Thursday February 22, 2007

I’ve been hesitant to post my home keeping schedule for a couple of reasons.   First, a woman’s home keeping schedule is unique to her, her family and her home.  No two of us are the same, nor are our families or homes the same.  For that reason, my home keeping schedule will not work for anyone else but me.

Second, I’ve been reluctant to post my own schedule because I would never want anyone to look at it and set my schedule up as an example of what “should be” or “must be” done on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  I also would be horrified to know that someone should think that my home must be a disaster because I did not do something in particular as often as they thought I should!  As I mentioned in the first paragraph, my home keeping schedule suits me, my family and my home.  Our dynamics are different than yours.  You must, each and every one of you, decide for yourselves what your schedule should look like.

On the other hand, if you’ve never seen a home maintenance/home keeping schedule along the lines of what I mention here frequently, you may have no idea of where to even begin.  For that reason, I am going to post a very basic, very non-detailed outline of what my home keeping schedule looks like.  I am, purposely, not going to list specific jobs, but rather just an outline.  As you look this over, please realize that there are likely things that I do every day, that you do not need to do daily.  Conversely, there are probably things that you will see that I tend to just once a month that you feel, in your home, require more frequent attention.  That’s as it should be!!!!  I post my schedule here strictly to be used as a guideline for structuring a routine of your own.

Daily Jobs:  These are the things that need to be done each and every day!  Your list would look different than mine, but we all have certain things that need to be done each and every day.  Making the beds, for example, doing the dishes, etc.   The first thing you must do is make up a list of all of the jobs that are done every single day of the week (save, perhaps, Sundays).


Weekly:  I divide up my weekly jobs, including my laundry, over six days of the week, Monday – Saturday. These are the jobs that need to be done at least once a week, every week.  For the purposes of simplicity, if a job needs to be done two or three times a week, I still put it on my weekly schedule, just listing it under two or three different days.

In my own home, I do not dust, Webster, etc., the entire house in one day.  We are very busy here with homeschooling six days a week.  It is more practical for me to use four different days and to break my home into four different sections, each section being dusted, Webstered, etc. on its assigned day.  My children are also required to do their chores on particularly assigned days.  My children tend to the cleaning of several of the rooms in our home, but they do so based on my schedule.  Again, you will want to make your own list of the weekly chores necessary to keeping your home running smoothly.  Don’t forget to schedule time for shopping, sewing, outside lessons,  homeschool planning, etc.  Once your list is made, you can decide how to best break it up over the course of your week.  Some gals like to do all of their cleaning on Saturday.  Others, like me, prefer to break the jobs up over the course of the week.  Do what works for your household in this season of your life.  Simply write in the various weekly jobs and activities on the days that you want to do them.

I also do laundry over the course of the week, breaking it up into various things being washed on various days. That means that I do just two or three loads a day, rather than trying to do the entire household’s laundry in just one day.

Monthly:   There are many jobs in my home that require monthly, or longer term, upkeep.  Straightening up a closet, for example.  Washing the inside of a window.  Again, this is a  list that will have to be compiled by you. However, to keep me on track, I have divided the inside of my home into four areas.  On the first Monday through the first Saturday of each month, I concentrate on the long term jobs in my Entry way, Parlor, Front Hall and Front Porch.  On the second Monday through the second Saturday of each month, I tend to long term jobs in the Kitchen, Back Hall, Laundry Room and Dining Area.  The third days of each month find me working on long term jobs in our Bedrooms and Bathrooms.  The fourth weekdays of each month I work on the long term jobs in the Living Room, School Room, Mud Room/Sewing Room and Back Porch.  There are frequently fifth days of the month, and when these occur I do longer term jobs in the Garage and/or in my outbuildings.  Because I keep my home keeping schedule on my laptop , it is very easy to simply schedule in, for example, “tend to long term jobs in the Bedrooms and Bathrooms” and have the computer automatically plug those into the third Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc., of each month for me.

I keep my list of monthly jobs, organized by the rooms they are to be done in, on a spreadsheet on my computer.  Because life happens here just like it does at your house, there are quite often monthly jobs that don’t get done each and every month.  I have columns on my spreadsheet so that I can enter the last date that a job was done.  Ideally, at the end of the month, every job would have been done that month.  Ideally.  In reality, ideally rarely happens here.  Because I’ve entered the date that a particular job was last done, I can, at a glance, see which things have gone far too long without having been done.  I can then tend to the things that might have been let go first.

There are other long term jobs that need to be scheduled less frequently than once a month.  I keep these jobs on the same spreadsheet that I keep the monthly jobs, but I make note of the frequency that they need to be done – quarterly, semi-annually, annually.  Again, having the column where I list the date the job was last completed lets me know, for example, that if it is February, and a quarterly job was last done in November, it’s time for it to be done again.  I try to get to as many of the longer term jobs as I can each month during the week that I am working in any particular area.

It took me months to compile my list of monthly and longer term jobs.  You don’t need to do this in one sitting!! For example, I never thought to schedule in taking down the light fixtures and washing them until I noticed how dirty one was when I changed a light bulb.  I didn’t think to schedule defrosting the freezer until the thing was completely iced over and I realized that it hadn’t been done for a few years!  When you notice things, or as they come to mind, that’s the time to list them and decide how frequently they should be done and get them scheduled in.

One thing to keep in mind, your home keeping routine will need to change as your home or family schedule change.  If you purchase a new frost-free freezer, for example, you will no longer need to schedule in defrosting the freezer.  However, you will probably want to schedule in re-organizing and/or inventorying the freezer, and wiping down the insides from time to time.  If you are blessed with a new piece of wood furniture, you will probably want to schedule in periodic polishing or waxing.  If your self-cleaning oven decides it will no longer self clean (as mine has recently done), then you will need to schedule in times to periodically clean it the old-fashioned way.  If your household schedule changes, or if a new baby arrives, you will most likely need to re-work your home keeping routine around those events, too.

If you want more help, or need more specific ideas, find an older woman in your church who has managed her own home well.  Ask her if she would come along side of you and give you some help in setting up your routine.  If this is not possible, I would highly recommend the book Side-Tracked Home Executives: .  This book is funny and practical and walks you through all of the steps necessary to get your home running along smoothly.  This is the book that my schedule was inspired by several years ago.  Because of the skills I learned in setting up my original system, it’s very easy for me now to make whatever changes become necessary.

Here are a few past posts that might also give you some help or ideas:
Homemaking Schedules/Journals
Catching Up Incrementally OR How Copper’s Wife Digs Herself Out of a Hole

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27

Remember to pray for Karen! (Updated)

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2 comments to Thursday February 22, 2007

  • Dear Cooper’s Wife,

    Your blog is such a blessing to me.  I found it by way of another blog…just can’t remember which one, but, I am thanking the Lord that I did.

    Each day I try a read a few of your blog entries, and, I am learning so much. 

    I especially, learned alot from your blog today.  Thank you so much!



  • Hi! I’ve been reading you for over a year but never left a comment because I couldn’t. My friend Kelli (from No Place Like Home) told me how to do it; I just have to remember to be in Explorer and not Firefox to comment! 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to say hello and that I really love your blog!

    I enjoyed this post because you reminded us that we are not all alike and will not have the same homekeeping routines. It’s easy to get caught up in being like everyone else and we forget to do what is right for us and our family.

    Have a good weekend!