Cleaning / Cooking / Domesticity / Us Girls

The Domestic Bare Bones

The Bare Bones series has been about the very least we can do when we are sick or otherwise down for the count. They are lists of simple things we can do to tend to ourselves, our relationships, and now our homes when the going gets near impossible. 

In The Bare Bones in Relationships I mention asking and accepting help from our significant others. When I am so ill that I can’t function enough to clean I pass this bare bones list on to my husband who maintains the home the best he can while I recover. Having this list ready for myself takes out the energy of having to figure out what can be done and needs to be done. Having the list for him has been a part of forming a “Margery is out of commission” game plan. The transition in and out of that phase is made all the easier with a list like this. Some of you may have the benefit of friends and family who are willing to help. Employ them! Unfortunately this is not the case for some couples, us included.

I also use this when the kids are sick and I am tending to them 90% of the time or when we are going to be out. This list is the least I do to maintain the home.

The Domestic Bare Bones:

  1. Make your bed. Even if you are just getting back in it having your bed pulled together makes your room look even tidier not to mention it boosts your comfort level if you are climbing back into it. The Man will pull together the bed while I am showering when I am super sick.
  2. Do the dishes… or hide them. Having an empty sink makes the kitchen look cleaner. Much cleaner. And, of course, having clean dishes is always a plus if not a necessity. But if you are short on energy or time keeping your dirty dishes in a container under the sink is a quick partial fix, one recommend by Flylady, even.
  3. Open up the house. This can be just to let a bit of sunlight in or, if the weather allows, to let in some fresh air. Sunlight and fresh hair have great disinfecting qualities. Even if it’s just for a good 15 minutes do this! It will help you feel better and make the house all the fresher.
  4. Keep the clutter down. Just quick pick ups here and there will make a big difference. Keep everything in its place and tidy before it looks like a tornado hit.
  5. Sweep/vacuum/mop. Any one or variations of these will make the house 10x cleaner (if not 100, honestly).
  6. Wipe-down surfaces. Keep tables and counters clear of clutter (#4) and wiped down. A quick spray of cleaner and a swish of the wrist and you are done.

What’s great about this list is that it’s even simple enough for children to do! Most of these things will already be on your kids’ chore list. Don’t be to assign a little extra for them.

Bonus: Have emergency meals prepared. It is well worth the time to have some pre-cooked meals prepared for down times such as these. Simple things like soup, lasagne, or burritos that can be thrown in the oven or nuked in the microwave. It’s also worth the money to have some pre-prepared meals bought (soup, lasagne, and burritos work here as well) or to put have an “emergency food fund” stashed away.

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4 thoughts on “The Domestic Bare Bones

  1. This couldn’t come at a better time. The way you laid out the basics made cleaning my home seem a lot more doable and makes each individual chore seem important. I am not good at maintaining a clean home but I’m working on it.

  2. Pingback: Staying Fresh When You’re Sick

  3. LOL mostly that sounds like my usual routine… :)

    Bare bones, for me (and this is semi-bedrest barebones or otherwise very nearly flat):
    – Laundry. Make sure a load or two gets done every day. You can do this very slowly. Get the kids to carry it, load it, flip it, you can fold it, they can put it away.
    – Dishes. Just – do ‘em. If you can’t scrub the pots and pans, oh well. Do the rest. Get someone else to do the pots and pans.
    – Pick up your own mess. Tidy up the sick area a few times/day.
    – If you’re up to “semi-vertical” – take a shower, put on some clean clothes, comb your hair and brush your teeth.
    – Get the kids to pick up their own messes. I know mine can tornado the house in minutes. Make them de-tornadoify it.
    – Dinner. If you’re not contagious, muddle something together. Especially if it’s long term, you won’t want take out every night. All those 15 minute recipes? The shortcuts you know, but don’t take because they’re not as awesome? Not-as-awesome but still hot food, it’s still awesome right now. Plan ahead, you can do the prep work as you feel up to it through the day.

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