Blog posts

Half-Tidying (AKA I’ll just leave this here)


Here are some things I have “just” put in the wrong place “for now” in the past day or so.

  • mucky yoghurt lids (the bin is full and it’s too mucky it’ll stick to the bin lid)
  • toy walkie talkie in fruitbowl (half of a pair)(I don’t know what to do with it)
  • CD taken out of car CD player into the case of the CD I’m putting in (always, always; have a queue of incorrectly boxed discs going back to 1990*)
  • Knotted nest of necklaces resembling a junk-jewellery rat king (put on dressing table because ehhhhh I can’t untangle it but don’t want to put it back in the box to incorporate every other set of beads)
  • Fitbit that’s been through the wash twice put on the same dressing table (because maybe it’ll do a Sherlock and be only pretending to be dead)

You know.

Then Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire) from the You Tubes talked about it better than me. (note: video includes cussing)

One week ago I did a hard-core complete tidy of this room and yet here I am standing in a post-apocolyptic laundry pile. … So, how did this happen? I’ve thought about it and I think it’s because people tend to only ever do half-tidies. Instead of putting stuff where it’s actually supposed to go, you just cop-out half way…. That one thing won’t matter, but if you do it with every bowl, sock, disc, and piece of paper, everything slowly builds up, and before you know it, you’ve ruined your life”

What is the solution? Not making a promise to yourself that you’re never again to cram a thing into the wrong cupboard, or swearing black and blue that the coffee table is not a home for the dog’s leash or your second best scissors, because then the next time you “forget” you’re likely to feel super faily.

There are just two three parts to the answer:

  1. when you next pick up a thing, put it where it belongs, ESPECIALLY if the place it belongs is the laundry-basket, the sink/dishwasher, or the rubbish bin.
  2. make a habit of visiting all the places where you tend to “just put” things and putting them away properly before they grow to epic proportions. Flylady calls these places Hotspots. You can call them what you like.
  3. and Repeat.

Think about adding your hotspot patrol to your afternoon routine, or keep it in the back of your mind for when you’re on the phone and want to do something absent-minded while you talk. Or both.



*Oh man, that’s the year before that Dan guy was born. What is my life.



The Elephant Shrew (or Sengi) makes trails then rushes every day picking up anything that’s fallen in its path.

Doing a small thing is better than doing nothing when you’re feeling stuck

Here’s the thing.  There’s a lot of productivity advice that says, well, if you don’t know what to do, do the thing that’s in front of you.  If a job is going to take less than two minutes, do it NOW. Put on your big girl undies, lace up your Doc Martens and get the heck on with it.

This advice is just jolly splendid when  I’m well rested and having a good mental health day and I’m right up for the kicking of butts and the taking of names.  But there are some days that I just don’t feel like that.

Some days it’s all too much and there are just too many choices.

Even considering the choices makes me feel too anxious, so I just want to curl up in a squishy chair with my laptop and Tumblr.

Portrait of the Artist With Poor Posture and Squishy Chair

The bugger of the thing isn’t that I’m not doing any of the things I should be doing. It’s that I end up getting stuck in my chair, hypnotically clicking and scrolling, but not actually enjoying what I’m doing while I’m avoiding doing the proper thing.


That is no good to man nor beast.  (Nor does it do anything to improve the state of my kitchen floor)

So I have devised an opt out, in-case-of-emergency plan for myself:

Do a Thing! (it's better than not doing a thing)

It’s way better to get up and do something that will get you out of the squishy chair or the escapist nap. Either something enjoyable that doesn’t take much thinking about, or just a very very small bite of a Useful Job, even if that job is probably way down the bottom of your imaginary stack-ranking of Job Importance that you can’t think about because there are way too many things on the list.

Repeat after me: doing a thing – SOME thing –  is way better than NOT doing a thing.

Here is my own list of Small Things I Can Do when I find myself to be not doing a thing.

Your list will be different, but it’s a good idea to make one and keep it in your back pocket (or at the back of your mind) for when you find yourself curled in a Sad, Anxious Ball of Stuck-edness.

Small Things To Do

  1. Water a plant
  2. Pick up the duplo blocks
  3. Go have a drink of water. Make it fancy with a lemon slice or ice in it or something.
  4. Grab a handful of the kids’ art to keep or recycle
  5. Sweep the kitchen (Apparently I was feeling very optimistic when I made this picture)
  6. Put on your shoes and go for a short walk
  7. Write a letter
  8. Write the shopping list from the whiteboard onto an actual bit of paper
  9. Bake something!
  10. Hang out some washing, or get in some washing, or just move some washing along one click on the process
  11. Pick up an Actual Book to read
  12. Phone a Friend or Relation
  13. Glue some bits in your scrappy scrapbook
  14. Ignore any other laundry backlog and just fold some towels
  15. Go outside and sit under a tree


After you do a Small Thing, you might want to keep on working on it. You might wander off to do something else, or feel ready to tackle a larger job.  Or just feel a little bit better and fend off the siren call of the catnap for a few minutes longer.  It’s all good.

PS: Take care of yourself.

 Song of the Day

must be…. The Pirates who Don’t Do Anything.

Task box bug after iOS 7 update.

Bug in cell expanding in iOS7


We’re aware that there is a least one bug that affects HomeRoutines after  you upgrade to iOS 7.

We had used some magic in the text cells for tasks, which allowed them to grow taller and fit more lines of text.

Unfortunately, some aspects of the way iOS 7 handles text fields have stopped this from working. As a result, you can’t read tasks longer than two lines long. Poop.

We are working on an update to fix this, of course.

If you find any other bugs that seem to have appeared after the update, do please let us know.

Thank you!

Gold Star blog posts!

Here are some relevant blog posts I’ve come across this week.  I usually post cool links straight to the HomeRoutines Facebook page when I find ’em, so Like us there to read them first!

On Routines and Schedules

  • Bookend Your Day: The Power of Morning and Evening Routines at The Art of Manliness
    • Imagine a string with a series of beads on it. The beads represent your goals, relationships, and priorities. Tip the string this way or that way, and the beads easily slide off and onto the floor. But tie a knot on each end of the string, and the beads stay put. Those knots are your morning and evening routines. They keep the priorities of your life from falling apart and thus help you progress and become a better man.
  • Reassess your Schedules and Routines at Productivity Your Way
    • … our daily routines and schedules have a huge impact on not just our productivity, but also our mood and relationships. Being over-committed, wasting time and misprioritizing all lead to stress and chaos.
  • Cleaning: Is it Better to Create a Schedule or Not? at Simplify 101
    • Scheduling tasks like cleaning can give you a tremendous sense of  freedom…and even room for spontonaeity! What works for you? Do you prefer to have a cleaning schedule…or does your life work better with out one?
  • Housekeeping Schedules and Daily Home Management at Home Sanctuary

    • Far and away, my most searched posts are the ones on setting up a housekeeping schedule. I imagine women stumbling across my easy system, and I can hear them saying, “FINALLY! A schedule that doesn’t make me feel like a failure before I even start!”

On Rocking your Timer

Kids’ Stuff

  • Homework without Tears (I mean you, Mom!) at The Happiest Mom
    • One place I’m working on this especially hard right now is establishing a new homework routine at our house.
  • Leafy Crafts at Kids Craft Weekly
    • This week, consider making the time to accompany the kids on a leisurely walk around your local area. Grab the hats, pack some drinks, choose a walking stick and get the kids to carry a basket or bag in which to keep any leaves that happen to take their fancy.