I remember back in psychology class years ago the teacher was talking about how there are two kids of people; people who can look at a picture and process the whole thing at once, and people who have to look at the picture one segment at a time and then put it together in their minds. I remember looking at the example picture in my textbook and seeing quite obviously that I am the later type of person. Its interesting to me to see that it very much translates into other areas of my life as well. Those of you who follow this blog can probably see that by the way I set up my weekly lesson plans. It's not that I follow them to a tee, but without them, I would probably be curled up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere not getting anything done.
This is the case with cleaning as well. Surveying the entire house overwhelms me and stresses me out, so I do nothing (or well, not much). I need a list...something to physically check off each day. I've tried things on the computer, but somehow that just doesn't do it for me. I've tried a generic weekly/monthly list posted on the fridge, but that is too easy to cover up, and really it's giving me too much freedom, which obviously I can't handle =) I've tried flylady, which I think is a fantastic system, but the emails get overwhelming and still, nothing to check off. I've tried writing out my own list of things to do in a planner, but it gets monotonous writing the same things out every day. So, I came up with a solution that hopefully will work for me! If you are a big picture type of person, or someone who actually likes cleaning, this probably won't be your cup of tea, but I wanted to share this in case you are like me and might be able to benefit from it!
What I did was make a page for each day of the month and on each page is a list of things that need to be done in the morning, at nap time, and before bed. There is also a separate list of what needs to be cleaned for the day, complete with how long I can set my timer for each task (flylady style!), so I have the freedom to quit when it goes off. Then there is a list of what chores I have for Trevor to do. At the bottom there are extra lines for anything I might have forgotten or any extra things that need to be done that day. I made this document available to be edited by anyone who downloads it because I know that everyone's house is different, and everyone's schedule is different, and everyone's kid situation is different. You are free to change it up to fit your needs!
What I did was print out pages for a month, write the date on the top, and cross items off as I go. In the future I might try getting plastic sleeves to put the pages in that I can use dry erase markers on so I don't have to print new pages each month. So far it really is working very well. Like everything else, I don't beat myself up if something (or many things!) doesn't get done, I just look happily at what I did do that day. I'm hoping to one day expand this folder into a binder that also includes my meal plan, recipes, calendar, etc...but right now I'm super satisfied with the progress I've made so far.
I believe you just download them to your computer (from GoogleDocs) and then you can edit them to your liking from there. You will notice that some items are on every page (doing a load of laundry for example), some items are repeated weekly, and others are only on one page (to be done monthly). There are pages for the times there are a 5th Monday or Tuesday, etc. in the month and those pages have an extra item that might only need to be done a couple of times a year. If you have any questions about anything on the pages, please ask! If you think of any improvements or any items I forgot to put on my list, I'd love to hear them!
Do you use a homemaking binder? How do you keep yourself organized and motivated?
Do you need a little extra inspiration? Check out these books from the FlyLady herself...