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2010 Goals: A Home Management Plan- I Need Your Help

THE HUSBAND and I just returned home from our yearly planning retreat (that is us by the huge outdoor fireplace). For the past two years  the retreat has focused on his business‘s goals, budgets etc. This  year we added setting my personal and business goals to the agenda. Gulp. I am not by nature a planner or goal setter  so it was a long process. In the end I did manage to get a few worked out.

One of my personal goals is to research and try out a few home management plans. (Notice it is not successfully implementing one. We focused on realistic attainable goals!) I feel like more structure in the areas of cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping would serve my family well.

My first attempt is to read Cheryl Mendelson’s Home Comforts:The Art and Science of Keeping House. I placed a hold on it at my local library. This way I can try it for free. If I love it then I will consider buying it.

Here is where you come in. Do you have a plan for managing your house? Do you do specific tasks on specific days? Do you use one whole day a week to get everything done? DO YOU HAVE A PLAN?!?

Any plan is better than the one I have now- cleaning when I get to it (or someone is coming to visit) and laundry when I really want to wear a shirt that is is the clothes hamper. Sitting pride aside I confess I am not an organized homemaker so if you are leave a comment and help me out, or if you are not leave a comment and make me feel better. :0)

Comments

  1. heatherlong says:

    I have actually made myself a “Chore List” just like I have for my kids. I work full time but have two very active children (age 12 and 4). I was driving myself crazy trying to get everything done in one day. I created a daily chart outlining tasks that I have to get done each day. Some daily things are on there for every day (cook supper, wash dishes, work out, update food log, etc.). I know it's redundant to put that on there knowing that I am going to do it anyway but it feels good to check it off once it has been done. I schedule each and every task and spread them out on different days of the week. For example, I'll do laundry on Tuesdays and Saturdays, water plants on Wednesdays, clean bathrooms on Mondays, clean floors on Saturday, vacuum my car on Saturdays, pay bills on Sunday afternoon, fill my pill box for the week on Sundays, etc.
    It really serves two purposes for me – 1) reminds me to do it and 2) provides a feeling of accomplishment to get it done! I have this file saved in Word and I have each chart arranged by week. I can schedule out in advance once or twice a year things like cleaning the windows or remind hubby to clean gutters. It works very well for me but everyone has to have their own system that works for them. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that I post my weekly “chore chart” on the refrigerator so all will see if I don't get my list done. My kids love reminding me to do my chores when I tell them it's time to do theirs!

  2. Have you ever read Sink Reflections by Marla Cilley? She also has a great website: http://www.flylady.net/

    She has very helpful advice that has helped me implement a cleaning schedule–now if only I could actually follow it every day I would be set! Haha! I do make sure my kitchen sink is clean every night and it helps me so much when I start each day fresh!

  3. Allyson,

    I have heard of the fly lady, it was in fact one of the systems I was considering checking out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I like the idea of checking things off daily too. It makes me feel like I have accomplished something. How long have you been doing this?
    We are also trying to implement evening family pick up time so the house stays somewhat picked up. Maybe a bit ambitious with a 4 year old and a 2 year old but if they don't learn now I will have some messy teenage boys on my hands!

  5. Simple Mom (simplemom.net) has an instruction list on setting up a home management notebook. It includes a download for her “Daily Docket” which is basically a day-at-a-glance to-do list that helps you prioritize your tasks.

    MotivatedMoms.com has a chore chart that you can purchase. It is a little overwhelming to see the whole year laid out, but she breaks down things into daily tasks. And includes reminders for things that are often overlooked (at least in my house) like clipping the children's nails or dusting the ceiling fan. I like the Half-Size Chore Planner with Daily Bible Reading.

    These two things have helped me feel like I have a handle on things. Usually 🙂

  6. I have a weekly cleaning schedule that I stick to. I have a typed list that I keep on my fridge and I am so used to it that I now have it memorized. I think the key is to clean something every day so you don't get so overwhelmed with everything. My longest task is cleaning the bathrooms and I can do that in 30 min. I also just cleaned out my kids toys because they really weren't playing with most of them. Now they play better and clean up is much easier! Good luck Katie and keep it simple because we both know what a new baby does to your routines and schedule!

  7. I also use a daily chore list (1 cleaning task per day, off on Sundays!) printed out and hung on the refrigerator. Add in Laundry on Mon/Thurs, sheets and towels on Friday. If a task just doesn't get done one day, I can get right back on track the next day without feeling like I've lost a lot of ground. In addition, I also wanted to chime in on the value of a timer. I will often set a timer for myself – 15 mins, 30 mins, whatever – and say, “I'm going to work really hard for 30 mins on X task, and when the timer goes off, I'm done.” You will be so surprised how much you can get done in 15 minutes!!

