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Laundry Help

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A lot of moms see laundry as the never-ending, dreaded task that overwhelms and irritates. I, actually, don’t mind laundry. I love the smells associated with it, the end results, and the fact that laundry helps me know if certain children of mine are remembering to change their underpants regularly. ๐Ÿ˜‰

While laundry is not a dreaded task for me, I totally get how annoying it can be. It is always there; if there are people living in your home, there is always laundry. Even the moment you have emptied the laundry baskets…someone has dirtied something. After struggling for a long time with keeping up with the dirty clothes, I have found some ways to stay ahead of the dirty game:

1.Don’t schedule one day for laundry.

Now, I know a lot of people swear by designating one day to do laundry. I used to do all laundry on Mondays – from the time we got married until about my third child. Every Monday, laundry was done. But, the thing that got me was when someone was sick…on a Monday. It would throw off my entire week. If I was feeling lousy or the kids had a stomach bug, Mondays were ruined. I would not get all the loads done I had planned, and then the whole rest of the week I was playing catch up, while more dirty clothes were piling up! I just couldn’t do it.

So, I started doing a load a day. Mondays are still pretty heavy laundry days, when I do 3-4 loads, but the rest of the week I do about a load a day. Even if it is a small, quick cycle load of towels, I do it. Why? Because if I wait and try to throw 7+ towels in with my Monday loads, I start to feel overwhelmed again. Here’s how a typical week of laundry loads goes…

Monday – 3 to 4 loads of clothing (darks, colors, lights, and undies/socks/undershirts)

Tuesday – kids’ bed sheets, usually two loads because that is five beds of sheets. And sometimes, if I need to wash someone’s comforter, it is another load or two.

Wednesday – my bedding. Sometimes just a load of my sheets and pillowcases, sometimes I do a second load of our machine-washable comforter (our best investment…a king-size comforter that can be washed at home and fits in the washer)

Thursday – usually all towels (bath, hand, kitchen) and washcloths. Sometimes a load of darks, if we have left the house a lot and the kids need jeans.

Friday – catch up on any growing piles – colors, underwear, etc.

Saturday – When I wash the kids’ comforters on the same day, it is usually a Saturday and it is five loads (one for each comforter). BUT, I don’t wash their comforters regularly, so Saturdays are usually just random laundry load days.

Sunday – No wash. At all. Too much going on with church in the morning and evening; I learned to steer clear of doing laundry on Sundays.

2. Follow through on a load or it will take over.

Seriously, how many times do we start a load in the washer and forget it? We have to run out for something or we start some kind of cleaning project and forget all about the clothes in the washer. Then it is 6:00PM, and we remember the load that has been sitting in there for 8 hours. Ugh! That has happened a few more times than I like here. So, once I start a load of laundry, I make a note (sometimes mental, but most times literally a note on a paper where I can see it) to check on it in 35 minutes, the average time for a regular load in our washer. Keeping track of the laundry load helps me remember to get it into the dryer, so I can start the next load or just to keep it from smelling yucky after sitting in a damp, enclosed washer drum all day.

The other part to the follow through is once it is washed and dried, I have to put the clean clothes in a basket and bring the basket to where I am. I can’t just put it back in the basket and leave it on top of the washer or dryer. I have to bring it with me in order to get it folded and put away. That whole “out of sight, out of mind” thing comes into play here. If I see the basket in the living room with me, I am likely to fold it and get it out of there because clutter annoys me…and a basket of unfolded clothes is clutter, to me. I will fold it, divvy up the kids’ clothing and send them away with their items to put in their drawers. Which leads me to my next point….

3. Laundry isn’t just for Mom.

I love serving my family. Honestly. It brings me such joy. BUT, I did not wear the 35 pairs of underwear in the wash…so I will expect the wearers to put their own items away (with the exception of my husband – he works hard away from home every day, so I don’t expect him to come home and do more work that I could have simply done when I put my own clothes away). Sometimes I ask my kids to help me fold the laundry, if I am crunched for time. Usually, though, I just expect them to take their pile of clean clothing and put it (properly) in their drawers and closets. This took a little practice to get going. I had a few kids that would take the whole stack of clothes (shirts, pants, undies, sock, dresses, etc) and just stuff them all into the same drawer. No good! I had to take them up to their rooms and show them how to correctly sort and put away their items…and then made it very clear that I expected this each time and would follow-up randomly to make sure they did it. Sometimes I actually remember to follow-up and make sure, other times I completely forget – but they don’t know that! ๐Ÿ™‚

