Like many of you, I live in a house that is constant chaos. I only have 2 kids but you’d think there were a dozen from the destruction they regularly leave behind. And since organization and tidiness is not one of my innate talents, the piles of stuff continue to pile around me as I keep trying daily to get a handle on things and not succeeding.
But I never give up!!
A big reason things have gotten so out of hand is that I have a hard time multi-tasking efficiently, and during the school year, I (rightly) focus on the children’s homeschooling. But the school year is coming to an end and I HAVE to take summer off from schooling for ME, or I will never get to all the stuff I neglected throughout the year!
Before I continue…please don’t think that I am one of those permissive parents that never ask their children to lift a finger. While I’m not super strict, I’m also not lenient. My kids do have chores and I do require them to pick up after themselves….I’m just not always on top of everything right away and things get away from me.
So. At some point recently when we were having a bout of gorgeous weather….(Extreme heat is the norm here from May through Oct, but we had a couple weeks of 70s/80s and I was in heaven, since I abhor the heat)…I got inspired to plan out my summer to the nth degree. You see, once the heat kicks in, Tina shuts down. I go into a sort of summer hibernation. My inspiration and desire to do ANYTHING disappears and I spend most of those hot months being crabby and sleepy, accomplishing nothing. Keeping in mind this is HALF the friggin YEAR, and keeping in mind the continued chaos around me in my home environment…I decided it was time to do something different this year.
So I came up with a plan, quickly and completely while I was basking in the gorgeously cool weather, realizing it would be over all to soon and the malaise would soon be upon me. The plan was to create a plan to keep me busy and on task all through the heat, taking me through to the end where I would be rewarded with a finally decluttered, organized and clean house, fully prepared and energized to start a new homeschool year!!
Excited by my plan, I even scheduled in the most important areas of my house first, as I am planning another birthday party Extravaganza for mid-July…so will need relevant parts of the house done by then (bedrooms and out of the way parts of house not scheduled til after the party…we can just close those doors and keep people out.)
AND, realizing that I need time to plan for the new school year, I planned 4 weeks into my summer for homeschool planning at the end, leading up to the first day of school!
Sounds like a great plan, right? I think so! I’m jazzed! Immediately wanted to get started on it, but had to wait till we completed the school year.
So here’s some more specifics, for those who might be inspired to join me in my newly dubbed “Great Summer Clean and Purge”!
Step 1: First, I sat down with good old fashioned paper and pen and mapped out my house into zones (Flylady style)
Step 2: I determined exactly when was the start and end of my summer and how much time that allowed me to work.
Step 3: I divided the zones evenly among the weeks I had, combining smaller zones like bathrooms, entryway, laundry room, etc so everything would fit in the time allowed.
Step 4: Next, I went one-by-one through each week’s zone(s) and broke each zone into subzones, covering every square inch. i.e.: (In bedroom) dresser, bureau, closet, floor, windows/sills, ceiling fan, night stand, walls.
Step 5: Then I divided these subzones evenly among the 7 days I had allotted for that zone, keeping more complicated areas by themselves and coupling simpler areas together. I also kept in mind that I may have weeks I’ll peter out before the end of the week or things will interfere with the plan so I scheduled the most important subzones first.
As I planned all this, I realized that everything won’t always go as planned, and ANYTHING I do will be an improvement! Not attempting perfection here. Taking the house apart in bite-sized pieces allows me to not be overwhelmed by the hugeness of the job, and gives me a very doable way to accomplish a lot, even if it doesn’t all get done. Hopefully I WILL get most done, but I’m allowing for the slip-ups and getting off track that are inevitable. Probably will poop out at times too.
I also decided that if I didn’t finish the day’s assignment by the end of the assigned day that I would just move on. No falling behind and piling up of work…just KEEP MOVING! “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” 🙂
So, if all goes as planned, my entire house should be pretty spiffy and lighter from clutter in just a couple months! If you’d like to join me, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!