Wednesday, January 22, 2014

31 Days to a Cleaner Home-Day 16: Habits and routines.

Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going.

You know what you want your house to look like.
You have a dream, a vision, a goal for your space.
But do you have a plan?

"Our routines get things done so we can have more 
fun and enjoy our home and our families" -FlyLady

We've talked about our time and how we use it.
We've also talked about having self-discipline and motivation.
But if you don't change some of your behaviors you'll be right back to square one.

I am not naturally a tidy person.
I have had to retrain myself to maintain a tidy home.
And I've come to realize routine is really important to make this happen
Having a flexible, workable schedule that fits your life will make a huge difference.

Initially I made this "great" routine and schedule for our family.
Here's the thing though.
It was too rigid.
Too structured.
I have small kids.
They like to change things and interrupt. 
I got discouraged and stopped even trying.
I decided to try again and figure out what will realistically work for me.

Do you do certain things at a particular time every day?
Do you eat your meals at a certain time?
It's all about finding a rhythm to your day.
I started to talk about this a little bit back on day 7.
But I really just showed you my break down of my focus items 
each day and what I do on a monthly basis.

So today we're going a little more in depth with our routines.
First I went through what we already do daily.
If you have been doing something and it is working for you DO NOT CHANGE IT!
Work out the rest of your routine by your preexisting one.

I have time associated tasks.
Most of which revolve around eating, hubby's work schedule, and kid's nap/bed times.
I chose to break my routine into four slots.
Morning. Afternoon. Evening. Before Bed.
Our schedule won't work for everyone.
You'll need to figure out what does work for you.
I should also note my husband works second shift so our days differ from most people's.

Get dressed and tidy upstairs before going downstairs for the day.
All of the dishes done or put in the dishwasher before lunch time.
Start on that day's focus item.

Tidy toys before lunch. (Meaning the majority of them put away.)
Clean up kitchen and dining room from lunch.
One of Monkey's chores is to wash off the table.
Dirty dishes to the sink or the dish washer.
Spot sweep under the table.

Now something simple I have found that makes a huge difference
is when I'm cleaning Bug up from lunch, after washing his hands and face
I quickly wipe down the highchair with the same washcloth. 
It doesn't take me long but it makes the room look cleaner and 
is easier to do then instead of after things have crusted on.

Just before rest time all of the toys get put away.
When my kids go down for a nap/rest I try to do whatever 
major project I'm doing that day. 
This is typically something that is just easier to do without the kids being up.
I know this is the time of day I have the most energy and I also have a time limit.

Tidy toys before dinner.
Quick dinner clean up. (Meaning food put away and table cleaned off.)
This is the time of day when I hit a wall. I start to have a difficult time functioning.
So I try to just spend good quality time with the kids before bed.
We read books, play with toys, or watch a movie and snuggle.
After the kids are in bed I do a quick tidy of the main rooms.
After they go to bed I get a second wind (hopefully).
I spend the time between when they go to bed and when my husband gets home 
to focus on my hobbies or get any computer work I need to do finished up so when he is home I can spend that time alone with him.

After hubby is home we spend some time together usually 
either playing games or watching tv.
Sometimes he has projects to work on or just needs some time to play a game or two.
If that's the case I'll go to bed early or read a book.

Before bed:
Evaluate what needs to happen the next day.
Double check if we have any appointments, commitments, or deadlines.

I've had to also figure out exactly how much sleep I need or don't need.
If I get too much sleep then I just sleep more.
I'm tired, groggy, and have a difficult time functioning.
If I don't get enough I'm tired, snippy, and have a difficult time focusing.

Today's challenge:
It's all about balance.
Work up a schedule that works for you.
Do you have a family command center? 
Consider creating one to keep your calendar, routine list, 
daily focus, monthly cleaning, and family chore chart all in one place.

Also clear off flat surfaces.
They're magnates for piles.
If there are things that need to have a home there then designate it.
If this needs to remain an open area then you'll have to designate it as such 
and work at it to keep it cleared off.
If you have things that need to be filed sort them into groups 
then file everything all at once.
Take care of any piled up mail.
Open Everything.
Then either trash it or file it.

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