Wow over 900 comments and still going strong! So many of you shared your feelings of desperately wanting to get organized and not knowing which end is up. Believe me, I can relate to that feeling! Let me explain.
I worked full time when my oldest two were little. I look back on that time now and wonder how I ever did it. I do remember it being stressful but with the exception of having housecleaning help (I was fortunate to be able to hire a house cleaner ever two weeks) I still managed to get everything else done. When I first came home two years ago I couldn’t figure out why I struggled with getting everything done considering I now had more time in the day to do it. I was really overwhelmed by it all. That’s when I realized it was because I was no longer following any sort of schedule. I fell into the trap that I had nothing but time now that I was home. I told myself that there was always tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. Problem is the longer I procrastinated on something, the longer it went without getting done and the more stressed out I became and the more dysfunctional my family became. This was specifically apparent when I no longer had a cleaner to rely on. I hate cleaning so of course I had trouble concentrating my efforts or even finding a huge chunk of time to do all my housework at one time. You see that is how I was raised, we always did all the housework Saturday mornings. It never occurred to me that it could be done any other way.
It wasn’t until I started reading some blogs and discovered another way, a way that has made life so much easier for me and completely taken the pressure off. It’s called the weekly work/cleaning schedule. I know many of you are already using this method but just as many are not following any sort of routine which is why I bring it up today.
We started by making a list of all the chores that needed to get done in a week. Then as a family we sat down with this list, wrote our names across the top and started writing in who was going to do what and when. It looks something like this:
Monday: Me ~ grocery shopping and laundry
Tuesday: Me ~ whole house clutter bust (just making sure things are put back in their homes, general tidy)
Wednesday: Me ~ dust
Thursday: Me ~ wash floors
Friday: Me ~ clean bathtub, Daughter ~ toilets/sinks/tidy room, Son ~ glass/tidy basement and room
I stay on top of the kitchen every day and hubbie does the vacuuming on Sundays. My kids also have daily jobs such as helping with dinner, putting dishes away out of the dishwasher and tidying up the living room each evening.
Yes there are still some days that I get off track but having my schedule written out and posted where I see it regularly helps to remind me of what I need to do and when. Since I am a visual person I find that using my week over week calendar on the fridge is what works best for me. Knowing that I don’t have to commit any more than an hour to house cleaning each day helps me to stay focused and get it done. Talk about freeing.
The other thing I’ve learned from the lovely Rachel-Anne (her Small Things series is fantastic!) is to have a Housekeeping Mission Statement. I’ll be honest and admit that at first I didn’t see the benefit but I decided to give it a try and I am amazed at what a difference it makes in my attitude.
My Housekeeping Mission Statement
To provide an inviting and peaceful household environment, for my family and all that enter, that is conducive to living simply, loving deeply and laughing abundantly. I will make strides everyday to achieve this by practicing and teaching good daily habits and routines along with effective organizational skills. I will graciously and cheerfully serve my family and genuinely enjoy my commitment to creating a home sanctuary that is above all else pleasing to God.
For years I longed to “come home” to take care of my family. I am so grateful to now have this opportunity and having a written mission statement is a daily reminder of how I want to accomplish that goal.
Whether you are a stay at home mom, work at home mom or work outside of the home, committing to a schedule and following through will help you achieve whatever goal you are seeking for yourself and your family. Try it!