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Creating An Autumn Rhythm {four steps to a cleaning schedule}

September requires a new rhythm.  After the carefree days of summer, September brings about a need for more structured mornings, menus, and time management.  I have spent too much  quite some time evaluating what I need to do differently for the fall season to maintain the house while being more on the go.  These four steps may help you find your rhythm too.

Start by plotting out the obligations for each day of the week.  Being very visual, I like to plug these things into a chart.  

My weekly obligations include:
Weekend Mass
School Mass
Soccer practices
Soccer games
Exercise classes

Here are some printables I used to help me write all this out.  
Write down everything you think needs cleaning each week.  Now go through and cut some chores out! For example, I no longer have mopping on my weekly cleaning schedule.  It just never gets done and I am always feeling guilty about it.  Instead, I pencil it in on one day a month and feel great when I accomplish that task.  I have certain tasks I leave for once a month or even once a season to clean.  Here is a list of those kinds of jobs. 

Also, think of ways you can delegate some of your chores to your children which will allow you a chance to get around to the more detailed cleaning jobs.  This fall I am offering allowance to my "cleaning laddies" at $2.00 a job to take the vacuuming and dusting off my mind.  We'll see if they take the opportunity to earn some spending cash.

I organize my weekly chore list very simply:
Scour Bathrooms
Scour Kitchen
Yard work/Houseplants
Meal planning
Schedule planning
Correspondence (a time for making appointments and dealing with paperwork/bills/mail)

Everything else goes on the more detailed monthly or seasonal lists such as:
Self-clean oven
Light fixtures
Moving furniture to vacuum
Flipping mattresses etc...

Here are some printable lists to get you thinking about chores.
Now jot out a list of the creative/personal pursuits that you wish you had time for each week but rarely get around to doing.  Write it all down.  Leave nothing out.  These are the things you are most passionate about and also the things you probably put at the bottom of your to do list.  Even if you only pick one item from this list to put on your weekly calendar you will feel more fulfilled.

My creative outlets include:
Bible study
Reading blogs
Reading magazines
Reading books
Journaling (I am dabbling in art journaling)
Crafting (learning to draw, paint, sew, knit)
Baking (learning new techniques)
Cooking (new recipes from my many cookbooks)

These charts may get you brainstorming:
Mind Map
Time Management Quadrants

Print out this sheet and in each column write: Obligations, Chores, Creative, Other, Menu.
Now look over all the lists above and begin by writing in the obligations (mass, soccer etc...).  Once you have those in place, carefully place your chores and creative pursuits on days where you will have a real chance of getting them done.  Nothing is more defeating than never crossing an item off your list. Be realistic.  If you don't know where to put something, use the Other column.  Maybe you will find you can re-name it Exercise or some other term that fits better for you.  For now, leave the menu section blank.  That will come in a different post.

After you have it all written out, I highly recommend this app for your iPhone.  You can plug all of these items in and even sync it to your computer.  I has made a huge difference in my staying organized and on top of all my lists.  It's my favorite app! 
I hope you'll  find this helpful.   Please let me know!

In the future I'll post some of my meal planning ideas.

Sharing here:

Good Life Wednesdays


  1. Awesome post! I need to integrate these ideas into my life. I can't wait for your meal planning post...meal planning is my next project!!! H2U!!!

  2. Wow, simple? That's ambitious, but really well organized. I wish I was better at what you just did! :o) I'll be using this as an outline!!


  3. Jenn- I hope to integrate all this into my life too! :)

    Kathy - It is ambitious but the listing makes it seem less overwhelming to me than trying to remember it all in my head! Good luck and let me know how it works for you.

  4. Thanks for this great post, Misty! I have a pretty good schedule for chores I do around the house, but it is a few years old and I have really gone into "auto-pilot". It is a great idea for me to periodically re-evaluate what I do and when I do it.
    And the APP!!! I am having so much fun setting it up! Thanks for recommending it!

  5. I read this the other day but didn't have a chance to comment until now. Love this post! I always have to make lists or I forget things. I'm going to add this list to my chore chart post. Thanks for the great ideas!

  6. Glad I caught this as I am working on changes for 2012. I wonder while looking at this if you've read, "A Mother's Rule of Life"?


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