Well, we are at the point in planning that I get to many times – I map out all the new ideas I have and put down on paper what I am going to do around the house and on what day. And then…I set it aside and never get around to actually doing it! It all looks so good on paper (or on the computer) but I keep putting off a good day to start. 🙂
Today I am going to give some things and sites that have helped me START the plan that I wrote out to get my home organized and clean.
1. GET A CHECKLIST
I like having a checklist to physically mark off the things I have accomplished each day. I like posting it on the fridge, so I am staring at it every time I am in the kitchen. I found a few great checklists that we have used to help us!
The Confident Mom’s 2014 Planner (yes, I realize it is for 2014…I am sincerely hoping she puts out a planner for 2015. we LOVED this one!)
FlyLady (She has some great baby steps for getting started. She also has a detailed list for cleaning each “zone” of your home. With homeschool and five kids, though, I did find hers hard to maintain. BUT, still some awesome ideas.)
Cozi (A GREAT family planner with options for grocery lists, menu plans, AND it is also an app for your phone. It offers a great checklist option for daily to-do’s. AND you can view FlyLady’s daily items through it!)
Money Saving Mom (free customizable printables to list your daily cleaning items, menu plans, and more. I love using hers from time to time.)
My favorite of these is the Confident Mom planner. My husband and I use Cozi on our phones, so we know each other’s schedule and appointments, but I rarely use the To Do lists on it. I really just enjoy having a paper checklist. But if you are on the go a lot, the digital option might work better for you.
FlyLady offers great Baby Steps for getting your home under control. She has you work on one item at a time to consistently add to your routine, so it becomes habit for you to stay organized and plan ahead each day for the next.
2. REMEMBER: IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT
I have learned NOT to try to change an entire routine all at once. It has to be gradual for me or I feel overwhelmed and quit. Remember, your home didn’t become unorganized in a day, so it will take more than a day to organize it all. You have to give yourself some grace and just do a little bit at a time.
Think about what irritates you most about your schedule or lack or organization. Which thing do you want to change most? Work on that first! For me, it was my kitchen. I felt cluttered and it stressed me out each morning. So, I attacked the countertops first. I made a habit of putting things away at the end of the day. I ran the dishwasher at night, set my coffee timer for the morning, and made sure there were no dirty dishes in the sink. I love it now. My kids are early risers, so I don’t have much time in the kitchen alone in the morning. The LAST thing I want to be doing is cleaning up the previous day’s mess before we can get started with the current day!
I feel less rushed in the morning now because all I have to do is breakfast and putting away the clean dishwasher dishes. And then I was able to focus on the next area of clutter in our home. 🙂
3. LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW YOUR GOALS
You cannot change the way your home runs…on your own. There has to be some teamwork. Otherwise, you will drive yourself nuts! Trust me in this!!
If you are assigning tasks to kids or your spouse on certain days, sit them down and let them know what changes you’re making and why. Tell them how the clutter or disorganization makes you feel and tell them you need their help. I know they would be willing to help and support you, especially if it makes for a happier Mom. 🙂 I know my kids don’t mind helping when I am stressed and they see my ugly side!
But you have to TELL THEM. You can’t just assume they know or will pick up on it. They don’t read minds; don’t expect them to!
4. CHECK OFF THE CHECKLIST!!
If you are going to the trouble of using a paper or digital checklist….BE SURE TO REALLY USE IT! There is something about seeing all those items checked off each day that builds my confidence. It might seem so silly, but sometimes being a mom is overwhelming and can make us feel maybe useless. Seeing that we have accomplished things during the day lets us know we can do this. We don’t have to be overwhelmed; we can get this under control. We are so useful in our homes; we essentially keep the home running!
5. TRUST THE LORD WITH THE THINGS WE CANNOT CHANGE
There is going to come a time when we see no change in our homes. Things may even fall back to how they used to be – unorganized, chaotic, stressful. Sometimes we may have a child or spouse that doesn’t seem to care as much about staying organized as we do. We can’t change them. All we can do is share with them how important this is to us and ask for their help. They may not be willing to help at that time. And we cannot change that. We have to just pray and give it to God, knowing He will bless our efforts. Our focus should be on the things we can or need to change.
As little as our organization may seem in the big scheme of life, it is still important. And God wants to hear from us about what is important to us. Our goal should be to keep our hearts right and trust Him to help change happen where and when it needs to happen. (This applies to so much more in our lives than just organizing our homes, but it works here too.) 🙂
Next week I will touch on menu planning and how that helps with overall organization! Happy organizing!