28 November 2017

Keeping House for One: Weekly Plan (2D)

Dear Lissy,
Artic air has hit! Temps are in the teens, and we have the stove running at full speed.  I'm having a hard time keeping you focused on school because you're taking Liz out for a mint hot chocolate and donut to celebrate her birthday and then heading to the holiday fair at the hospital where you volunteer.
We've talked before about 2D (planning your week), 3D (organizing your physical space to work for you), and 4D (daily time management) homemaking principles.  These three dimensions allow you to keep your home in a manner that reflects your personality and allows you to minister to others.  Your 2D plan will look very different while you're working full time and living in an apartment.

The weekly plan

The weekly plan is designed to give you a rhythm that allows you to keep everything current:  meals, laundry, bills, appointments and errands, cleaning, etc.  Generally for single apartment dwellers working a full time job and active in their church, you'll be looking at a few hours at the beginning or end of each day.  Schedule your energy, not your time!

  • Make a list of weekly tasks.
    • Errands:  bank (most banking is online, but you still need to review accounts at least once a week), dry cleaner (arrange for pick up and drop off at your workplace if available), library (30 minutes)
    • Appointments:  Not used every week, but good to have a scheduled block for haircuts, eye appointments, doctor and dentist appointments, oil changes/tire rotations, etc.  Try to find businesses that offer evening hours if you work a day shift so you don't have to use earned time.
    • Grocery shopping (30-45 minutes with a list.)
    • Food prep (Most full-time workers don't have time to prepare 21 meals a week.  They spend 2 hours or so prepping for 14 or more meals.)
    • Cleaning -- Clutter should be picked up daily, and bathroom and kitchen wiped down after every use.  This is the window washing, doorknobs/lightswitch disinfecting, dusting, vacuuming, mopping end of cleaning that we do once a week.  An apartment should be able to be zipped through in 45 minutes or less if you've kept it picked up.  We'll talk about dishes/kitchen maintenance when we cover 4D, but if that's an area that you struggle, set aside time a couple of times a week to get the kitchen back to "ground zero."
    • Bills, Correspondence, computer/mobile maintenance (20 minutes)
    • Laundry day (unless you have a w/d in your apartment)(2 hours)
    • Trash to curb, wash out trash cans (10 minutes)
    • Church prep: Sunday School, meals, Bible study lessons etc. (1 hour)
    • Manicure/Pedicure (10 minutes/30 minutes if polishing)
    • Clean out and restock purse, work, workout, and church bags (15 minutes)
    • Car cleanout, vacuum, and fluid/tire check (20 minutes)
    • Emergency Regroup:  Set aside at least an hour a week to get caught up so that you have the ability to minister to a friend in need or just go out for a cup of coffee.
  • Map out work and church commitments on a weekly calendar.  
    •  Include unofficial as well as scheduled events.  If you and a coworker regularly go to the gym after work, that needs to be accounted for.
    • Right now Google calendar is free and works well for this purpose.
  • Block out time for sleep (including night time routine) and getting ready for work/church (including morning routine).
  • During the remaining time, when is your physical energy highest?  For me this was usually late morning through dinner on my day off and after dinner on days I worked.
  • During the remaining time, when is your mental energy highest? For me this was, and is, usually after 9 pm or before work in the early morning.
  • Plot your tasks into the spaces each day where they most naturally fit.  
    • Grocery shopping and other errands are usually easiest to do on the way home from work or church.  Don't forget to check Sunday School lesson plans before shopping in case you need a weird craft or snack item.
    • Cleaning is nice to schedule toward the end of the week so you can have friends in on the weekend.
    • Use laundromat time to clean and check your vehicle, manicure your nails, or even clean out and organize your bags and purse. 
    • Many of these weekly tasks can be reduced to minutes if you keep picked up as you go:  empty the car every time you get out, don't let your apartment get cluttered, pay bills on auto and process mail daily, prepping extra food every time you cook, taking an extra minute to set up filing systems on your computer, etc.  I'll cover this in more detail in my next post about making your space work for your lifestyle.
  • Post your weekly schedule on a whiteboard or a cute printable somewhere in your apartment where you'll see it every day.   
    • In Victorian times, every household had a large chalkboard in the kitchen with the weekly tasks painted onto a weekly grid and space below to write on daily tasks in chalk.  Borrow their idea by using Sharpie or vinyl letters on a whiteboard that's divided into weekly squares.
    •  Set recurring task lists to pop up on your computer or mobile using an app.
    • Avoid having your weekly schedule as a document in your computer or a notebook where you can just ignore it UNLESS you decide to do a CEO sheet (single printed half sheet with schedule, to-dos, and notes you print every morning to run your day -- optional part of 4D management)
The weekly tasks are vital to perform in a few minutes each week, because they become a big problem if left undone.  This list may look like a lot, but it accounts for very little time if good storage systems and daily pickup are part of your routine.  Call or email me if you struggle -- the weekly plan is the difference between a well-run home and a hot mess.  An old New England saying comes to mind "There is but an hour a day between a good huswif and a bad one."



No comments:

Post a Comment