little anal about this). with the sink wiped out and counters wiped
    bed made, usually
    wood stove fed

    The things that usually happen at least once a week:

    laundry, including sheets and towels, this necessitates bed changed
    vacuuming (though minimal some weeks, but necessary between cats and wood stove)
    wood brought in (by DH) and area around wood box swept

    We have a list for seasonal and quarterly things, and we usually hit those at some point. Picking up clutter is ongoing, and occasionally gets out of hand, but not much anymore.

  • #196218
    Profile photo of chacha1
    chacha1
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    must do:
    daily cat feedings, pettings, and groomings.
    daily litter-box scoopage.
    daily rinsing off of used dishes and insertion into dishwasher of those that are dishwasher-safe.
    daily: make the bed.
    daily: check personal calendar and to-do list.
    daily: handle email correspondence.
    daily: rake up shed hair (my own) from bathroom floor.
    almost daily: cook dinner.
    as needed or as I have time or as I have the inclination: hand-wash non-dishwasher-safe items.
    weekly: review checking account online, pay extra to credit card or make transfer to savings or otherwise adjust.
    weekly: clean bathroom fixtures that other people might see or use.
    weekly: kitchen inventory, meal plan, and shopping list. And go to the market.
    process mail upon receipt.
    pay bills upon receipt.
    when I feel like it: do the filing.
    when I need to wear it: iron it.

    DH does the laundry, and all other housekeeping is on an “as needed” basis. I work outside the home full-time and have a lot of projects in the air, so as long as it’s not embarrassing, I don’t sweat the dust mice.

  • #196280

    what are your must-do household routines?

    This has been useful. I found that I was spending what seemed to me a lot of time cleaning and tidying up and the state of the house did not reflect my efforts. For the past year or so, in addition to uncluttering, I have been making an effort to clean a little and tidy a little every day and I’ve been cleaning less for greater return.

    With repetitive chores, I’ve been tying a particular task to another activity. For example, I take my MIL to her hairdresser appointment on Thursday morning, so I clean my car before I go. Since I’m doing it every week, dirt and clutter doesn’t accumulate, so it takes about 5 minutes. Before, a good car clean out could take all of Saturday morning.

    Likewise, I clean the fridge on Tuesday morning, right before trash pickup. It immediately gets hauled away and doesn’t linger in or near the house to smell or attract vermin. Again, it’s 5-10 minutes once a week instead of a half-day marathon. I spend an hour cleaning my home office on Monday night — while I’m watching Hoarders. Good inspiration.

    Since I have morning appointments on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, I’ve been trying to use the hour or so before I leave to tidy, clean and unclutter. It’s too short a time for me to get engrossed in any substantial brain work and exactly the right amount of time to do chores. Just these three hours or so has been keeping the house relatively clean and tidy — time I probably would have used to sleep in or diddle around on the computer.

    The one drawback is that since the house always looks about the same DH doesn’t realize that I am actually doing anything to keep it that way. He thinks we live in a self-cleaning house and I sit around eating bon bons all day :)

  • #196347
    Profile photo of ninakk
    ninakk
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Cute pets you have!

    I make the bed daily unless someone is ill. Feed the cat, hubby scoops kitty house. I wash dishes daily, might not finish it every day but at least I get some of it done. We are working once again on installing a dish washer, which I am over the moon about. I do laundry two days a week, Monday and Thursday, and change bed linens on most Thursdays. Laundry folding usually happens on Tuesdays and Fridays. I want to do fridge cleaning, meal planning and grocery shopping as well as the GTD weekly review on Saturdays.

  • #196365

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Reading all these posts makes me see just how much I don’t have routines. That might change now that I’m almost fully recovered from surgery.

    However, in terms of laundry and ironing, we now iron things that need it when we get them out of the washing machine. They are then hung on their hangers which are hung on one of those portable racks to dry. The rack lives in the library / music room along with our ironing board & iron (since our laundry is too small for an ironing board and we can’t attach one to the wall as we rent).

    I’m more fussed on pulling up the bed sheets during rainy weather so as to avoid the bed getting damp and horrible to sleep in. During fine weather I’m generally happy to let the bed ‘air’. :-)

  • #199872
    Profile photo of loissweat
    loissweat
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    This is directed to Gypsy; I’d like to know more about that e-book and their tips: 52 Organizing Missions Home Organizer. Thanks.

  • #199950
    Profile photo of Jackpot
    Jackpot
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    My daily chores:
    scoop catboxes (nonnegotiable, we have four)
    feed cats, load or unload dishwasher while coffee brews
    run Roomba vacuum in one carpeted room each day

    My husband’s daily chores:
    make bed (he works p.m. shift and is still asleep when I leave)
    scoop catboxes again before he leaves for work
    opposite of whatever I did with the dishwasher
    dry mop tile floors

    Laundry, grocery shopping, and wet mopping of floors gets left until weekends.

  • #200073
    Profile photo of Conny
    Conny
    Member

    what are your must-do household routines?

    Learned this from my aunt: we clean and clear kitchen as best we can before we go to bed. Neither one of us likes to wake up to a messy, dirty kitchen.
    daily musts aside from feeding and basic hygiene tasks:
    dishes in dishwasher, pots and pans to soak
    wiping counters,
    clothes put back or to laundry,
    swish loo, swipe sinks
    weekly:
    vacuum, sweep, 2 or 3 laundry loads
    recycle paper, metals, bottles
    monthly:
    ironing, mending

    The rest has been haphazard because my working schedule is so erratic and also my health problems and extended family care. Is it any wonder i came to this website for inspiration?

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