Just The Bare Necessities

Opening night was a success last night! At least from my standpoint controlling my two small children as they went on and off the stage. We got home late and we’ll leave early for a daytime show for local school kids. This life is INSANE.

With this type of show, you actually start the “performances” with your first full-dress rehearsal. We had TWO of those. So last night was actually our third night this week doing the entire show in costume. That means we’ve been VERY BUSY this week. And my home life is barely stabilized.

I’ve done a really good job of having food “ready” for Donnie every night. Either something in the crockpot that only requires a few additions for a meal, or supplies for something easy like spaghetti. I’ve kept up with laundry and packed lunches every day. Even with being partially incapacitated with my endo, I’ve done a decent job keeping everything afloat.

I think the key for me is knowing my “needs” to stay sane in my home. Some people need to have clean toilets, or folded clothes. Some need to have clean dishes or vacuumed floors. I went into this week knowing that I need to make time for a few household chores every day in order to foster my sanity under stress.

  • Laundry needed to be rotated. Everything didn’t need to be washed and folded and put up every night, but I needed to make sure I was rotating clothes through the process so nothing piled up. One morning I might fold one load and start a wash. Then that night I might dry one load and put up the folded load from the morning. Just enough so that we have plenty of clean clothes but I don’t fret about making sure everything is actually put up and clean at any one moment.
  • No dirty dishes in the sink. They may be dirty in the dishwasher, or drying on the towel, or soaking, but nothing dirty in the sink when I go to bed at night.
  • Miscellaneous items from the day put up. Since we’re not home, this isn’t much, but things like jackets on the floor or notepads on the kitchen table need to be put up.
  • Garbage out, recycling in the bins. This is another thing that would pile up otherwise.
  • Clean microwave. This is a weird one. But when I open the microwave and see that something had “splattered” on the interior, even something small, I get stressed. And I feel crappy until it’s cleaned.

So…yeah. When stress hits the home – Beds are never made. Toilets and tubs are filthy. Floors need sweeping and/or vacuuming. Shelves are covered in dust. But none of those things ADD to the stress, so they’re easily ignored until things calm down. But the list above? Important to maintain sanity WHILE under stress.

What about you? When things are busy in your life, what domestic chores still MUST get done to maintain some level of peace in your home?

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8 Responses

  1. I am definitely a clean sink before bed kind of girl and I have to make the beds every day no matter what, other than that things can pretty much fall apart around me and I don’t mind too much.

  2. meekasmommy says:

    i totally agree on the clean sink one… but i’m the opposite on the microwave, for that i just hit the “ignore! ignore! ignore!” button :)

  3. Katie McCollum says:

    Ditto here about the sink. The only exception is when the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and waiting to be emptied by one of my kids the next day after school. BUT all the dirty dishes have to be on one side of the sink, leaving the other side to use for the day. MY bed ALWAYS has to be made for the day. The kids are pretty good about this, but as they are both coming down from bunk beds and a loft where I couldn’t see the bed, it wasn’t a huge sticking point for me when they were little.
    One thing my family just can’t seem to manage is a clean kitchen table. I can keep my spot clean, but my husband can’t, and the kids follow his example. It will get cleaned off when I have had enough and blow my top, but if they just cooperate on a daily basis we would all be much happier, now wouldn’t we? :-)

  4. I cannot relax until I’ve picked up the living room. No toys on the floor, random drawings on the coffee table, or clothes strewn about. It is worth it to me to take the 15 minutes or so to straighten everything up so that when I finally collapse on the couch, I am at least looking at a clean(ish) room.

    I don’t mind leaving the kitchen dirty at night but I HATE coming down to it in the morning, so I force myself to do that, too. All other bets are off.

  5. G.G.R says:

    Hahaha I have nothing like that at all. I can go to bed knowing the house is a disaster and still sleep well. The only thing would be that the sheets are on the bed to the point where I don’t have to feel the mattress against my skin. Ehhh I guess I am gross? But my house isn’t all that gross. At least not to me hahaha.

  6. Kate says:

    I have to sweep the kitchen floor. Not everyday, or even all that often, but I’ve noticed that when I’m busy/stressed/letting things slide, that’s the one thing that I need to have done in order to feel more in control.

  7. Heather says:

    I’m finding lately that a big thing for me is to make my bed – that one tiny thing can make a very big difference in the level of peace I feel in my room.

  8. Katie says:

    I second sweeping the floor. Seeing crumbs and crap under the breakfast stools and the table and on the kitchen floor makes me feel like I’m living in squalor and makes me twitchy. Also, I have to keep counters and table tops cleared of clutter. So basically the first visual effect is of orderliness. Any other filth is fine. Don’t care about made beds, or full laundry hampers or dirty bathrooms or dishes in sink (as long as one side is cleared). As long as when you first walk in, you don’t see clutter or crumbs.

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