I’m not even kidding with this title. Several years ago, before kids and before two dogs, I created the most elaborate cleaning schedule you’ve ever seen. I created it in Excel, and then entered the whole massive thing, task by task into RememberTheMilk.
Tangent: Do you know about RememberTheMilk (RTM)? It’s a fantastic tool for task lists, birthday reminders, other stuff you don’t want to forget about… I’ve used it for many years. You should check it out if you’re looking for something like that.
I spent hours upon hours doing all of this. With the amount of time I spent creating this bizarrely complicated schedule, I could have cleaned the whole house top to bottom, inside and out. No lie.
I included weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual tasks, and set them all up to recur automatically on schedule. I even created a laundry schedule, so that I didn’t have to do all of the laundry on one day, which had always overwhelmed me.
And, it worked… sort of… for a while… I started doing one load of laundry a day, I had a few quick housekeeping chores to manage each day, and the housework ran smoothly for a couple months. But, when I started getting really busy at work again (each year, I get really busy June through October, and work a ton of overtime), my routine fell to shit, and the housework and laundry started to pile up around me again.
I think the problem is that my beautiful, elaborate, extensive, big, all-inclusive list of chores is incredibly overwhelming. I mean, the fact of the matter is that I don’t want to delete it all out of RTM because it took me so very long to put in there in the first place.
There are more than a hundred recurring tasks in there related to the management of our household. MORE THAN A HUNDRED. That’s not an exaggeration. AND, it’s only MY portion of the chores! It doesn’t include things that my husband is responsible for – things like home repairs, lawn mowing, garbage day, etc.
So, um, why do you suppose I’m feeling overwhelmed and avoiding doing any housework?
I haven’t worked up the courage to delete all of the RTM tasks yet, but I think that a different approach is probably in order. I have some ideas, but they are a fairly radical departure from what I currently
not doing, so I haven’t taken the plunge yet. I’ll share some of my ideas next week. Until then…