Of course, the house isn't perfect. Wouldn't want it to be. It isn't even perfect in a 'not perfect but it's just how I would like it to be' sort of way. We still have clutter (by which I mean piles of ugly stuff - not books or meaningful doodads). But it is just so much better. However, I have the wit to realise that unless I implement some kind of system for 'household business' it will not be long before domestic chaos reigns once more and I am back to weeping and wailing into my tea. So I am resolved to find some sort of housekeeping routine or rhythm that will ensure that things get done (and that my sons get an education in something other than crisis cleaning).
In the past I tried FlyLady, but without success. More my fault than her's I am sure, as I know she has helped countless multitudes of women on their way to domestic serenity and I know she is of the firm conviction that her programme will work for everyone. I, however, just don't 'get' Flylady. It is rather like knitting - I know how to do the basic stitch, but just can't follow the pattern. I understand the shiny sink business, the am and pm routines. I get the weekly zones, the 15 minute missions and of course, the need to de clutter. What I don't understand is when you actually get to clean - unless your morning and evening routines are each roughly 6 hours long, meet in the middle and take in every room not covered by your weekly zone.
So, something else is needed. Stealing the idea of zones, I'm going to build on an idea of a Daily Focus which will cover each room of the house on a rotating basis. I've put them in alphabetical order for they are all as needy as each other in their own different ways.:
Stairs and landings (being in a maisonette we have 2 staircases)
Each room will also be the subject of a Weekly Focus, for the more in depth sort of cleaning and organisation that there just isn't time for on a daily basis but can be spread out over the course of a week (like cleaning bathroom grout with a toothbrush - only joking). Hopefully after a while it will be more a matter of maintenance than full scale crisis recovery cleaning. With less clutter this could be achievable. There might even be room for something creative. Obviously some things will need to be done every day, in the kitchen and bathroom for instance, but this plan will at least give me an area of focus. Laundry will have to be done, of course, and ironing too as I have no wish to repeat last December's 70+ item marathon. Will it work? I have no idea, but it does feel good to have something down on paper.
Um, then there is the matter of cooking, as I guess we have to eat. I'm not quite sure what to do here. Menu planning I suppose, although I am rather a failure at this. It is easy to plan, enjoyable in fact, but it is the cooking of the plan that trips me up. I am in a phase of really not liking to cook. Liking to eat, but not liking to cook. Except cake. I think I am going to have to re-evaluate the kind of cooking I actually do, would like to do and should be doing. And re-evaluate the food budget too. For example, nothing is easier than slices of meat from a joint roasted earlier with maybe jacket potatoes or a bulgar salad and vegetables. I've always reasoned that we can't afford to buy roasting joints of meat (unless marked waaay down for quick sale). Frugal stews and bakes instead - but then these don't get made (because of my own failure to plan and organise), and so we fall back on ready meals or take-aways. Frugal self-destruction. More on this for a later post.