100 lb. Club - How do you organize your life?

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04-24-2013, 02:16 PM
Have I asked this before?

How do you divide up housework in your home? Is there a day you do it? How do you run your household?

I've come across this article like 4 times today... a few times while researching an academic paper...and now here in my "real life." Maybe it's a sign: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323452204578288192043905634.html

"A new generation of parents is now taking solutions from the workplace and transferring them home. From accountability checklists to family branding sessions, from time-shifting meals to more efficient conflict resolution, families are finally reaping the benefits of decades of groundbreaking research into group dynamics. The result is a bold new blueprint for happy families."

Do you have a weekly schedule?

How do I do it?

How do I organize my life?


04-24-2013, 02:29 PM
Well, I'm definitely not as organized as I used/like to be. Having four kids I definitely have to prioritize what gets cleaned first. I do a lot of "vanity" cleaning most days, the places that are most visible. Places like closets, basement, garage, etc get the least attention. The basement has become the "catch all" space and things get tossed down there to lessen the clutter upstairs.

Things on top of my list are keeping the sink clear of dishes, bathrooms respectfully cleaned, laundry kept up (6 people, LOTS of laundry if it gets behind) floors vacuumed if needed, toys picked up and clothes off of kids floors. Everything else usually falls into place after that.

This describes me pretty much to a "T" also ;)


ETA: My husband is a HUGE help around the house, bless his heart. He will jump right in there and help with dishes, laundry, basic housecleaning, etc.

04-24-2013, 02:46 PM
This website has helped me tremendously. I love this lady and the way she thinks.


My house is getting better everyday.. lol.. I usually am like the quote above though. Get most of the cleaning done right before someone comes over. haha

04-24-2013, 03:07 PM
I did sign up for Fly Lady. At first I was totally overwhelmed by the e-mails, but now I'm getting there.

I will be cleaning off my night stand tonight! I even grabbed a candle from work to put there. Last night I also cleared out my car (and did NOT just pile all the junk in a corner of the garage)- AND detailed it. I deserve to drive in a beautifully clean car.

I think a lot of this whole housekeeping business has to do with my lack of self-compassion.

04-24-2013, 05:12 PM
On days when the housekeeping has fallen to the wayside, I sometimes park the vacuum near the front door. I figure if someone drops by unannounced, it'll look like I'm in the process of cleaning.

04-24-2013, 05:34 PM
On days when the housekeeping has fallen to the wayside, I sometimes park the vacuum near the front door. I figure if someone drops by unannounced, it'll look like I'm in the process of cleaning.

Best thing I've heard all day!

Before we moved in together we discussed chores. Luckily it worked out where the things I hate to do he likes to do, and vice-versa, so score!!

I try to do a little something each night...and I mean little. Like sort through the mail, pay the bills, or cook. When I cook I usually make double or triple batches so it will last a couple of days. Since he cleans the kitchen he's fine with that, he doesn't have to clean it every night.

The weekends are when I do the big things like vacuum or laundry.

I got very lucky when I met him! I think I used up all my "luck" so I won't be winning the power ball.

04-24-2013, 05:39 PM
I am in the process of organizing the house and its been really hard. I want everything to find a good home but recently I have realized I just need it to simply leave. DS room is the worst I didn't just want to get rid of all his old stuff but now I am. Its piling up and my space is too small.
The trunk of my car is the worst... its a catch all for me. Stuff I didn't want to carry in like the beach cabana from my last vacation (*cough* last year) is still in there some where.

04-24-2013, 05:40 PM
On days when the housekeeping has fallen to the wayside, I sometimes park the vacuum near the front door. I figure if someone drops by unannounced, it'll look like I'm in the process of cleaning.

:rofl: that's clever !!! :D

I live alone (with my kitty actually) and I try not to keep the household chores for the weekend cos my bf comes over and the last thing I wanna do is mop and scrub when he's around! (I'd have to dust behind his ears too!;)) I try to keep the apartment clean. Put everything back from where I picked it up.. saves a lot of time and trouble later!

and having a kitty means random fur balls and scraped off carpet threads and mysterious paw prints on the coffee table !!! If I see it dirty, it gets cleaned at that instant. Helps you stay organized else one day you wake up and feel like writing to the TV channels to film the next episode of HOARDERS in your house!! :dizzy:

Arctic Mama
04-24-2013, 08:15 PM
You're reminding me I need to redo my schedule, as we have a new member and I've adjusted the order of daily events slightly.

