Monday the 27th Day of April 2015—Launch Your Week, Clean Your Toilets Area of Focus= Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room

My China Cabinet
My China Cabinet

Each Monday take a few quick moments to put your home back in order after the weekend. Trash into the trash can, dishes into the dishwasher, laundry moving through your washer to the dryer to folded and put away. Beds made. Quickly with the aid of your young assistants (aka kids) put things back where they belong. When things begin to go pear shaped call a quick pickup throughout your home before they are too far gone.

Each Monday

  • Clean Your Toilets
  • Check Your Bathrooms for Any Needed Supplies—paper, personal or cleaning and add them to your shopping list for when you run errands.

I keep a pad of paper that is magnetized so I can stow it on my fridge on the counter in the kitchen and write down what I am going to need as I notice it. If someone asks me to pick up some after shave or toothpaste or their favorite snack, I ask them to write it on the list on the kitchen counter. I fight to keep a pen right there with the list so it will be easy.

Please don’t ever think that I think I am more together than you. Whenever I get it all together I forget where I put it. The truth is my mom did not teach me how to care for my home and I had to struggle to learn. I want to help you in that struggle but I have learned by being in the trenches of daily life with so many demands and what seemed like too little time.

Saturday at 6 am the phone rang. It was my almost 36 year old daughter. She had been awake since 3 am feeling terrible. Could I take her to Patient First when it opened at 8? I jumped up and began to make my bed when the phone rang again. Could I take her to the ER? She felt too terrible to wait.

Her 11 year old had spent the night at our home but Papa was here to look after him so I threw on my clothes, combed my hair and headed out the door.

I enjoyed being with my daughter for 5 hours in the ER and I am not being sarcastic. I enjoyed just being with her and chatting and trying to encourage her. When they released her around noon I drove her home and took my 14 yo grandson to his appointment to get his hair cut. Papa had taken the 11 yo home earlier so I returned home a little exhausted. We had a delightful commitment to share dinner with a group of friends that evening and I had promised bread and dessert. I got the ingredients for bread into my breadmaker and realized I would not have time to make the triple chocolate cake I had planned.  (to be continued)

(Continued) Roy walked into the living room and asked me to pick him up from the garage. His truck is going in for repair. I dropped everything. Ran  upstairs, made my bed, threw on some clothes and ran a comb through my hair and out the door!

Back to my narrative—So when I went to pick up  Brayden from his haircut, I ran to the store and picked up a peach pie to bake. Home, shaped the loaves and let them rise, baked the pie, showered,  baked the bread and out the door to a lovely dinner with friends. And then—home to a thoroughly trashed home.

  • Bed half made before heading off to the ER
  • Blankets on the couch from Kobe spending the night.
  • General chaos all around.

I usually do not do much of anything on Sunday. It is a day of rest. I took a little while to put everything back in order early in the day. I cannot rest in a mess. Today, I will go off my routine:

  • Dust
  • Sweep
  • Vacuum
  • Mop

Even when you are not at home your house accumulates dirt. I cleaned the toilets as soon as we got home last week but unpacking, laundry, preparing to share at In His Garden on Thursday and then sharing morning and evening on Thursday, as well as getting some groceries, spending time with grandkids, opening 3 weeks’ worth of mail, making sure  bills have been paid and family business was up to date.

When we were in Utah I heard Roy talking to our daughter Summer and her husband Paul. He told them I take good care of him. It made my heart happy to know he knows he is important to me and I do try to take care of him.

Enough unloading for the day—I do want to do a calendar for May and post it under the Files tab on My Heart’s at Home on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/MyHeartsatHome/  I hope you will print the calendar and post it where you can see it. The Weekly Tasks and Areas of Focus will be on the calendar and you will not have to wait for me. I will post on a regular basis  going back to the beginning and trying to review all I do to work smarter, not harder.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day–Today is the Last Weekday in Your Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet this Month

My daughter Amy gave me the antique teapot that is on a try on my bed. It is filled with pot pourri.
My daughter Amy gave me the antique teapot that is on a try on my bed. It is filled with pot pourri.

