Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Household Management Nirvana

I want to be totally honest with you all (all three of you who are still reading my blog, that is):

I have a lot of trouble keeping house. The problem with that statement is that keeping house is #2 on the list of my full time jobs (#1 being child minding). So when I'm falling down on the job and it is one of my main responsibilities, things around here get a little hairy. Or a lot hairy since we have a long-haired dog, I am long-haired, and another member of this household is just plain hirsute. So the lack of housekeeping was resulting in the kind of tumbleweeds normally seen in the Southwestern United States, among other problems.

I looked at many, many printable chore charts and came away at a loss. I don't need a chart to fill in because I could look at a blank chart all day and just feel overwhelmed at filling in the first blank. It was the same way with actually doing chores. I would get the kids down for a nap, know that there were a lot of tasks waiting for me, couldn't pin point just one that was most urgent, so resorted to tossing in some laundry, picking up some toys and throwing up my hands. Not so productive really. Which chores should be done weekly? Monthly? What jobs should I give to my children? It was all too overwhelming for my little pea-brain. I finally realized I needed a chore chart that was already filled in. Someone needed to tell me what to do. I finally found one over at Motivated Moms.

The nice thing about their chore charts is that the daily tasks are all lined up on the left, and listed on the right there are a few manageable bigger jobs on the right. If you don't manage to check a box one week, the chore comes up again later. Getting even some of those little boxes checked off is, well, motivating. I can manage to keep my house clean and not spend all day cleaning house!

It does cost $8 (or $7 with the discount code giveaways). I would pay the $7 again knowing now how well this system works for me.

I have been using Motivated Moms with Managers of Their Homes for about 3 weeks now and things around here aren't perfect, but they are much better than they used to be. I still fall down on the job a lot. But something that has been key with each of these systems is that when I do fall down I have a place to start back up. I can look at my schedule or my list and gather up the kids and myself and head off again. It's really very encouraging!


Vicki said...

I still read your blog! :) I was starting to wonder how deeply you were buried in that snow.
I think that this issue of keeping a home is a real challenge and I'm so glad you found a good system. I've sort of had to piece together a system over the years, and only in the last couple months have found that I am more often on top of things than not. I think you'll find that once you get a system, and keep encountering those same little jobs over and over, then you'll find that you just start doing them without thinking and much more gets done. You don't walk into the bathroom without putting things away, and each morning you put up a clean towel and tell a child to go wipe down the sink etc. As it begins to take less mental energy, you start to find it easier and easier to add more and to delegate more. (of course, you have to have children to delegate to, and ones that are old enough...)
Good job Jodi!! I'm going to vote for you for persevering mom of the year when the ballot comes around.

Sears said...

glad you found something that works for you. When E is having a nap and I have a job to do and I'm emotionally exhausted and just want to read, I set a timer for ten minutes and go for the job. It generally goes by quite quickly and if I haven't finished when the timer goes off I often want to complete the task anyway! Just WWFM.

Mama Mote said...

I'm here, too. We have a very small house and no kids at home anymore, so you would think I could have it together, right? HA!!! It should be easier than I make it and I'm beginning to do better. I have so many little things I want to do that are fun and I leave the chores for last. If I got the chores done, I could enjoy my other things rather than be annoyed that the chores aren't kept up. It is nice to find a system that works. That's what I'll do next. hugs

Sears said...

And me! (There, that's more than three!).
This really interests me because if I had my druthers and could go back I would be a professional organiser. It's my passion (although I still love science :-P).
Did you have a look at Flylady at any point? Some people swear by her, although I find her a bit much sometimes.
I'm glad you've found a system that works for you. Over time you should be able to tweak and personalise it for your own home and family.
Our routine is so ingrained we don't need to write anything down anymore (plus there's two of us doing it..), but if I was going to I would use You get to tick things off which is very satisfying to me.


And me too!

I might just need to go and take a look over at, sure could do with some organizational skills over this way!