House rules to make life easier

Clean kitchen with house rules

in my last home post I gave you some of my house rules that help me coping with amount of stuff in my home. This time I will give you a bit more rules that I try to follow. Some of them may seem insane, but for me it works.

I’ve been fighting my disorder for my entire life. I had to find means to cope with it and I found out in my teen years that I need to do things differently if I want to reach my goal. First hint was that I could only study or write my homework with a distraction like music. My Mum was always astounded at how I can have any concentration on my homework while listening to the music. But it worked for me. I wasn’t bored and I could finish my studying or homework. Similar logic is for everything I do. When I write something or work I need a distraction. Like TV or music. Then I can actually have enough focus to finish what I’m working on.

Also one thing that is a rule for me is that I have a hard time finishing a project. Any project. If it’s longer then 10-15 minutes, I have a hard time keeping my brain on it. I even have a hard time writing these posts. That’s why I don’t blog much. It actually takes me a couple of days to write one post. The reason being my ADHD keeping me from finishing it. After some time I NEED to do something else. So the only way for me to finish the chores or posts is to put them in phases or projects. That way I can finish them. But it’s still a struggle. And usually makes everyone around me nervous because I jump from one thing to another. I try to explain that I have to do it in my seemingly unorganized way to get it done, but not everyone understands (Mum especially). Without further ado here are other house rules that make my life easier:

1. If you need to do something cut it up.

Anything can be cut up to smaller bits. Just don’t cut it in too small bits. You should feel some accomplishment after a finished bit.
Then mix up those bits so you actually do two things at a time. This may seem a bit strange, but keeping the focus on one thing does not work. So what I do is first finish one small bit (clear the table), then I move to other small bit (i.e. put glasses in dishwasher). Then I come back to the second bit of first chore (clean the table). And then resume with second bit of second chore (put plates in dishwasher). Normal people would think that I’m insane for working like this. But this is the way I CAN actually clean. I mix things up. It keeps me entertained and my brain doesn’t seek some other more fun stuff to do.

2. Try to finish a chore in one day

Don’t mix too many chore bits at one time, and don’t try too much. You should try to do one to three chores at most per day. Especially if you’re a working woman like myself. There most likely won’t be enough hours in the day. You can finish something the other day, but then schedule it and DO IT the next day.

3. Take breaks

May sound strange, but break actually gets me refocused. After I finish with first set of bits, I take a small break. Then I start new set of bits. You can finish multiple sets of bits before break, but the thing that proved to be important for me was to finish the set before break. Not to finish in the middle of the set of bits. This way I rally myself to at least finish something.

4. Wash the dishes every day.

Most of the mess in the kitchen is produced from dirty dishes. So if you clean the dishes everyday it makes the room look more tidy in an instant. You may not succeed in it every time, but the tighter the schedule of washing dishes the better your kitchen will look. And it’s much much easier to clean and put find things their places when there’s no dirty dishes around.

5. Find place for EVERYTHING

During the years I noticed that the most problems I had was with things that didn’t belong anywhere. When I found a place for a thing I would then start training myself to always put it in that place. If you find a thing out of its place, then put it back to its place. Try to train yourself to do that. It will take a bit of time for training, but in the end you won’t think about putting things to their places, you will just do it. And yes, that place has to be specific. “It goes on that upper shelf” is not specific enough. You can even label places for things so you know exactly where that salt goes. The trick is to make muscle memory of putting an item to its place. Then it stops being a chore and becomes a habit, so no attention is needed. But it takes time and effort.

6. Do specific chores on specific days of the week

I guess this is a bit old-fashioned, but it does help. For instance I wash the bathroom on weekends. My bathroom day is Saturday, but if I’m not able to do it on Saturday I do it on Sunday instead. That way our bathroom gets its weekly cleaning. Trash day is on Monday. And we vacuum the house on Saturday.

Some of these rules are common sense, others are a bit strange, but they help me function. I do fall out of path, and the house does “explode” with mess. But then I pick myself up and start following the rules again, and all gets better. My house will never be perfect but it can at least be tidy enough. Sometimes I’m so good at following them that the house starts looking extra clean and tidy. Then my hubby gets extra happy. Right now I’m on the path to having tidy living room again. I have a bit of clutter on kitchen island, but this will be sorted today and tomorrow. I still have to earn my daily bread …

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