Monday, September 15, 2008

My Weakness for Laminated Routines...

I mentioned a week or two ago that I had this tendency when I was first married to get a little carried away with my domestic schedules (recall the laminated cleaning program...).  Well, I still find that I'm tempted to over-organize my routine, and then am doomed to never follow through!  The cycle goes like this:

Ah, this article about cleaning a little everyday sounds great!  Imagine how much simpler my life would be if I just did a bit here and there throughout the week!  Hmmmm...let me think it out.  I could dust the bedroom and living room after my shower and before my makeup.  I could run a quick broom over the kitchen floor while my coffee perks.  Certainly I could squeeze in some vacuuming here and there throughout the evening, maybe while I'm cooking dinner.  Let me just write this down...

Pretty soon I'm laminating again, and the rest is history.

The truth is that I don't love to clean (ironic, I know, since I write a blog about domestic life).  I'd rather be doing a million other things.  Like organize a flow chart about cleaning, for instance.  Also, I don't want to sweep the kitchen while my coffee perks.  I want to stand there and stare blankly into the foggy haze that is my morning before coffee.

So, after years of falling prey to this cycle, I've learned to step out of the laminated, over-routinized scheduled and just do these things regularly:
1.  Keep the kitchen sink clear of dishes.  It's amazing how much this helps.  I can see why the Fly Lady has the domestically desperate start with a clean kitchen sink.  It works wonders for sanity.
2.  Keep clutter contained.  I have accumulated a ton of baskets through the years and use them as my dumping ground for loose mail, magazines, my dogs' toys, laundry, etc.  Clutter stays off the floor and counters and in baskets.  Probably not the best long term strategy, but who cares?
3.  Make my bed.  Every day. (well, maybe not every day.  I'm not aiming for perfection!)

And that's about it.  No lamination required.  It's just enough to keep me focused on my work, and not distracted by my house.  And that, after all, is the whole point of this back to basics experiment--to do just enough with "home base" to equip me to reach my personal professional goals.

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