Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Basic Weekly Plan

Something I've been working on lately is my Basic Weekly Plan. It's easy to let each day and week slip away from us, without having a clear vision of what it is we hope/need to accomplish. I find it often leads to frustration, as I figure out it has been weeks (months??) since I've done things like update the baby books, or work on photo albums. In general, it seems that if I don't have a plan for things to get done... they simply don't get done. There are no magic cleaning fairies or photo album fairies. :) (Much to my dismay...).

Included in my basic weekly plan are all of the things I hope to accomplish over the week, and includes my cleaning focus area, laundry, focus task, meal type (so we don't eat the same kinds of dishes too often, and also makes meal planning MUCH easier), and an evening task. Next year I will include homeschooling activities in this plan as well. Of course, no plan is perfect, nor do I expect to follow it perfectly. It is simply a guide, one that I do my best to follow, a roadmap of sorts. But it's okay to take a detour once in awhile. Bumps in the road are inevitable, but I always love having a smooth highway to return to when things get back to normal. (I'll stop with the driving metaphors now!!).

You can find more detailed information on my cleaning schedule here.
More detailed information on my simple meal planning technique here.
And how I fit it all into my day here.

Also, diaper laundry is done every 2nd night after the kids go to bed... I found that much easier than trying to fit it into my regular laundry routine.

As is the nature of my life, things have changed and evolved a bit even since writing those posts, but the general idea is the same.

So here is what I've come up with so far:

Cleaning Focus Area: Bedrooms (do an extra-thorough cleaning on a different bedroom each week)
Laundry: Colours & Sheets
Supper: Stir-Fry
Task: Memories (baby books, photo albums, etc.)

Cleaning Focus Area: Bathroom
Laundry: Whites & Towels
Supper: Beans & Rice
Task: Ironing

Cleaning Focus Area: Upstairs Hall/Stairs/Entryway
Laundry: Darks
Supper: Casserole
Task: Mending

Cleaning Focus Area: Living Room/Dining Room
Laundry: Colours
Supper: Pasta
Task: Library

Cleaning Focus Area: Kitchen/Laundry Room
Laundry: Whites
Task: Meal Plan & Grocery List
Supper: Burgers/Potatoes/Steamed veg.
Evening: Date Night

Focus Area: Yard/Van
Laundry: None
Task: Shopping & Errands
Supper: Homemade pizza
Evening: Family Fun Night

Cleaning Focus Area: None
Laundry: None
Task: Food prep for the week (I'd love to get this done on Saturdays but it just doesn't happen)
Supper: Soup/Salad/Bread

I would also like to add in some personal fulfillment goals at some point. It seems that meeting and fulfilling my own personal goals is the easiest thing to neglect, so I should definitely be penciling those in. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a scheduled bubble bath? Or pedicure? :) Will we really give those things to ourselves if we don't plan for them? This is definitely an area I need to work on.

I love how laying things out and writing things down brings me such clarity. In the same way that budgeting allows us to spend purposefully, planning our time allows us to spend our time in a purposeful way. This is really just a rough draft, and I'm sure it will evolve and change as time goes on.

Do any of you follow a simple plan like this? Has it helped you to establish rhythms to your days and weeks? Has it evolved and changed during different periods of your life?


  1. I am totally copying this! It is such a simple way to make sure things get done. And chores like cleaning and laundry don't seem so overwhelming when they are broken down over the course of a week. I also think this will be especially helpful in the cleaning department. We are coming into the season of last minute play dates which sometimes end up at our house. If the house is never in need of a complete top to bottom (err - front to back? my house is only one story!)cleaning, it is a lot easier to get it cleaned up on short notice. It also gives a lot of freedom to do last minute activities because you have a rough idea of what needs to be done each day.

  2. Kelly,
    I definitely find my life so much easier when I follow this kind of a plan. Even during really stressful times, I can sort of fly on auto pilot with this routine. Sometimes I even find that the only way I know what day of the week it is is by what room I'm cleaning that day. lol. I also find it pretty simple to squeeze in impromptu playdates or outings, because everything is so spread out that one day's chores isn't too overwhelming. If I know I'm planning a playdate for one day during the week, I'll just double up the chores on an earlier day. For instance, I'm having a friend and her baby over tomorrow morning, so today I did today's chores as well as tomorrow's. I wouldn't want to do that every day! But once a week or so it's not that big a deal. And even though the whole house is never clean at the same time (which would only last about 30 seconds around here anyway), since it's never been more than a week since I've paid attention to a particular area, it's no biggie to zip the vacuum through and do a quick wipe down if I'm expecting guests.
    I'd love to hear how it works for you!

  3. I run my WHOLE LIFE off of lists! Am a list-person -- would be lost without my trusty lists :)
    I even schedule my daily session on the elliptical machine on my to-do lists, because if it's not written down, it won't get done!

    I do what you do re: cleaning -- I do a chunk of house per day, most days. Factor in food prep and meals, homeschooling, errands, playdates, and kid activities out of the house, and it makes for a busy week!

    Great post, Alissa -- I agree, my life is so much easier, too, when I follow this type of plan. Keeps the chaos to a minimum :)

  4. Sheri,

    I will definitely be coming to you for pointers when I start squeezing homeschooling into all of this. :) We're already doing lots of casual homeschoolish stuff, but next year we'll be official. And good for you for scheduling your elliptical time! We moms need to give to ourselves as much as we need to give to our families!