Friday is Wrap Up the Week Day

  • Clean out your car
  • Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, computer case, or whatever you carry with you as you go out your door.
  • Vacuum the traffic areas. Give special attention to your Area of Focus.
  • Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes

Each Thursday is Floor Day–The Area of Focus this Week Is Your Bedroom, Closet, and Attached Bathroom

imageEach Thursday clean your floors. The basic idea is having a time each week to deal with tasks. This does not mean you cannot do these things at other times. You can and should clean out your car or your purse, regularly, but on Friday it becomes a focus. If your floors need attention, give them attention. Wipe up spills as they occur. If you are having a gathering at your home on a day other than Thursday and you feel your floors need attention, give them attention. BUT on Thursday take a few minutes to sweep and mop them. What works for you? What will help you keep your floors clean? Do you have doormats by each of your doors? If you keep much of the dirt out, you are ahead in the battle. Place a mat outside each door into your home and a mat inside each door into your home. Shake out those mats regularly.

Review of the Basic Plan

BASIC PLAN

The Hall Tree in Our Entry
The Hall Tree in Our Entry

Care for yourself, your family, and your home intentionally.

Share plenty of kind words, hugs, and kisses with the people you love. Balance constructive input (aka criticism) with appreciation for things done well. Look for the best.

Each Day:

Plan a morning afternoon, and evening routine.

Use your evening routine to start your day the night before—lay out clothes for everyone in the family beginning with yourself, put items near the front door (keys, purse, backpacks) for everyone headed out of the house, set the table for breakfast and put out whatever does not need to be refrigerated, put the house in good general order.

In the morning:

Get up, brush your teeth, clean and moisturize your face, and get dressed.

Have your Quiet Time with God.

Our HomeDo your basic home maintenance (daily tasks) and declutter.

What’s for dinner? Do you need to get anything out of the freezer to thaw? What can you do to begin to prepare dinner?

In the afternoon—

Get ready to welcome the people home who have been out of the house—healthy snack for children who school outside the home, a pleasant re-entry for dad. Plan some down time for your husband before addressing any concerns. Greet him when he walks in the door. Not just “Oh! Old What’s- His Name is here!” Give him a hug and kiss and ask how his day was. Save unloading until later. In the same way, welcome your children home. Give them some down time before home work and family tasks.

Life can be pleasant.

WEEKLY TASKS

Each week:

  • Sunday is for worship and planning.
  • The Coat Closet
    The Coat Closet

    Monday is launch the week day—pick up the house after the weekend and clean the toilets. While working in the bathroom—note what paper, cleaning, and personal products are needed and write the items on your list.

  • Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—put on some happy music, grab your duster and go room by room. Take the duster outside and liberate the dust back into the atmosphere.
  • Wednesday is Desk Day—pay bills, review family business and do what you can to bring it up to date (make calls, send an email, write a note), file (filing is simply putting away papers you will need in the future in a way that you can easily find them, if you will never need that piece of paper again, file it in the waste basket)
  • Thursday is Floor Day—sweep, then mop your hard floors.
  • Friday is Wrap up the Week Day—clean out your purse, backpack, computer bag, diaper bag, or whatever you carry with you when you go out the door; clean out your car; and vacuum the traffic areas of your home. (The other areas—around, behind and under-are done in the week’s focus room)
  • Saturday is Family Fun Day—Play or work playfully as a family. If you work, plan a reward for when the work is finished.

AREAS OF FOCUS

Each seven days of the month focus on one area

Days 1-7                                                               The Living Room/Great Room/Den

Days 8-14                                                             The Kitchen

Days 15-21                                                          The Bedroom, Closet, and En Suite Bath

Days 22-28                                                          The Front Porch, Entry, and Dining Room

Day 29 to the End of the Month                                Family Bath

This work is spread out over the 5-6 days in each area. Sunday IS a day of rest.

In each room start high and work downward. First look for cobwebs in the corners and dust the ceiling fan, then make sure the windows, blinds, and curtains are clean and dust free. Next work your way around each room dealing with each area as you come to it. Finally, on Friday you vacuum.

Choose the amount of time you will give to begin at your front door and declutter your way through your home. When you have gone through, go back to the front door and start over. The first time may take a year or more. I can basically do it now—after 30 some years of decluttering—in a few days. Do not expect this in the beginning. (5-30 minutes each day: 5 minutes will give you 25 to 30 minutes of decluttering a week, 10 minutes will give you 50-60 minutes a week, 15 minutes will give you 75-90 minutes a week, 30 minutes will give you 2 ½ to 3 hours a week.)