My expectations for my kids and laundry are:

  • they must get all dirty items into the large hamper in their bathroom. I have explained that wearing a t-shirt for 3 hours while just sitting and reading does not create a dirty item. They also understand that jeans may be worn more than one day, unless they went on a hike or were rolling around on the floor in a public place.
  • whomever puts clothing into the hamper and notices it is full is responsible to move the full hamper into my bathroom, so I can see it needs to be sorted and prepared to wash (I have 4 baskets in my bathroom for sorting clothes before I even get to the laundry room. It is super efficient for me.). If it is overflowing and no one brings it to my bathroom, I simply discipline the person with the clothing on top. Simple. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • they can help fold if they want (sometimes a few do want to), but only if they are going to actually FOLD and not just wad things up and stack them.
  • they must take their clean clothing and put it into the correct places in their rooms or they will be out of clothing to wear very quickly.

4.Not eveything on our bodies is dirty every day.

This might sound gross to some of you. Believe me, we are uber-hygienic and very wary of germs and dirtiness. BUT, we have had to lay some ground rules for what constitutes a dirty clothing item with the kids. If they wear jeans out of the house and go somewhere that they will be on the floor (library, church, etc), that item will go in the hamper at the end of the day. Shirts worn to AWANA go in the hamper because our children have this uncanny way of sweating with the slightest bit of physical activity at church. Pants and shirts worn at home on a boring school day can be worn a second day. If the kids were running around like maniacs in the basement, I will probably tell them to throw their shirt in the hamper. Pajamas get worn two nights before we wash them, unless someone has an accident or spills food on them during breakfast (ahem, Ethan!). Jeans can be worn 3 or 4 days around the house before we need to wash them.

I don’t know how you all feel about the dirtiness of clothes, but I think our clothes are a lot less dirty than we think on regular days at home. It is such a waste of water and energy to wash not-really-dirty clothing. AND it saves on how many items you actually need to have for each of your children (that is a whole other post, though, that I plan to write….decluttering the kids’ drawers). If we can really evaluate the clean versus dirty items at the end of the day, we might save ourselves some irritation by not having as much in the hamper. Socks and underwear are the exception – those get changed at least once a day. We have a few with very stinky feet, so sometimes a change in the middle of the day (when they have been sweating) is necessary. And we also have a few that have an accident – possibly when being tickled by a sibling – and need to change underwear. No names, though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But, seriously, clothes are usually durable enough and clean enough to go more than a day on the body before needing to be washed.

(Another exception may be the puberty stage. I suspect my boys will need to wash shirts more often when they reach that age; they sweat getting up from the couch now, so I assume the sweat and body odor will be enough to wash their clothes more frequently in the coming years! My girls haven’t been affected by this stage much, but I plan to be careful to avoid any embarrassing B.O. issues.)

There you have it – my super fabulous efficient way to get laundry done and not be overwhelmed by it. I cannot guarantee these things will work for you, but I know they work for us. And if you struggle with laundry (or just simply hate it), try these suggestions and see if maybe they’ll work for your family too!

Do you have a laundry system? Or do you just wing it each week??

What’s your biggest challenge with laundry? Do you have any tips to help other moms stay on top of it?

Morning and Evening Routines

Yesterday at our church moms’ group meeting, we had a guest speaker; she was a professional organizer. For me, this was like meeting a celebrity. ๐Ÿ™‚ This woman wasn’t famous or anything, but organization is like…my thing. I love having a place for everything and putting everything in its place at the end of the day. So, I was thinking about what to share today and organization came to mind. I don’t mean the organization of rooms or closets, but I was thinking more about the organization of our days.

I was trying to search and find the last post I did on morning routines, and July 2013’s post about routines came up! It has been two and a half years since I talked about morning routines?! Obviously, it is time to chat about it again!

In case you ever missed it on here…I am definitely a left-brained gal. People ask me about cleaning, not creativity. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have two very creative daughters, bless their hearts. They, unfortunately have to go it alone with getting creative because this Mama really stinks at colors and fashion and “cool” stuff. Now, if they want to know how to unclog a drain or the best way to get a stain out of a shirt…I’m their girl! I can be a little creative when it comes to food, but I mostly just love recipes/instructions, routines, and logical things. Ha! Soooo, for the most part, I am boring. And I am cool with that.

