‘It’s only February.’, I tell myself, in response to the guilt I feel every time I walk past my Christmas tree stand and boxes of décor, in the hall outside the attic door.
‘Tomorrow.’, I say affirmatively, whenever I have to give the linen closet a hip check to get it closed, with out bedsheets tumbling out.
‘By the end of the week.’, I mutter as I walk by the giant letters THANK YOU CARDS written on my kitchen dry erase board.
Here is the truth: The items on my To-Do list have been there for long enough that I have gotten TOO used to putting them off. Once I reach that point, it is pretty safe to say, instead, ‘I’m never going to do that.’.
THIS IS NOT OKAY. It is not easy to stay positive and motivated when I spend my days surrounded by guilt inducing reminders of all the things I haven’t done. I realized I needed a change, STAT. If my old system of Lists, obviously was not working, I wanted to at least try something new. I decided to recruit my iPhone to help.
Here is a problem that I have: It would appear that I am only capable of cleaning one room a day. It sounds crazy, but listen: I subscribe to the philosophy of ‘If you are going to bother doing something, you best do it right’. This means that I can’t just wipe down my counters, sweep my kitchen floor and move on. I start scrubbing the walls, which make me notice the thin layer of dust on the trim. After the trim, I notice the cabinets have dust in the crevices and the occasional food spot. Staring out the window as I scub, I notice the window is dirty, and the window track needs cleaning… OMG it goes on for hours. I spend 4 hours in the kitchen, while the rest of my house looks like a bomb went off.
OK, so we have pinpointed my problem. Do any of you have this issue or is it just me???
I remembered something I had read a long time ago:
So this is what I have done this week (AND IT IS WORKING GREAT!):
I set timers on my phone in fifteen minute intervals, between the hours of eleven and three.
11:00 – Make beds
11:15 – Laundry (gather from around the house, start a load, fold what comes out of dryer)
11:30 – Living Room
11:45 – Downstairs Kitchen
12:00 – Lunch
12:30 – Internet, Work on blog, Pay bills
1:00 – Son’s Room
1:15 – Daughter’s Room
1:30 – Upstairs Bathroom
1:45 – Laundry
2:00 – Blog
2:30 – Upstairs Kitchen (yes, two kitchens to clean)
2:45 – Downstairs Bathroom
3:00 – Hallways and Foyer
I have gotten so much more done in 15 minute intervals, than I would have gotten accomplished meticulously cleaning each room one after another. It is amazing. It took a few days to get each room to where I wanted it to be. Many times, it was hard to walk away from a project that I knew I wasn’t finished with, when the alarm went off. I am so glad I stuck to the plan, because the results are staggering, compared to my old way of doing things.
Possibly this is how the rest of you have always done things, and I am late to the game? IDK, but I figure there must be a few people out there like me, that may appreciate trying this out.
What other systems do you have for keeping your houses neat as a pin? I love hearing new ideas and systems! Tell me!!