TASK: Tidy understairs cupboard and gather together all eBay items to sell
It’s day 100 on the path to perfection. I’m so pleased and proud with myself for keeping up the effort for this long. The last time I went on this venture, I think I made it to 130-140 days. This time, I’m in it for the long haul and there will be no surrender.
At the weekend I spontaneously decided to tidy up the cupboard under the stairs and get all my eBay items together. I guess the motivation was the need to get money onto my PayPal to fund the Liz Earle products I’m slowly depending on.
It was a real mess to start with. Everything in there had just been thrown on top of one another.
I pulled everything out and organised everything for selling on eBay I in the corner of my kitchen, in the vain hope it will be a constant reminder to get on with creating the listings.
With the eBay items out of the way, I could really think hard about what I might like to put back in the cupboard. For a long time now, I’ve wished to have the vacuum cleaner in there instead of in the kitchen or around the house.
It looks so much better now and I did manage to get the vacuum cleaner in there. There’s now just that, the ironing board & iron, shopping bags and some shoes. Now I just have to get on with selling the rest of the stuff on eBay.
NEW HABIT: Do ALL the washing up after dinner
Doing the washing up in the morning before I go to work was one of the first habits I introduced when I started this blog about being on the path to perfection. It started well at first but after a while I’ve ended up just emptying and filling the dishwasher. It still makes a huge difference and keeps me on top of things but as long as that is all I do, I still end up with pans, chopping boards and wooden spoons sitting on the side and that could go on for a week. So I’ve decided to introduce the habit of doing all the washing up in the evening after dinner. As I will have more time, I can make sure the pans and boards are washed up too so by the morning there should only a few glasses and plates to pop into the dishwasher.
“I will do All the washing up every day after dinner. There should be nothing left on the side when I finish’
NEW HABIT: Establish a 2-monthly housework list for things I can’t get done every week & schedule it in the diary
My weekly housework routine is really becoming established and I’m finding it easier to fit in and somewhat enjoying it. I have my limits though and anything over 4 hours starts to feel repressive. But there are things that eventually need doing and cant be left much longer than 2 months. I’m thinking of things like cleaning kitchen appliances, giving the shower and toilet stands a proper clean, cleaning the dishwasher and washing machine. There are plenty of more things that will become apparent. After this, I will probably create a bi-annual routine for even more deep-cleaning.
I think the 2-monthly cleaning will take all day and I don’t want to give up an entire Saturday for it. So I’m taking advantage of the fact that my parents visit every two months and have taken a day off work to complete it on the Friday before they visit. I’ve decided I will take that Friday off work every 2 months to keep this routine up.
This Friday, I am taking my first Friday off and will create my chore list for completion every 2 months. Using a holiday for this purpose means I really have to make it matter so I will plan the day thoroughly. I think I will work from 6am-4pm including 30 minute breaks for lunch and breakfast. One day in the future I would love to reward the day with a takeout but for now I can’t because I’ve given them up for the rest of the year and I’m on a cleanse and trying to transition to a plant-based diet.
“I will take a day off work every 2 months to complete a deeper clean and create a list for it”
When I first introduced my weekly housework routine I struggled to fit it in and complete it every week. But since I created a printed housework task list I have had much more success. It’s easier to do the housework with a to-do list I can tick off. It gives me structure and focus and I simply commit to it until it’s finished. The only thing I still struggle with is the final task which is mopping the wood floors. Twice I have left it uncompleted. I’m considering a steam mop may solve it but that is an expense I can’t afford.
I’ve been using up cleaning products I’ve had around the house for a long time. However, now that I am having success with the housework and I’ve been establishing a routine visiting True Food, it’s time to level-up the cleaning box.
I narrowed down the minimum products I need to complete my weekly housework successfully. I need a duster, lime-scale remover, toilet cleaner, a scourer, cloths, glass cleaner, a glass cloth and anti-bac.