But basically I use a schedule/routine system (from a brilliant book called "Managers of their Homes" that is aimed at Christian homeschoolers) to map out how to get all the chunks of activity done each day, and then a secondary of lists to dictate the specifics. While I use a system that is specific to my stage of life, even when I'm old and gray I doubt I'll get rid of having a written schedule posted in easy view - I can't believe how much more I can get done just by earmarking timeslots and learning the (not too painful) discipline of actually moving from one task to the next without dawdling ;)


Here above is my schedule, all nice and color coordinated :D. This helps me so much to get dinner done on time, everyone up at the right hour, and have time each day for the basic cleaning and chores that must fit somewhere.


And here are the sub-lists, one for chores and one for school activities. This insures that each week my house is reasonably clean and if something does come up, like the baby's birth, then nothing can get too gross for a few weeks of lapse because it all got hit recently. The school list is specifically so I can prioritize the major learning tasks each day while still rotating more fun/auxiliary activities regularly.

I have one more sub-list to fit the slots on the calendar, and that is my meal planning on my fridge. It helps me keep track of what is served for breakfast and lunch on a regular basis, as well as helping me keep my groceries organized and frequently used throughout the dinner menu. Breakfasts and lunches ideally do not change week to week, to streamline planning and take the mental energy out of the task. Dinners are written down WITH prep time so I can get things going in an orderly fashion and start things like meat thawing or a crockpot cooking in time to get dinner on the table (preventing the last minute takeout syndrome ;) ). I can't praise the system enough, it has saved my bacon SO many times!


Things not on the charts are the daily tasks like wiping down tables, several loads of dishes, sweeping under the table, picking up toys several times per day, etc. These tasks are accomplished by me (and more recently I've been using my 4 and 6 year old to take these over) in five minute bursts throughout the day as needed. I always try to make sure my living room is picked up and the dishes are done by the end of the night. It's kind of a non-negotiable start to the next day to have things in order. A messy kitchen and main area is a quick way to make me feel defeated before I've ever begun.

I tried using Flylady and other such systems for cleaning, but ultimately breaking up the bigger chores into one per day (which takes me only about half an hour a day! Yay!) and dealing with the bigger jobs on weekends has helped immensely. But none of that would be possible without the initial schedule SHOWING me just how to fit it all in. Doing that was a beast the first time, like a jigsaw of doom. But once it came together it was brilliant, and I refine it seasonally as our family changes or activities adjust. Having that sucker in paper, in the middle of the house, helps ALL of us stay on task throughout the day and leaves time for both organizing/cleaning AND sitting around chatting it up on the Internet.

And that's how I organize my day - not perfect, and most days I don't get it all done as I'd like, but getting even 70-80% of the way there on a given day is immensely better than even my best and most frantic efforts before I organized my time and worked seriously on self discipline.

04-24-2013, 08:21 PM
On days when the housekeeping has fallen to the wayside, I sometimes park the vacuum near the front door. I figure if someone drops by unannounced, it'll look like I'm in the process of cleaning.

I swear I do this too, except mine stays out for a few days! Even my husband thinks I've been cleaning!! :D

Arctic Mama
04-24-2013, 08:28 PM
And I'm not sure ifi even answered you question. Sorry :o

As for organizing in the physical sense, I take one zone or task per day. I did this with nesting right before the baby was born. One day was kitchen cabinets, another was our closet/my desk, then the kids rooms, under the guest bathroom sink, etc. One day each, unless I really was on fire with it and eager to do more. My whole house was ready in about two weeks - including buying some extra storage cubes, sorting for a garage sale, etc. I had to move stuff around a few times and reshuffle it as space became available (like our linen closet stuff is under a bathroom sink but I had to fold it and leave it in our room unfinished until I got around to clearing that sink a few days later). Committing to not quit until the job is done, so those piles or unfinished tasks don't STAY that way, is really helpful.

04-24-2013, 08:58 PM
Artic Mama,

I've spent my whole life wishing I were more like you! :D

04-24-2013, 08:59 PM
And I'm not sure ifi even answered you question. Sorry :o

You totally did. I drooled at your boards. I grew up in a very cluttered and messy home and never developed good cleaning habits. I know I will have to find my own way....but I like knowing what kind of ways exist!

04-24-2013, 09:15 PM
Arctic Mama - WOW. That's organization.

I am not one of those people who organize and list out to do's - never have been.

I do things around the house every day as they need doing, and don't have a scheduled clean up day. I usually do a load of laundry or two every night. We kind of split the house in two. I take care of the main floor, and my husband takes care of downstairs. That's where he spends most of his time anyway, so why should I clean it? :P

I think I prefer little cleanings during the week so that I have the weekend off from everything. I'm pretty busy during the week, so weekends are for relaxing.

