Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Nightly Checklist

It's taken us a while to get some sort of routine going in terms of chores and house responsibilities, but we are finally starting to get in a groove so to speak. 

I am a neat freak by nature.  I am the type A personality that has to have everything just so.  In college, I had everything color coded.  My notebooks matched the colors of my textbooks, and I had a matching pencil to go with each one.  I like to keep things free of clutter and enjoy the minimalist look.  While I'm not that creative in the decorating department, I can clean and organize and dust.

Enter Husband.

He and I are polar opposites.  I swear he has blinders on.  He just doesn't seem to notice things.  He sets them down wherever, refuses to sort through items and instead has papers and old mail and clothing and old toys and electronics just everywhere or piled up. He says he will take care of things "later" and "later" never comes.  It doesn't bother him if the toilet isn't clean.  Or if the floor is dirty.  Or there are dishes in the sink (wait, this is the only one that DOES bother him). 

The first couple of years we were married, I did most of the housecleaning.  We were both going to school and working, so we were both pretty busy.  Husband worked Saturdays while I would stay home and spend the time cleaning, organizing, and trying to make my 400 square foot studio apartment up to par.  Looking back, I think I did a pretty good job.

However, I soon realized that this is the 21st century and no way do I want to do all of the cleaning.  Husband didn't really care to clean, so I learned to let my standards go.  No more multi-hour cleaning sessions for me.  The house may be a little messier, cluttered, and dirty.  But Husband didn't care, so therefore I made the conscious effort not to be as anal about it  (if you come to my classroom, it is immaculate, by the way.  I can be as organized as I want and nobody will change it.  It's empowering).

Seven years and a few residences later, enter Baby.

Since Husband and I are both working full time, taking care of the house went by the wayside.  In a terrible, horrible way.  The bathrooms were disgusting, dishes were piling everywhere, mail was going unsorted, nothing was hanging in the closet because the clothes were all either in the clean pile or the dirty pile. 

On top of being a new mom, nursing Baby, working, sleeping, just plain living, I couldn't keep up. 

I let Husband know how I was feeling (remember, he honestly didn't see a problem.  Men!), and so I came up with our nightly checklist. 

I get home earlier, so it makes sense that I do most of the cooking.  Husband is fine with cooking, but since he gets home later, we wouldn't be eating until after Baby's bedtime.  Not quite realistic.  Instead, he has a meal waiting for him when he gets home.  Now isn't that nice?

After dinner the checklist begins.  It's broken into two sections.  I have to be very very specific here. 

Person A:
Give Baby bath
Change Baby
Put Baby's clothes and diaper away (we use cloth so it goes in the laundry room)
Read to Baby

Person B:
Clear table dishes and put food away
Empty/load dishwasher
Wipe down table/island/countertops/stove with kitchen cleaner
Wipe down Baby's high chair
Clean floor from Baby's mess
Fold 1 laundry load, throw in another

We alternate every night, unless there is a special circumstance.  We've been doing it for a few weeks now and it's working out really well.  It's nice to come home in the evenings to a clean kitchen and know that I'll have clean clothes to wear the next day. 

If time, I will still do some deep cleaning (bathrooms, vacuuming, etc.) over the weekends. 



  1. Oh my goodness, could have copied and pasted so much of your entry to apply to me! Love your organizational take on this challenge. Hope it's working out.

  2. This is so funny but true. Your awesome.


Feel free to comment on my blog!