Organizing

I have a post brewing about some techno philosophy, but before I get to that, I thought I’d throw up some of the things I’ve put into place to keep the house organized as I return to work.  One of my biggest concerns in returning to work is having the home front be in utter chaos and not getting any support from the rest of the family, especially *cough* Mr. Geeky *cough*.  I’ve mentioned this issue a few times before.  The reason I care about this is that I don’t like stress.  Stress, as long time readers probably know, has a physical effect on me that is not pretty.  And I get stressed when I come home from work and find clutter everywhere and don’t know what I’m making for dinner and/or don’t have ingredients for dinner.  So, FlyLady really has helped me get this place in order, 15 minutes at a time.  Here are some things I’ve done:

First, the routine.

Morning:

  • Get up, throw on some clothes, walk the dog. (20-30 minutes).  Bring coffee with me (totally helps!)
  • Shower, get fully dressed, including makeup even if all I’m doing is staying home.
  • Clean the toilet (what FlyLady calls Swish and Swipe).
  • Throw in a load of laundry, bring up laundry from the dryer.
  • Unload dishwasher if needed.
  • Take Geeky Boy to soccer practice.  In the future, Geeky Boy will be walking to school about the time I get out of the shower.
  • Read some blogs, maybe write a post. Drink coffee. Have breakfast
  • Make the bed (I do this after the shower if no one’s in the bed, but lately, it’s been occupied).
  • Class prep.
  • Lunch.
  • Do FlyLady Mission (usually this takes about 15 minutes).
  • More class prep or fun things with the kids or house stuff.

Evening:

  • Make dinner.
  • Relax
  • Before bed, fold laundry and lay out clothes for tomorrow.

Some of this will change, of course, once school begins.  I plan to do the mission and 15 more minutes of decluttering after I get home and before dinner.  The classes I teach have no homework so I should be bringing too much work home, though there will always be a little bit of prep to do (which I’ll try to do at school, of course).

Here’s some other things I’ve done:

  • Decluttered areas that were driving me nuts–the station by the front door where Mr. Geeky dropped receipts and change; the shelf on the entertainment system that had a giant collection of wires, most of which were no longer useful; the cabinet under the sink in the kitchen.  None of these took more than 15-20 minutes.
  • Cleaned up my desk.
  • Devised a plan to cull some of our clothes.  I have the hangers in the closet turned in the opposite direction.  Anything that doesn’t get worn will still have its hanger the “wrong” way, so it will be easy to tell what doesn’t get worn.  I also do this in my drawers.  I have all my shirts stacked like books with their “binders” out.  I put clean shirts at one end.  Clothes that languish at the opposite end will get given away at the end of the year.
  • Continuing to get rid of books.
  • Posted the grocery list and meal list on the fridge.
  • Put all the important school dates on my Google calendar.
  • As I’m waiting for stuff–like a meal to cook or for a kid to get ready to go somewhere, I look around and pick stuff up.

I’m sure many of you already do this kind of stuff, but I just didn’t.  I thought I didn’t have time.  Or I’d do one more thing on the computer instead of picking up socks from the living room.  I’m planning a family meeting to dole out some duties.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m hoping to delegate some of the cooking and shopping.  Right now, I make two trips to get food during the week.  Usually I go on Monday and then to the farmer’s market on Wednesday.  I’ll have to shift that to the weekend and for a while, will still be able to hit the farmer’s market, but I don’t want to be the only one who has to cut into the weekend for housework.  I’m also hoping to institute an hour to do sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, etc., some of which gets done during the week now, but not enough.

It might seem silly, but I’m telling you, it makes a huge difference.  And Mr. Geeky follows suit.  I’ve noticed he makes the bed about 75% of the time if he gets up after me.  He also picks stuff up spontaneously (something he’s always done, but it’s increased).  There’s still too much *stuff* in this house, but we’re making progress.  And I feel like things won’t be insane as school ramps up.

5 Replies to “Organizing”

  1. You know it really is. The two big things to remember are 1) do a little bit at a time and 2) nothing is ever perfect. The FlyLady system is so easy, you can just start wherever and do whatever she tells you and it will make a big difference.

  2. I find it helpful to make rules for myself. Like whenever I’m heating up the tea kettle or heating up a snack in the microwave, I make myself clean the kitchen while it’s heating up. You’d be surprised what a difference that makes.

  3. Decluttering and purging during the summer really helps me, because like you, I get stressed easily by visual clutter. The next item on my list before we go back in earnest is to get a better system in place for meal planning and cooking. I had a great system in place for the year before last, but the wheels fell off last fall and we never really got back on track.

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