I won’t even pretend to be the organizational guru – or, that my home is always completely organized and spotless (because it’s not) – but, for the most part, it’s relatively tidy. For the most part, we can whip it into guest shape in about 30 minutes or less.
We’ve owned our own home for about 4 years, and it wasn’t until last year that I found a new “system” that helped take the pressure off of myself when it came to keeping said home CLEAN. I was beating myself up and my list was never-ending – there were even some days where I’d throw my hands up and exclaim “I QUIT!”
Of course, it’s ironic because I LOVE organizational stuff. I love the magazines and the container store – LOVE them. Somehow though, when it comes to actual execution…it just doesn’t happen. – Probably because things come up which keep me from being able to purchase cool sets and systems that actually LOOK GOOD enough to put in my home… You know, things like MORTGAGE payments and electricity bills come up and ruin all of my organizational plans. Darn them!
So, I had to find a way to keep the house CLEAN and (mostly) clutter-free without all of the pretty organizational storage units and shelves. At some point during this journey, I came across Flylady.net – and, to be honest, the chick and her plans made my head spin. They were great plans, don’t get me wrong – it was just SO much. I was having trouble with my own to-do list, and hers was even LONGER! So, I tweaked it a bit (okay, alot) and came up with this new system which we now use.
Basically, we divided the house into zones:
Zone 1: The Front Porch, Entrance, and Dining Room (because of how our home is laid out. The Dining Room is the first room you walk into)
Zone 2: Kitchen
Zone 3: Bathrooms and Nursery
Zone 4: Master Bedroom
Zone 5: Living Room and Stairs
Zone 6: Upstairs Bedroom and Office
Zone 7 and 8: Yard and Outside of House/ Garge and Pool
You could divide your zones up any way you wish, but this is what made sense for us based on the layout of our home. For example, the upstairs bedroom and office were paired together because they are both seldom used and upstairs. The Living Room and Stairs are together because the stairs begin in the living room. And, for zone 1 – there are 3 areas because the first 2 don’t require that much upkeep.
I only made 8 zones, though, because I wanted to be sure to be able to get through them all within a timely manner. Next, underneath each zone I made a list of really specific things to do (dust, sweep, mop, put fresh flowers or a centerpiece out, etc.) Then, I decided that each week would mean a new zone. Sometimes I do them in order, and sometimes I don’t. For example, we’re expecting a baby and although Zone 6 may be next on the list, I really don’t give a darn how organized and clean the extra bedroom/craft room and office are. I mean, we vacuum and such, but other than that? It can wait. My priorities are downstairs for now, so that’s what I’m focusing on until those are finished up and ready to go.
Under each zone, I have between 10 and 16 things listed. I know that for THAT week, I need to accomplish at least most of those, so I try to divide up the total number by the days in my week available to clean and that’s how many chores I do on those specific days. Which usually turns out less than 3 items a day. I know I can let a few of the chores in other rooms go because I know I’ll be cleaning those soon, too. And, once you start, you begin seeing how easy the cycle is to keep up. I love that I can get sick and not touch something for a day and my home won’t explode (nor will my head)…I just readjust how much I do for another day. I can even go on vacation for a week and not feel behind by just adding an extra zone one week! Or, just skipping it all together.
In addition to the zone list, Steven and I both have our separate DAILY lists (which aren’t always daily…basically, stuff that doesn’t fit into the zone timeline and needs to be done more often) – like, cat litter and laundry and dishes and such.
So, that’s my tip Check out www.wearethatfamily.com for more cool tips!
ZONE 2: KITCHEN
1. Empty Refrig and clean thoroughly
2. Clean microwave inside and out
3. Clean Stove/oven
4. Wash any canisters/knick-knacks
5. Straighten drawers and cupboards
6. Wipe fingerprints off walls
7. Wash inside of windows
8. Clean fan/vent – a – hood filters and hood
9. Scrub down cabinet fronts
10. Clean light defusing bowls
11. Clean under sink
12. Clean pet dishes
13. Clean high chair
(It doesn’t say to sweep or mop because in Zone 1, I would’ve done that already…my kitchen/DR/entryway are all open to each other)