Friday, February 4, 2011

If It’s Friday, It’s Clean-the-Bathroom Day

Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong century.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love my laptop and I have no Luddite tendencies. (Well, only a few, and they only rear their ugly heads when I’m on hold with tech support.)

But I have a lot of Old World habits. My mother immigrated to the US with her parents, and they brought their old ways with them. I learned them. (Sociologists say that mothers enculturate their children. Sorry, Dad.)  Of course, some of these habits mystify my husband.  For example, I believe chocolate is near to a sacrament. It should be served on a fancy plate. Each square must be savored over a period of fifteen minutes, at least. He gobbles his chocolate and then wants mine—because, he thinks, I must not like it if it takes me that long to eat it. No, dear one, I like to let the chocolate melt on my tongue and take me to chocolate heaven. And, if you touch my chocolate, you may find yourself missing a few fingers.

But chocolate reverence isn’t the only Old World experience that impacts my family.  It’s Old World structure.  My grandmother has told me that when she was young everyone in her small town in South Holland did certain chores on certain days. For example, Monday morning was Scrub the Steps day.  So every housewife scrubbed the steps on Monday. (They scrubbed them on Thursday too—you’d better clean those steps before they get dirty). Now, granted, I don’t scrub my outside steps. At least, I wait until they get moss on them.

But every day of my week has assigned chores:

1. Monday is post-weekend tidying and house projects. Conveniently, most of our plumbing problems have occurred on Mondays.  For example, last Monday that bathroom pipe blew out. In my mind, time had already had been set-aside for the repair.  Not in Cal’s mind, however. He was planning to do taxes. But they got shoved aside in favor of a functioning bathroom.

2. Tuesday is writing day. (Not really a house chore, but since the kids have music lessons, classes, etc., I write while they learn. I have to redeem the time in some way.)

3. Wednesday is baking day. Matthew can’t digest gluten so I make him gluten-free bread—which is a bit like baking with different kinds of dust. The various “flours” like brown rice, tapioca, potato starch, and teff are all so fine that after baking, a layer of edible dust covers the kitchen surfaces. Since the kitchen is filthy already, it makes sense to bake everything on one day.

4. Thursday is ironing day, which isn’t so bad because I stream a Netflix movie. So it’s actually fun to iron 9 dress shirts and 9 dress pants and whatever else we’ve worn the previous 7 days.

5. Friday is clean-the-bathroom-and-master-bedroom-and-wash-bedding day. There's nothing like going to bed on Friday night in a pristine room with the scent of furniture polish and Pinesol clinging to the air. (Yeah, that mystifies Cal too.)

6. Saturday is clean-everything-else day and cook for Sunday. It’s also our WalMart date. The two of us go to WalMart and shop.  I realize that doesn’t sound like a “date,” but it’s all a matter of perspective—time with your husband without any interruptions is a date. Okay, WalMart has it’s own interruptions, especially at the beginning of the month when it gets swamped by the crazies.  But that’s another post.

Notice there’s no laundry day. That’s because with six adults and near adults, every day is laundry day.

So, am I the only one who lives by a chore schedule?  Fess up. 


  1. I am not nearly as organized as you are, but, Monday is clean sheet day at our hose and laundry is a constant work in progress. You inspire me to greater things and a better schedule.

  2. I don't live by a chore schedule, I live by a school schedule.

  3. I think most of us fail in the organized category.

  4. Can you come to my house and help me organize?? Seriously this is amazing. I think I need these skillz.

    As for chocolate, I'm with you sister. Back off the chocolate, this is my time and I'm enjoying it.

  5. I used to have a schedule. Monday was change-the-sheets day. When four kids were home, that took a while. Thursdays I slacked off and just changed pillow cases...and did all the ironing. I even used to iron all those sheets and pillowcases. Not any more!

    Friday was drop-dead-tired-clean-the-whole-house day. I would bake Mon., Wed., & Fri. to keep all of our family and all the neighborhood filled up with goodies. My kids didn't know what store-bought cakes & cookies tasted like. Now they don't think I need an oven.

    Laundry was every day. Every day was sewing day (family also didn't know what store-bought clothes were...I made it all), but Tuesdays were usually all-day sewing, or gardening if it was nice outside.

    Then hubby retired and took me to Retirement Land with him. Now...I read blogs~

  6. Wonderful old world habits, hope your kids pick them up.

    I have writing day, Saturday, don't mess with my Saturday. And Sunday is our worship day. But cleaning day(s)? As necessary. As necessary, and then sometimes even not! Baking day sounds very tempting though!

  7. In the Little House books they mentioned similar things.
    Wash on Monday, Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, Churn on Thursday, Clean on Friday, Bake on Saturday, Rest on Sunday.
    I wish I was as organized as you!

  8. Oh, that's quite intense! I used to be on a monthly chore schedule in college. One of my roommates is super organized with these things and created a rotation of cleaning chores for all of us to do at the start of the month. Worked out great because then we never fought about chores and people not pulling their weight. :)

    On the other hand, I'm by nature a kind of messy person. So back home is a different story. -__-