Thursday, October 25, 2007

it's time

I've been thinking a lot about time management lately. As a teacher, my days were planned out weeks ahead of time. My time and my classroom were so well organized, I look at my life now and I think what happened to that? While I am so blessed to be home with my kids every day and am amazingly thankful that I have the desire and the ability to do that, I many times feel like my days are just a blur of nothing. I feel so busy, like my days are crammed full... but crammed full of nothing. How can I feel so overwhelmed and yet so bored and restless so often at the same time? It's been on my mind a lot that I'm probably not being the best steward of the time that the Lord's given me with my kids and making our family a home.

I came across this quote the other day that really hit home.
"We say we waste time, but that is impossible. What we really mean is we waste ourselves."
-Alice Bloch

So I just thought I'd share a little progress going on around here. Maybe it's the change of seasons, maybe it's the start of school, maybe it's getting settled in and feeling at home here... but whatever it is, I'm pretty happy with the way things are working around here lately.

I've been sticking to a new schedule...
  • Mondays are kind of recovering from the weekend (some people spend Saturdays cleaning... we tend to let things go all weekend. Our house can be absolutely spotless on Friday evening and then look like a tornado hit by Sunday night.); general picking up plus vacuuming and dusting.
  • Tuesdays don't really have an assignment yet, as we have dance class in the AM and preschool in the PM.
  • Wednesdays are laundry day. Including all the bed sheets.
  • Thursdays are Project days where the kids and I spend the morning doing, baking, making or creating something fun together.
  • Fridays are another general pick-up day, making sure we start off the weekend with a tidy house, along with more vacuuming as well as mopping the kitchen floor.

Jobs like cleaning the bathrooms and washing windows and stuff will happen as needed on one of the cleaning days.

Everyday things like making beds and the kids keeping their rooms (and playroom) neat and clothes put away, as well as me and my dishes, are happening on a more regular basis and we're getting into good habits of keeping up on that. I've been making a point of cleaning up the kitchen while the kids eat lunch and things like that.

For many of you, you may think, um, duh... that's just common sense, isn't that the way you keep house? But for me, no. I'm the type of person who makes a mess and walks away. After the effort of making a meal or doing a project or finding clothes that make up the right outfit... I don't want to deal with the mess. I'd rather get on with what I want to do next, and attack the mess later. When I have to. I'm the type of person who doesn't just clean up the kitchen after lunch. I do the dishes when there is no more room in the sink or on the counter. I do laundry when I'm out of clean underwear. I vacuum when I would be embarrassed to have someone see my carpet. I mop the floor when I'm sticking to it.

The last few weeks though, I've been making a point of being on top of things. The kitchen is more often than not, really clean. I've even been Swiffer Wet-Jetting the floor pretty much every day (thanks Sawyer) and vacuuming twice a week (yes, mostly because Sawyer's messes require it). I've been keeping up on laundry and even had it all washed, dried, folded and put away within 24 hours! That's unheard of for me. The house has been mostly picked up, with the kids' playroom even being cleaned every evening before bed. And in between all that, I've spent the last few weeks doing some serious Fall Cleaning like washing the windows inside and out (tracks and casings too) and vacuuming down the corners and baseboards and behind furniture and such. Again, not normal housekeeping for me. And like I've said before, the meal planning and preparation the last few months has really helped with this feeling of organization as well.

So. I'm feeling more intentional on the house front, which results in a little more calm around here I think. For me at least. There's not the overwhelming feeling hanging over my head that there's always something needing to be done. I kind of like it.

So tell me, how do things work at your house? How do you manage your time? Do you have a routine, or do things just happen when they need to? For those of you that are at home during the day, do you have a "schedule" you keep or do you just make up the days as they come? With kids, do you manage to keep your house clean all the time? Do you care?

Other Thoughts for Thursday:


Nicole said...

Manage my time? I'm horrible at this, especially lately. Right now I'm sitting on the couch and beyond the laptop I can see two baskets of laundry that have been sitting there for 2 days, unfolded. My sink is full of dishes (dirty AND clean). I have mountains of laundry downstairs to do and there are a zillion things I should be doing other than blogging. But... what am I doing? Blogging.

I always have good intentions to "be productive" once I'm home from work, but by then I'm usually exhausted and just want to sit on my butt all afternoon. I used to try the Fly Lady's cleaning program (there's a website... or something like that?) where each day was dedicated to cleaning a "zone" of the house. And each evening you did a light "pick up" and made sure your sinks were all clean (no dishes in them etc). It was nice to follow that but when I try to implement it again Ryan never follows and we both end up slacking.

Tracy said...

I feel like I can never catch a breath since I have returned to work part time. I feel like I'm rushing the kids from here to there way more than I like. I am sitting in my meeting this morning thinking how long this year is going to be. :( With that in mind I think my house has been a mess.

We spent a fortune remodelling and I swore I would keep it spotless. AAHHH!!! I can't keep up.
I used to do flylady and Jeff loved it!! Her philosophy was to never go to bed w/o a spotless sink. I did that for about 2 weeks. Laundry is Jeff's deal since I HATE folding it.If I would do it I think he would be the happiest man alive. I do need to institute a new plan in our house w/ getting the kids rooms clean. Our plan at one time was that Jeff takes care of Sammy's and I do the girls. The person at the end of the week w/ the cleanest rooms won something. This was great but I found myself cleaning the girls rooms and then only letting them play in Sammy's room so I could keep theirs clean :)

I also try to clean the house top to bottom on Fridays. It doesn't always happen. I have to do a better job and would love to hear other plans. This stresses Jeff out. His parents were over today and I know they cleaned the kids rooms. I always feel like the bad wife that doesn't keep the house spotless.
I'm also w/ you on cleaning up later on when the sink is full. I'm also guilty of doing a half hour clean up right before Jeff comes home. Every once in a while he comes home w/o calling and he gets a big shock w/ the house

Tracy said...

oops sorry about the book.

Amy said...

wow. it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things. i like your idea of designating a particular day for things. i try to do that but it doesn't always work.

i try for a room a day and to pick up nightly. this doesn't always work though. then when i get bursts of energy i try to do something that i don't always do ie, sort through paper, fill a trash bag of stuff, etc. etc.

heather said...

That is EXACTLY how I normally work... running around cleaning like a madwoman for a half hour before Ryan gets home. Then he comes home early without calling and I feel horrible because the house is trashed. Also, I started realizing that's part of what made me feel so stressed in the evenings... I was starting off on the wrong foot stressing out about all that last minute cleaning and then when Ryan got home and I had to get dinner on the table and if there are errands to run or places to go that just piled on the stress. Instead I'm really trying hard to keep on top of things so I'm not doing that at the end of the day. That's what I've noticed the most difference in; much nicer evenings.

Kristi @ Mi Vida Ocupada said...

My time these days resolves around work, school and homework. (Oh, and eating!)

Michelle Leigh said...

Well, I try really hard to stick to a schedule most days, but we are so busy, out and about that some days are just go with the flow. I don't have a set schedule on paper, but I'm sort of anal in my mind about what time it is and what we should be doing. As far as cleaning, well, that isn't even in my schedule! I usually do what I can during naps, if I'm not exhausted and during dinner when I'm not able to devote 100% to the kids anyway. I think you are doing great. With kids running around, it takes everything just to keep them clean, happy and safe so don't worry too much! It will work itself out.

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