02 January 2019

Just Do It!

A question that often pops into my inbox is how do I manage to get so much done.

It's no secret: I just do it.

I have a housekeeping schedule that everyone in the family now uses. When the kids were little I did the bulk of the work, but now they do it for me. Without fail, that schedule is followed week in, week out. It doesn't take long, about half an hour a day at the most, but it means that every room in our home is cleaned from top to bottom, including windows, every single week. I don't do spring cleaning - there's no need.

I also have a bill paying schedule that everyone now knows how to use. The kids have adapted it for their own financial responsibilities, and I know that if I'm not able to take care of the bills, then Wayne or one of the kids can do it for me. It takes less than 10 minutes a week. There is no excuse whatever for not staying on top of your bills. If you want to know my bill paying routine, let me know.

Something that helps with keeping on top of things is actually doing them.

Take emptying the dishwasher for instance. It's one of those jobs that seems to get put off until it's time to start loading it again. Seriously it takes less than two minutes for me to unload a FULL dishwasher and wipe over the seals, leaving it ready to re-load throughout the day. Two minutes! I know some folk who spend more time than that thinking about unloading the dishwasher or arguing with someone else to get them to do it. Just do it! Two minutes and it's done. That's a commercial break during your favourite reality TV program!

Another chore that is often put off is folding and putting away the laundry. Just do it! I fold as it comes off the line and I stack the clothes in people. Then I just deliver the stack to the relevant person and they put it away. It takes about 8 - 10 minutes to take the laundry off the line, fold it and deliver it. And then it's done! No more Mt. Fold Me in the family room. No more hunting through piles of crushed clothes for something to wear. Just do it. Ten minutes is less time than most people spend on Facebook of an evening!

Cleaning the kitchen is another job people put off. If you clean as you cook, then after dinner it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes to get the dishes done and the kitchen cleaned and tidied again. There's nothing worse than getting up to a dirty kitchen that needs to be cleaned before you can start breakfast. Don't put it off, just do it.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with a chronic disease. Since then I've had other health issues, totally unrelated. It's meant that some days it takes all my energy to open my eyes, let alone climb out of bed and face the day.

It would be easy to ignore the things that need to be done, in the hope that I'd have the energy to do them later. But later, they'd be bigger chores and harder work, and I wouldn't be able to tackle them. Doing things as they need to be done, while they are small jobs that only take a few minutes means I get quite a lot done in a day, even with having to rest regularly and spending more time in bed than I ever thought I would.

Some of you work full time. Some of you study. Some work part-time. Some work at home. Some are retired. I know a few of you are also suffering from chronic illness. Some have babies. Some have small children or teenagers. Some live in cities. Some are country based. Some have big homes, small homes, new homes, old homes.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

It's what we do with them, and how we use them that makes the difference.

Next time you see something that needs to be done, just do it.

And you'll find you get more done in a day than you realised too.


  1. I absolutely love this post Cath. Thank you for saying it as it is!

    I have to admit that I can be one of those procrastinators lol! But you have inspired me to just do it! One thing I do do however is wash, fold and put away clothes in one day. I dislike clothes lying around waiting to get put away. If you fold as soon as they are dry, there is less ironing to do. My mum taught me to iron with my hands as I am folding, especially on warm days :)

    I like your housekeeping suggestion of doing a routine everyday and then it is done! I am going to try this method, especially with the windows, they are the bane of my existence! But if I can get on top of them then it will be much easier to keep them clean. Mind you I live in a dirty dusty area and it doesn't take long for them to get that frosty look back. So it will be a big chore to start with but easy to maintain, I like the sound of that :)

    I also pay bills every pay day without fail, I am very stringent about that.

    Wishing you a great year Cath.


    1. It's a hard one to learn, I think, but honestly instead of frittering our lives away talking ourselves into doing things, if we just do them, they're over and done with and we have more time for the fun stuff and our chores are so much easier. I'm like you, I am fussy about the washing. I hang it out in "people" and in order: undies, socks, pjs, short sleeves, long sleeves, jumpers, shorts, long pants and for Hannah and I dresses. Then the dish cloths, tea towels, face washers, hand towels, bath towels, bath mats, and sheets. Then it all comes off the line in that order and I fold straight away too. Into the basket in order and when it comes inside I can drop it off in order of the rooms as I walk through :) A tad OCD but it saves so much time and effort, I usually only have Wayne's work shirts to iron and the hankies.

      I do the insides of the windows every week. I have two microfibre glass clothes. One is wet and one is dry. Wet one I swish and swipe, then go over them with the dry cloth. Takes under 2 minutes a window and I know they are all clean. Wayne helps with the outsides and I use a soft broom, a bucket of hot soapy water and rinse with the hose. Takes us about half an hour to do the whole house. I need his long arms to reach the tops of the outsides of the windows or I'd be able to get them done myself. I always said we live in the dustiest suburb in Melbourne, but now the construction has finished the dust has easily halved. Still dusty, we have orchards and market gardens close by, but much better than it was.

    2. I like your OCD method Cath, I would never have thought to do that. I am from now on though!

      I have eleven windows all up with most of them large, and some of them high up so I need a ladder. The worse thing is they have those horrible little squares in them, they look nice but are a pain to clean. That is why I put off cleaning them! I feel motivated enough to try and get on top of them, so once the hot weather has cooled down I will get started on the outside, the inside will be a lot easier :)

      Thanks for your help.


  2. Thank you Cath and wise advice which saves a lot of time.

    I do similar and when I am in a room or going to another room do the tasks that I see need doing for example a bit of straightening, dusting, cleaning a window etc. When I am tidying one room I do the whole room being clean windows, any marks on the walls, damp dust skirting boards etc.

    Bills I am extra vigilant about too and they are paid as soon as they come in out of the mail box. For example yesterday our first mortgage payment was supposed to come out via direct debit out of our account but by 6 pm hadn't so fearing that the bank had not got it right we paid it ourselves, turns out however it did come out over night. Better to be safe than sorry and pay more interest is our motto so know we will reduce the extra amount we pay over and above the loan amount over the coming weeks to make up for it . Now we know it is set up properly we need not worry. The bank had previously made some big errors in setting up the loan and paying and taking the loan fees out of our account so we were not confident that they had the direct debit set up properly either.

    Happy New Year to yourself, family and fellow contributors as well :).

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna)

    1. Happy New Year Lorna, I'm so glad to hear you are settled already in your new home. I bet you're still excited, and busy. I've always cleaned one room a day, five days a week, Saturday is my day off, then Sunday is garden day. So much easier, especially when I was working full time and then when we had little children.


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