Thursday, November 15, 2012

Daily Clean Up

THIS is a beautiful image. It is clean, freshly vacuumed CARPET. Not only can I SEE the carpet, but it is so tidy that we vacuumed the carpet today! In fact, we've added the sunroom to the Thursday vacuum chore (my son vacuums the dining room every Thursday) and this Thursday I taught my daughter how to vacuum. This is so HUGE!

Over the past year, I've seen things get picked up. I've cleaned up several rooms...several TIMES. But I have great difficulty actually keeping them clean and have despaired that this cycle would go round and round, never really enjoying tidy rooms on a daily basis and never really overcoming.

My friend Barbie told me I need to actually pick up every day. I know this is not a strange concept to most, but for me, I just never really thought about it that way. When I think about the dining room and how it has been tidy for over a year, that's exactly what happens. Sometime during each day I pick up. Now, with this awareness, I can purposefully PICK UP each day...the rooms that have been officially cleaned out can be picked up every day.

Today I did something unprecedented in all of my history. I started my day with a CLEAN UP. I decided I prefer a morning pick up to a "right before bed" pick up. I don't have to awaken to tidy...but it is sure nice to start my day with tidying. WOW, I'm astounded. We put on three songs and cleaned up for the duration of the songs...a whole 13 minutes. The kids picked up their items in the dining room while I picked up things in the dining room, sunroom and kitchen. My goal was to get the sunroom tidied, the dining room tidied and the kitchen tidied. IT WORKED! We then began our day with the usual load of laundry, and these rooms are USABLE!

I'm TOTALLY EXCITED about the near future. As I continue my projects (tidying the living room, playroom and upstairs rooms), I have HOPE that I can KEEP THEM CLEAN!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chore Box

For quite awhile, I've printed a daily checklist for each child with responsibilities and individual chores. But lately, I realized as I wanted to increase our responsibility by doing more chores together, it was becoming difficult to fit everything on the daily sheet.

Since the sheets have become habit, I decided to move us over to a card system to accommodate my growing list. I first read about this in Sidetracked Home Executives and then found that my friend used this system successfully in her home, too.

I made a spreaadsheet of all the things we do now and then added things I want to start doing. I coded each item according to who does it and on what day. Then I started making cards.

Each of us has a stack in the front for our daily items. Weekly chores go behind the day tabs. On Thursdays we vacuum, so there's a card in the Thursday section that reads "vacuum". In Monday, there are four for each bathroom and a card for the showers. Week 1 is bathroom 1, week 2 is bathroom 2, week 3 is bathroom 3 and week 4 is for cleaning the showers. We've already done two bathrooms!

Each bathroom requires seven steps (done top to bottom):
-dust lights/fan
-inside toilet
-outside toilet

Breaking down the steps, like I did with the laundry, makes this seems really simple! Sarah has been doing the mirror and counter, Dan does the dusting, fan and lights, inside of the toilet bowl and sink, I do the rest-we go top to bottom. Just like with making lunches, someday they will be skilled to do these things on their own. Maintaining this chore box helps me stay on task, not letting myself off the hook when something needs to be cleaned!

How did we get here? The process has been organic and very gradual. I've been noticing what we ARE doing and also taking note of what we still NEED to accomplish. It is AMAZING how the laundry is just a NON-issue now that we run a load every morning and fold a load every morning. We start our day with a load of laundry while yesterday's load is fluffing in the dryer. Then we fold that load. I rarely have to do laundry on the weekends and rarely do more than one load a day. We have our system in place and it is working-hooray!

I'm eager to get systems in place for the bathrooms, cleaning the car, washing a few windows, sweeping, etc. I've never in my whole life been able to conquer this area in my life, so this is really exciting! We've just kept adding little things as the days and weeks and months go by and now it is easy to keep track of it all in the chore box.

The chore box is helping me keep my house tidy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sunroom - After - FINISHED

Well, it brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. The sunroom is finished! This has been a long time coming! Thank You Lord!

The official before shots were taken December 2011.

What I love:
The kids have a table for games.
The sewing machine is accessible, but doesn't take up any important space.
The cutting table is accessible.
I can see lots of carpet!
This room is now functional and what is in the room is what we actually USE. Things that needed to go into storage are now stored. No more piles of papers, everything is neatly organized into binders.

What's left?
There are three plastic storage boxes (holiday, fabric, empty) that need homes. And three cardboard boxes that need to be gone through. The upright plastic green storage boxes (near the sewing machine) will go up in my room when the behind-the-door desk goes into my bedroom upstairs. The stack of homeschool curriculum is being sold off and if it doesn't sell by Christmas, into the giveway box it goes.

All my shelves and drawers and desks have been scoured and purged. This FEELS SO GOOD!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sunroom Desk - After

W O W. This was actually FUN once I started. I looooooove the 6-pack of 1/2" 3-ring binders at Costco for like $8! I just don't do file folders very well, I like page protectors and binders! Who knew?!

So, I moved the telephone. I know, I know, it is a CORDED telephone. I LOVE IT! I don't like cordless phones...I never seem to put them back where they belong, so I can't actually find one when it rings! The corded phone solves that problem...and I rarely use the telephone anyways.

I cleaned out all the drawers and feel like I've lost 15 pounds! Since I don't really use the file drawer, it is used for storage of empty binders and some file folders that get used occasionally. The Kleenex boxes actually belong there on the floor where I can reach them, the printer is CLEAR of debris so I can actually PRINT and my dumb bells are accessible (in case I ever want to use them-ha ha)!

This now a sleek, efficient area! LOVE the clean writing area!
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