Last update: How to make housekeeping fun-ish

[I’ve updated this. For those who’ve read it already, jump to the bottom.]

This week was full of late work nights, childcare scrambles and a battle with a sinus infection. I tried hard to maintain a “life in full” strategy despite this, but there was only so much my sister-in-law’s neti pot was going to accomplish for me. I ate very little and slept even less. No running. No gardening. No cooking. No writing. Bah. And because we were out of town last weekend, we are way behind on laundry, housekeeping, mowing the grass and grocery shopping. Double bah.

What I need from this weekend might be impossible: Catch up on all my domestic chores in a way that feels relaxing and enjoyable. And do it quickly enough so that there’s still time for something that actually is relaxing and enjoyable. Basically: I want to make vacuuming and whatnot fun and fast. What follows is my strategy, which is full of holes I hope you’ll help me fill.


  1. I will not do anything else Saturday morning until I have made a giant pot of coffee.
  2. I will make a decent breakfast. If Lily wants eggs or muffins, I’ll make them for her. If there are lots of dirty dishes, who cares. I’m going to clean the kitchen momentarily anyway.
  3. I will play music. We already have a “Clean The House” playlist on iTunes. Every family should do this, and be sure to include favorites from each person.
  4. I will save the vacuuming and dusting for myself. I actually like these chores. A colleague and I talked recently about how we like to see the lines of polished furniture and clean carpet. The visible progress is encouraging.
  5. After every task, I’ll refill my coffee cup.
  6. I won’t check Twitter, Facebook, email, or my blog until I’ve cleaned an entire room.
  7. When I’m feeling pent up because it’s sunny outside, I’ll stop cleaning and mow the grass.
  8. After the grass, since I’m already outside, I’ll go for a shortish run.
  9. When I return from the run, I’ll clean my sweaty clothes and other dirty laundry while I shower and go to the grocery store.
  10. I won’t worry about what to make for dinner, because we’ll have what we call “Random Dinner” instead. This means we’ll go to Whole Foods and each person will select a fruit, a cheese, and an “other” (which is usually falafel or sushi … I know … like I said, “random”.)

Sunday will be mine.

Updated, 7:48 p.m.
1. I never did make the coffee. I did, however, make several batches of freshly squeezed lemonade for Lily’s lemonade stand, which she opened after earlier efforts at an end-of-driveway clothing consignment sale proved less than profitable (and boring).
2. I never made a decent breakfast, either. I did, however, make several batches of snickerdoodles and sugar cookies (the kind you break apart and bake; I’m not that ambitious) to complement the lemonade.
3. Indeed, Fergie and Katy Perry helped me through much of the afternoon.
4. I did the vacuuming and dusty and way, way more than that. Like, clean-the-sink-with-baking-soda level / sort-out-your-kid’s-dresser-drawers stuff.
5. Coffee: It seems I didn’t need it.
6. Yeah, no.
7. This was the first thing I did.
8. Done. Shy of five miles with my awesome sister-in-law.
9. Yep.
10. Cheese, berries, falafel, chicken meat balls, and pastry. And wine!

Updated, 2:13 p.m.

I’m interrupting this cleaning frenzy to go clean up cat vomit.

Updated, 11:33 a.m.

So far, this is what I’ve accomplished. (Or, rather, what I haven’t accomplished.)
1. No coffee yet.
2. Breakfast was a granola bar.
3. No music yet.
4. No inside chores yet, unless you count picking up the broken pieces of one half of an antique creamer-sugar set I was using as a prop in a child’s lemonade stand. More on that devastating turn of events later.
5. Again, no coffee, but Jim’s suggestion of tequila is tempting.
6. As you can see, I am not to be congratulated on this, Jackie.
7. FINALLY, a success! I actually have mowed the grass today. The front yard, anyway. Largely I’ve accomplished this because I double dutied the grass mowing by supervising an impromptu yard sale / lemonade stand. I promise you, there’s a blog post in that later today.
8. Not yet, but my sister-in-law stopped by the lemonade stand and we made a date to run later. So at least that’s in the works.
9. Nope.
10. We may have more granola bars.


9 thoughts on “Last update: How to make housekeeping fun-ish

  1. Pingback: The right moment, right on time « Knight Stivender's life in full

  2. Pingback: The right moment, right on time « Knight Stivender's life in full

  3. Our run will make 90% of the stress of all you think you need to accomplish go away and the cheese, fruit and wine we have for dinner will take care of the last 10%.

  4. If you’re reading this…Congrats! You’re done!!! Good news, which hopefully you are learning as you pour your first big cup of coffee…it’s kind of gray out. Much easier to clean with gray 🙂

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