Spring Cleaning, Schedules and Lists
Over the years we have been swamped with emails about cleaning schedules, day planners and getting organized so we developed our e-book, Plan It, Then Do It! Reduce Stress With Better Organization, that hopefully covered everything under the sun.
I don’t have the time or the energy to answer every question we get asked individually, so we try to put some of the most frequently asked questions into our e-books to help everyone. As in Dining on a Dime, these e-books are jam packed with a bunch of ideas and tips.
In the same way that so many people now use Dining on a Dime as their kitchen encyclopedia, our e-books on each different subject are like encyclopedias on their individual subjects.
I wish I had room to include more but here are a few small excerpts from Plan it, Then Do It to give you some ideas. Remember these are only the highlights of one small section. In the book itself I give lots of examples explaining the different steps I describe below.
These e-books include cleaning personality types, practical aspects of making a schedule, and how to actually stick to one. I also included my daily schedule and Tawra’s along with lots of great charts and outlines so you can make your own schedules and lists or simply print and follow ours. This e-book is for those of you (like me) who hate schedules and can’t get them to work and for those of you who love schedules and can’t live without them. I hope you like this peek at it and that it helps you get a start.
Excerpts from Plan It, Then Do It!
My life was such that I couldn’t even schedule an hour ahead of time, let alone a day, week, or month. Like many of you, I tried everything and nothing worked until I discovered a couple of things. The only way I can think of to explain these is to show you several examples of what did and didn’t work for me.
I made my own plan. It wasn’t perfect at first, but I kept tweaking it over the years and now it works great for me. Figure out what, when, and where works best for you and then do it.
For example, Monday is the best day for me to clean and pull the house together after a busy weekend. Tuesday and Thursday are my "appointments and running around" days. Wednesday is odd jobs and catch up day, etc.
Before I go to bed each night, I look at my calendar and see if I have any appointments for the next day.
Then I open my little notebook (We include examples of my notebook in the e-book) and write down the five or six things I either need to do or really want to get done the next day, other than my normal activities (making breakfast, washing dishes, doing laundry).
Work the schedule.
Part of the problem isn’t so much the schedule as it is not using the schedule. The same problem exists with menus. Many women say, "I need help making a menu," but if you think about it, how hard is it, really, to write down a list of four or five foods to eat? It’s not. It’s that we don’t want to do what goes along with the menu – going grocery shopping, putting the food away, cooking the food, cleaning up afterwards. This causes many of us to get a mental block about making a menu. The same thing can happen in relation to a schedule.
Often, once we write something down, we feel guilty for not doing it. It is easier to say, "I don’t know how to do it," or, "I did it but it didn’t work." By doing that, we are not really giving ourselves a fair chance at making a schedule work. Have you ever told a child to do a certain job only to hear the child say, "But I don’t know how!" even though you have shown him 100 times how to do it. What he is really saying is, "I don’t want to do it." We do the exact same thing when it comes to schedules.
It is a matter of honestly looking at what the real problem is. Making a schedule or writing out a menu isn’t hard. We just don’t want to do what we write down.
I don’t write everything down.
I have a problem with schedules that say, "On the third Monday of each month, wipe the fingerprints off the walls." First, I don’t want to have to look at those dirty fingerprints for a month while waiting for it to show up on the cleaning schedule. Second, next month I may have no fingerprints at all, so what do I do with my day then?
I have found that for the amount of time I spent telling myself why I couldn’t do something, or for the time I took to write it on a schedule, I could have quickly cleaned and gotten it done. This is especially true with small daily tasks. Time yourself. Most things take very little time. In the amount of time it takes for me to think and write down, "I need to clean off those fingerprints," I can have it done.
I found I didn’t need a schedule for most things.
I don’t really need to write down on my schedule to:
Everyone knows they can’t walk around naked all day and since I love my food there is no way I would forget to eat breakfast, so why write it down? I do realize that when you first attempt scheduling, you may have to write down the order in which you want to do things. I’m merely warning you not to over-complicate things. Don’t allow your schedule to become a crutch.
(I also know the "get dressed" is for those of you who would stay in your pj’s all day, but that’s a whole different book!)
You will have to try different things.
My poor daughter has struggled like I did trying to find a plan she could follow. Some friends suggested she vacuum the whole house on Monday, dust on Tuesday, etc. but it just wasn’t working for her. She finally figured out that what works best for her is to pick one room or two small rooms and clean one room really well each day of the week. Of course, she does the usual "daily things" like dishes, laundry, and making the beds, but she adds one room for each day. It isn’t as overwhelming to her.
Like I said this just scratches the surface of what is in the Keeping It Clean e-books. The e-books include charts and schedules for those who love them and alternative suggestions for those who hate them. Hopefully, no matter who you are, it will help you to get one step closer to getting things under control.
Photo By: ASurroca