First, thank you to everyone who has commented over the weekend! Your comments are very encouraging! It's been a busy weekend for me...going to a portraiture exhibit of all things...more on that tomorrow.
Today is the first installment in a new series for Mondays on Rose's Art Lines. Essentially, I've been researching efficiency, household, and life management for the last several years and thought I'd try and pass on a few things. I'm sure that none of these ideas are original with me. I've read every book I could find, searched the web dozens of times, talked with people, etc. One resource that jumps to mind is FLYLady.net. I don't go for everything there, and there is a ton, but it has been a big help to many people.
Strategy of the week: Get the house to clean itself. I have a large home, full of boys, and yet I do not have a cleaning day. My house gets cleaned on auto-pilot. I still do the work, but I never actually think about doing it or set aside time for it (and so it feels like I don't clean.) The auto-pilot system works through routines and short bursts of effort. All the important jobs have a spot in the week...the same spot every week. This means I don't have to remember to do them. Every Monday morning and Thursday morning, I do clothes laundry. Tuesdays I do sheets. Wednesdays are towels...etc. When I'm doing the towels on Tuesdays, it's a perfect day to sweep the bathroom floors (because the rugs are in the wash). And once you've given jobs the same spot for a few weeks, you just do them...you don't ask yourself if you want to do them, you just do them to forget about them.
Then, all the other jobs just get slotted in. So, today I had ten minutes extra before nap time...the boys and I vacuumed downstairs (done for the week! :-) In the evenings, I generally do a two minute clean up of clutter spots. When I'm in the bathroom, I might give the sink a wipe down, or the toilet a scrub. The key to this is to stop thinking you have to find an hour to clean your bathroom when you see the floor has too much hair on it. Just find two minutes to grab the broom and sweep. You'll either take care of the rest when it's time (it's one of your routines) or you'll do it when it gets bad enough to bother you and you'll take two minutes.
Tip of the Week: For a job you really hate, time yourself. For me, I hate unloading the dishwasher. I used to procrastinate and whine about doing that job all the time. Well, one day, I timed myself, I went slowly, and it took 3 minutes. Right there I learned that I was letting a 3 minute job upset me, make me less productive, and color my view of my life. Now, when I am tempted to whine about it, I know 3 minutes and it's over.