Monday, January 31, 2011

A bit less disabled.

Remember the other week, when I was complaining about cleaning my apartment?  Well, Tony and I were discussing the problems and I realized it really boiled down to a lack of organization  and poor time management.  I sort of felt like I did before I lost the weight last year, like I knew how, but just wasn't ready.  I know how to clean, I know how to spend my time more wisely, I just wasn't ready or rather, just didn't want to.  I felt a real fear of failure.  I've tried to make lists so many times and have never followed through with any of them.  It's something I've struggled with since becoming a stay-at-home mom.  Anyway, that night, after Tony and I talked, I said my prayers and felt a real need for repentance in this matter and the inspiration and courage I needed to change.  

So, over the next few days I started making another cleaning list and on Sunday night, I entered it into Excel.  Now, you know I mean business if I'm willing to use Excel.  I've had too many jobs that turned "spreadsheet," into a dirty word.  I came up with a list of chores that need to be done on a daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. basis, as well as a list of Saturday chores to be done monthly for bigger jobs.  

I put my plan into place last Monday and knew before the end of the day that this system had changed my life.  I worked diligently all week to keep track of my tasks and mark them off on the sheet (oh the power of a measurable goal).  Our home is cleaner and more peaceful.  The benefits have been several after only a week.  One major blessing is the loss of stress.  I no longer look at a pile of stuff on my dresser and wonder, "when will I have time to get to that?"  It's on my list for Wednesdays.  I no longer feel guilty about putting things into my "inbox," because that's on the list for Mondays.  I also broke up my least favorite job, the bathroom, into smaller, easier sections.  It's worked amazingly and every day the bathroom feels clean, instead of the 30 seconds after spending an hour cleaning in there.  

Another benefit has been the lack of what the FlyLady refers to as CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome).  On Wednesday, when I needed to fill in for preschool, I felt confident telling everyone to come over because I knew my place was clean.  I've seen the benefit of my example for Lucy, as well.  She has responded well to cleaning up all the toys before movie time and will even take her water sprayer and spray down the kitchen and then tell me, "don't go in there, there's chemicals."

Speaking of my children, I started to worry about the one unborn and worried about the increased amount of 409 I've been inhaling, so I decided to take advantage of a book on homemade products my MIL gave me a couple years ago.  I made my own "tough multi purpose cleaner," and "Super glass cleaner."  They work perfectly and cost a fraction of even "off-brand," cleaners.  Next, I'm going to try the bathroom cleaner.

So, 2010 was the year of getting the weight loss thing under control and 2011 is now the year of the dirt and clutter loss.  I'm thankful I've been given the strength to make these positive changes in my life.  It sure feels good.


lissyfarnz said...

Yeah for you, Anna! Your place looked great both times I was there this week. :) You might enjoy visiting It's a free chore-organizer service that will even send you email reminders (although your spreadsheet sounds pretty cool, too!)

GramMO said...

OH Well dear daughter of share.This may be just what will save me. I always had in my mind a file box that would have 3x5 cards in them labeled by the day week and month etc so I could daily pull out the appropriate card and got to town, well not actually "go to town" unless it was on the list but you know what I mean...I'd love to see your spread sheet. I' d love to see you. two weeks is such a long time. Thanks for sharing I'm looking forward to our visit!

Benjamin said...

In my limited sense, I understand. Two nights/days a week I am a stay at home Dad while Shelly is either asleep or at work. I find it very difficult to clean anything, let alone study like I'm supposed to. Taking care of a child does not lend itself to multitasking, at least for me. I'm always afraid it he's quiet and I can't see him that something is wrong--and he can't even walk yet.

Betty Friedan (who wrote The Feminine Mystique) said of stay at home parenting that the difficulty with doing chores was that we actually have too much time to do the simple tasks before us. Not being challenged, we procrastinate, letting the "task expand to fill the time allotted."

I think I just nerded out. Sorry. I read you blog all the time. I wish we lived closer.


Missi said...

Anna, I can really relate to this post. Last year was our "year of the crazy pregnancy & thesis" (though the past few years have been "the year of the crazy thesis") and now that those two things are done, I'm ready to take the house back! Some serious organizing needs to happen along with some regular cleaning.

I can relate to what Benjamin said too - having Colton makes multitaking, and getting much of anything done, almost impossible sometimes, though I have tons of time now. The Moby & husband are the only way I get anything done, at least without angry screeching (from the babe - not me ;)) filling the house.

Would you mind emailing me the homemade cleaner "recipes"? I'd love to try them.

Good luck with your organizing/cleaning!

Anna said...

Hey Missi, again. ;)
My lists are still working like a charm and my home is nice and clean 99% of the time. I love it. The only cleaners I've used so far are the Tough multipurpose (which I use for everything) and the Glass cleaner.

1/3 C white vinegar
1/4 C rubbing alcohol
3 1/2 C water

Tough Multi Purpose:
1 1/2 Pints water
1/3 C alcohol
1 t. ammonia
1 t. dishwashing soap (I use Dawn)
1/2 t. lemon juice (I just use a healthy squeeze)

They both work great. You have to wipe a bit more with the glass cleaner than you do with windex but it doesn't leave any streaks.

Missi said...

Awesome! I'm glad your lists are doing the trick! Would you mind if I bummed your lists from you?? Our household needs might be a little different but it'd give me a good place to start & maybe I could get our cleaning under control quicker! I'm going to try the homemade cleaners! Thanks for sharing those!