Monday, April 27, 2009

Final Results From Extreme Homemaker

More results--most of these were things I knew but wasn't doing--

It helps to have an outsider give advice. My sister, Nicole, and my son, Will, gave me lots of good kitchen organization ideas--rearranging cupboard space (thinking about what we use on a DAILY basis), placing several large matching baskets in the empty one foot space above the cupboards for storage, buying a rug for the back door to keep dirt from coming in.

A master grocery shopping list. I've just never taken the time to do it--it seemed like it would take forever--but I found one on-line that covers most of our needs. Copy and print! Cool!

Start homeschool in the morning or the day will quickly become too short:

Keep a daily routine for myself--check calendar, make bed, start laundry, get dressed (same order, same routine, every single morning)

Keep daily routine for kids--I have their bedtime written on an index card and taped to the fridge. It says: bath/shower, pjs, lay out clothes for tomorrow (including socks and shoes, put backpack by front door (make sure homework is signed), pick up bedroom, snack (if you are done with the above by 8:00), brush teeth, read in bed. It is so much easier to ask my kids if they have finished their check-off list than to go through each step every. single. night.

Tie in rewards to jobs--I can't have my morning coffee until I've started the laundry (GREAT reminder!)

Dovetail--do two things at once--listen to a book on CD while folding laundry--this is the only way I "read" these days. I get books on CD from the library.

Organize paperwork--keep folder for school schedules, another for sports schedules etc.

Keep spiral notebook for record of dentist, doctor, yearly check-up appointments--this is esp. helpful in large families for mothers who can't remember who went where when! (And who needs to go where when again!)

Break down big jobs--when a job feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller increments. For re-painting a room (we're currently working on Kim's), make a list with each step detailed--you can't eat an elephant in one bite! Not that I like to eat elephants! Yuck!

Be proactive--do things before they become an emergency, like get gas when needle falls to 1/4
Pick one room of the house to concentrate on for a week or, for bigger projects, a month

Keep a project list broken down by room or area

Keep a weekly to-do list

Keep a dinner menu

Delegate--think of new ways for kids to get involved and help. I once had a bout of Pericarditis and I was amazed how much my kids could do for themselves and for each other. I forget this! My girls love planning birthday parties for their younger brothers and, truthfully, they are much better at it than I!
Always keep a "Things to go to Goodwill" box in the house--fill it regularly. I used to keep things "just in case." Then, a friend convinced me that keeping things I did't need was really a type of sin because I was keeping something that someone else NEEDED! That really helped me learn to let go! Now, I am the opposite and our house has a lot less STUFF WE DON'T NEED! It's actually freeing! Flylady is a good resource if you want to clear out and clean out.

Finally, my last part of the homemaker was to start taking better care of myself. Why is it mom always comes last? I started exercising again--at the least, getting out and riding bikes with the kids.
I'm getting out in the sun more (brief tho it's been), trying to get back into reading my bible every day and having even just ten minutes of quiet time, and drinking one of my green monster shakes every day. I love my Magic Bullet! Recipe: several handfuls of greens/lettuce/spinach; 1/2 banana; big handful of berries; 1 t. flax oil. It's yummy!

The good news is, I feel a lot more in control and we do indeed seem to have more ladders, less slides!


Pastoor Family said...

Everything sounds great Ann!! You did a good job with all of the reorganizing ... not so sure about the shake though ;) ..... you'll have to try harder to convince me on that one :)

Sally- That Girl! said...

Thanks for all the great ideas and reminders!!!
Your time spent posting is appreciated.

Mrs. Deem said...

Ahhh! Thanks for sharing your tips.I SO need the "cheats." It's great to get insight from your life process.