Home Forums Challenges Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

This topic contains 20 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  genny 6 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #159376


    Many of us, in other conversations, have mentioned systems we’ve adopted for keeping clutter and chaos at bay. It might be helpful to have these Procedures, routines, habits, systems (prhs) all in one place for those of us who still have those persistent areas of unruliness or for those who are just starting to gain control of their stuff. All of us are as individual as are our living spaces, so even if our solutions don’t always work for everyone, they could help light a spark.

    One of the best things I did was to find a solution for all the office-type stuff, which I gave a lot of thought to before buying anything. I though I had often drooled over photos of office shelving filled with colorful storage containers to hold things, and other decorative pieces, I know it would end up being a mess. Not just because of me, but I knew my husband wouldn’t want to touch anything if it was too fussy. I do prefer things to be behind doors, though, so open shelves wouldn’t have been ideal in any way. So I came up with the idea of getting pre-built unfinished kitchen cabinets from the home improvement store. I collected everything that needed to live in cabinets and drawers and chose the units to store everything easily. I still pat myself on the back on occasion for how well it works for us. After it was finished, the only problems was where to put the bills. I eventually found an organizer that had just enough slots for bills, envelopes, pens and one spot that holds things of value like stamps and gift cards. My husband still comments on how much he likes it and how easy it is to find things. When the mail comes into the home, we immediately sort the mail. Everything is opened right away. The envelopes and any excess goes into the bag for shredding along with junk mail. The bills go in their spot, and anything that has to be kept, like insurance policies gets filed. Anything, other than bills, that needs to be acted on or upcoming events, goes on the magnetic board in the kitchen because we like being able to see those things.

  • #189127


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I agree. Actually wanted to start one up but wasn’t sure people would be interested. At least there’s two of us now ­čśÇ

    * * *
    Our weekly routine:
    Daily: I make the bed and wash dishes, feed the cat. DH cleans the kitty house, and when necessary he takes the trash out.
    [i]Monday: I wash textiles if there’s a full load. DH vacuums the short version.
    [i]Tuesday: I fold dry textiles and put them away.
    [i]Thursday: I clean the kitchen, change the bedlinen and wash textiles. DH vacuums, dusts and cleans the bathroom.
    [i]Friday: I fold dry textiles and put them away.
    [i]Sunday: I pay bills during my weekly review session and deal with other paper-war related things; scan, recycle or shred. We meal plan and do grocery shopping.

    [b]Our monthly routine:
    [i]Week 1 of the month: half-yearly cleaning (see below)
    [i]Thursday, Week 2 of the month: a few tasks in the following areas of the flat: alcove, entryway, living-room area and office corner. (Think “dust on top of bookshelf” and such)
    Thursday, Week 3 of the month:[/i] and in these areas: bathroom, kitchen and balcony

    Our half-yearly routine, modified version of Spring cleaning:[/b]
    January and July:[/i] Alcove and Walk-in closet
    February and August:[/i] Bathroom
    March and September:[/i] Entryway
    April and October:[/i] Balcony and Basement
    May and November:[/i] Kitchen
    June and December:[/i] Office corner and Living-room area

  • #189128


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I post our routine on the ‘fridge door…hubs likes to check off things as he does them ­čÖé He said this is helpful because he can never remember what to do or thinks that he did something and he didn’t!

    Here are our basics:

    Monday-Friday Mornings: sweep kitchen, family room, and studio/feed and tend critters/go to respective jobs from 9-5
    Monday-Friday Evenings: tidy up and put away whatever has strayed from its home/pack lunches/feed and tend critters

    Monday Eve: cook/dishes/dust/pay bills, do paperwork, shred paper/launder clothes and linens and put away
    Tuesday Eve: cook/dishes/launder towels/ clean bathroom
    Wednesday Eve: cook/dishes/sweep all rooms
    Thursday Eve: NOTHING…it’s date night and we go for a nice dinner and chill!!!
    Friday (all day): run home and studio errands (grocery store, bakery, art supply store, etc.)/cook/dishes/trash
    Saturday (all day): teach art classes
    Sunday: yard-work and/or house repairs

    Spring: trim hedges and dead branches from trees, clean gutters
    Summer: wash windows, garden
    Fall: clean gutters, paint rooms and do inside repairs, trim trees
    Winter: basement and closet cleaning

  • #189130


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    Every day I scoop the cats’ litter boxes, wipe down the bathroom with a damp paper towel, sweep and Swiffer the house (leftover Swiffer and dusting cloths from houseguest), and water and weed in my small garden as necessary.

    Mon – clean kitchen (includes cleaning one drawer or shelf in refrigerator)
    Tue – clean bathroom (cleanser on sink, toilet, tub walls; clean soap dishes)
    Wed – dust bedroom
    Thu – dust front room
    Mop – either the front or the back of the house

    Laundry as necessary. Dishes washed, air-dryed, and put away as necessary. Nothing stays in the sink overnight.

    Other chores (dusting blades of ceiling fans, cleaning windows and screens, cleaning cupboards, etc.) as necessary and convenient.

