The essence of practice is repetition.
I suspect what separates the well ordered house from the clean house, and the clean house from the messy house is the regularity and quality of repetition. What do I mean by that?
In one of those disgusting houses I mentioned yesterday, there is no repetition: the countertops don’t get scrubbed, the clutter doesn’t get picked up, and the floors don’t get vacuumed. Hence the foodstuffs laminated to the countertop, the buried floors, and the accumulation of filth and odors.
On the other hand, we can’t do everything that needs to be done every day; there isn’t enough time, and we have other things to do.
Certain things I feel need to be done every day: the kitchen needs to be cleaned, the clutter needs to be picked up, the mail processed, and laundry needs to be kept moving. I feel like I’m reasonably competent at these things, though I tend to get behind on the mail.
Other practices don’t need to be done every day, but probably at least once a week: vacuuming floors, cleaning bathrooms, etc.
What I really struggle with are those activities that need to be done only occasionally: organizing the basement, washing the windows, cleaning the garage, etc.
The problem for me seems to be, how do I make these activities regular without making them frequent? How do I bring them into my awareness?
What I’ve noticed about myself is that I have a kind of tunnel vision. I see the daily or weekly things that need to be done, but the other things may as well not even exist. There have been file boxes at the bottom of the basement stairs that have been patiently waiting for over a year for someone to deal with them.
So my experiment to deal with this blindness is to spend the first part of my day devoted to housework on these kinds of chores. In addition I will keep at list of these chores in a list together with the date the chore was last done.
How do you make the occasional regular?