Friday, August 26, 2011


Since we all had brand-new schedules in May, when I went to part-time days, we used the summer to get used to our new days.  I did not have a firm schedule for every day...I treated it like "summer" and we were very spontaneous.
Summer Fun!  (Photo taken last summer.)
Now that school has started I've been working on our weekly schedule.  One for ME and one for the KIDS.  My next few posts will be about this...Areas that I KNOW I need HELP with are Groceries and Mail!  If you have an awesome SIMPLE system to share with me that works for you PLEASE do!!!

Inspired by Fly Lady (Reality Check-I do NOT use her entire cleaning schedule.  She is AMAZING!  I just grab bits of it that work for me.), one thing that has been SO helpful to my "choose to love your house" time is the TIMER!  I've been using the timer for a while with "time-outs", but have just this summer started using it for cleaning/organizing and am pretty much addicted!  (JB even commented the other day that he feels like he is on the set of "60 Minutes".)

I have a tendency to "putter" A LOT and the timer keeps me focused. 
putter-verb To be active, but not excessively busy, at a task or a series of tasks

Every morning I time myself for 15 minutes upstairs and 15 minutes downstairs.  Within those 30 minutes I get an AMAZING amount of things done!  I really don't even believe it myself!  Since I'm timing myself I don't "putter" or get distracted.  I am efficient and a bit of adrenaline even kicks in!  The BEST part is that when I am through with this 30 minutes each morning I know that I have accomplished SO MUCH and my day has just started!!!  I can be more focused on my work when I'm not thinking of the million things that aren't done around me.  AND I also know that I won't be discouraged (or embarrassed!) to invite someone inside who may pop by for a visit.  I am satisfied and proud of my home when it is clean!

15 minutes upstairs (mornings):

-I open curtains and make ALL the beds.  (I was having the kids make theirs, but they weren't making them like I like and I had to look at their unmade bed until they got home (when they do their 15 minutes of timed clean up)...which bugged me.
-Put the most "full" clothes basket at the top of the stairs. (I have three bins in our closet we all use labeled Darks. Colors. Whites.)  If none of the three bins are full I grab towels or sheets, but something is going down for the washer.
-Put things back in their places in my room and bathrooms.
-Check showers and bathrooms (and supply drawers) and see if anything (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toilet paper, etc.) needs to come up from the laundry room or go on the store list.

I have seen this trick on several blogs:  I keep a bin upstairs (under the guest sink) and a bin downstairs with large trash bags, Windex, paper towels, a "Chore Boy" scrubber, toilet cleaning wands/scrubbers, foam soap refill bottle, Magic Eraser and Chlorox wipes to make the next steps QUICK.

-Empty wastebaskets. (if needed)
-Wipe down bathroom counters with Chlorox wipes.  Use "Chore Boy" to scrub toothpaste off sink. (if needed)
-Clean toilets. (if needed)
-Windex windows and mirrors that need it.  (There is ALWAYS a window that needs it!...One day I will miss wiping away those grubby little hand and face prints!-Sigh.)
-"Magic-erase" any scuffs I see.
-Fill soap dispensers. (if needed)

15 minutes downstairs (mornings) coming up next!


Tara said...

I think Fly Lady is amazing too! I tried her schedule...but I failed quickly. Here's my 2 cents on the bed making...and you may already do this...keep having Bets and Jay make their bed, you just "tidy" it up after they leave. I had a mom who had us making our beds at a very young age and as an adult it's still one of the first things I do in the morning. They'll get better at it with practice. Arch and Spencer could leave a bed un-made for weeks...which drives me nuts! And when they do make a bed neither is very good at it. Leaving a bed un-made is a hard habit to break...get those kids in the bed making habit now and they'll do it forever!

Johanna V. said...

Love this, Sal, very helpful. Can I just tell you that I cannot stand toothpaste on/in the sink---it drives me nuts. I just added a new item to Annie's daily chore list (along with a "chore boy" underneath her sink). As for bed-making, we have about 5 re-dos every morning until it's done (kinda) right :).

Brantley said...

I was having an issue with mail piling about 9 months ago I bought a hanging double file pocket for me and one pocket for Graem. I sort the mail every stuff, Graem's stuff, and trash (which is 75% of our mail). No more stacks! I pay bills twice/month which is when I take everything out of my file pocket & tend to it.