    I cook in large batches and freeze in small containers. I also make my own bread (every two or three days). Heavy-duty stand mixer does the kneading, so the work involved is minimal.

  • #189142


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    Daily: comb hairy cat. scoop litter box. make bed. tidy up den, kitchen, and “public” bathroom. put away clothes & shoes (hamper or closet). deal with mail. feed cats multiple times a day.

    Every other day: water & groom patio plants. refill/clean hummingbird feeders.

    Weekly: get groceries. check bank statement, pay any bills received. tidy up dining room table, unless a project is staged. DH does laundry.

    As needed or unavoidable: cook. vacuum bedroom carpet & bathroom rug. clean bathroom fixtures. scrub/bleach ancient enameled kitchen sink. wipe down dusty furniture. wash dishes. clean up cat barf. Swiffer. sweep kitchen. sweep patio. take out trash.

    I am not very orderly in my housekeeping, it’s only by constantly beating at the edges that I keep chaos from creeping up on me!

  • #189145

    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I’m not very regimented but I do have some things I do that help keep chaos under control:

    I generally tidy up for 5-10 minutes three times a day:

    In the morning I make the bed, hang up clothing piling up and, if needed, put in a load of laundry. Swish and swipe the toilets and wipe down the sinks. Before DH comes home I go through the house quickly and make sure it is generally tidy — after a long day at work he doesn’t need to come home to more mess, plus neatness encourages neatness. I set the table for dinner so it doesn’t become a dumping ground. One good thing I gleaned from Flylady is the shiny sink. Before I go to bed I make sure all the dishes are washed and put away so there is no kitchen clutter in the morning. I put away anything that needs putting away. All this takes 15 minutes to a half hour, max, spread out over the day.

    As I’m doing my tidying I am also noting what cleaning needs to be done. Rather than room by room, I tend to spend about 15 minutes to a half hour a day doing one task — so one day it might be dusting, another day vacuuming. It’s easier for me to haul out the mop or vacuum once for the whole house rather than on multiple days for each room. Probably about once every two or three months I give each room a deeper cleaning. This takes a couple of hours per room.

    Some things get tied to other events. For example, I take MIL to her hair appointment on Thursday morning and always clean out the car before I go. We shop on Sunday, so I clean out the fridge every week before I go to the store.

    Since I’ve been decluttering this has all been easier. My “standard” is that I want to be able to invite people in on the spur of the moment without embarrassment. I am (mostly) to that point.

  • #189146


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    Home entry routine: Keys and mail go on the wall-mounted hooks and sorter next to the door. Coats, hats, and bags go on the pegs mounted on the other side of the door. Shoes go on the shoe shelves that sit on the floor below the coat pegs. Shopping bags get immediately emptied into the fridge. Receipts come out of bags/wallets and immediately go into my planner for weekly reconciling. This stops stuff getting spread all over the apartment when we come in.

    Laundry routine: When the pop-up hamper is full, it’s time to do laundry. 1 load each of darks and lights per week, 1 load of towels and linens every 10 days. Stained items are pre-treated before they go in the hamper and then again before they go into the washer.

  • #189153


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    i’m very organized, but I don’t keep a cleaning routine list,
    I generally just do things around the house as needed.
    some days are full of cleaning, sometimes totally empty.
    I do keep a running grocery list on my iPhone.
    and a running to do- errands etc.

  • #189163


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    Y’all are amazing!

  • #189166


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I don’t have many schedules (I start rebelling and develop a lot of hostility about being told what to do–even by a list that I created myself!) but I have lots of habits and routines.

    ┬░open all the mail over the recycling bin by mailbox. About twice a week there is something I have to bring into the flat.
    ┬░hang keys on hook inside door.
    ┬░coat on wall rack, shoes on shoe shelves under wall rack
    ┬░winter gear tossed in large basket on top of coat rack
    ┬░bag gets dumped on hall bench until I’ve managed to greet kitty and use loo.
    ┬░work files get pulled out of bag and dumped on desk for later
    ┬░for newspapers and paper packaging from foods and all other paper in flat, we use a canvas shopper hung over a wall magazine sorter. When we need to go to the shops we carry the bag downstairs, empty it into the recycling bin, and bring up groceries back in it.
    ┬░cat box gets scrubbed 2X week, in between scooped as necessary
    ┬░cat gets brushed daily in shedding season, a couple of times a week normally
    ┬░Laundry gets done about 3X per week, on an as-needed basis. Gets hung to dry, can be put away at leisure. Shirts and trousers get immediately hung on their hangers to minimize ironing or, hopefully, prevent it completely
    ┬░my active work files go immediately in 3 desk-top hanging file boxes, which are actually kept in the bottom of the bookcase next to my desk.
    ┬░my master planning binder is in a 4th desk-top hanging file box, next to my financial documents binder.
    ┬░cords are on bobino holders, although for ones I never need to move I use simple cable ties.
    ┬░I aim for PEEP, but often the hardest part is finding a place for everything that we use, as we have such little physical space. So I try my best to find creative and functional solutions, preferably near the point of use.
    ┬░after my morning shower I spritz the tiles with vinegar scented with essential oils. Keeps cleaning to a minimum.
    ┬░WC gets cleaned every morning before work.
    ┬░for the most part dishes get put directly in dishwasher and it’s run daily
    ┬░floors get done when I freak out at how horrible they are

    sanity keepers:
    like with like.
    I corral all swimwear in a swimbag, all tennis gear in a tennis bag, all work stuff together, all empty notebooks together, all office supplies together, and use trays on surfaces to keep things together, etc. ad nauseum

    the wallet:
    ┬░stamps–never have to make unnecessary trips to the post office,