I went to True Food today and bought some ethical alternatives and the picture below shows my ideal cleaning box. Everything is considerate but I have included Viakal and bleach just incase the others don’t cut it.
Today was my third visit back to True Food and this time my focus was on the Cleaning Products I need. My weekly housework routine is really taking shape and I am even beginning to enjoy it a little bit now. I have several items I use to complete my housework routine and I want to start using more ethical and environmentally friendly products in due course.
BIO Glass Cleaner– This is for my mirrors and polished surfaces. It’s a step up from Mr Muscle.
BIO Toilet Cleaner– I really hope this cuts the mustard
BIO All Purpose Sanitiser– This is my alternative to Dettol or anti-bac. It’s for the shower tray and toilets.
BIO Bathroom Cleaner– I’m really hoping this will be my Viakal substitute.
I also bought these kitchen scourer pads. I’m planning to replace my regular sponges from the supermarket with them.
I think I’m done now with the household stuff and the next visit will start to be all about food.
A few weeks ago, I created the habit of performing weekly housework chores on a Saturday. It has been one of the few habits I have struggled to deliver on and commit to. When this happens, it is important to review why this is.
I think I have struggled because I didn’t decide what housework I was going to do and what time I was gonna do it. Then there is the problem that sometimes I’m not here on a Saturday or there isn’t much time on a Saturday morning to even start it. I concluded that I need a concise, minimum list, printed out with check boxes, so I have clear parameters to work within. There are 19 chores and I can aim to complete them in whatever time I can afford on a Saturday. If I’m not here on a Saturday, I can schedule the housework in on a Friday, or if I run out of time, I can complete the list on another day.
I will be using this list tomorrow for the first time in the hope it will help give me direction, focus and time management. The process will also help me conclude what cleaning products I need to be the most efficient I can be.
“Now I have created the perfect list I will use it every week”
NEW HABIT: Create a weekly housework routine
Housework is one of the biggest issues for most procrastinators. Maintaining a home, especially with a family, is very time consuming and repetitive, so a real challenge for anyone who is disinterested in long-term gratification. My weight and housework have always been the two key challenges for me. They are also the ones that would make the most difference to my mental health if I could crack them. I have had progress in the past but when life gets busy, it gets more challenging to maintain the routine. Tomorrow, I am hoping to implement a quick weekly clean that can always be squeezed in, whatever I’m up to at the weekends. To keep it quick, I must not burden myself with unnecessary chores. I will start at the top of the house and work my way down. As I decide what should go on my list, the criteria is: Anything that can’t wait more than a week. Anything that can wait longer will be added to, what I will call my Spring Clean. I will blog about that later. It will take place every 2 months over an entire day. I will even take a day off work for it because having tried it previously on weekends, it has always proved difficult because it’s too tempting at weekends to have a lay-in or chill the entire day. By the end of tomorrow, I should have a list of chores I must do every week to maintain a reasonable standard of cleanliness. I need to do it every Saturday before doing anything else. The likelihood that I may not have time on some Saturdays, requires I think ahead, and schedule it on a Friday evening or a Sunday. Whatever happens, the weekly housework is not something I should easily postpone. The shorter the list, the quicker it gets done, the more likely the chances are of long-term success.
So far on a Saturday I have created habits to get up at 8am, make my bed, collect the laundry and get it started. This week I will add collecting rubbish from the rooms too because there will be time to do it before 9am, which is the time I am aiming for in the future to go to Park Run. When Park Run is finally a habit, I will probably be starting my weekly housework when I return at 10am. So, with that in mind, tomorrow I will start cleaning and creating the housework list at 10am. As I have no other obligations tomorrow, I will clean as long as it takes to create that weekly list. It stands to reason, that tomorrow is the longest the session should ever take me. Theoretically, it should get quicker every week.
The collection of photos below show the state of my home now. I’ve already introduced washing-up and laundry habits, so that helps a bit.
“I will dedicate time to weekly housework every weekend”