But, I do want to share some helpful things for ALL moms, whether left-brained, right-brained, schedule-loving, free-thinking, or whatever. Because mornings and evenings can be the trickiest and toughest time of the day with kids. You just never now how they’re going to wake up – excited about the day or angry because they lost a stuffed animal in their bed. And we never know just how easy they’ll go down at night – sweet kisses… or “sweet sassy, get up again and I’m going to go bananas!”

Having the morning and evening planned out can help those crazy, challenging times run a little more smoothly. Or, at the very least, allow you to focus on that super needy child without worrying about the rest of the things to get done.

So, here are the things I do in the morning (usually almost in this exact order):

  1. Wake up and come straight downstairs to pour my coffee and sit to read my Bible.ย This is a new first item, since the beginning of January. I used to unload the dishwasher first, but I have found that (for me) if I do not sit with my coffee and Bible FIRST, I am most likely going to put it off most of the day….and my day will suck. Pardon the language there, but seriously. My day just does not start well, if I start rushing around to do a million things and have not relaxed myself with coffee and Bible.
  2. Pray with each child as they awake. Ok, this is an even newer item. Sally Clarkson shared in one (or several) of her podcasts that she got into the habit of blessing or praying with each child of hers as they got up each day and as they went to bed. She explained that it helped HER to start the day with the right attitude toward her kids. Well, since I really struggle to be pleasant in the mornings, I thought this was the PERFECT idea to help me curb my grouchiness. I have been trying to be consistent with it for about a week now, and boy-oh-boy does it make a difference. Of course, I am still trying to remember to do it each day. But I have seen how much my boys love it. I hold them close and whisper a prayer in their ear, just asking for God’s protection over them and for a good day for us. I have not yet tried this at night, as we usually pray with the kids by room (whoever shares a room gets prayed with together). I love the idea to pray with the kids as my first bit of interaction with them in the morning. I encourage you to try it. It is a little more difficult to grouch at them right after you just prayed over them!
  3. Unload the dishwasher and get out breakfast dishes.ย I dislike having clean dishes in the dishwasher throughout the day. We dirty dishes so fast, that I need to get them out of the sink and into the dishwasher right after each meal. Having an empty dishwasher before we start cooking breakfast serious calms me down. So, not only am I boring with my left-brainedness, I am apparently also weird. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  4. Make breakfast and immediately clean up. This is along the same lines as unloading the dishwasher. I cannot stand to have dirty dishes lying about, and since we use so many dishes each meal I try to clean up as we cook or immediately after we eat.
  5. Check my Motivated Moms app for the daily to-do’s. I am absolutely still loving the Motivated Moms app, and I enjoy that the items to do are in the list and I don’t have to think about them much. I don’t have to write out my list or worry about what I have done or didn’t do….because they have the check boxes! I highly recommend this app/website for getting things done. You can always add anything specific to your day and work off the pre-loaded lists as well! Wonderful way to keep track of what needs to get done each day.

So, those are the things I do every morning. Some days do not go as I like, and I do have to move some of those around. Sickness the past few weeks did throw me off several days, but I tried hard to stick to the routine so we didn’t fall behind on anything….and so I still felt a little sane!

You might be wondering when I get my shower in, and I should mention I don’t usually shower until somewhere between 8:00 and 9:00 AM. Since we don’t typically have anywhere to be in the morning, I do a chunk of my housework before I shower (I mean, why shower if I am going to work up a sweat scrubbing counters and toilets??). And I only wash my hair every two or three days, so my showers are usually very short and easy to fit in wherever. If you need a shower early in the morning, obviously your routine would look a little different.

