19 September 2007

Housework routines

Monday is washing day
Tuesday is ironing day
Wednesday is mending day
Thursday is market day
Friday is cleaning day
Saturday is baking day
Sunday is a day of rest

Of course, most women didn't just do that chore on that day, they also did their general house work and often had time to visit with neighbours, join sewing circles and play with the children. It was a much more relaxed way of living that was centered around the family and home.

Things have changed. There are now more women working outside the home, often grandmothers look after grandchildren while the mums are at work, many couples work at different times so there is always someone with the children, stay at home mums sometimes have a hobby/job they work on at home during the day, others homeschool. Some SAHMs care for elderly parents, some volunteer their time to schools or other community organisations. Life is lived at a faster pace now and there is no one size fits all when it comes to housework routines.

How you organise your housework will depend on whether you work outside the home or not, how many people you're looking after and at what stage of life you're at. When I had two young babies just 12 months apart, I found not only was I washing on Monday, but also most other days of the week. Now I wash only on Wednesdays. Everyone is different and your routine will change at different stages of your life.

No matter what stage of life you're at it's a really good idea to develop a housework routine. That will take the huge and often overwhelming task of "housework" and break it down into smaller and manageable parts. You can either make up your routine to do your work room by room or you could do a specific chore on a certain day, much like the verse. If you're like me, and have only one other person, or just yourself to look after, maybe you could have a routine which is similar to mine. My routine is similar day by day with changes only for washing, ironing and shopping, which is done once a month.

This is my general routine - it's a loose kind of thing that can easily be changed if friends drop by or I realise I have to work on an unplanned project.

Rise and shower.
Work on the computer until H rises.
Feed dogs and cat.
Make breakfast and wash up.
Check chooks, feed and change water, collect eggs.
Make the bed, tidy the bedroom and bathroom.
Make bread and tidy the kitchen.
Sweep the floor, vacuum once a week.
Once a week I bake biscuits or a cake.
Morning tea.
Gardening, sewing or writing.
Make lunch and wash up.
Tidy one area of the house - like the lounge room, the laundry etc I spend no longer than 30 minutes on this.
Writing, sewing or computer.
Make dinner and wash up.

Every Wednesday I do the washing, hang it outside and fold it when it's dry.
Every Sunday morning I do the ironing.
Once a month, on a Wednesday, I go grocery shopping with H.

There are also seasonal jobs to be done. Such as in summer, I do a bit of preserving. That's always done in the morning. In Winter and Spring there is more gardening to be done.

I find that if I break up my housework with ideas about when I'll do certain things, it stops me thinking of "housework" as one big uncontrollable monster; it turns into tasks that will be done at certain times.

If you haven't thought about your housework in an organised way yet, give it some thought and make up your own routine. Write down what needs to be done. You don't have to itemise every task, go for whole areas - like vacuum house, clean the bathrooms, or divide the tasks up so that, like the verse above, you're doing one major task on one day, with a few little tasks with it. Don't be afraid to modified your routine to suit how you work and who is there to help, if anyone. If you find something doesnt work as you planned, change it.

When you've worked on your routine for a week or so and it is working how you want it to, stick to it and hopefully it will help you do the work that is required to keep your home clean and well maintained. Don't forget to take time out to have morning tea and to look after yourself. Sitting down with a magazine for a 15 minute break will give you something to look forward to, renew your energy and will break up the tasks for you.


He turns 67 today. I picked up his gift on the way home from work yesterday and here he is just after I gave it to him. He was really pleased with the bicycle and rode around with Alice running behind. I love making him happy.



  1. Happy Birthday H.

    I don't have any house work plan as such and will think about one.

  2. Happy Birthday dear H. You look so happy riding your new bicycle. I hope you have the most wonderful day

  3. Happy Birthday H! Love the new bike and hope you have a great day.

  4. Happy Birthday H! Looks like a wonderful day there and hope you have fully enjoyed it. Love the bike too, Rhonda. Your dogs are cuties as well.

  5. Happy Birthday H. Looking good on your new bike.

  6. "I find that if I break up my housework with ideas about when I'll do certain things, it stops me thinking of "housework" as one big uncontrollable monster; it turns into tasks that will be done at certain times."

    Yes, thanks, RJ, it's helping!

    Happy Bday H, again! He's looking good at 67! Love the photo of he & his new toy and the happy dog too...

    All for now.


  7. A very Happy Birthday H!

    Here I was, putting off doing the housework and having a cup of coffee instead when I read your article. Very apt! There are five of us in our household and the housework, washing, ironing etc., is never-ending. A very timely article, Rhonda Jean. Have a lovely day.


  8. Great post Rhonda, as usual, and Happy Birthday to H! *Very* snazzy bike, LOL, I'm jealous! Hope you both enjoy the day :-)

  9. Happy Birthday H :) Very cool bike, love the carrier on the back.

  10. Hello everyone, I have passed your kind wishes on to H and he asked me to thank you all.

    I meant to say too. The bike is MADE IN AUSTRALIA! Yipee!!!

  11. Happy Birthday to H. He looks wonderful on that bike. Are you sure he's turning 67? :-)

    I have "theme days" for my housework but washing day is every day here. I HATE washing but don't mind doing 1 load at a time. I'd hate to do a full day of washing.

  12. Happy B-Day H. And he's still a nice looking bloke. :)

  13. Happy Birthday to H from Arizona! My husband, also, is 67 and rides his bicycle about 8 miles three or four times a week. Thanks, Rhonda Jean, for the encouragement as you shared your routines. I feel like I've been "transitioning" the past few years, ever since my husband was forced into early retirement by a big, company-wide layoff. I need the reminder to keep up with routines and not be discouraged by change! I thank God for good health to exercise, care for our home, help with grandchildren, and maintain a business from home. Desert Lady

  14. A very Happy Birthday H! Love the new bike and I quite jealous that it has mud guards and a very groovy carry rack! (My new bike has neither of these). I'm still working on my routines as I work on a fortnightly roster...perhaps I should tyry writing it down as you suggested Rhonda and see if that gets me more organised?

  15. That is such a great idea to have a housework plan, I am not good at that but I think that I will give it another try. Give my best wishes to H

  16. What a lovely post Rhonda! H looks so happy with his gift. Are helmets compulsory in Oz like they are here?

  17. Happy Birthday H.


  18. Happy Birthday H! What a great gift Rhonda.

  19. Happy Birthday H! I love the bike!William has a bike on the back of his semi that he rides around looking at sights while his tanker is being loaded or unloaded. He loves bike riding.

  20. That is such a groovy bike. And a groovy bloke on top too - happy birthday Hanno for yesterday. RJ - I am sitting down right now to write my housework routine....only it involves at least two loads of wash per day - 1 for nappies, and 1 for all the grotty things three little boys and 1 big one produce! Lisa J

  21. Happy Birthday H! Have a good time with your new toy!

  22. Happy Birthday to Hanno!

    I love the housework routine. Our routines work around the kids' commitments. So if I have to go out, it's a light day of housework (but at least one load of washing a day). If I'm home all day I'll do 2-3 big tasks and at least 3 loads of washing. I love routines, even loose ones help everything run smoothly.


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