Monday, October 18, 2010

How I Do It (most of the time)

It always takes a few weeks after Summer for me to get US back in order. This house, our lives, our daily routine.
(okay...maybe a whole month!)

But I love order.
I function better when things are hyper organized.
And lists are made about lists.

The last few weeks, I've been trying really hard to be proactive about my "duties" so that I can get into a routine that I gives me more time and energy do my "ME" things.
Time to run.

Time to read/bake/sew/create.

Time to be with Mateo.

Cause without those three things...
I am NOT happy.
I am NOT me.

So how do I do that?
A couple girlfriends have asked me to share!
It's not a strict science...but I do my best to follow my "rules" so that I stress less and enjoy more.
I'd have to say, the top four tools I use to keep this family organized are:

Menu Planning
MM's (Magic Minimums)
Zone Defense cleaning
Google Calendar

CLICK HERE for my Menu Plan this week

CLICK HERE for a great description of Magic Minimums
I've commit to finishing them before starting a new project or jumping on the computer!
I have Morning and Evening ones.

Make Beds (girls do their own)
Feed Dog (girls do)
Swish/Swipe Bathroom
Bring in Laundry & Sort
Start a Load of Laundry
Quick Pick Up
Wipe down Kitchen
Unload Dishwasher
What’s for Dinner?

Quick Pick Up
Start Dishwasher
Make Lunches
Look over tomorrow's plan

Feed dog
Quick Pick Up
Homework & Backpack
Set Clothes out for morning
Wash Face
Brush Teeth

Zone Defense Cleaning
This is how this Coach's Wife puts Zone Defense to work:

I've divided our home into 5 different zones.
Zone 1: Dining Room/Kitchen/Pantry - Monday
Zone 2: Family Room - Tuesday
Zone 3: Bedrooms/Bedding - Wednesday
Zone 4: Bathrooms - Thursday
Zone 5: Garage/Sewing Nook - Friday

Each day I concentrate on a different zone. Deep cleaning in that area only. De-cluttering, dusting, wiping baseboards, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming/steam cleaning carpets, changing sheets, bleaching sinks...whatever is needed in that zone to get it sparkling.

I do my Dining Room and Kitchen in the same day because they are connected and I like to mop those floors all at once. But you might not! I do the bedrooms on Wednesdays - cause the girls are out early from school on Wednesdays and I think it's good THEY HELP! It may seem extreme to have the Garage on the list...but our Garage is an extension of our living space, with an art table, treadmill and TV in it needs to be cleaned too! It's also where my sewing "room" is - and that area gets out of control without me even trying.

After a full week, I've worked my way around the house. If I've missed a spot, (or had a busy day during the week where I didn't get it all done) I always know I can catch it the next week around. It also makes so that our weekends can be spent playing and not cleaning!

Google Calendar is my life saver. It allows you to make a calendar for every member of the family (color coded too. LOVE!) and them see them all together in one place. I also put our menu plan calendar on it each week. And the weather! On Sunday nights, I print the week ahead out and post it on the inside of our pantry doors. It's easy for me to glance at anytime to remind me what's coming up, what's for dinner, if the kids should take a sweater to school... I find that my mind is less chaotic, which means I work better, when I get everything down on paper. Google Calendar lets me do that!

OK - so there are my tools.
It might seem overwhelming, but I didn't start it all at once.
And there are definitely days it all goes awhak!
But it works...most of the time.

What are your tools?
How do you keep your household running?
Without letting it run AWAY!


Ashley said...

Okay seriously...are we the same person!??????????

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE lists!! I make lists about lists that need to be made too :)

And I love an organized house!

One of the things I just started doing with my laundry is I bought 5 trashcans. Each one is labeled Colds, Lights, Darks, Towels and Athletics (Trav's football clothes). They are set up in my laundry room so that when someone takes off clothes they sort it right where it goes. When the trashcan is full of laundry I know it's time to throw it in the wash (one trashcan equals one extra large load of laundry). Doing it like this eliminates sorting, hunting around the house for dirty laundry...AND I don't feel the need to do laundry all the time. Only when the trashcans are full!

Handy huh?! :)

Have a good morning!!!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

I also love lists. Really, really love them. And, I also meal plan every Sunday, I have to. If I don't, it is just plain chaotic! Love doing the zone cleaning also....I have gotten really bad at it though. Need to get it together! :)

Aubs said...

ahhh...its like you've read my mind with this post. my life has felt out of control and like total chaos lately and its driving me crazy!! the combo of school starting, then a sick kiddo for a week and soccer starting for both boys has done me in and i feel like i'm losing my mind! i'm working on getting back to menu planning and i do my cleaning alot like you, with certain things i do each day! i'm going to check out this magic minimums ~ sounds like something that might help me alot! LOVE you!

bleaversusan said...

You didn't get those habits from me! I remember never, I mean never being caught up on laundry...I began to think if I ever did get caught up I might actually be dead. Even with all that good organization, we still arrived at the pumpkin patch with two left tennis shoes for Molly! We had to laugh then she just went out in the muddy pumpkin patch with her pink ballet slippers on. No problem! I love your awesome mom/self! Bammie Susan

meg duerksen said...

i love those shoes.
i have been eyeing a pair of hot pink running shoes too.

you are way organized.
my brain doesn't work that way.
i sure wish it did.
i am all over the place! :)

Jodie Mac said...

Great Post! I too live and die by the Google Calendar. But adding the weather - that is genius. Thanks so much! I did not know about that function. I love my 'To Do List' App on my iPhone.

Joanna said...

I STILL have not figured out how to color code the GoogleCal or how to have it text me reminders. I definitely like it so far, though.

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