In the evening, I usually do the same set of tasks every night. I have identified the things that really help my mornings run smoothly if I do them at night. Like my morning routine, it just helps our household be less grouchy and keeps the mess/chaos to a minimum. In the evening, I:

  1. Clean up cookware and utensils used to make dinner as I am cooking. I may be a little over-the-top with this one, but as soon as I finish using an item to make dinner, I wash it or put it in the dishwasher. This helps keep my counter-tops clear and allows me to lay out the plates I need to fill with food. Another thing (a BIG thing) is that it gives us a lot less to clean up AFTER dinner. I don’t have a bunch of utensils or pans to wash after dinner. Usually, the one thing I have to wash is the main pan for the food (or baking dish, if a casserole).
  2. Load and run the dishwasher. As soon as we finish eating, we clear the table, load and run the dishwasher. I do not like to put it off….because I often forget later on! And then we wake up to it full of dirty dishes. One sure-fire way to start my day grouchy is to forget to run the dishwasher. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. Set the coffeemaker. Our coffeemaker has a ‘delay brew’ setting, which I love. I set it all up to start at 5:00 AM, and all we have to do in the morning is pour it. It is heavenly. AND, it is one less thing that will delay my Bible time!
  4. Clean up all toys and clothes. We clean up toys and things on the floor several times throughout the day, but somehow these things find their way back to the floor after dinner. So, I encourage (or force) the kids to clean up all floors before bedtime – the main level as well as their rooms. I do not always succeed at having spotless floors in their rooms….for instance, if my eldest is reminded several times and I still find her dancing and singing in her room (instead of cleaning) before bed, I may just tell her to go to bed and do it before coming down in the morning. BUT, the living room and family room are all picked up every single night. It just makes me happy to see clean rooms before bed.
  5. Pray in each kid room before saying Goodnight. I love that we do this each night. We pray in the boys’ room (and then Ethan prays for Mom, Dad, and Buddy…we always have to remind him to pray for his sisters too.), then we pray with Iris (or she prays, if she wants to), and then we pray in Lily and Addy’s room. If we somehow forget to pray, Buddy will remind me as we are leaving their room. And Lily is always quick to call us back to pray if we forget. With all her eczema and sleeping challenges the last two years, I know praying with us is extremely comforting for her at night. So, I will always love doing it. It also ends the day pleasantly with each kid – no matter how naughty they were or how short-tempered I was, we can all just take a breath and pray. Of course, if we are chasing Ethan back into bed ten minutes later…well, the calmness might have worn off! But, at least we tried to put them to bed peacefully!!

Having set routines for morning and evening definitely allows my day to run more smoothly. With lots of people to feed and clothes and clean, it helps to not have to think about some things each day!

Do you have routines for morning or evening?! What do you love about your routines?

 

Routine for Clean and a REVIEW!

 

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(Photo courtesy of blog.blacknight.com)

 

*Affiliate Disclosure:ย This post contains affiliate links.*

I am tough to please when it comes to cleaning routines. I prefer to have a paper list of things to clean/complete, so I can physically check them off. Paper gets annoying, though, as I do not like clutter….and paper makes for serious clutter.

Technology is so not my thing, but I really love an app I found for a daily checklist. It is customizable and, even though it’s digital, I can still check things off! It’s a win-win, really!

The app is called Motivated Moms, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I purchased the $1.99 version to test it out. I get two months’ worth of daily checklists to try, but I see how much I like it already andย know the full year’s subscription would be perfect for me.

The app allows me to assign tasks to different rooms or people. I have my Quiet Time on the checklist, as well as our group reading time and a variety of other home and school items. It even reminds me of little things I forget to do like regularly restock toilet paper in the kids’ bathroom! (I tend to forget to check on that….and only remember when I hear a little voice yelling “MOM! There’s no toilet paper for me!”)

This week, it reminded me to clean out my toaster. MY TOASTER! I haven’t cleaned that thing since my youngest was born…3 years ago. I almost didn’t do it, but my need to check things off won and I emptied all the crumbs out of the toaster. It was disgusting! I even scrubbed the top and sides of it. The thing looks brand new now! And I would not have ever remembered to clean it had it not been for this app.

The Motivated Mom app is available for iPod/iPad/iPhone, as well as for Android. It comes with a ton of pre-loaded tasks, and they can be sorted by room. That is how I prefer, so I can see what needs to be done in each area of the house that day. As I complete them, I just click the box and it checks it off and moves it to the bottom of the list. Laundry and Feed Pets are on the lists every day, which is great because we have to do both every single day!

