How boring, I know, but keeping up with it is harder with kids around and two full-time jobs and on-call shifts and social responsibilities, so I had to come up with a plan. It was never atrocious, but we would get slowly off-track with the dishes and the floors and the clutter and the junk mail and the toys and the laundry and everything else until the house was driving us both nuts and then we'd go on a cleaning frenzy and do it all at once. A stressful and exhausting cycle to go through every 3-4 weeks. So, we've been using a new plan for about two months and now that we're sure we can keep it up, I thought I'd share it.
I call it the "Kitchen Plus One" plan. It goes like this:
Every day we clean the kitchen because it's the room we use the most and also the room that gets the messiest. That means dishes, counters, stove, table and a sweep of the floor.
In addition, we do one other room each day, so that the rest of the house gets rotated through. For lightly used ones, I double it up. So for us it goes Living Room, Dining Room, Office, Kids' Rooms, Guest Room, Master Bedroom and Study, and Bathrooms.
This way we get to every room at least once a week.
One of us does the "Kitchen Plus One" (usually me) and the other (usually Joi) is responsible for rotating the following: Trash Night, Laundry, Garden, Lawn.
We keep it up by writing the schedule up on our dry-erase calender on the fridge and erasing as we go. That way, if we can't get to whichever it is one night, it stays on the calender until it gets done and we have to do it by the end of the week. After about 8 weeks, it's going great! The house is always enjoyable, never drives me nuts, and we never have to go all out for a whole day.
Prancer is growing in all kinds of ways. We were worried about the effects of our vacation we just took (and respite for him), but I think we prepared him really well and he seems to be none the worse for wear. Since getting back yesterday, he's been walking around saying "I like my horse", "I like this couch", "I like my balloons", "I like these stairs", "I like my big boy bed", etc. So, what do you know? He likes it here! And he definitely missed us, which is nice, considering the summer we just went through with him.
Lowlight of the week: after visit with birthparents last week, he went back to respite-provider's house, stood on his chair, looked at her... and peed.
Highlight of the week: has been offering spontaneous "I love you"s about 20 times a day. We love him, too.