Friday, May 29, 2009
Organized Mom :) or at least how to look like one...
So I'm a bit of a NEAT FREAK. The smudges on my floor once drove me nuts and I would wash the floor over and over again. I can't stand clutter. I even clean up other children's toys at playgroup and not always when they are DONE with the toy.
I have relaxed a bit, and am enjoying the day more and not spending it filled with anxiety over the mess. I seem to have found a balance between living and having fun and being organized in the home.
So I thought I would share some of my tips, secrets, tried and true methods (note after reading this I noticed I sound a bit high and mighty perhaps, believe me my house does get dirty, you should see the baseboards they really need to be washed....this is just MY WAY and it works well for us, maybe you might walk away with some stuff that works for you)
Keeping the house clean:
I have a weekly schedule I follow, sometimes I shift a day back if the day is crazy busy or the kids or sick or something. Following this schedule has really helped me ease my anxiety, ie. I am only ALLOWED to wash the floors on Monday...I give myself permission to let it go the rest of the week, otherwise I would be washing them everyday or more LOL. The other thing that works for me is that my weekly cleaning is done by Wednesday and the end of the week and weekend is enjoyed without cleaning to worry about. Doing this every week plus my tidying keeps things maintained well and cleaning does not take long.
Monday: Main Floor (vacuum floor, wash floor, Windex ( I say windex but i use a natural cleaner), wipe leather couches, wipe outside of appliances, dust) Takes an hour, that's all!
Tuesday: Bathrooms (wipe down with natural cleaner tubs, shower, sinks, wash floor, and toilets, mirrors) I also vacuum the upstairs carpet. Takes one hour that's all :)
Wednesday: Vacuum basement carpet, and one EXTRA JOB (like cleaning microwave, cleaning a chair etc)
TIDY TIDY: "A place for everything and everything in its place"- Martha Stewart
I am a tidy freak! I hate clutter and tidying is second nature to me :) I recently was looking at the spring cleaning plan on Simple Mom and they showed the before and afters of the rooms after decluttering...I have to say my befores look like there afters :) LOL
So we have a RULE in my house, it works, its second nature to us all (although sometimes we relax and let it go) The rule is you don't leave a floor of the house (upstairs, main, basement) without tidying up your stuff. Even the kids help out, its becoming habit for them. It never takes more than 10 min and usually only 5. 5 MIN of your time and you save yourself so much time later on, and the house is maintained. This works best if you have a place for things to go. For instance, we have toy bins on each floor. In our bedroom we have baskets to throw their toys in, bags for books. The main floor and basement are the same. So tidying up is usually as simple as picking up toys and throwing them in baskets. Dishes are always put away right away, again just saves time later on down the road.
Oh and here's a tip and pet peeve WHEN YOU COOK CLEAN AS YOU GO...seriously when a meal is on the table in my house there is barely anything left to clean but the dishes on the table. Hence after dinner is an EASY clean up, not a huge task and we are moving on to relaxing :) I hate having to clean up the big messes other people make when they cook :) LOL no not really LOL :(
Managing KID CRAP:
Oh kids, they have so much stuff!!!! I have a few things I do that helps mange this.
-I like to rotate their toys. I have bins of toys in the laundry room sorted into categories (things that go, blocks, dolls, doll stuff, little people, dress up etc. ) I rotate a bin on the main floor, keeping the toys interesting to the kids and cutting down on the amount of stuff that is out.
-We have toys that belong in the basement, they don't come upstairs (ok sometimes they sneak one up, but it goes home later on :)
-We have a big book case on the main floor and I have drawers for kid stuff ( one for play doh stuff, one for puzzles, one for coloring etc.) If one of these activities is taken out it goes away before another comes out.
-We have bags and baskets of books all over the house, the kids love reading them (ok looking at them and eating them)
-As soon as they grow out of toy it goes into storage, you should see how fast I got rid of the bouncy, the swing, the exersaucer, ahhhh I hate those big plastic beasts!!
-I try to limit what we get or toys, try to stick to wooden, well made toys, limit the plastic stuff, make sure its a toy that will get lots of use and can be used for more than one thing. Both my kids have had birthday parties where guests didn't bring presents and instead brought donations to a charity. I mean really they don't need all that stuff.
-I have a bucket for all those little happy meal toys, I take it in the car on trips to keep the kids busy.
-I love the idea of handmade toys
-in keeping with limiting the use of big plastic toys, if we are going to get something like this I like to get it second hand so we are REUSING.
We have a basket, a small white plastic bin on the ocnter that we fill with recycling. Once its full we put it in the appropriate bins in the garage. I empty it a few times a day.
PAPER: Stuff box
We have a stuff box, its a wooden box painted and it says STUFF on the top. When mail, important papers etc come in anything that should be saved. It goes in the stuff box. EASY. Once the box is full we take 10 min and sort the contents into an accordion home folder that has places for everything from insurance, banking, mortgage, personal etc. The stuff box is empties maybe every 4-5 months. Again this is just an easy way of having a PLACE for things. MANAGING the clutter.
HAVE FUN, I mean really have fun :)
It may sound like my poor children live in a rigid house hold but that's so far from the truth. They are playing play doh right now its all over the floor and table and I am letting them go for it When they are done it takes 3 min to pick it up, and sweep. CLEAN.
A few weeks ago, I filled a big roast pan with oatmeal and set in on the kitchen floor with cups and spons etc. The whole floor was soon covered in oatmeal. But when they were done it only took 5 min to sweep it up :) In fact, I think the oatmeal really helped the floor get clean. Like how schools used to use a dust compound on the floors to sweep (Dustbane makes it).
I guess that's the KEY, tidy up immediately, it doesn't take long, it doesn't build up, and it makes me happy :)