Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Why Monday is Tesco-day

Each week, I go to Tesco on Monday evening, on my way home from band. I clean some section of the appartment on Tuesday evening (on a four-week cycle, so it all gets done once a month). And I do my washing on a Thursday.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't do these things at those times each week because I am "set in my ways". There is, in fact, a good reason why these tasks get done when they do.

The reason for doing the weekly shop when I do is a simple matter of geography. Tesco lies rather neatly between the appartment and the school where practice takes place. It is open 24 hours, and is nice and quiet later in the evenings. So, I can go in, do what needs to be done nice and quickly, and get out. And, since it's en route, I can do this without expending any more petrol than I already would. It's just efficient, in terms of time, money, and environmental impact. Genius!

My thinking on the other two tasks is slightly more involved, but bluntly it comes down to this: I don't want to have to do these chores on the weekend. I want to spend my weekends doing things I'll actually enjoy, and that list does not include washing, ironing, or cleaning. So, since they're not going to be done at the weekend, this leaves four possible times, being Monday through Thursday evenings. (Friday evening is part of the weekend, so is discounted.)

Monday is unavailable, of course, since I'm at band and then doing the Tesco shop.

Thursday evening is likewise mostly tied up with band, giving just a little time before and a bit more time after. But after band I definitely don't want to be getting in to any big tasks, nor do I want to be generating a lot of noise. So, cleaning is not an option, both for the effort required and because of the hoovering (on three of the four weeks). But doing the washing is actually an ideal task for this time, since it involves a few small bits of work with lots of waiting before. So, I put one load on before I head out to work or between work and band, then a second load immediately after getting home for band, and then the third load after I've made ready for bed. It all fits very, very neatly into the allocated time. (And, on those weeks where there is ironing to do, this also fits neatly into the time when the second load is washing - ironing lags behind the washing by a week, but that's fine since I have plenty of clothes.)

That leaves the cleaning, and both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. In truth, either would be absolutely fine for this purpose. And, indeed, when I have a game on on Tuesdays the cleaning is moved to another day. But when it is not, Tuesday gets the preference. Why? Well, for one simple reason: Lady Chocolat is otherwise engaged on Tuesday but we frequently see one another on Wednesdays. So, I make use of the 'dead' time to dispatch a task that needs to be done.

(Also, the band committee meetings take place on one Tuesday of the month. These last just long enough to render the evening not much fun, but also leave just enough time to fit the cleaning in to what remains. Again, very neat.)

Yes, this means that it's a routine, and it means that I can rattle off what I'm doing on any given day some months in advance. But so what? This way, all the tasks that must be done get done, and they're timed so that they have the absolute minimum impact on the things that I want to do. I'm at something of a loss as to how that could possibly be described as a bad thing.


Kezzie said...

Even if you don't have a routine, I wish I had one with the cleaning. It just seems to decay to a state of total and utter ming until I snap and do something about it!

Steph/ven said...

Yeah, I know what you mean. For me, the absolute worst thing is that sometimes it gets to the point where it just must be done... and you can always count on then being presented with an invitation to something you really want to do, but have to turn down because you have to clean!

In my opinion, it's far better to adopt a routine, keep on top of it, and then if something comes up you can safely accept because the cleaning will at least keep for a few more days.