If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail

My planner
My planner–I take a wire bound notebook that I like. I write the day of the week and the date in the left column with two spaces in between. That gives four lines to each day. I make a column on the right had side of the paper where I list things I need to do. At the bottom of the page I have space for items I need to buy, and calls I need to make. This allows me to think on paper.

Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Get your family together, get out the calendar and coordinate activities. First for this week, then get everything on the calendar for the weeks coming up so you don’t schedule more than one event on the same day at about the same time. Block off the entire time period. Do this for work commitments, school activities, lessons, and all activities for every member of your family. Then make note if any special clothing, food, or other things are needed for those events. There’s nothing like finding the white shirt and dark pants your child needs for that evening’s concert wadded up in the bottom of a hamper less than half an hour before they need to be there or arriving at the sports field only to find out that you are responsible for snacks that day. And why does it always seem we find out that it was picture day on that one day we sent them out the door somewhat less than well groomed?

Next Week from the 22nd to the 28th Your Area of Focus is Your Front Porch, Entry, Dining Room

leaning Checklist for Front Porch, Entry and Dining Room
D=Daily W=Weekly S=Seasonally

IMG_0008Front Porch Cleaning Checklist
• Get rid of clutter. Put away unneeded items. (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
• Remove spider webs (M)
• Wipe down banisters and light fixtures. (M)
• Wipe down porch furniture. (M)
• Sweep porch and walkway. (As needed)
• Get rid of dead plants. (M) Deadhead live plans (D)
• Do any shrubs need to be pruned back?(S)
• Do any plants need repotting?(S)
• Does your doorbell work? Does it need to be replaced or a new battery?(M)

IMG_0007Entrance Cleaning Checklist
• Clean cobwebs (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burned out light bulbs. (M)
• Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
• Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates(M)
• Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
• Polish furniture(M) Dust weekly
• Dust baseboards (M)
• Straighten the coat closest (M)
• Sweep, vacuum or mop the floor (W)
• What can you do to personalize your entry and make it more welcoming? (M)

Dining Room Cleaning Checklist

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.

Clean cobwebs (M)
• Clean light fixtures and replace any burnt out light bulbs. (M)
• Wipe down window sills and front door (M)
• Remove handprints and marks from doors, door frames, walls and switch plates (M)
• Clean window treatments and windows. (M)
• Clean and straighten china cabinet and buffet. (M)
• Clean top of dining table (As Needed)
• Dust chairs including bottoms and legs (M)
• Polish furniture (M) Dust Weekly
• Dust baseboards (M)
• Sweep, vacuum, or mop the floor (move chairs and vacuum under table)(W)
• What can you do to personalize your dining room? (Centerpiece, table cloth, decorative touches.)
Each day select a few tasks from the cleaning checklist. A download for the cleaning checklist is on my Facebook Page (My Heart’s at Home) under the Files tab. You can access it from the Files tab on this page. I printed a set and put them in page protectors. I keep them in my planning notebook.
Today I have a trip to Lavender Fields with the wonderful ladies of In His Garden, a gardening Bible study that combines information on gardening from Master Gardeners and wisdom from the Master Gardener so I am cutting this short to get ready to leave.
Have a lovely day!
Hugs,
Mary
Interesting Quote I read today from Adrian Rogers: “If you are without offense you are without effect.” What do you think?

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

Wow! Another hit the ground running day. Overscheduled and Overcommitted.

Take principles you learn from the Bible and apply them in your life.
Take principles you learn from the Bible and apply them in your life.

I had originally not planned to go to Bible Study because before we had a series of snow days that has extended the Bible Study class schedule, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment. Well, I was asked to substitute for another teacher who is out of town and if I can ever humanly be available to lead a Bible Study I will do it—so my schedule is packed a little tighter than I want.

So far at 7:30 I have.

  • Gotten up, showered, and fixed my hair
  • Made sure the house is in order
  • Put what I need near the front door
  • Cleaned out the fridge (it’s trash day)
  • Had Quiet Time and reviewed the video for today

Next I have to

  • Get dressed
  • Someone (aka my husband) is still sleeping so the bed may not get made
  • Pick up my dry cleaning
  • Meet with someone at church before Bible Study
  • Lead the study
  • Head off to the doctor’s office
  • Have my eyebrows waxed
  • Go to the gym
  • Pick up my grandson and take him up to school for the Bard a thon
  • Enjoy the Bard a thon
  • Take my grandson home and get home around 9 tonight

This is what I call a too busy day. It happens sometimes but I cannot allow it to happen too often and especially not every day. We need to allow breathing time in between our commitments. If today’s schedule were a more regular occurrence, I would need to cut about half of these things out other than getting up and cleaned up, having Quiet Time, and making sure my home is in order. Those basics need to happen every day.

If I had known that I was going to be teaching today, I would have scheduled the doctor’s appointment for another day. When I am teaching, I want my head and my heart clear. My Quiet Time this morning has me ready for the day, but I cannot expect to overschedule regularly and have peace in my heart, and my head.

