How Does She Do It? Read About Homemaker Patty

Homemaking isn’t an exact science nor does it stay the same.  Fifty-year old full-time homemaker Patty has experienced a LOT of changes in the past few years and has had to adapt her homemaking methods in light of those changes.  And with ADHD, that’s no easy task!

Married for 30 years, Patty and David have two children and two grandchildren and a recent empty nest.  “It’s strange being alone in the house,” she says.  She and her husband live in a four bedroom, three bath house on an acre of land.  Even though they’re in the city they have an abundance of wildlife.  Last spring a fox had babies under the shed in the backyard and last winter a mama turkey and her babies spent some time in the yard for a couple of days.

Patty’s husband, David, has worked for himself for the last 26 years as a remodeling contractor.  Being self-employed and self-employment income being their only income has definitely been challenging.  Patty does the bookkeeping for the business.

Time Management

Time management is especially challenging for someone with ADHD and Patty is no exception.  She has to work really hard to stay organized and a planner is her tool of choice.  She used a Franklin Covey compact two pages per day for 15 years and has been experimenting with different sizes and pages for the last couple of years.  She’s leaning toward the classic size (5-1/2×8-1/2) with homemade pages.


Patty does not like clutter and works very hard not to have any – except her desk which seems impossible to keep clean.  She will readily admit that although the house looks pretty tidy most of the time, her closets and drawers are a different story.  “They’re not bad – they just don’t look like something you’d see in a magazine.  And the bottom line is, I don’t care.  As long as they’re reasonably organized, I’m okay with that.”


“Tidy the house” is one of the first things Patty does each morning.  That basically involves going through the house and putting things away, cleaning up the kitchen, wiping down the bathroom (mainly the sink, counter and toilet) and then vacuuming the main floor.  “If the house is in order, it gives the illusion that it’s clean whether it really is or not.  And I like an orderly house.”

Weekly cleaning is done on Monday’s and includes dusting, cleaning the glass (glass doors, mirrors and a few windows the dog likes to slime), dumping all the trash, changing the kitty litter & refilling pet food, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen (change the sponge, clean the cat door, clean the sink, microwave and stove top and spot clean cabinet fronts), changing the sheets on the bed, vacuuming and mopping.  It takes about 2 hours as long as she doesn’t get distracted.

Deep Cleaning is done on an as-needed basis.  During daily and weekly cleaning, anything she notices that needs done goes on her to do list for when she has an opportunity.


Patty does laundry three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, usually three loads each day.  She is diligent about finishing laundry in a timely manner, unless she gets distracted.  To prevent distraction, she frequently uses a timer to let her know it’s time to switch or fold laundry.  “Most of the time I finish it in a timely manner.  I like to get it done and out of the way.”


Patty cooks about five meals a week.  Since it’s just she and David now, she doesn’t cook as much as she used to and they try to eat leftovers whenever they have them.  She enjoys trying new recipes.

Grocery Shopping/Menu

Patty keeps a grocery list form on her refrigerator and writes things down whenever she notices they’re low.  On grocery store day, usually Wednesday afternoon, she plans five meals, finishes her list and tallies what the cost will be.  She doesn’t stick to her list completely because she often sees things she forgot to put on the list or there’s a good sale.

Most Hated Chore:  cleaning the kitchen

Most Satisfying Chore:  sweeping the floor

Biggest Challenges:  Figuring out how to carve out more time for blogging and motivating herself to clean the areas of the house that aren’t used anymore.

Lessons from Patty:

  • Prevent messes whenever you can (like using a cover for food in the microwave).
  • Keep the house “tidy” – it makes it look cleaner plus it’s just nice to be in a tidy house.
  • Write things on your grocery list before you run out so you never run out of things you need.
  • Use timers to help yourself remember things, like laundry and appointments.

This article is the fifth in a series of homemaker interviews.  You can read the other interviews here:

You might also like:
Conventional Wisdom – Sometimes it Works, Sometimes it Doesn’t
Day Planners – Make Your Own!
Clutter Hot Spot No More!
Tidy the House


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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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2 thoughts on “How Does She Do It? Read About Homemaker Patty

  1. My goodness… We both work out of the house and struggle mightily with the basics of keeping up the house. I have ADD and my partner accumulates lots of clutter. I always think I’d keep the house so well if I was home and had the time, but honestly I might just go into a time-waste vortex of getting even less done. I’m very impressed!

    1. Thanks, Josh! I think we have a lot in common. Don’t you think that everything is more challenging when you have ADD? And most people don’t get it. I’ve tried to explain my time management challenges to my friends and they look at me like I’m from outer space. The only one who really understands is my daughter who has ADD, too. Now that she’s married and in her own home, she’s facing a lot of the same challenges.

      I do have an advantage over you, though, in that my husband is very tidy and hates clutter. That makes it a lot easier for me to stay on track. I’m not sure what would happen if he wasn’t like that. I’m sure it would be harder.

      Staying home full-time is definitely challenging. I’m actually getting less done than I did when my kids were home and I was homeschooling. I think it has to do with the fact that I started a time-consuming blog, do the books for David’s business, babysit the grandkids every chance I get and just don’t care as much as I used to. Age does that to you. At least I hope that’s what it is! 🙂

      Appreciate your comments!

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