Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sarah, How Do You Do It?

Through His Grace and Mercy, that's how!
Seriously, this is a question I get *all the time.* From young moms, teenagers, my own mother, people I work with, extended family. I guess I give off the impression that I do it all...WRONG! Believe me when I say I am incredibly flawed, not perfect, and sort of a mess at times. my fourteen years as a wife, and thirteen years as a mama, I have picked up some wisdom...HAHAHAHA! Phew, now that I'm done laughing, may I share my wisdom (hahahaha!) with you?

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myspace layouts

1) Schedules!!! Did I say schedules?!? Oh yes I did.
I think having Bucket as a little boy actually helped me with this. Due to his autistic nature, being too flexible sent him into hysterics. I learned to be consistent with him, and when I did, I extended this to my household. It truly works. For example, I do one major chore every day, Monday through Friday. That way weekends are mine to relax, do schoolwork, and play with my children.
Mondays: clean kids bathroom (which is also the one guests use, so I clean it.)
Tuesdays: laundry
Wednesdays: clean master bedroom
Thursdays: clean master bathroom
Fridays: clean my office and do a last load of laundry before the weekend

By doing this, it guarantees that weekends are mine, unless someone is sick and I'm doing a special load of vomit laundry. Yes, I'm scheduled, but do keep flexibility in your life. I will happily give up cleaning my bedroom if a friend needed me.

2) Think of Kids as Your Staff:
Ooooh, people are going to hate me for this. But yes, I assign my children chores, and they do them. Not only that, but I don't pay them for it. I consider it their payment to me for me allowing them to live in my house. I think giving them chores not only gives them character, but appreciation for how hard their father and I work to put a roof over their heads.
I have a list of rotating chores for the kids. I'm not sexist about it either...Missy can dump garbage, and the boys can help with dishes. I want them to have a basic working knowledge of every chore. Even Bucket knows how to do a load of laundry. They don't do things perfectly, but we have time to perfect that. For now, they all know that we work together as a team to have a cheerful, clean home.

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3) There are Some Chores That Must be Done EVERYDAY!
I will not go to bed with a dirty kitchen. It breeds filth and bugs. I generally run the dishwasher around 1am (it has a timer) so that it doesn't interfere with anyone's bath/shower time. Even though my counter-tops are cheap formica crap, I make sure they are sanitized every night because I make lunches in the morning on them.

I also sweep my house every day, sometimes twice. We have a dog and four cats, so the fur and hair is unreal. I also don't like leaving clean clothes in baskets. In my opinion, that is just lazy. Clothes are cleaned and folded? Put em up!
The living room is cleaned every day by a child, except on weekends. The dining room is also cleaned every day by a child. They are also responsible for garbage cans, recycling bins, animal care, and their own bedrooms. By everyone doing their part, we have a clean, tidy, mostly organized house. To be honest, the sloppiest part of the house is probably my office. Since I work here 8 hours a day, plus schoolwork, I battle the paper demon on a regular basis. I shred paperwork at least three times a week, and it really makes dust fly. Since I'm the one who creates that mess, I do the dusting in here. It's only fair.

myspace layouts

myspace layouts

Well, those are my rules for weekday organization. The best part about being the CEO of your own home is that you can change the rules whenever you want! So it's ok to try something and discard the idea. I have changed the chore chart several times in order for it to work better for the kids. Not everyone has an autistic child to work into a schedule...obviously, take your own family's strengths and weaknesses in mind when you work on this. I promise you, when you organize the cleaning of your home, you will be much happier!

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