Overscheduling and over-commitment are a major problem today. There is way too much schedule clutter and so our life with God, and our families, as well as caring for our home are all neglected. All too often we let those difficult to get appointments with doctors and even our hair dresser and nail technician usurp the time we need to be in Bible Study or in other things that support what we call priorities. We are taking my grandson to his school activity because he did not let his mom know and she has a much postponed meeting at that time. Planning time each week is needed for planning time throughout the week. If we back into our schedule we are not managing our lives, our lives are managing us.

The most, most, most important things in our lives are not things, they are relationships. First of all our relationship with God, and then our relationship with our husband, our children and grandchildren, and the other people God has given us to love. If you are routinely too busy for time with God, for family worship in your home and at church, for your husband, and for your children, you are too busy and something needs to change –FAST. You need time to hug, to listen, to pray, to care. You need time to bless the people around you and be a blessing. If you are continually running here and there you are cooperating with the enemies plan to steal your life. STOP. Consider your life. Consider your commitments and reorder what is out of place.

  1. A personal relationship with the Lord that governs your life.
  2. Your best friendship with your husband. Doing him good and not evil all the days of his life.
  3. Your best momship with your children. Loving them enough to do the hard things. Taking time to teach them and communicate what is important in life.
  4. Then time for being a good representative for the Lord wherever you go and in every relationship and transaction.

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.

Today is Wednesday–Desk Day. Our Area of Focus this Week is the Bedroom, our Closet, and any Bathroom attached to the Bedroom

  • Catch up on personal and family business by paying bills, sending notes, cards, letters and emails, and making any needed phone calls
  • File–Store only those papers you will need in a way that you will be able to locate them when needed.

Declutter for 15 to 30 minutes

Walk in God’s love toward everyone, even your enemies

IMG_0065Organizing the Different Types of Paper in Your Home and Craft Supplies

I bought two sweater organizers for the different types of paper that I have—both as office supplies (computer papers, notebook paper, 3×5 and 4×6 cards) and craft papers for card making and scrapbooking. Notebooks of various kinds can also be stored in the sweater organizer. I store my purses in a sweater organizer in my closet.

Each type of paper and notebook can rest in a separate compartment.

For craft supplies, clear plastic shoe boxes are a good solution. I have a jumbo label maker to label the shoe boxes with their contents (glue, pencils, scissors, punches, crafting tools)

My office supplies
My office supplies

Laundry and Areas of Focus

Laundry Area
Laundry Area

When I was talking with a friend recently, I discovered that one of her challenges was laundry. Strangely enough, this morning I was looking at a plan that included a load of laundry a day 5 days a week. Add a load of sheets from one bedroom a day and for most of us the laundry would be moving in the right direction.

The plan from www.goodwifeinthekitchen.blogspot.com :

Monday               Wash whites

Tuesday               Wash darks

Wednesday            Wash towels

Thursday             Wash bathmats and towels

Friday                     Wash baby clothes

Any plan we decide to use should be adapted to our family’s needs. Where will the individual loads of laundry live while waiting for their day? A hamper/ laundry baskets in a closet or the laundry room? How can you implement this and keep your home orderly?

Now that it is just Roy and I, I gather the laundry and sort by color. If there is enough for a load of laundry I run that load of laundry from washer to dryer to folded and put away. If there is more than one load, I keep going. If there is not enough for a load–tomorrow is another day.

I have used an Area of Focus approach for years. I focused on one area of my home a week

Week One (Days One to Seven): Living Room and Den 

Week Two (Days Eight to Fourteen): Kitchen

Week Three (Days Fifteen to Twenty-One): Master Bedroom and Closet while supervising (and assisting as needed) the children in their rooms

Week Four (Days Twenty-Two to Twenty-Eight): Front Porch/Entry/ Dining Room

Week Five (Day Twenty-Nine to End of Month): Bathrooms

Miscellaneous Rooms can be assigned to weeks with available time. Office with Living Room; Back Deck on week one with front porch and entry; Laundry on the same days as the bathrooms. I have confidence in your ability to make good use of your time.

You could also use a weekly zone plan:

Monday  —Bathrooms

Tuesday—  Front Porch, Entry and Errands

Wednesday— Kitchen

Thursday  Living Room, Dining Room, Family Room

Friday—  Master Bedroom and Closet

Saturday—  Family Projects and Fun Day

Sunday—  Worship, Rest, and Plan

Gently inspect one child’s room each day. Give directions and encouragement, not criticism. Weekly inspections keep full blown disaster areas from developing. Insist beds be made daily.

Give the tasks in your life a place to live in your schedule and remember that work expands to fill the amount of time allotted for it. Get your work done first and quickly and then enjoy time with family and friends.

Love and Hugs,

Mary

The Area of Focus from Sunday, March 15th to Saturday, March 21st is Your Bedroom, Closet, and Bathroom–Cleaning Checklist

Master Bedroom Checklist

Work from Top to Bottom and around the room in whichever direction you want.

  • DSCN0055Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed?(M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures?(M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned?(M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean?(M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean?(M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks?(M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffle? The Mattress pad?(M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter?(D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished?(M) Dusted?(W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order?(M)
  • What’s under the bed?(M)

The Closet:

  • IMG_0075Are the shelves in order?(M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair?(M)
  • Are the shoes in order?(M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic?(M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned?(M)

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

  • DSCN0054Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. -(Use car polish. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

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.