Maintain, maintain, maintain what you have accomplished. Don’t let all that work go to waste.

Hugs,

Mary

I have learned to set the tone for the day by getting up from what I am doing when my husband comes down in the morning and giving him a big full body hug and kiss. We found out yesterday that Roy has major hearing loss especially in the higher range and will need hearing aids. We work to maintain communication. Talking civilly to each other is an absolute must to keep our relationship vital.

Today is Tuesday the 10th of March 2015 -Tuesday is Duster Dance Day

Keep those flat surfaces clear or put lovely things on them to discourage the dumping of stuff there.
Keep those flat surfaces clear or put lovely things on them to discourage the dumping of stuff there.

Today is Tuesday the 10th of March 2015 -Tuesday is Duster Dance Day–put on that happy music and get busy freeing your home of dust. The Area of Focus this week is The Kitchen. Remember, if you have items on display you need to show them care by keeping them dust free.
If you truly like it –take care of it.

Today is Monday the 9th of March 2015–Launch Your Week–Area of Focus–Your Kitchen

DSCN0054Launch your week by

  • Putting your home back in good general order after the weekend.
  • Cleaning your toilets
  • Checking your bathrooms for needed supplies–personal care, paper, and cleaning. Add these items to your shopping list. Do not wait until you have used the last square of toilet paper or last drop of shampoo.

Have you planned your week? Are all activities on your calendar? Do you know what is for dinner?IMG_0004

Each Friday Wrap Up the Week

Each Friday Wrap Up the Week

  • DSCN0041Clean out your purse, diaper bag, totes, computer bag, backpack, or whatever you carry with you when you leave your home.
  • Clean out your car. Think of your car as a room on wheels. Make it a habit to not leave anything in your car that does not belong there. Containerize what does belong in your car—if you have books and toys to entertain your children when you are on the road, keep them in a tote. Store your maps in the pockets on the back of the seats. Take trash out of your car whenever you stop –at home or on the road. There are usually trash cans near the gas pumps at service stations and most stores have trash receptacles near the door. If you throw away credit card offers or any other papers that have sensitive information, tear that part of the paper into little tiny pieces.
  • Vacuum the traffic areas in your home and while you have the vacuum cleaner out, give special attention to your Area of Focus—in your bathroom you may want to vacuum the blinds, the curtain or valance, and the corners.

Today is Wednesday the 4th Day of March 2015–Desk Day and the Living Room is Your Area of Focus

A stair step basket is useful  to hold the things that need to travel upstairs in your home.
A stair step basket is useful to hold the things that need to travel upstairs in your home.

Each Wednesday is the day to catch up with your paperwork, bills, and other family business.

  • Pay bills
  • Bring any and all issues you can up to date—Make phone calls, write notes, pay bills, and
  • File

The Area of Focus this week is the Living Room/Family Room. How are your windows? Are they clean? Are your curtains or drapes clean? Do they need to be dusted, vacuumed or laundered? Don’t forget to dust the frames and blinds.

Today is Tuesday the 3rd of March 2015. Our Area of Focus is the Living Room/Family Room—Tuesday is Duster Dance Day

Today is Tuesday the 3rd of March 2015. Our Area of Focus is the Living Room/Family Room

I do not use the Pledge with the ostrich feather duster but only to restore gloss to areas like my front door when the paint loses its shine.
I do not use the Pledge with the ostrich feather duster but only to restore gloss to areas like my front door when the paint loses its shine.

Each Tuesday’s Task—Tuesday is Duster Dance Day
• Put on some happy music.
• Grab your duster
o Ostrich feather –chicken feather dusters are only fit for the wastebasket
o Lambswool duster
o Swiffer duster
o Slightly dampen cloth with a second soft cloth to dry and polish
o A soft paintbrush—use a size suitable for the job
• Swipe down all the surfaces in your home
• Allow your children to help with their own duster. They can take over the lower areas like the legs of furniture and                baseboards
• Children can also make a puppet out of an old cotton sock. Then the sock puppet can munch all the dust off the slats of        your blinds. You can put a sock on each hand and let them kiss in the middle.