02 December 2013

Silence Your Screaming Housework with a List

Does your housework whisper reminders, nag you with guilt-trips, or scream of its neglect?

A year ago, we were given 10 days notice before our moving day. I had to pack up our apartment into boxes for the transition, and the thought was, to say the least, overwhelming. Then I made a list--a schedule--of what I'd pack each day, and it made the difference between sanity and super-stressed-mommy. So on Tuesday, I packed up all the nonperishable food from the cabinets and didn't worry about the dishes or the appliances or anything else in that kitchen since those would be packed up on Wednesday. With three young children in the house with me, each day's small job turned into an all-day job, but things got done. What's more is that I didn't hear the housework screaming at me. It was silenced by my list.

Kona Mae was so excited about the packing.

After settling into our new apartment, I started to hear the housework regain its voice. Then, remembering the order that my packing schedule had given my work--and the peace it had given my heart--I started to use the same method with household maintenance. And the Internet was oh-so helpful! There are printables on almost every homemaking blog out there. Here are a few for a weekly cleaning checklist:

And here are three for daily maintenance too. These, however, also include other things to check off besides household chores, which make them doubly useful.

One site had a practical and doable means to cleaning up a very mess house in a week, which works well after family sickness especially.

My own plan doesn't fit nicely into others'. This is partly because our lifestyles are different. We don't have a garage or any closets. Our bathroom floors are forever wet, and this is normal. Plus, none of these sites has anything written about sorting recyclables or food trash, which must be done in Seoul. So I took the great advice from seasoned homemakers and made my own schedule that fits better with how our lives run. In the morning, I'll fill in the daily schedule then check it off as we go-go-go. I refer to the weekly schedule frequently and jot down notes of other things that must be done on specific days. (For example, I wrote down that I needed to defrost the bacon on Friday night.) My rendition is nothing pretty or worth "pinning," but you're welcome to take the idea and tweak it if you want.

Now, the house is not neglected (most of the time), and I can be calm knowing that I'll get to every corner of every room at some appointed time. I admit the best part is that I don't have to remember when I last cleaned something. Will this work for you? Even if you have doubts, I'd encourage you to give scheduling a try. Even just listing out all that needs to be done to upkeep your home is helpful. Start there and see if the loud-mouth housework won't start to quiet down and wait its turn for attention.

Please share! What tips work well for you household maintenance? Do you have other jobs on your weekly list?


  1. Malia ~ Your lists turned out great!! I have to admit they are intimidating to me though. I am in awe that you clean your freezer once a month. I have been needing to do that for a long time. Normally in the spring my mom and I help each other do our freezers to take inventory and reorganize etc, but it didn't get done this last spring. You have motivated me to make a cleaning schedule though. I think I would get a lot more accomplished!

    1. Charlene, thanks! I promise the lists make things easier, not harder! I think I got the freezer tip from Martha Stewart. Beforehand, I also admit I wouldn't clean it out but maybe twice a year...or once...or when I needed to make room in there. :P


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