Monday, February 28, 2011


My to-do list perpetually stays long. However, I decided that this year I would tackle some of those things that just have been hanging on the list forever in a state of unfinished (or never begun) limbo. And one of the first things I implemented was a new system for chores. I decided that my former approach of cleaning the apartment all at once in hours-long massive cleaning sessions at periodic intervals didn't really contribute to how I wanted to live. At this stage of life, I would rather spend about twenty-five minutes every day doing chores. I created a schedule and divided all my household tasks into small, specific tasks for every day except Saturday. (S prefers to do his chores all at once, so he does his stuff his way.) What I love about my new system is that the apartment stays in a relatively consistent state of cleanliness, and every room is cleaned once a week. The idea of surprise drop-in guests no longer makes me feel embarrassed because the apartment is no longer oscillating between clean and complete chaos. This is a rather dramatic change from my previous approach, and I must say that I really prefer this little-bit-every-day method.

At the same time as the chore schedule went into place, I came up with a new system for our laundry area, which is in our bathroom. We had this piece of furniture in the bathroom, storing sheets. I realized that I could store the sheets elsewhere and use the drawers to pre-sort laundry. So, we have three drawers and a white laundry hamper to sort our darks, reds, white, and other/medium colors. Thankfully, we have discovered this system takes almost no effort at all, and the added benefit is that at any given moment, I can simply look inside the drawer or hamper and see if I need to do a particular load to stay on top of things. The pre-sorting drawers are right across from the laundry machines, making it all so easy that I no longer procrastinate on doing laundry because I don't want to bother sorting it all. It has also eliminated the annoyance of navigating islands of overflowing piles of sorted laundry on the bathroom floor.

These little changes are having a big impact on the daily rhythms of my life and my feeling and sense of being in our home. Though these changes are small, they feel like an important step towards living the life I want to be living. Minimizing the chaos in our apartment makes me feel calmer and more focused internally, helping me find the motivation to work on other projects, including my current headache inducing to-do project of catching up on some long-term administrative paperwork for our household. will feel good when I cross these things off my list some day in the not-too-distant future.


  1. Minimizing chaos? C'mon, I've always firmly believed you do your best work when you're entrenched in chaos! :)

  2. Haha! :) Yes, there is a certain degree of chaos that is good- a place of immense creativity and discovery.

    Perhaps I am just trying to streamline the daily annoying chores of life so they are done more effortlessly and I can devote more energy to my creative (and sometimes chaotic) work projects? Too much chaos within the home though, I have realized, leaves me feeling distracted, stressed, and tired.

  3. I love your laundry drawers. Sorting is definitely the worst part. I did, at first glance, think the bottom tag said "jaune" and thought "she has that much yellow clothing?!" :)

  4. @Olivia- nope, not that much yellow clothing. :) Though I do love yellow as a color because it makes me feel happy. I am looking for a pair of yellow shoes and having trouble finding what I have envisioned... There just aren't that many yellow shoes out there to choose from. I do have a ton of red/pink clothes though, which surprisingly merit a whole load. :)

  5. Can you come and organize my life? Seriously impressed!

    And thank you for your comment on my APW post yesterday. I have been blown away by the love.