A Time to Clean

owl-house.jpgHomeschooling and working from home take up the lion’s share of my time and creativity.  But that doesn’t mean they’re the only things I am responsible for.  And they thing they have in common?  Both happen at home.

Gretchen Rubin says that outer order contributes to inner calm, and I am learning how true this is for me.  Keeping up with housework is an essential part of our schedule; these three things help keep us moving in the right direction.


When we lived in a small house, I had a strict one-in/one-out policy.  If we got a new book, one had to go.  There was just no room for accumulating new things.  We’ve got more space now, so the rule isn’t quite as strict.  Another thing that’s helped–thinking of toys as consumables.  They have their day in the sun, but then it’s ok to let them go. But I’m what Rubin calls a finisher, so there’s a special joy for me in using things up!

Everything Has a Place

This one comes via Mystie Winckler (free webinar today!).  She calls it EHAP.  If things don’t have a home–a place where they can go reliably–then they can’t get put away.  Even things like library books that are only around temporarily need a place to live or else they can’t be put away.  Clearing the decks for the next event–clearing off the table so we can have dinner, then cleaning up from dinner so that there are clean dishes for the new day–creates a sense of expectancy and deep care.  Get ready!  What we’re doing here is important.

A Dependable Rotation

I discovered this list from Apartment Therapy a while ago, and it’s working for me.  It’s not just a daily upkeep list.  But it also doesn’t send you on esoteric missions to clean the chandelier.  Ok, there is Wash the Windows on Day 8, but I just use that day to catch up!  For me right now, it’s got the right mix of upkeep and special attention.  We’re not just treading water by only hitting the dailies, and we’re not falling behind on the dailies because we’ve been re-organizing the spice cabinet.

What are your favorite tricks and tips for keeping house?

Homeschooling and Working from Home with Ease


  1. thank you kort for sharing Apartment Therapy’s cleaning schedule. It is really working well for me. I try to get to work first thing in the morning, sometimes knock out the task before the kids get up, and feel a huge sense of accomplishment. My anxiety about the rest of the mess is alleviated because I know it will be taken care of in it’s own time. And I’ve discovered I can get a lot more done in 20 minutes than I thought. I had picked up the habit of whistling (listening to podcasts) while I worked, thinking I’d enjoy the task more, but trying to beat the clock, getting it done and moving on, is soooo much better.

    1. Getting it done and moving on! That’s exactly how I feel about housework 🙂 So glad this is working. I’m going to go clean the bathroom quick before Dinosaur Train is over. Love you!

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