While I do love being able to add custom tasks to the lists and choosing how often they appear (daily, weekly, etc), the only “negative” thing on the customizing is that the pre-loaded tasks’ names and frequency cannot be edited. So, for instance, the unload/run dishwasher task was pre-loaded. I prefer to have them as two separate things (since I have to unload in the morning and then run it at night). Ok, so it is not really a negative; I am just very particular and like to check off as many items as possible! I realize I have a problem. ๐Ÿ™‚

To change it, I hid the pre-loaded item and just added two custom tasks- “unload dishwasher” and “run dishwasher.” And my need to check things off is satisfied with each. ๐Ÿ™‚ It took a whole 45 seconds to add the two items, so I am not at all complaining!

The custom task adding is great, though! You can choose the name, when it’s due, if it repeats (and when), who the task is assigned to, and what room it belongs in. This is like heaven for an organizing freak like myself!! You can set appointments on there, if you want and just had a due date and not have it repeat.

It really is a great app and a test run for two months at only $1.99 is amazing! $8 for a year’s worth of tasks isn’t bad. Sure, it is more than a typical app (and you have to renew it after a year for another $8), but it is a daily use app and if you break down the cost….$8 divided by 365 days? That’s only $.02 a day!

I highly recommend trying at least the $1.99 version to see for yourself. They do offer a Motivated Moms Lite version for $.99, which covers one month of tasks. Whichever one you try, I am pretty certain you will find it useful and convenient!

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Do any of you use this app?! What do you think about it??

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Summer Slump

Summer just started about 4 days ago, and I have already fallen off track with my cleaning routine. I just shared on My Own Ripple Effect about keeping your home guest readyย and I am not even following my own advice about it!

I just overwhelmed myself with a few activities – not bad activities, just not activities I needed to give attention to right now – and now I am scrambling to find my routine again! Thankfully we are not doing any formal schooling right now, or I would really be losing it. I am just going to start over, adding back into our day the things I should be doing and focusing on, and say “Not right now” to the things that maybe I would love to be doing but just know that this isn’t the season for them. We have been learning (and talking about at each meeting) this very thing in our Titus 2 group at church. We talk about the seasons we go through as wives and mothers and how our needs and abilities change with each one. And it is so interesting to see how I mismanage this season ALL. THE. TIME. ๐Ÿ™‚ I keep saying “I just need to step aside and lay down my desires and let God lead.” Aaaaand then I pick it all back up and get in front of God again. Grrrr! When will I learn?!

Today went rather well, though. After several days of screaming and crying (and the kids were pretty bad off as well), I decided to FINALLY do what I keep saying I need to do, and I let God lead….for the most part. Still tried to hold on to a few things today, and almost immediately watched our happiness wash away. Also, I decided last night there is entirely too much TV watching happening here. I was using it as a rainy day option, but then it became an everyday option. And we were/are all addicted, so when I would try to turn it off, the kids were crying for more. So, I would give in to have some quiet. Bad idea.

Last night, I decided I would give them a few things they had to get done before the TV could go on. The few things for today were:

Read Proverbs 25 (since it’s the 25th)

Make your bed

Get Dressed

Brush hair.

I figured just a few to start this transition was a good idea. Boy am I glad I did not give more than those four! I am certain they would have tried to attack me!! Poor Lily was awake last and was NOT a happy camper when she could not eat until she finished those four items. The other kids were done with them and had eaten and were off playing. But she just wanted to come right down to eat. I stayed firm and sent her back up with the instructions, and I ended up reading Proverbs 25 while she followed along…so she didn’t feel so left out.

Next week, my husband has a few days off, and I would like to use some of that time to really nail down a new routine/schedule to be able to start some schoolwork up again in a few weeks. Whether or not that will happen is unknown. I know we plan to go to the zoo one of his days off and do some running around on another day. Praying that I can get some alone time worked in there to sit down and organize my ideas and plans and schedule!

And before I forget, I was featured again this week on My Own Ripple Effect!! I am really enjoying contributing! HERE is the article that was posted over there this week! It is about cooking from scratch. Mmmmm, makes me hungry thinking about it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do any of you struggle with Summer slumps? Or do you have any tips for staying on track with schedules through the Summer??

 

Goals for the Day

1. Make crockpot burrito filling. Not on the menu plan but uses pretty much the same ingredients as the Rice and Beans I had planned.

2. Make a double batch of homemade whole wheat tortillas (these are so delicious. seriously, go make them.)

3. Whip up THIS chicken salad for lunch. Also, not on the menu plan but I have the ingredients…and it looks really yummy.

