January 26, 2017

cleaning days

after a nice christmas break in the states we're home again and slowly getting back into our normal routine. one big part of being a stay at home mama is cleaning the house, so today i'm sharing a little about how i go about it. when gabe was born i quickly realized that my old method of doing it all in one day wasn't going to work anymore. a baby really is a full time job, so a housekeeping schedule is an important framework for keeping things "in ordnung." it took a few months, but i finally settled into a weekly system of one to two chores per day. this has been helpful in preventing burnout and also in helping me remember when i cleaned something last. so, on to the days of the week!


this is our day to rest. church is kind of an all day thing for our family because it takes nearly an hour to get there. after the service is over we usually go out to lunch somewhere in mannheim and then head home about 2. daniel and i drink coffee together and take a walk if the weather is good, and we really try not to be on our phones/computers too much! (it's a work in progress...) in germany things are seldom open on sundays, including grocery stores. restaurants generally are, and we've found that it helps us slow down so much to not have the option to do things outside the house. i wish the u.s. would introduce this, daniel and i often have trouble adjusting when we visit the states because there is never a day where shopping or going out isn't possible. we both look forward to our sundays together to rest and catch up on conversation, and it helps our workaholic personalities take a break.


rather than hitting the ground running with the housework on monday, i tend to start the week off with easier chores and build from there. i wash the socks and underwear, fold any laundry hanging in the trockenraum (drying room) that our building shares, and maybe do a quick hand vac in the corners where dust bunnies accumulate. if i remember i'll also do a little scrub in the main toilet, but for the most part monday is about easing back into the week for me. the everyday chores include making our bed and putting dishes in the sink (the kitchen is daniel's job after dinner each evening) cooking dinner, and obviously taking care of the little turkey.


tuesday is ironing day. daniel wears a suit and tie every day to work, which means lots of hemden (button down shirts) for me to iron. to help prevent wanting to die every tuesday i only iron four shirts, even if there are more hanging in the laundry room. ironing isn't my least favorite chore, but it isn't exactly entertainment either. the only other thing on tuesday is the normal laundry that's around, but as most mamas know the laundry is never-ending so i don't try to schedule around that too much!


wednesdays are for dusting, cleaning the counters/table and general organizing... and more laundry. this is the chore that can get bumped to the next week if we have a play date or shopping trip planned because it's not as noticeable if i let it go for two weeks.


vacuuming happens here and there throughout the week in small bursts, usually with the hand vac, but on thursdays i do the whole house. this means moving stuff up off the floor and shaking out rugs, etc. i've started putting gabe in the baby carrier when the vacuum is running because he's becoming more mobile and better at getting into things he shouldn't be (like the box of taper candles in the living room) and i can't hear him, so i just consider wearing him while vacuuming my workout for the week!


oh, bathrooms... sigh. i save this chore for friday because it's my least favorite, and having the weekend ahead helps me find motivation to do it! we have one main bathroom and a guest bathroom, the main one gets fully cleaned once a week (toilet, shower, sink, etc.) and the guest one gets a toilet scrubbing every two weeks since it isn't used very often. i wash the towels and hang up fresh ones and also empty the garbage. we only have one true garbage can, which is in the bathroom, otherwise most things get recycled in our large bin. on friday i also plan the menu for the following week and write a grocery list out.


on saturday we work hard in our house. daniel empties the bins (paper, compost, recycling) and we do the grocery shopping together. it's something we've done since we were first married, and something we want our kids to participate in as well. we want them to know that food comes from somewhere and doesn't just appear in the kitchen magically. daniel will sometimes work on the cars if they need to be cleaned or fixed, or he'll clean his work shoes. our house plants are one of his hobbies so he also waters those on saturday. i'll try to finish as much laundry as i can so that my sunday is as stress free as possible. there is a nice calm before the storm on saturday morning when we have a long breakfast together, it's another thing we both look forward to every week.

other stuff:

as many of you know we do cloth diapering, so those get washed every other day. it's a lot of work but seeing how many disposables we went through while in the states was a good reminder that diapers leave a huge environmental footprint. other things that get done on a monthly or bimonthly basis are washing the sheets, vacuuming cobwebs from the corners, lint rolling upholstered furniture and sorting through the mail pile that grows on our desk. some things don't get done as often as they should, like mopping and cleaning the windows, maybe someday i'll find a way to incorporate those in somewhere!

my grandpa always used to tell me "if you see something that needs to be done, do it" and that somehow stuck. sometimes it gets tiring, but personally it's less stressful to just do it in the moment than to add it to a mental list of "ought to do" things. also, i've been blessed with a hard working husband and a pretty easy going baby so it caters to the neurotic needs of a type-a housewife. not having a tv and only one computer is also incredibly conducive to a good cleaning rhythm! i want to write a follow up post soon about the cleaning products i use, so if you're interested stay tuned. xoxo


  1. McCrady Mom1/26/2017

    I wish I could take credit for teaching you all your great housekeeping skills, but I am sadly still stuck in the "all or nothing" routine! Sigh. You're my inspiration! :)

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