Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cleaning Routines, Lots of Kids, & Not Enough Space

Or so I thought....

Before I get into all of that, I want to share with you some history.

Some of you may know that I spent some time in Iraq. It's where my husband and I met and fell in love. We came home, got married and had a baby, all in the same year. Well, more like a 3 month time span. It was a whirlwind! One that I'd never change, but one that brought many challenges.

I went from just having to take care of myself to having a husband and baby! Umm, what in the world!? I had no idea what to do. I did the best I could. I really did. We were fed, clothed (in clean clothes), healthy and relatively happy. I knew I needed to do more though. This was something I was determined to figure out.

Enter Fly Lady. Yeah!!! She had it all planned out. I just needed to do. Well, that didn't work so well for me. I got stuck somewhere between getting dressed to shoes every day and taking care of a baby as a first time mom. My ideals weren't lining up quite right.

Now, don't get me wrong, Fly Lady is awesome! I love her routines and her focus on forming good habits. I still read her e-mails for inspiration. It's wonderful!

I also use an app called "FlyHelper." You can find it in the Google Play Store. It's a wonderful app, and it's FREE. (I don't get anything by sharing, other than the satisfaction of helping another mom out who may be drowning the way I am.)

I tried Fly Lady off and on for a few years. I also tried a few other things. Some, I can't even remember the name of right now. I tried making my own. I tried following a schedule set to the time. That just didn't work for me either. If I could live my life without ever looking at a clock, I'd be one happy lady.

Throughout those years of trial and error, I found quite a few things that worked and quite a few more that didn't. I have finally found something that works for us. It involves everyone. Well, everyone except my husband since he's at work during the day. I have a clean house, that is free of clutter(mostly), toys are picked up, laundry is "done", dishes aren't scattered all over, and most of all we are happy living in. Now, if you were to knock on my door this second, you would not find a house straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Far from it. We have a small house and 6 people living in it, there's stuff here. We LIVE in our house. We homeschool in this house. If you were to walk in, right now, you'd find kids happily playing with toys and dishes in the sink. Like I said, we live here, and I'm fine with that.

Would you like to hear my big secret on how we got on top of the clutter and mess? Okay, get ready to take notes. Got your paper and pen? Here it comes....

We have started spending 15 minutes a day in each room! Ha! That's it! I set my trusty timer(thank you FlyLady) for 15 minutes and off we go! We all work in the same room, from me all the way down to my 3 year old.

We start by simply picking things up and putting them in their place. You know the saying, "A place for everything and everything in it's place." This is very important. If it doesn't have a place, you don't use it or need it, out it goes. You don't need it in your house!

Once that is done, we start on our details. For this, I use FlyLadys zones. You can find them here. Just click on "zones." If we don't have time for the details, we don't do them. At least the beds are made and everything has found it's place for that day.

Laundry is done daily also. I wash, dry and fold anywhere from 2-6 loads a day, depending on what needs to be done. At the end of the day, we all work on getting it all put away. We do this after supper when dad is home and he helps. We all wear the clothes, we all do our part. It takes us, you guessed it 15 minutes. Sometimes it takes maybe 20-25 depending upon how much we have and how well the kids are cooperating.
                                     (Picture of FlyLady's timer is used with permission of FlyLady.)

Yes, it's that simple! We spend no more than 15 minutes in one room and no less. You can do it too! So, get your timers out and give it a try. Let me know how it goes!

1 comment:

Mrs_Snelly said...

Thank you for the suggestion! All to often I give my kids a task (usually non-specific, like "pick up the family room") and then leave them to it instead of doing my own task in the same room. I love the idea of the whole family working together for 15 minutes in the same place. Thank you for sharing!