4. Make THIS french bread to go with the chicken salad for lunch.

5. Wash our master bedroom sheets.

6. Two other loads of laundry.

7. Clean bathrooms.

8. Dust and vacuum upstairs.

9. Inventory stockpile.

That’s not too much to do, right??? ๐Ÿ™‚ And it’s already 10AM….not a single one of those has been accomplished yet. Yikes! Better get that bread started!!

Have any huge plans or checklists today? Share them! Let’s be optimistic together!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Organized Home: Incorporating Your New Plan

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!)

FlyLadyย  (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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.)ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Next week I will touch on menu planning and how that helps with overall organization! Happy organizing!

 

Organized Home: Assigning Tasks to Days…and People

Last Thursday, I gave some ideas for getting together a huge list of the tasks you need done around your home. Today I want to share a bit of how I assign tasks to different days. AND how I try to assign tasks to different people in my house. I emphasize TRY because I have not yet found the magical step that actually gets these certain people to complete their tasks regularly…without my constant nagging or yelling! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, so I know that every Thursday we have a physical therapy appointment from 10-11AM. Every Tuesday evening my husband has a church commitment. Every Wednesday evening is Iris’ kids’ program at church. And Sundays…they are just out of the whole equation of housework.

What I like to do is break down the items for different rooms or areas of the house. For example, vacuuming: I don’t vacuum upstairs, downstairs and the staircase all on the same day. It would be too much for me. So, I break it down into Vacuum Kid Rooms, Vacuum Master Bedroom and Loft, Vacuum Downstairs, and Vacuum Stairs.

Here is how my Monday to Friday looks:

Monday:

Wash kids’ sheets (because the night before they run around at church and don’t get baths when they get home. I know, we’re gross.)

Dust kid rooms – Assigned to Iris, Lily, Addy, and Buddy

Vacuum

Change Hand Towels in Bathrooms

Collect garbage for Garbage Day – Assigned to Iris and Lily

Tuesday:

Wash Master Bedroom Sheets (because my husband has a later evening on Tuesdays, this gives me extra time to get the sheets back on the bed…in case our day gets crazy!)

Dust Master Bedroom

Vacuum Master Bedroom

Quick Clean toilets, sinks and mirrors

Wednesday:

Check toilet paper supply in bathrooms – Assigned to Addy

Sweep kitchen floor

Wipe down kitchen appliances, inside microwave, and stove top

(this is a light day because we have to have an early dinner to get Iris to her church program by 5:15PM)

Thursday:

Change hand towels in bathrooms

Clean Showers and toilets, sinks and mirrors

Vacuum stairs

Friday:

Wash kitchen floor

Dust Downstairs (living and family rooms)

Vacuum Downstairs

Saturday:

Laundry, if needed

Do any tasks I didn’t get done on the weekdays ๐Ÿ™‚

Wipe down toilets, sinks and mirrors

Ok, so this is my IDEAL list of tasks. Of course, I also have the daily tasks of:

Laundry

Empty/Load/Run Dishwasher

Kitchen Cleanup and Wipe Counters

My goal is to get the whole house cleaned well, over a period of 5-6 days. I used to cram all the cleaning into one day and would be so frustrated if that day turned into chaos or we ended up not even being home! So, I set out to spread the tasks across 5 weekdays and a very little bit on Saturday.

Am I consistent with this?

Absolutely NOT!

Am I trying to stay on top of it?

Of course!

This series of posts is to help ME stay on top of the tasks and chores, so I don’t become overwhelmed. It is also meant to be an encouragement for those of you that are already overwhelmed, to maybe find a starting point and get back on track with your housework. It doesn’t HAVE to be frustrating. It isn’t meant to be aggravating. Housework is just that…work. But if we can find a way to organize it and take care of it responsibly, we can stay on top of the work and keep from being overwhelmed. So we can enjoy our families!

I have no idea if my posts make sense or are sequential, but I love feedback. So please share if you are enjoying this or hate this or have anything extra to add!! Again, I am still working on consistency and finding my rhythm with the housework. I think posting it here gives me some accountability (especially if any of you come to my house regularly…yikes!). And I want to be an encouragement, not an annoyance. Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts or ideas! Thanks!