  8. Of course I have a plan! I have a plan for my plan! On Mondays I do laundry vacuum and iron and hang up our sunday clothes and menu plan and organize my coupons prepare my grocery list and get my coupons ready, Tuesday I grocery shop, Wed. I vacuum and do laundry again, I do major cooking on this day such as muffins, breads, desserts. Thursday clean bathrooms, and any little chore such as cleaning out a particular closet. Friday vacuum laundry and dust. I also homeschool Rebekah on Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Fri. I wake up early to read my bible and get any exercise done. So yeah I have a plan! The only bad thing is is that if anything ruins my plans I tend to get ticked, so what is your secret to not having a plan? LOL! I need help loosening up! But on another note, I get a whole lot done in one day, organization is key I believe with my whole heart to being successful at getting a lot accomplished in one day.

  9. I have tried to have plans, really I have:) But with small children, things are constantly changing. I am sure you know that. It seems like what worked 3 months ago doesn't work now so flexibility is a must. (For example, I used to do laundry every day, then I went to twice a week. Then I got sick of it feeling like it never ended and decided to do it all in one day each week. But now I do a bit each day, but also try to work really hard on getting it all put away two days each week.) Give yourself a lot of grace since you are pregnant! And remember, that as a stay-at-home mom with kids who stay home, you really LIVE in your house. It's challenging to keep things done as you all are there living in it. Carolyn Mahaney says when your kids are small just stick to meals and laundry! And another wise woman told me she has sinned much over the desire for a clean house. I can relate to that as I really desire to have a clean orderly house and constantly strive for that, but never quite make it. I remind myself it's better to be kind than to be a great housekeeper-would be nice to be both…

  10. I have tried to have plans, really I have:) But with small children, things are constantly changing. I am sure you know that. It seems like what worked 3 months ago doesn't work now so flexibility is a must. (For example, I used to do laundry every day, then I went to twice a week. Then I got sick of it feeling like it never ended and decided to do it all in one day each week. But now I do a bit each day, but also try to work really hard on getting it all put away two days each week.) Give yourself a lot of grace since you are pregnant! And remember, that as a stay-at-home mom with kids who stay home, you really LIVE in your house. It's challenging to keep things done as you all are there living in it. Carolyn Mahaney says when your kids are small just stick to meals and laundry! And another wise woman told me she has sinned much over the desire for a clean house. I can relate to that as I really desire to have a clean orderly house and constantly strive for that, but never quite make it. I remind myself it's better to be kind than to be a great housekeeper-would be nice to be both…

  11. i am a huge fan of “Shopping for time”. i cant remember their names right now but they do the girl talk blogs. wonderful christian approach. but it is also set out very realistic and as more of a tool to help you figure what works best for you. best of luck to you.
    i also like to stand in the organizing section of target. its quite motivating and i feel if i do a super job i could reward myself with some of the things there. plus i never find it bad standing and staring at anything in target. i have also found that third child to be quite the organizing wheel. you become outnumbered and must force yourself into a routine. hard but rewarding.

  12. mmslattery says:

    I think it's great to hear all these suggestions for spreading out housework; I hope to try a few myself. Personally if I don't hear CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH, then it's not time to vacuum. Hey, I vacuum once a month whether it needs it or not! 😉 I'm good with laundry, grocery shopping, and home cooked meals every night. I'm not a total slob.

    I would encourage you, however, to use this time truly for research and trial and error. The final months of a third pregnancy and the beginning months of a newborn are NO TIME for stressing over cleaning. You need to take care of you and the baby and let others (like the husband) pitch in on the cleaning. SAHMs especially feel guilty if we're not scrubbing down every surface all day long, but feeding and bonding with your baby far outweighs any need to keep an organized house. This is the time you can justifiably stop cleaning toilets (because of the chemicals) and not carrying loads of laundry up and down stairs. He carries, you fold. And let friends bring you meals for at least the first 6 weeks. Hey, you've got a support group right here. All you have to do is ask. It's ok to be a little selfish right now! You'll have the rest of your life to clean.

  13. theduttonsummit says:

    First, I think the Lord is going to bless your humility. I also think that He will be well pleased by your desire to order your life so as to be a better homemaker. 🙂 The good news is that there is PLENTY of grace to help you along the way.

    Mark has helped me come up with plan that I've been doing for a little over a month now. What I have found is that by planning specific task(s) for each day helps me to stay organized. It doesn't always mean that I will actually stick to the assigned days, but it does help me to at least stay somewhat ordered in my approach to the keeping of my home. We like to call it the “open hand approach” to housekeeping. It's a struggle because I definitely am an organized, to-do list kind of person, and I love routines. I hold tight to order and peace; thus the need for an open hand approach. There are days that laundry doesn't get done and the bed probably doesn't get made. I just pick up the next day (or the next time I can get to it) and keep moving forward.

    My plan that seems to work for us: Sunday – coupon clipping/meal planning/grocery run if needed, Monday – laundry, Tuesday – Clean Downstairs, Wednesday – finish laundry/ironing if needed, Thursday – Clean Upstairs, Friday – catch up day/work on projects such as cleaning out cabinets, organizing kitchen, etc.