Arctic Mama
04-24-2013, 09:46 PM
I'm all about little cleanings. A half hour once per day of actual chores is my max, the rest is just picking up/wiping down kind of stuff that takes no real time at all. I am not a naturally motivated person, I procrastinate horribly, so it took drowning under my kids and house to snap me into learning and changing. I had to get completely overwhelmed to find a way out :)

04-24-2013, 09:47 PM
Most of our household chores have been divided naturally over time - my husband does 100% of the laundry and about 50% of the dishes. Since he has a busier schedule than I do (15-18 credit hours, depending on the semester, plus full time work) I do pretty much all the rest of the cleaning/cooking. I expect him to pick up after himself, but that's it. We keep a weekly schedule similar to how Arctic Mama does things, but we do ours on google calendar. I just block out general housecleaning time, not specific chores. I spend about two hours a day cleaning the house, but I'm pretty neurotic about it.

I also have a chalkboard in the kitchen where odd cleaning/projects are written - things that don't get done all the time, like re-painting the pantry or cleaning behind outlet covers - which Jordan and I will check if we miraculously have a good chunk of free time. If we want to watch a TV show, surf the internet, or play a game, we have to schedule the time to do that - otherwise, we both expect the other to be doing something productive.

Arctic Mama
04-24-2013, 09:50 PM
Artic Mama,

I've spent my whole life wishing I were more like you! :D

Haha! Notice I took pictures of my schedules, not my actual house ;)

Trust me when I say that doing the best I can is enough, but it's nowhere near perfect in execution. We're sanitary and reasonably uncluttered, though!

04-24-2013, 09:56 PM
AFK to put laundry away......

04-24-2013, 10:16 PM
I think Vex is on to something big.....AFK.

04-25-2013, 12:56 PM
In my former life (that would be when I was working), I was a very senior project manager. Did projects that were in the 10s of millions of dollars with hundreds of people involved and managed them easily. But my house.....

I now live alone in a 3300 square foot house. Cannot for the life of me remember why I thought it needed to be this size other than it sure does fill up in the summer with company and the rest of the year with family since everyone can have their own bedroom and bath if they stay here.

But to answer your question on cleaning. You'd think that since I'm retired I'd be able to keep it spotless. You'd be thinking wrong. :D I have forced myself into a routine of I do the dusting one day, the floors the next and bathrooms the 3rd day......about every other week. Once a month I do a heavy cleaning of one item -- this month I'm tackling the baseboards because they're getting icky looking.

I have a friend who devotes 45 minutes a day to cleaning. She sets the timer, starts something and just literally stops when the timer rings. I tried it -- didn't work for me. Once I get started on something I want to get it finished so I was always going over the 45 minutes and I hated having to face cleaning something every day because I hate cleaning. Truly hate it.

If you live with a family, I'm a big proponent that if you live in a family, you contribute to keeping it clean. I think that kids are old enough by age 3 to have a couple of little chores. They don't have to be done well and certainly nothing that takes longer than about 5 minutes, but still they're contributing. And, of course, toys get picked up before bed, dishes get done, etc.

Quite truthfully. I've gotten to the point where if the house looks like a tornado went through and someone drops in, they can either live with it or leave. Life is too short to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary devoted to cleaning. Did I mention that I hate cleaning???? ;)

the shiv
04-25-2013, 05:06 PM
I don't have a house, works pretty well! It'd be nice to have somewhere to live, but I guess this isn't the time. As for how I organise my LIFE, an iPhone with a decent data allowance!! Internet banking, gmail, managing all my accounts online, a decent scanning app and lots of walking :)

04-25-2013, 05:29 PM
Arctic Mama - I just got M.I.N.D.B.L.O.W.N!! You ARE Monica Gellar !! :high: :D

04-25-2013, 05:53 PM
I am naturally messy, and my home got to a really bad place before I got my stuff together. My boyfriend does nothing... but I also don't pay anything towards our living expenses, save for my own car/phone/fuel and part of the groceries. I get mocked a lot for our very traditional roles, but he works much harder than I do, and he most definitely is the breadwinner.

I "maintain" during the week, dishes, laundry if I have a full load, garbage out etc. Then if my weekend is free I do my floors, dust, change the linens, scrub the bathroom etc. I do a big grocery shop on the first Tuesday of the month since it's discount day, and then just top up the fridge week to week. If I know I'm busy on a weekend, I try to divvy up the weekly cleaning throughout my weekday evenings.