First, this does NOT describe me currently. It used to, before I got married and had kids. Once I got married and had kids, the struggle began. When I was growing up my mom had a little sign in her kitchen that she cross stitched that read: "Dull women have immaculate houses." I thought my mom was saying she was "dull". Seriously, I did. I always thought the house was immaculate. Clothes never needed folding or washed, everything was pristine, ultra clean, spotless, etc. I think what that little picture was trying to say was it's okay if your home isn't pristine or immaculate because that would mean you are dull and have no life. Yes, I'm certain that is what it meant. Still, in my mind I am always looking for ways to stay organized. The difference between what my mom did and what I feel I'm capable of is a few things. One, I have 3 boys. Two, I have Adult ADD. Notice that I left the "H" out because I'd give anything to be a little "H". I'm not, I'm tired which is why I take supplements for energy and mental focus. HA!
In the last few months I have implemented a few things around our house that has helped things run smooth, given our kids responsibility, given me focus on tasks that I can handle, and I wanted to share them with you. So, I am bringing this to you from the perspective of a daughter who grew up with a Highly Immaculate Person.
1. Schedule - It's necessary. Why? Because you will find that you just spent a whole day scrubbing your bathroom and the WHOLE house is a wreck. A schedule of tasks to do each day that spreads out your responsibilities is ideal. I found an app in iTunes called Tody. I thought I'd try it for a week before posting about it because I might love it for 2 days and then hate it's guts. Not Tody, not so far. So far it has been fabulous. Visit http://www.todyapp.com/ to learn more.
2. Chore Charts - For the kids, this has really helped. They don't always get things done so I put their chart of to-do's on my Tody and it reminds me to remind them and everyone gets it done. Below are two examples of chore charts I have used. I ended up making one I could print off each Sunday as I pay them. Money talks with kids and sometimes a toy they want sitting in plain view and can't reach. :D
Click here to download the Word Document and feel free to change it as needed to suit your routine and kids.
|Charts from the dollar store.|
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4. Throw Away or Donate - Seriously, people are going to have to learn to do this. Trash cans should be used and keep a donation box going. Get things out of the way. I constantly have a box or bag ready to fill up, when it's full I drop it off and do it again. We accumulate alot of things very fast. Somethings might be worth selling and if you are a Dave Ramsey fan like me you'll want to put that money into savings. But be careful to not let that turn you into a closet hoarder. If it doesn't sell, donate it. Don't save it for next years yardsale. Get it OUT! Find a good way to get rid of items. We take all of our used books and get a credit at our local used book store for more books. Make trips often, don't let this stuff pile up.
5. Be Prepared - stock up on supplies and keep them handy. Nothing throws a schedule off like not having dusting spray, floor cleaner, laundry soaps, or tile spray. If you run out, write it down or make a note to get it ASAP. Organize your cleaning supplies and if you have a two story home, have a basket of supplies on each level. Keep it stocked with cleaners, sponges, paper towels, cloth towels, etc.
6. Ignore Zones - something I've learned is that I can't tackle EVERYTHING at that moment but I know it's on my to-do list and coming up soon. If I find a moment to do extra I will but I love knowing that I can do some tasks now and the others tomorrow, they don't all have to be done at this moment. For example, I need to wipe down and dust my dining room table but it can wait until tomorrow when it's scheduled to clean that room. It helps take the anxiety off and gives me permission to focus on doing a few things well.
7. Relax - Once you have finished and you start finding you actually have more time on your hands to clean, don't clean more. Relax, read a book, enjoy a movie, I promise it will happen. You will have that clean home and things will be looking spotless soon. My boys keep me on my toes yes, and there's always stuff to put away but it's important that you start relaxing and enjoying your clean house.
Be house proud but remember...NO ONE is this perfect, no one!
all images are personal or from istock.com :D