    ┬░different wallets for different currencies. Went to Hungary Tuesday for the afternoon and before I left I just grabbed the pink one, which holds all the forints left over from our last visit a few weeks ago,

    ┬░paint chip from wall lives in wallet for when I see something I need I can make sure to get the right colour

    ┬░2 safety pins, one bandaid, and 3 paper clips, plus a thin sticky-note pad

    Information management:
    ┬░thin, lime green notebook (3X5) goes in my bag. I brain-dump everything there, then…
    ┬░everything else goes in my iPhone. Everything. I will have kittens if I ever lose that thing.

  • #189199


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    we have a very simple lifestyle, and to be honest, it doesn’t take much organising.
    we work from home and deliberately keep our schedules flexible and open.
    we don’t work 9 to 5 and we don’t separate our work from our home life….it is all very life-style-ish, which is how we like it.
    every day is different…in the evenings we usually discuss for a few minutes what needs to be done the following day, and we make a rough timetable.
    if emergencies occur, i like to able to seamlessly accommodate them.

    we don’t have a timetable for anything like chores….things just get done as needed.
    i would suck at keeping a chores schedule.

  • #189207


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I haven’t gotten as far as some of the posters above but I also have started scheduling chores that should be done every week/2 weeks/whatever. I put them on my calendar and have it send an email reminder on that day. I sorta-kinda do GTD and use my email inbox as my to-do list, so I like that it pops up there to remind me. When I’ve finished it, I delete the email.

    For me, it’s mental decluttering as much as it is making sure the floor gets vacuumed – once I know it’s on the calendar and it will come back to my inbox when it needs to, I just don’t have to think about it any more.

  • #189210


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    @bandicoot, you’re so cool! Thanks for always being so straightforward and sensible and compassionate.

  • #189312


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I agree, s. While I admire everyone’s wonderful routines, I would be more likely to succeed following bandicoot’s lead. If I could just reach that simplicity! I’m not too good at schedules either. The rebel takes hold!

  • #189328


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    What works for some is to have a revolving list rather than a day of the week list of chores, i.e., instead of Mon-vacuum and mop, next free or willing day, vac. and mop. It prevents not seizing a social opportunity due to work that is scheduled. I myself prefer to do what is needed. I am amazed at how many others enjoy this type of exchange. Thanks, all.

  • #189333


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    I tend to use household stuff as source for procrastination and the schedule I have worked out for us is unique to our needs; fits our accumulation of laundry, dust, etc. On days when something fun is scheduled I/we simply postpone or do something sloppier than ideally and it is not the end of the world. The greatest benefit, however, is that I am not “allowed” to do laundry on other days than Monday and Thursday, which means I do not wash half loads (also environmental benefits) and I do – at least in theory – with greater likelihood what I should be doing (study or work). We are far from perfect yet and my schedule described above is what we are striving to make a habit of.

  • #189334


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    ninakk–sounds freeing and worth a try.

  • #189406


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    DH works too many hours a week so I do the housework and as much yard work as I can since I don’t work outside my home.
    I make up my bed when I get up
    wipe over the bathroom after getting dressed
    carry laundry to laundry room daily and wash on Monday and Thursday
    start teapot and unload dishwasher while it boils
    I don’t have a regular schedule for everything else but I dustmop most everyday, dust and mop once a week, scrub both bathrooms on Friday before the weekend and once a week I do something like dust the baseboards or blinds or windows, etc.
    It really doesn’t take that much time but it looks like a lot written down!

    Outside, I try to spend 15 minutes a day weeding, pruning or something. It is so hot here that’s all the time I can spend working outside and if it doesn’t rain I water a few things everyday.

    I keep the house picked up and don’t have any clutter laying about except for my dog’s toys they’re always playing with so it always looks reasonably clean.

    I try to keep up so I don’t have to catch up.

  • #189412


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    “I try to keep up so I don’t have to catch up”

  • #189430


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    thank you, djk!

  • #189535


    Procedures, routines, habits, systems, …

    It seems as if cats are on the to do list of so many.
    I have only one cat left now, and he is spending more time outside. No litter box during the warm season!

    Unfortunately, we are keeping son’s dog for a while. So, I still have the animal feeding areas and this dog sheds horribly. He also will eat your food is you are not careful to put it far enough away where he can’t get it. I had two cake layers cooling on the table last evening. The dog barfed and then I realized that he had taken down and eaten an entire layer! No wonder he was sick! He also drinks from the toilet and will eat your toe nail clippings! Ugh! He is a beagle, any wonder?

    I will be glad when we are free of animal clutter! Seriously, I loved the ones that have come through my life, but enough is enough! No more, ever!

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