Monday, October 3, 2011

31 Days: Find a Schedule That Works For YOU!

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Finding a schedule that works for YOU is an important part to creating peace in your home. It brings some order to the craziness that we are presented with on a daily basis.

Before I had kids (and even while my first one was pretty little), I usually spent one day doing the majority of my cleaning and then just tried to maintain it on a daily basis. I also was working 14 hour days at the hospital so I had no choice but to clean everything on my days off.

Pretty soon, I realized that I couldn’t realistically get all of my cleaning done in one day anymore. Many people are able to get it all done in one day and that is great, but it just wasn’t working for me.

I started designating days that I would do certain tasks….for example, every Friday I washed the girls sheets and every Monday I washed our sheets…I cleaned out the fridge on Thursdays since it was pretty empty in preparation for grocery shopping on Fridays. The problem was that I never wrote any of this down! Then I would realize…for example…that I hadn’t dusted the ceiling fans in a couple of months.

Finally, I sat down and made a list of all of the things that I wanted to get accomplished each week…monthly…twice a year…etc…
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I added things to the list as I thought of them. At one point, I literally walked through every room in my house and made sure that I had included everything that I wanted. I’m sure that I will eventually come across something that has been overlooked, but I’m OK with that. I will just re-evaluate my schedule and how it is working every once in a while and change things up and add things if I need to.

So…without further ado….here is how I organized my schedule:
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I have read quite a few blog posts recently featuring different daily checklists. I took little bits and pieces from each one and personalized them for my own use.

I have one for each day of the week M-F and just one for the weekend. I typically try to get most of my cleaning done during the week so that I don’t have to worry about it on the weekends.
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On each day, I have a section for my “daily” tasks as well as the tasks that are assigned to that day. When I add the meal for the day in the “Dinner” box, I also review the recipe and add any prep work (chop vegetables, shred cheese, marinade meat, etc…) that I may be able to get done if I get a free 10 minutes. It really helps out when dinner time comes around if some of the prep work is already done! Watch for a post on how I do my meal planning later this month!

I also have a section for paperwork so that I don’t end up with the “before” picture of my desk from this post {here}. I usually do 2 loads of laundry each day and maybe 1 during the weekend. This includes my sheets, towels, kitchen towels, cleaning rags, kitchen rugs, etc… They are each assigned a day!

Now..as much as I like to try to get the “assigned” tasks done each day…they are not set in stone. There are some days that everything on the list doesn’t get done because we have extra errands that we have to run…or we are just having an “off” day. Not a problem…I just add it to the next days list. Depending on the task, I might even skip it altogether until the next week. For example, if I didn’t get around to cleaning the back window, it’s not going to hurt anything if I just wait until next week to do it, right?

Obviously, this has the potential to get out of control if I keep adding the previous days tasks to the next days list, but it seems to be working for me so far. I have just learned to prioritize each day’s tasks. I choose which task is more important to get done during the time that I have available to complete it. I don’t really plan my day around it…I just refer to my list when some spare time pops up!
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I am definitely a “list maker” so I love being able to mark things off the daily list. It really helps me see that I did accomplish something that day…even if the floor is covered with toys by the end of the day and I am rushing to get dinner done in time.

I have laminated each list and use fine tip Sharpies to add tasks and check off completed tasks. At the end of the week, I just use some rubbing alcohol to wipe away the marker. Works like a charm!

So…what works for you? Are you a list maker? Do you complete all of your cleaning in one day so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week? I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Next, read {Day 4: How to Manage Stress}

Check out these other “31 Days” participants:

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