Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Housekeeping Focus

Actually, this isn't new at all. It is just me refocusing on what is bothering me the most right now. Right now the two that are bothering me the most:

1. Bad diets. I'm fat and my kids eat poorly! I keep meaning to change things, but my attempts are all feeble mostly because of my house being so disorganized, I think. Change is hard and I feel so overwhelmed by the the chaos all the time. I waste so much food because I start out the beginning of the week planning meals and by midweek I've forgotten everything and I'm just pulling things together at the last minute. Also, I keep forgetting to make balanced meals. Too often we are heavy on the meat and potatoes and weak on the veggies. So my new resolution is to post menus on fridge, like I used to, when I'm done planning.

2. The clutter that is everywhere. I simply can't keep up with it. I have 7 people generating clutter at an amazing rate and I'm part of the problem but expected to be the solution as well. I'm a mess so I haven't trained my children well, in fact they have picked up all my bad habits.

So I'm trying once again to take a deep breath and focus on forming good habits. I want to really make it a focus for this coming week. A simple short week! But that will be a huge hurdle for me. This is when being ADD really is dibilitating, when you know you can't stick with something for a week because it will swim out of the main focus of your mind and you'll completely forget what you where thinking on Sat when Tues comes along.

Here's the new housekeeping rules, posted on the kitchen wall:


1. Laundry – bring down dirty laundry when your hamper is full. You must make sure all your clothes are put away before bedtime.

2. Kitchen – must be completely cleaned every night. Hannah washes pots and pans and wipes down island and counters. Will loads dishwasher and takes out trash. Josh – dries pots and pans and puts them away and helps clear table. Sean – clears table and wipes it. Becky – sweeps the floor.

3. Tidying – Before dinner, everybody joins in to tidy up house. Schoolbooks should be put away. Shoes put in mudroom or bedrooms. Coats and such hung up. Other clothing put in laundry or bedrooms. Books put back in bookcases. Trash goes in trashcan. Cups/dishes loaded into dishwasher. Newspapers/comics neatly folded and put on coffee tables. Toys go downstairs or up in bedrooms or in baskets. Mail/paper sorted, thrown away or piled neatly for perusal.

4. Bedrooms – every Sunday after breakfast, bedrooms must be cleaned before any screen time is allowed.

The new rules are about laundry being put away before bed. S was very grouchy about that one last night. Also, last night I had to call H back. She thought 'pots and pans' meant literally pots and pans, but to me it means everything that can't go in the dishwasher and needs to be washed by hand. There was a platter, two bowls and a wooden salad bowl that couldn't fit in the dishwasher and she'd just left them on the counter by the sink. So we cleared that misunderstanding up. What was she thinking? I kept saying over and over that the kitchen must be COMPLETELY CLEANED. The other new thing is the bedroom clean up after breakfast on Sunday mornings. Most Sunday mornings mean 8:15 a.m. Mass then out to breakfast afterwards. When we get home from breakfast everybody usually makes beelines for various screens, either computer, video or TV. This is actually fine with me, because I usually take a shower and then do school planning/food planning then. But I've decided that while I'm showering everybody needs to be cleaning their rooms. Then I'll inspect and then and only then can they go have screen time.

So hopefully these new twists on how to tackle chronic housekeeping issues will work. I just have to remember to keep it in front of me consciously so that I can follow through and be consistent. The very most difficult thing for me.

Most of this is directed at the kids. I'm in charge of managing it and also I'm in charge of keeping down the clutter. That's what I need to focus on this week.

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