Create a schedule, and do whatever it takes to stick to it!
I am categorically a free spirit. Monotony is like a cuss word to me.
At the same time, I get all excited about things that are neat and organized. The reality is – in order for something to remain neat and organized, there has to be some form of monotony, routine, schedule, mundane going on.
I have decided that in sucking it up and being an adult, I must be okay with this.
I also decided that it is healthy for my developing children to have some regularity in their lives. I don’t want them to feel insecure, unsafe, or anxious about what might happen, because that isn’t good for a developing brain.
Additionally, my total spontaneity, at least regarding my home and its level of (un)cleanliness, has caused me to feel stressed and almost at a panic when I’m at home. It was time for a change! Suck it up, MEL.
I met with my pal Lindsay about this, and she gave me the truth bomb. “You can’t live like that.” Yes, girl. She knows what’s up. She advised that I make a list of the “absolute musts” or “non-negotiables” about having a clean house and get them organized into days of the week. I can do this, I thought. I’ve had schedules like this before. And thus, it began.
Our current schedule contains splitting up duties between me and Ryan, each with a job, and with our whole evening planned each day of the week. Lindsay color coded it for whose job is what. This was our starting point, just to get some traction with this house. NON NEGOTIABLES – these MUST happen. It’s working great.
A few recommendations with this:
– write it down! It seems more official when it is written down.
– send it to a friend for accountability and approval. It was so helpful for me to know that Lindsay would ask how it was going – it inspired me to stick to it better.
– hang it up where you can see it. Seeing is remembering. You will constantly remember it if you see it every time you enter the kitchen.
– it doesn’t have to look perfect. I love pretty fonts and beautiful images. Get over it. You just need to see the words. You can make it pretty later, after you have your life together.
Now, part B of this post is the hard part. You see, I LOVE to make plans. Planning is one of the most exciting and fun parts of life. But follow through? That is a whole separate story. I am TERRIBLE at follow through. Give me a fish, I’ll eat it. Teach me to fish, I’ll never do it again even though I’m perfectly capable and starve.
But really, though.
So, I came up with a bunch of things to do that make doing these chores more fun so that they get done.
- Laminate or put the schedule in a sheet protector and mark off what you do with a wet erase marker. There ain’t nothing like crossing something off a list.
- Make a longer-term plan for rewarding yourself for fulfilling your duties. Like, if you do every chore that day, give yourself a chocolate or maybe one episode of TV. If you do every chore that week, give yourself a Starbucks trip. If you do every chore that month, give yourself a vacation to Hawaii because that’s a straight up miracle and you clearly won the lottery and hired help if that happened. But seriously.
- Make it fun. I like to set up the laundry baskets so that I have to shoot and score when I’m sorting clothes. It’s fun, and it engages my kids.
- Set timers. There is something about beating a clock! SO FUN. Set a timer for 15 minutes and see if you can get all the floors mopped or all the laundry folded and put away. Set a timer for 10 minutes and work on each room getting it tidied or the floors done or dusted or whatever, and then move to the next room at the end of 10 minutes no matter what. These things make it like an adventure, which takes some of the monotony out of it, if you are inclined to despise it the way I am.
This is just a short list of what you can do.
If you need any help making a schedule for yourself, I’d love to help you with that! Email me at email@example.com and we will schedule a virtual meeting to talk through your home and what might work best for you and your needs. I’ll happily be that person who helps you be accountable for your home. It’ll all be worth it when you are at peace. Your whole family feels better, too. Everything is simpler, and everything is more joyful.