Eat Your Brussel Sprouts (But Only If the Sexy Mr. Brown Cooks Them) | Giftie Etcetera: Eat Your Brussel Sprouts (But Only If the Sexy Mr. Brown Cooks Them)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eat Your Brussel Sprouts (But Only If the Sexy Mr. Brown Cooks Them)

I hate doing housework.  I don't hate it as much as actual vacuuming (curse thee Hoover), but I really would rather go to the gyno get a root canal fixed without pain meds eat brussel sprouts try to avoid it.  (Okay, I hear if brussel sprouts are browned perfectly, they are great.  Having never tasted one, I can't judge.  One day, Alton Brown will invite me to dinner and serve brussel sprouts.  Then, and only then, my life will be complete.  Unless he serves me his yucky mac and cheese with them, because THAT, SIR, was a mistake.  I cooked it and blech!)  My husband is a clean-it-all-at-once-because-company-is-coming-over person.  I end up in a ball of Comet-and-stress-sweat smelling tears if I do that.  No deep cleaning for me!  It just doesn't happen.  Or I pay for it for a week.  I clearly need a different plan.

So I try to do a little bit each day, doing the entire circuit of my house in a week.  (Yes, yes, I mean two weeks.  But the PLAN is once per week, so no deep scrubbing is ever needed.  THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED.)  In between the scheduled cleanings, I spot clean spills and wipe down the tub while I am in it and swish the toilet brush in the toilet bowl, just to maintain.  I looked at a lot of schedules on-line, but the problem is that they either prescribed a time to clean ("clean 15 minutes a day" - something that I do, but it's a run through the house, not a cleaning) or a room.  To do a room, you have to drag out so many supplies.  My bedroom, for example, required furniture polish, mirror cleaner, electronics cleaners, a vacuum, paper towels, and gentle cloths.  Too much work everyday!

Instead, I do a TASK each day.  On the day when I grocery shop, once a week, I don't do a cleaning task, as I spend two hours out of the house grocery shopping.  (I should add that I am pretty sure that I have shared this information before, but not as in depth, and I have a ton more readers these days.  :))  Here is a list of how I divide up my tasks:

Surface (dust/clean all horizontal surfaces in the house)
Floors (sweep/mop/vacuum in all rooms)
Car (I had to add this.  My car was disgusting, even with the "clean it out" all the time rule.  I don't actually clean the whole car once a week, but I do something - clear out accumulated junk, wash the outside at a car wash, vacuum it out)
Special (appliances get cleaned, like stove top and microwave and frig, plus electronics like tvs and mirrors throughout the house)
Master Task List (chose one list from my running list of tasks that must be done; this is how I get things like "clean blinds," "organize junk drawer," or "change air filter."  This is especially nice on a busy day.  Friends in town?  Do a quick task from the list.  Sister unexpectedly picks up the kids? Do a big task from the master list.)

Here's an example of the Master Task List form that I custom made for my planner:

And a sample of the Master Task List in use, with items listed with due dates in the first column, contexts/where I can do them (General, Errands, Home/at home only, and Computer), and any details.

I have a form where I keep track of these daily tasks.  The form is the FIRST thing in my planner:

At the very bottom, in tiny print, is the list of tasks.  (The checklist also ensures that I do my 15 minute daily quick clean (in the areas that are most visible or need it most), one load of laundry, one load of dishes, exercise, calorie counts, and getting ready for tomorrow).

If I miss a day (maybe I'm busy with a big project or a sick kid or out of town), I miss a day.  No biggie.  (And that, my friends, is why sometimes it takes two weeks to get through this one week long list.)  You can see in the following example that I often miss a day or two:

Some weeks, I do my cleaning very, very well.  I scrub the tubs and make sure the silver faucets shine.  Other weeks, I barely disinfect.  The point is that I keep doing it, so that each day, it's a really simple job.

Also, note that I don't assign days of the week to each task.  The tasks are a guidelines only.  Sometimes, surfaces need to be cleaned again during the week, if I cooked a lot or had a dinner party.  Sometimes, the bathroom floors get grosser than usual, with a barely-potty-trained 3 year old!  If that's the case, the cause begging for my attention the loudest gets my attention.

It's okay.  The tubs will get cleaned next week.  I have a system.  And when Mr. Alton Brown drops by to cook those brussel sprouts, I'll be ready for him.  ;)


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