Several years ago, while researching organizing tips, I found flylady.net. I admit I have not kept up with the routines and the routine building all this time. But lately, with my focus on accomplishing goals, I’ve discovered that I’m wasting a lot of time not doing the things that need to be done on a daily/weekly basis in a timely manner, at a set time of day. I’m a stay at home mom, so it’s easy for me to put off some chores until later, but many times later is after the kids go to bed, which is my prime work time. Also, when I am not working with my automatic routines and my to-do list, I find myself going into a mental lock and ending up on the internet.
Something that I have also been working on is making a chore chart/list for my kids. “You make your kids WORK!? Oh, the horror! Kids should be kids!!” I tell you now, I had very few responsibilities growing up, which was cool at the time, but then I grew up, moved out, and got married. When I met my husband, I was living with a friend who lived his life separate from mine, so I often cooked for myself. Since I didn’t really know how to cook, I ate a lot of Easy Mac and frozen burritos (so healthy!). Well, when my husband and I got married, obviously I couldn’t serve mac n cheese or burritos all the time, so I struggled to learn how to cook (I thank God for Rachel Ray and her 30 Minute Meals show. I wouldn’t have learned to cook without her!).
Growing up, I wasn’t expected to do any real housekeeping, and my room was a mess frequently. You can imagine what my house looked like shortly after having my first baby! I was too embarrassed to have anyone over ever (Fly Lady calls it Can’t Have Anyone Over syndrome, or CHAOS). It has really only been the last couple years that the picking up I go and regularly decluttering really sunk in.
I do not want my kids to move out without knowing how to plan/shop/prepare/cook several HEALTHY meals, run a load of laundry from wash to dried/folded/PUT AWAY, and how to keep their homes tidy. I’m telling you right now, from personal experience, kids do not just learn this stuff magically on their 18th birthdays. We need to teach them while they are still young, starting with keeping their toys picked up and building on until they could easily run the house by themselves as they grow in age, ability and maturity. A side bonus is when EVERYONE does a little bit, even if it’s just pick up after themselves, it eases the burden of the one who usually runs everything in the house (usually mom, whether she stays at home or works full-time).
Anyway, in the process of building my own routines (I’ll get there, I promise!) I have also started building the routines of my older children, which re-enforces my routines because I want to be the good example.
Now that you know a little of the “Why,” go to flylady.net to see where I got the inspiration for my own routines (no, I do not get paid for sending traffic her way! I just want everyone to know that she has good ideas for home maintenance!), and I will go into the “How.”