Tuesday, February 23, 2010

10 Things Tuesday—Rules for Domestic Sanity

Wifeness and I will be convening a house meeting to review the basic rules that promote the domestic flow necessary for the mama and papa to function as caretakers. Here are 10 we'll be discussing:

1. If you take it out, put it away when you’ve finished with it. If you pull the quilt off the back of the couch, put it back there--folded. If you pull out the milk for cereal, return it to the fridge. If it comes out of the dress-up drawer, it goes back there. Books get shelved. Art supplies get boxed. Shoes get stowed.

2. When you come in the door, bags, packs and other such articles should make their way as soon as practical out of the kitchen. That part of the house often causes a bottleneck because luggage gets left there.

3. The kitchen island is a food preparation and informal dining space. As such, it should be kept clear of detritus. It may not be used as a repository for clothing, books, mail, keys, phones, bags or papers. Packaged food, such as cereal, bagels, bread, juice or seltzer should be put away. Dishes, except for dinner dishes, go in the sink (do not put napkins, wrappers, packaging or food waste in the sink; these things need to be in the garbage or recycling, as applicable).

4. Laundry starts on Saturday and runs until it’s done. As stuff is folded, it needs to get stowed. It cannot be left to take up space in the living room.

5. There’s an in box for incoming mail and documents in the living room. There are numerous laundry baskets. There’s a key basket. There’s a coat rack in the kitchen and another in the front hall. We all need to use them.

6. If you finish a commodity (cereal, torilla chips, toilet paper), dispose of the packaging (boxes, bags, cores) properly.

7. Used dishes shall, except at dinner, be placed in the sink. Dishes shall not be left in the living room, bedrooms, or on the floor, couch, or end tables. Also, see # , above.

8. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you are one of several contributors to a mess, clean it up and encourage the other parties to help.

9. Dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom and other such work will require everyone’s participation. It’s good practice, and it results in a house that is regularly and reasonably clean.

10. Use the dry erase board to communicate with the house. If you notice that the house is low on something (soap, fruit, tea you like), write it on the list or tell someone who can. If you play the messages on the machine, write the info down. If you’re going out for a non-routine reason, give a sense of where you’ll be and when you’ll be back.

Your attention to these rules is greatly appreciated. Thank you.