Recently, I created storage space by clearing a cabinet of things we no longer use.
As I moved a box, I uncovered a printed piece of paper and had a sudden memory of this post from my first year of blogging. The post was about running across a cleaning schedule that was a handout at a moms’ group I attended when my boys were babies.
I found that cleaning schedule shoved in the bottom of a drawer.
Now, eight years later, I found the same cleaning schedule again. Shoved in the bottom of a cabinet.
Anyway, I took a moment to look at the schedule. It has daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks on it.
Since I have now fully embraced the power and impact of daily tasks, I paid attention to that section to see how it compared to the four basic tasks that I’ve found to be the most important.
And I laughed.
Here are the tasks listed on this printable:
- Pick up clutter.
- Make beds.
- Do laundry.
- Sweep kitchen and high-traffic areas.
- Unload dishwasher.
I wasn’t laughing at the list. It’s a great list. I was laughing at myself.
In my blog post eight years ago, I was fascinated by how short her list was. I was in the very beginning of my own deslobification process and was adding a new daily non-negotiable task (almost) every week. Doing daily stuff every single day was new to me and I assumed I’d be adding new tasks each week until I died.
Now, I’ve boiled my own list down to the most essential tasks. When I don’t do these tasks, my home grinds to a halt or the stuff-explosion-fuse gets lit. (Sorry, bed, but even though I like it when you’re made, being unmade doesn’t cause bad things to happen . . . )
But I laughed because of what wasn’t on this printable list.
“Unload the dishwasher” assumes that at some point, I loaded it. That dishes are already done.
And the absence of “do the dishes” on this list confirms what I have suspected: people whose homes stay under control don’t consider it an option to not do the dishes.
Do the dishes was too obvious for this list. I mean, who doesn’t know you have to do the dishes???
Obviously, no one could need something that obvious on a list.
Except that I didn’t know.
Until I started doing the dishes. Until I stopped trying to find a better way to keep my kitchen clean than just doing the dishes. Every single day. No matter how many there were to do.
And seeing a daily checklist that was missing the thing I needed most made me think of a recent note from one of you thanking me for being willing to explain the things most people don’t think need to be explained.
I looked for the letter (or was it an IG message or a book review or a comment somewhere?) but couldn’t find it. The point was that there’s missing information in a lot of well-intentioned and valuable home management advice out there.
Some of us truly don’t know the things we’re supposed to already know. And skipping over those things is the reason why the other stuff doesn’t work.
So yay for finally understanding the actual basics, and yay for finding my people.