Monday, December 14, 2009

update on my feeble attempts to create new habits…

a couple weeks ago, i had a post about my pathetic housekeeping abilities, lack of motivation, bad habits, etc. etc. etc… i talked about different systems i’ve tried in the past and all of that, and was greatly inspired to put something together again, to try and remedy the pig sty i live in. so in my fit of motivation, i ordered the book from the library and made a trip to staples to buy a new, smaller cardfile box and some new 3x5 cards.

so this is my version of how this works. if you want the whole scoop, read the book. if for no other reason than it’s hilarious!

in my cardfile, i have 12 dividers for the months of the year and 31 dividers for the days of the month. i also have index cards in white, yellow, blue and pink. i want to get a few other colors as well, so i can give a color to dave and another to shane, and eventually a color to layla and micah, so everyone has their own cards.

1 card = 1 chore. right now, with a couple exceptions, all of the cards in the box are mine. however, dave has kindly asked me how he can help and be supportive, and i just told him to check the box and if there are any cards in it that haven’t been done, DO THEM!

i have my chores divided up into daily, weekly, monthy/seasonally/yearly chores. blue cards are for daily chores (laundry, dishes, dusting, etc.) , yellow are weekly (showers, floors, sheets, etc.), white are all the rest (washing walls, flipping mattresses, etc.). i’ll get to the pink cards later and i’m still on the fence over whether or not they’re necessary.

i have the days of the week lined up with a plan for a certain area to be cleaned/attended to. this works best for me because then it’s not like i know i have to spend all day cleaning the entire house ever. just a little bit every day. i put all of my blue daily chore cards in front of the number divider for today. the yellow ones get distributed in front of the dividers for the days of the week they go with and the white cards get distributed throughout the rest of the months accordingly. at the start of a new month, i move the white cards to dates on which i intend to do them.

so to get specific, here’s what my weekly plan looks like:

  • monday: floors and windows
  • tuesday: ironing
  • wednesday: living room
  • thursday: kitchen/dining room
  • friday: bathrooms
  • saturday: bedrooms
  • sunday: menu/grocery shopping

my weekly chores correspond with the area of the house being dealt with and you can probably figure out what’s involved in that, so i won’t list all of those.

i will list my daily chores though, because they’re the biggest key to success, i think. i’m a very day-to-day kind of person. planning ahead makes me feel nervous and boxed in and afraid that some unforeseen event will spoil the plan i made and stuff like that really stresses me out. (i know, i need help.) if i can keep on top of my daily chores, the weekly ones are easier to accomplish. major cleaning is less major, because all week i’ve been doing minor maintenance. keeping up with the daily stuff is what saves my sanity! these are my cards for what i attempt to accomplish throughout each day:

  • unload dishwasher and put away dishes
  • check what’s planned for dinner and thaw/prepare anything if necessary
  • make beds (shane does his own)
  • bible reading
  • wash and dry one load of laundry
  • bathroom wipe-down – hall bathroom (i use a clorox wipe on the counter, faucet, knobs, and toilet surfaces)
  • bathroom wipe-down – master bathroom
  • fold and put away laundry (i split the laundry up into 2 cards purposely because i would often get the first part done and then the load would sit in the dryer until i needed the dryer and then it would sit in the basket)
  • wipe dining table
  • wipe stove and kitchen counters
  • take out compost
  • load and run dishwasher
  • vacuum diningroom, kitchen, hall, livingroom, bedrooms (shane is in charge of tidying up first)
  • make coffee (i do this the night before and it is my #1 sanity saver!)

after i have completed a card, i move it so it’s in front of the next day’s divider (or the appropriate one for next week if it’s yellow card, or in front of the appropriate month if it’s white).

of course, this is all IDEAL. these are my goals. should i ever actually accomplish every card in the box, the earth would reverse it’s rotation, hell would freeze over, and the sun would likely fall out of the sky. i’m probably the worst about the white cards. when the card for “clean oven” comes up, i’m quick to think of an excuse for why i can’t do it right then and shuffle it quickly to the next month. i get very scarlet o’hara about stuff like that… i’ll think about it tomorrow.

at any rate, i’m trying. i still haven’t found my magic motivator… if you find it, let me know!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with the cards. My mom swears by them and I used to have to book if you actually want to keep it instead of just getting it from the library. I will have to check. :) Let me know.

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