Sunday, February 07, 2010

Keeping my home...

When I was about Emma's age, my favorite chore around the house was cleaning the bathroom. I remember gleefully scrubbing the tub with cleanser and swishing water around in the toilet as I cleaned all its porcelain surfaces. My mom did part time work as a custodian when I was a teenager and my very first paid job was cleaning our church. I wasn't as gleeful about it then (sorry mom). Needless to say, I know how to clean. 

But nothing prepared me for keeping my house clean while mothering small children. Keeping a house is easy, right? Emma was a mess maker and by her second birthday I was beginning to realize this job might be harder than it looked. I would turn my back for 2.3 seconds and Emma could have the entire flour canister emptied into a sink full of water. Having baby #2 who is now in the mess making stage doesn't help me keep house better. The other day I thought the girls were playing nicely upstairs, but soon discovered Mandy had emptied a tube of toothpaste around the bathroom, then tried to clean it up with toilet paper that she dipped in the toilet. Yum. Let me take care of that mess right after I finish dinner while nursing baby #3.

As a stay at home mom, no matter how much I accomplish in one day, there is still more to do and more that will be "un-done" by little children in the matter of minutes. The kid-stuff messes combined with normal wear and dirtiness in the house is discouraging... um, disgusting.... and just plain nasty. I've tried all sorts of things to keep order and cleanliness in my house. While some things are great ideas like the House That Cleans Itself, the Fly Lady, or even MOTH, I had not found anything that helped me with the day to day as well as all those bigger project that there is never any time for. Reading a book is great, but I needed something now, yesterday, and tomorrow.


I know a couple of moms who follow this checklist and they love it. Ya, ya. A checklist. I can make my own "to-do" list, thank you. I wasn't interested. Then my sister started doing it too. I was at her house and saw her well organized daily list. I saw her sense of accomplishment as she was able to get things done even with me over to her house and my 3 extra children under foot. I think it has been about 5 years and 3 children ago that I felt any sense of accomplishment while keeping my home. I went home and bought the Motivated Moms Planner for $8. It is a one time fee and what I get is 365 pages of lists that I print myself. Some brilliant person already went to the work to write out everyday chores and rotating tasks that need to be done.
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The everyday chores include things that really need to be done. Every. Single. Day. Like taking vitamins. And feeding the cat. I do those things first thing in the morning and love checking off 2 things! What a sense of accomplishment. Load/Run/Empty dishwasher is a bit hard to get done, but I am doing things more frequently and with more purpose since starting this planner. I frequently have 5 or 10 minutes to be productive during the day and then I do something from the rotating chores like "change sheets," "sweep porch," "water plants" (you mean you are supposed to do that on a regular basis before they die?).

I've been doing this for about a week and a half. Honestly, I love the concept and it is really working for me and mine. My house is cleaner. Another benefit is that my husband is able to easily read my list and see what my day looked like without looking around at Chernobyl, I mean the house, and asking, "What did you do today?" It's not all roses. It is a heck of a lot of work to get the entire list done every day. I've only done EVERYTHING once. This housekeeping job is hard work. Check it out the Motivated Moms Planner if you are feeling stuck. Let me know how you keep the sanity in your house...

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8 comments:

Alyce said...

It does seem like a good idea, and I love checklists. I'd have to add or change a few things though. Like cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry seems to get checked off my list and added back on about a half hour later. :) I agree that it's nice to have some evidence of what you've done though.

I tried Fly Lady and was doing pretty well until I traded it for a blogging addiction. :)

Coleson's Blog said...

Neat idea. I love check-lists! and what a great way to show the husband you indeed have been productive. I dont know how many times I have said, "you may not see it but I did do...such and such...today.." (but wow, I have to say I have yet to have a "mess maker" mess you have had! (tooth paste...flour...eek!)

Michelle Ross said...

I LOVE THIS. Thank you!

Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs said...

YAY! Glad you are liking it, too! Love those checklists.

Linds and Manda said...

Good idea. I might give it a try. Most days I feel like I do the same things over and over and never get to some of those things that people talk about doing like washing walls and cleaning bathrooms...just joking on the last one. I do get to that but probably go do it more often. I hope you aren't doing any extra cleaning because I'm coming. I feel at home with whatever. Two more sleeps!!

Melanie said...

I think I could use this - and I don't even have any kids to make messes! I just never seem to get around to cleaning. There's always "more important" things to do!

Sara said...

So, you gave up on The House That Cleans Itself? I never gave it a full-go, but I'm still interested in trying it...when I have more time. Ha, ha. =) Another friend told me about this Motivated Moms thing awhile back. I'm still not convinced it is worth it (many of the items I would have on a different schedule, I'd include/exclude other items, etc), so I'm very curious how long you will keep with it. I'd love to hear your opinion in a couple months from now. Also, doesn't the Fly Lady basically have a big checklist of regular and rotating item to do every day? How do you think this compares with that?

PS) I usually water my plants when I see them wilting. =)

Eric & Jenni Birch said...

I ordered it last night. I tried the sample last week and it worked well for us. I took it to Bible study and the other ladies got excited too! Thanks. Jenni B