January 10, 2012

my obligatory new years post, part 4

this is the last post of my new years, lets get organised and awesome series! i hope you've had fun reading it and that you have found a few helpful things along the way.

so last time we talked about menu planning. i hope it is working for you, and just so you know, it took me months to figure out how to properly plan. in fact, i'm still figuring it out. so don't get in a frenzy if it takes awhile for you to find a rhythm of what you like and how it works out. i forgot to mention that in the last post, because i'm a brat.

also, i hope your tanks are serving you well this fine day!

so let's get to it and talk about house hold calendaring.

first, make a list of all the chores that need to be done around your house, on a weekly basis. and don't freak out. here's mine.

clean the bathrooms
mop and vacuum all floors
put the trash on the curb
take out recycling (this isn't just to be picked up but to dump it from our kitchen bin, too)
clean out fridge
change sheets on our bed
change out all hand towels
light dusting and checking windowsills
clean desk spaces

a few times a year when i get that crazy, deep cleaning urge, i'll bust out with wiping down baseboards and taking things off the wall to dust. so i don't include that here. for me, i just need to have a space in my calendar where i can make sure i'm checking each one of these off each week so things don't get funky around here. take away and add what you need to, for what is best for your family.

of course, this list doesn't seem too long, but we all know, for example, that 'cleaning the bathroom' means several things: scrubbing the toilet, the sink, the bathtub and/or shower, wiping down the counter, cleaning mirrors, emptying the trash...so keep that in mind. you don't want two tasks like that back to back on a day where you just don't have time for it.

also, you'll notice i didn't include laundry or dishes. that's because this is a continual, ongoing process in our house. it's just part of who we are. we know that after eating dinner, we need 20-30 minutes to wipe everything down and do the dishes. we like to enjoy this over a glass of wine. or sometimes dan puts in his headphones and gets after it to some kind of awesome beat. but if this isn't a good rhythm, of course, specifically set aside a day or two for dishes, laundry and folding laundry, ironing, polishing your grandmother's silver...you get the picture. consider your own needs and what will work best for your family.

i encourage spreading these chores out during the week. for me it comes down to a serious 3 days a week, if i spend 10 minutes every day, or ever other day, picking up after ourselves, and washing our dishes in a timely manner, and scouring the house for empty dishes and other knick-knacks. i can always find a few minutes in the day for this, and if i'm sticking to my guns,  i am almost always house-guest ready at a moments notice. 

here's how it breaks down in our house. and as mentioned previously, it's only three days a week that we have heavy lifting! bam. that's less than half of the week! (note: i feel this will absolutely all change when we have little rodriguez's. organisation that encourages flexibility people. write that down!)

mondays - put out the trash and recycling day (seriously. i don't even have to do anything because my husband is totally awesome.)

fridays -  clean out the fridge day! this is because saturday is grocery day and i need to throw away any remnants of leftovers and make sure any spills in the fridge are cleaned up and to change out the coffee grounds or baking soda if needed---we alternate these to keep our fridge fresh. so fresh. and as one might also advocate, so clean, clean.

i also make sure my tupperware is washed and ready. when i get home from the store i'm a cutter-upper and veggie/fruit washer. last week we had 4 butternut squash, and i immediately cut, skinned and cubed them so when i was ready to use them they were completely prepped. if i don't do this when i get home, i become rushed during the week, and forgetful and scatterbrained when cooking a meal. a few weeks ago, i failed to adhere to these steps, and a week later found a bag of grapes in one of my reusable shopping bags. ew. but seriously, i say that to assure you that even i can't/don't/won't follow the things i know help me function at my best. i'm not perfect. far from it. sometimes you just have a bag of moldy grapes, and that's that!

saturday - this is our biggest cleaning day. i always start my day by stripping our bed of all it's sheets and pillow cases, grabbing our used up towels from the bathroom, and throwing them in the wash. then i make up our bed with new sheets. while the wash is washing, i then grab a giant trash bag and empty all of our smaller trashcans into one big bag. BOOM! easy as pie. so far, this has taken approx 15 minute of my day. this is followed by dusting, cleaning off our desks, and also that little space in the kitchen where mail and random junk tends to pile up. this is a mutual effort. dan is in charge of all mopping and vacuuming, and basically cleaning any surface that our feet could possible touch. i am in charge of scrubbing bathrooms, top to bottom. with our powers combined, our house is spic and span well before lunch.

i hope this helps you. sometime typing things out and making a plan helps me to not become so overwhelmed by the four bedrooms, three bathrooms and two living rooms under our roof. breaking things down into sizeable, attainable, realistic chunks, is what it's all about. then you just take it one day at a time. and then you are able to be flexible through your organisation! have last minute house guests? move that bathroom cleaning to friday night! done. you can do it!

i truly, truly, maddeningly hope this series has helped you take a look at some ways organisation can help you to become more flexible. i understand all to well, how things can get overwhelming really fast. i work a full time job, and cook almost all our meals. we also remain very active in our community and church, and still find time to have date nites and face time with the hubs--that is a lot to do! all of these tools help bring balance and sanity to my day to day life.

on an even more personal note, i will say that the root of this for me, is Jesus. because his gospel teaches hospitality, nay...commands it, my desire has aligned with His, and i want to have a house, a space, a life that is open as much as possible to generouisty and inviting others into our life. being in community-having people in your life that you walk daily with, confess to, are confessed to, supporting and encouraging you, being supported and encouraged by you, rebuking and loving--these streets are always two ways...is incredibly life giving.

and i'm not perfect at this. know that. accept it. love it. embrace it. none of us ever will be. it's a constant need to balance. these are a few things that help me get close to that point, and these tools help me to focus on my family first. as it should be. if you must know, i stayed in my pj's until 4pm today and the soup i spilled on the rug in my kitchen last week is still screaming at me. there are still remnants. that's all i'm saying. :) that piece of floor might be forever a little discolored, but it's a reminder, as i greatly need, that it's okay to be imperfect at this. mouths still get fed, everybody gets out the door wearing clothes in the morning. it's going to be okay. and we need each other, friends. we need each other desperately. to encourage, to love, to stand in the gap at times, the list goes on.

i've gotten such a great response to this series. thank  you for that. maybe i'll write more! love to you all, and as always, thanks for reading.

part 1
part 2
part 3

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