Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30: Goals for Week Five and Beyond

Every weekend this month, I've evaluated the previous week's progress and posted new goals for the week to come, knowing that you would be there the following weekend to keep me accountable.

This weekend is different. My 31 Days project will be over tomorrow and I won't be required to evaluate my life next weekend. I'm kind of sad about it, actually. I've really made a huge amount of progress, with your encouragement, dear readers. I've almost become a real grown-up. Crazy.

Well, how have I done this week? I've done pretty well, I think. I'm still making progress, but also slowing down to enjoy the fruits of my labors. Fortunately, most of the clutter in the house is under control. That amazes me. That has taken much of my time this month, so the end of that task signals the beginning of the next task--maintenance.

I'm not creating a list to post on my refrigerator tonight, but I guess I could say my goals for this week include the following:

- keeping up with the new good habits I've formed

- keeping the de-cluttered places in my home de-cluttered

- working out a feasible cleaning schedule for myself and the rest of my family members

- continuing to remove chaos from my life wherever it pops up

- working on our big adoption fundrasiser event

- taking steps toward arranging for our home study

I think of all of those things, the one that worries me most is the cleaning schedule. Honestly, I've never been good at this. I've so often made lists and charts, outlining who does what and on what day, but they've never really lasted beyond a week. On the other hand, I've pleaded and begged my family (and myself) to just "take our home seriously" and just accomplish things--undefined responsibilities, just try to be helpful and do things that need doing. This is equally ineffective. I've tried the Fly Lady thing, and while I am happy to acknowledge it is a great thing and very effective for a lot of people, it's not for me. I just don't do well with being told what to do and having extra emails come into my inbox. I'm not sure how to establish cleaning routines that will stick for us. Any ideas?

The main problem with cleaning before, of course, was the clutter factor. I would be determined to actually clean things like floors and surfaces, but one of two things would happen.

1. We would spend so much time picking up clutter so that we could dust or clean floors or whatever, that we would use up all of our energy and never actually get to the cleaning part.


2. I would lose heart before we even began, knowing that a clean floor or dusted furniture wouldn't actually make the room look clean or organized or peaceful because of the abundance of clutter all around. Actual cleaning really felt futile.

So maybe, just maybe, things will be different now that the clutter is mostly gone. Maybe when we set out to clean, we will do just that and it won't be time consuming, draining or hopeless-feeling. We'll see. I would be happy to entertain your suggestions, readers.

So that's where I'm headed, friends. Tomorrow, we recap the experience and put it all in perspective--oh, and eat some Halloween candy.


Alana in Canada said...

When you did do flylady, what worked for you? Anything?

What tasks do you feel must be done everyday to keep things running at bare minmum? Where can you get the most bang for you effort, as it were? (I find a fifteen minute pick up and put away every day throughout the main floor keeps despair at bay). Do your minumums for the week. See how it feels. Do extra as you wish--see how that goes. Good luck!

alison said...

I'm beginning to think in terms of daily, weekly and monthly or seasonally. This is helpful, because when I start to despair, "I JUST cleaned that!" I realize "JUST" was a week ago and it needs to be done. I know this is obvious, but it keeps me from getting stuck in despair.

I haven't worked out how to delegate work for the kids yet. Beyond merely saving my sanity - we're drowning in dog fur - I really want them to have these inner tempos of home keeping to take with them in the future.

Alana's right with establishing your bare minimums. I'm doing that now...slowly.

Danette said...

First, I'm amazed at what you've accomplished in a month. Good for you! I know what this has taken for you and I'm so proud of you! So, you've learned that babies are your big motivator, yes? You know I love you, so I hope you know this comes from the heart: Don't shoot yourself in the foot now. You want to keep this up but a) You don't want reminders from anyone; b) you don't want to make a chart; c) you don't want to keep up a schedule, etc. Most of the time, cleaning/straightening is about habits made while in childhood. So, the answer is to make a new habit. Whatever motivates you to do that will be the only thing that works for you. So, you've learned that babies are your big motivator, yes? ;-) Those babies (and the current ones) will need a mama who will instill good habits in them. Start that cleaning schedule, make a chart, get the email reminders, and start a new habit! I know you can do it! I'm rooting for you! xoxo

Sherry C said...

Ok, D. You are a true friend, calling like it is. And you're right. Love you. Thanks for the encouragement.

Sharla said...

I am a social cleaner. Meaning I like company to distract me from the feeling of "work" and encourage me to work faster. I also hate keeping on top of my kids to finish chores that I have chosen to let them slide on too often. Consequently, we started a Job Jar that we use on Saturdays: creative names for a cluster of jobs are written on slips of paper and we each draw one. Every week we ALL do "jar-jobs" at the same time. We're working together (on seperate jobs), clutter is removed all over the house at one time and it feels like it is over quickly.