Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Organisation is not intuitive

At least not to me anyway. I struggle on a daily basis with the most simple of house chores. One day if you had the misfortune of popping in for coffee you would be greeted with a house that looks as if a bomb had gone off in it. On a good day you would come in and think it looks reasonable.

I have had a long history of peaks and troughs in housekeeping. I have dreams of my home looking like a Martha Stewart photoshoot but will settle for consistent mediocrity. How to achieve this? I have had many a discussion with Tania (my dear fellow long suffering Army wife friend) and we agreed to be each others' cheerleader. I love the idea of FlyLady but I get so transfixed with not missing emails, I end up on the computer even more and that is not conducive to better housekeeping - not with so many beautiful blogs to look at....

We started with a dreams list for our home. Mine looked like this:

I would love:
  • to have a house ANYONE could call in on any time of day & I wouldn't be embarrassed to open the door to them.
  • to be able to access each cupboard & see what I need and can use - no clutter.
  • to go into my shed and know what's there.
  • to get going in the morning without having to ask - where are socks, books, lunch etc
  • have enough of a plan that every meal is nutritious and tasty.
  • always have enough fresh fruit & milk in the fridge.
  • have enough $ budgeted that I can pay every bill the day I get it.
  • have time to play with the kids without - "I should be doing xyz" going through my brain.
Then we got practical. We meal planned and collated ideas and have planned a fortnightly cook-up session.

We also made an "Organisation Folder" to be the hub of our new found organised life. Mine has 5 categories:
  • Current To-Do - for lists, a clear pocket for post, notes etc
  • Finance - a clear pocket for bills to be paid, lists of upcoming bills, wants (eg:new mattress) & needs (eg: new sneakers)
  • Meals - a Fortnightly meal plan, clear pocket for take-away vouchers, shopping list
  • School/Kindy - upcoming events, clear pockets for communication to be filled & returned
  • Long-term To-Do - lists (eg: sort linen cupboard)
I also have a cardboard envelope containing envelopes, stamps and address labels.

It resides on my bench and have a look each evening to see where I am sitting and what's coming up. I also stuck a little whiteboard to my pantry to put on the upcoming events for the next fortnight so I don't forget.

For most of you this will seem like overkill but I find with the 3 little ones and a DH working long hours, the more I don't have to 'remember' the better it works for me. It's taken a lot of stress off me, that's for sure. I will also blog my meal plan and weekly tasks list if you like?!


Cass said...

You are not alone. My house looks like a bomb hit it and I have to know in advance if people are coming so I can tidy up. Oops just remembered I have visitors on Thursday better vacuum tomorrow.

Kylie said...

Oh yes please - actually would you like to come and visit and set up a folder for me LOL - I really should do one!

Marie said...

another bomb site here too. Folder sounds like a good idea, though I would probably forget to use it. I am trying to slowly build up good habits (get used to doing one more thing until it always is done and then add another).