    This has definitely helped me be sure that I'm covering my bases. I don't always do a deep clean (actually, I rarely do that). If laundry doesn't get folded, and it sits in the basket for us to pull socks out of … at least they are clean.

    Finally, I asked Mark to prioritize my housecleaning. For example, he really struggles with the bathrooms being dirty. So during the week, if I don't get anything else done, I make sure that I at least have his bathroom clean. Of course, he offers plenty of grace if it doesn't work out that way. However, that's my goal.

    I think the key is your heart motivation behind it all. If you're heart is set on glorifying God and that means you play with your little ones all day, then that's ok. He's called you to be a mommy too. 🙂 You can plan your days all day long, but truly it's the Lord that will direct your steps. I pray that He will help guide you to become the homemaker that he desires for you to be! Look forward to hearing how it goes! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  14. Katie, I am in the same boat as you, with small children running around. Don't wait to do it all in a day, it will drive you crazy. Clean in spurts 15 mins here and there, while the kids are occupied or let them help. Also try to divide the chores so you have one room/ large chore a day to do in addtion to the daily things. And to keep up with the laundry try a load a day. either put it in at night or first thing in the morning. One load a day beats 5 in one. hope this helps. and

  15. I wish you all the luck in the world. I personally would be completely stressed out if I had a chart of things to get done and then life happens and I could not get it done. I try to live with the philosophy that if you see it needs to be done than do it (sink is dirty, then clean it, etc), Do not put stuff off to tomorrow if you can get it done today, and most importantly the world is not going to end if you have laundry that did not get done today. I seldom stop moving and am busy from morning till bedtime, work full time job, volunteer with GS, and have a visionally impaired son, so I have to be happy knowing I have done everything I can each day and know that there is always tomorrow if I couldnt get to it today. I salute you in your efforts to get organized and will love reading about your accomplishments. Thank you for all that you do.

  16. My plan?….., get the husband involved with everything you do at home. I have a 2 years old and work from 9am to 6pm… and even if I wasn't working, he still has to do his part. All I know is that I am not the only one responsible for managing the house. Paying the bills, cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, taking care of the kids is not only for “the moms” to do, dads has to contribute and do their part too…help with the laudry, cooking, cleaning, pay bills on time etc etc. Managing a house is streesfull so get your hubby to help too.

  17. I am THE list maker. I have 4 kids at home ranging from a teenager to a toddler and I HAVE to have some form of organization or I will flounder all day. We (the 2 oldest and I) have chores daily so that we don't have to do a bunch of things on the weekend. My husband works at least 10 hours a day, sometimes working on the weekend, so he doesn't have time to help around the house. When I worked, he did help and he helps when I need him (I had the flu last month and he helped out). Otherwise, I feel like the house is my “job”. We don't tackle the whole house in 1 day, for instance, we dust and vacuum on Monday, on Thursday we sweep and mop, Friday the bathrooms get cleaned. I do laundry on my own schedule…as in, I try to wait for pretty days (ha that's hard these days) and then I do up as many loads as possible and put them out on the clothesline. As wet as we have been for the past 6 months, I usually have just do laundry whenever I need it done and quit depending on the weather. I meal plan, using what's in the freezer (we have 2 deep freezes) and whatever is on sale and I do up a monthly menu. This helps in meal planning, preparation and lets me see at a glance on the refrigerator what I need to pick up at the store or look for in the sales papers. It also gives me flexibility to switch around my meal plans when a sale comes up and I avoid the I don't know what to fix for supper at 5pm panic. Of course, we have a schedule for our homeschooling as well but the older kids do pretty good at staying on task. I keep the littles on task. Occasionally the unexpected comes up but it generally doesn't bother me because everything is pretty much running itself at this point (in other words, my house is consistently cleaned so if I have to stop my plans for a few days, the house remains okay whereas if I only clean when I feel like it or sporadically, then I have an emergency, chances are my house will be a pit before I can get back to cleaning it). When my older kids were littles, I did alot more on my own and I worked during nap time. I also made a point to get up about an hour before they did, to have my Bible reading done and to start my day before their demands began. It is doable. I am a naturally organized person, firstborn and “bossy” so if a person is not a Type A personality, I don't know how hard (or easy) it is to adhere to a schedule. My firstborn daughter is a Type A and is a hard worker so it makes the home run smoothly as well. Enlist your kids and don't worry if it's not done perfect….my toddler folds wash rags and boy you should see them but hey, as long as they fit into their place under the sink, who cares? They're folded and out of the way and she is learning to work and she is very proud of herself too. I try to have things reasonably looking okayish before my husband comes home, he works in a physically demanding job outside every day for 10 hours and if it were me, I would hate to come home to a pit, so we tidy up a bit and try to have supper at least started. Might be old-fashioned but it works for us. Good luck…hope you strike upon something that works. If you're about ready to give birth, all that goes out the window! LOL That baby will put you on a schedule for a while but it will all smooth out into a routine and then I would think more about having a schedule at that point.

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