Monday, May 3, 2010
Confession: While I am 100% a Suzy Homemaker, I am messy. No, I don't mean I leave the dishes unwashed for three days straight or forget to vacuum every week, I mean I leave my dishes unwashed for a week and a half and my kids' spaghetti stays stuck to the floor until it dries, sits there for a week, and gets carried off by an army of ants. My house gets GROSS. For the time being, we are living with my parents, so my level of grossness needs to be contained for their sanity. All the same, our bedroom constantly overflows with half-unwashed, half-washed-but-not-folded laundry piles that evade each other's territory, receipts, fliers, books, DVDs, boxes that need to be stored, bags that need to be sorted, etc, etc, etc. The kids' rooms aren't much better, just less centralized.
In March, just before we left on our Ohio trip, I did a complete overhauling of our rooms. The laundry was finished, folded and put away. The papers were sorted and filed or tossed. Boxes and bags went to storage, even more went to the trash, Goodwill got their share of the pile, and I got reacquainted with the sight of our bedroom floor. Then I vacuumed, dusted, and we took off for Ohio. We stayed with dear friends of ours, a couple with three children around our kids' ages. During our ten days there, I took note of the housekeeping practices of my friend. I was amazed that with an extra child (with the energy of three kids combined in a single body for that matter), a bigger house, and more obligations, she kept a relatively neat house. If it had been spotless, I wouldn't have noticed, but the floors regularly had crumbs, toys weren't immediately put away, and they went to bed with a few dishes in the sink most nights. What was she doing to keep the crumbs, dishes and toys from turning into an entire house that internally explodes within 24 hours of being cleaned??? Whatever it was, I wanted it. I hate my messy tendencies and hate that I have to be ashamed of my house or my bedroom.
I don't know how it came about, because I didn't come home with a plan or a thought to change, but I shortly after arriving home to my freshly cleaned living space, I discovered www.flylady.net. I thought "this is PERFECT! It's just the sort of system I could actually get behind and USE!" The great part is, you don't start big... just do one "baby step" the first day, add something else in addition the next day, and so on until you've slowly developed a series of routines that maintain your house and keep it from exploding on itself.
Since I don't have a whole house to myself, I've changed things up. I don't shine my kitchen sink like she lists as baby step #1... I started by making my bed everyday instead. I cannot believe the difference in two months! I spend about 20 minutes each morning doing maintenance and getting ready, I have a few designated tasks throughout the week, and I make dinners off of a flexible meal plan. Suddenly it's all clicking!
For my own benefit (and yours if you wish!) I will be posting my progress on here every week, the good and the bad. I promise to post fun crafty stuff too! I called this "DIY: Housekeeping" because I have the same attitude toward housekeeping that people often have with the DIY mentality. It's easier not to do it, even if it is a healthier, cheaper, and something to be proud of. I know I'm not the only one in this boat, so check out www.flylady.net if you need somewhere to start! Of course it's not perfect, and some of my issues are as follows: 1. her website and some of her emails are very corny and out-of-date, 2. if you receive her emails you will get a constant stream of testimonials about how amazing her cleaning products are (pure unadulterated self-advertising) when she says she believes in using what you already have, 3. she wants you to spend a portion of your day perusing her website almost from the get-go when internet use is probably the #1 time-waster of homemakers in the US. I personally avoid internet like the plague until my morning routine is done, or I'll never get started. But cut out the parts that don't work for you and give it a shot! You might be as surprised as I am!
Here is this week's checklist. M indicates "finished on Monday", T = "finished on Tuesday", etc.
Daily Tasks: Morning:
Get dressed, including glasses, shoes, hair and make-up M T W T F
Make bed M T W T F
Clean bathroom sink, surfaces, toilet, dust and spot-clean M T W T F
Get girls dressed including hair M T W F
Make girls’ beds M T W T F
Start a load of laundry M T W T F
Breakfast for girls and myself M T W T F
Put away dishes M T W T F
Wash breakfast dishes M T W T F
Check dinner plan and defrost or crock pot if necessary M T W T F
Wash lunch dishes M T W T F
Start dinner prep at 4:00, 1:30 if defrosting bread M T W F
Start dishes during dinner prep M T W F
Fold and put away laundry M T W T F
Put kids to bed M T W T F
Finish dinner dishes M T W T F
Wipe down kitchen M T W T F
Sweep kitchen floor M T F
Pick up house M T W T F
Put glasses and keys in purse M T W T F
Charge phone if needed T
Put together diaper bag if outing is planned
Bedroom floor picked up M T W T F
Drawers shut and surfaces clutter-free M T W T F
This week's tasks:
Empty trash cans M
Clean mirrors M
Purge mail M
Change sheets T
Deep clean this week’s house zone for 15 minutes T
Work on Oliver doll T
Work on Oliver doll
Look for Nepal photos W
Work for mom
Work on Oliver doll T
Quick grocery store trip W
Clean out purse F
Declutter car F
Wash car if needed
Finish Oliver doll