Monday, September 12, 2011

the road to hell.

Good intentions, peeps. I've got them by the bucket load. My current good intention is to really get my house in order. When S was a baby, there was only one way I could do that. I had to schedule it. Once she got older, the need for rigidity passed, but with a wee one in the house again, I find myself lost.

When was the last time I cleaned that mirror? It is so dirty.

Questions and comments like that make up a lot of my inner monologue. A lot. It doesn't help that we've brought so much new stuff into the house from Mr. P's condo. Lately, it's just been hard to stay on top of things. Especially when there is still so much to do with this house and its lovely, overwhelming lawn.

I've been working on creating a schedule. I've made lists of things that I need to do daily, bi-weekly, weekly, and monthly. Eventually, there will be quarterly and semi-annual lists, but I need to start somewhere. Luckily, there are many places for inspiration online...especially on Pinterest.

Here's what I've got so far. For my daily lists, I have a list of goals and a to-do list. The goals are to shower and get dressed, read, create/bake, exercise, RELAX, play with the kids, and go outside for fifteen minutes. The daily to-dos are to make the beds, pick up the common areas of the house, clean the kitchen counters and sink, wipe down the bathroom, tidy our bedroom and closet, sort/wash/put away laundry, and wipe down S's table and the kitchen table.

I realize that this seems absurd on many levels. Level one of absurdity: writing down that you need to relax. This is a tough one for me. My natural mode is go-mode, and I wear myself out on a daily basis. Some days I feel like I am going to fall asleep in my dinner plate because I can't keep going. I have to make myself slow down, and being the Type-A freak that I am, the best way to achieve that goal is to put it on a list. Level two: writing down that I need to play with my kids. You might be thinking, "You're a stay at home mom, that's kind of your job," and you'd be right, but sometimes the laundry or dinner seems so important that I forget that my main priority is to raise happy, healthy kids and that playing with them is part of the gig. Level three crazy: the outside thing. We are a much happier bunch when we get to go outside, and we need to do it more. Besides, the more time S spends out of doors, the more confident she is that she can go outside to play, and I want my children to play outside. I want them to play with sticks and rocks and make mudpies. I want them to explore. Getting my tail out there with them seems like a logical way to make it happen. Level four: it's a little nuts that I have to tell myself to do any of this. I know.

Moving right along...

The bi-weekly list includes: sweeping the floors, dusting the furniture, washing the towels, and scrubbing the toilets. The weekly list includes: sweeping the courtyard and front porch, tidying all the closets/dressers, vacuuming the carpets, mopping the cork floors and bathroom floors, cleaning out the fridge, wiping down the appliances, tidying the art cabinet/pantry/medicine cabinet, changing the sheets, paying bills, and balancing the checkbook. Monthly, I need to mop the wood floors*, clean the windows and mirrors, and seriously scrub the shower**.

My plan is to create a schedule from these lists that works for me. I imagine my Tuesdays and Thursdays will be pretty chore-heavy since those are the mornings that S is at school, which makes everything a little easier. I'll try to schedule chores that she helps with (like dusting and sweeping the porch) for days she's home.

This is a work in progress, people, but I feel good about trying to really make it work. How do you stay on top of your life? Do you schedule?? Do you let things slide?? Are you, unlike me, able to just remember what you're supposed to do and do it while maintaining your sanity?? Let's have some feedback, folks.

*This may seem gross to you, but the wood floors are mainly in areas of the house that we don't spend a lot of time in, so I don't feel the need to mop them a lot, especially since I keep them swept. Besides, I'm working on making us a shoes-free household.
**Again, only scrubbing the shower once a month may sound abhorrent, but since I spray the shower daily, I'm good with it. Before I sprayed the shower regularly, I scrubbed it weekly. This is a much sweeter deal. Much.


Melissa said...

Like you, I could not fuction without organization. Every Sunday I make my "TO DO" list for the week and check things off as I complete them. I include all household chores and EVERYTHING else that I need to do, or remember (birthdays, websites I've read about, etc.). My week also follows a schedule which has always conformed to the kids school schedule, as you mentioned (although much easier now since they are both in school all day). Monday is clean the whole house day (not my favorite and I tend to really wear myself out), Tues and Thurs AM is yoga class, followed by laundry (actually, laundry fits in every day except Fri, Sat and Sun), Wed is my free day to do whatever, but there is always something that needs to be done. I often schedule appointments for myself on Wednesday, if possible. Friday is devoted to errands and grocery shopping. Obviously, a lot of things cross over into different days, as I am always tidying up and doing little things around the house, but this general routine keeps me going. The "TO DO" list helps me immensly in keeping everyone's lives running smoothly, as there are so many details to remember for everyone. It sounds to me like you have a good plan. Good Luck :)

Sarah Berry said...

Omg, you two are ALIENS to me! I don't even know how to wrap my brain around these posts!! I'm clearly going about this stay-at-home-mom thing ALL wrong, hahaha!!