You know the routine, you’re hurrying out the door trying to get snacks for the car ride, there are no clean sippy cups because you were too tired to load (or unload) the dishwasher last night, you can’t find your keys in the mess of what you call your purse, every time you take a step, you smash another cheerio, and your 5 year old has no clean Mermaid panties, because Tinkerbell just isn’t working for her today! Here goes another hectic day. If only you could get on top of it all. Have I got the book for you! I’m sure a lot of you have heard about it or read it, but I’m telling you ladies- this is what has saved my sanity! Sink Reflections, by Maria Cilley. My dear friend Kim gave this book to me right after Nick and I were married, so I got to start with it totally fresh. I’ve been doing it for eight years now and it’s such a habit for me, I don’t have to think about it. Get on with it already you say!
Baby steps people. (Remember What About Bob?) Most of us feel so overwhelmed, and feel like we have to do it all right now. Nope. Start with cleaning your sink. Really. Have you ever noticed if your house is spotless, and then you leave dirty dishes in your sink for a day, it all goes to pot? Always keep your sink clean and free of dishes, and you will feel much better! That’s the first baby step.
I have a binder, with all of my “routines” in them. For example, I have a morning routine I do every single morning. It goes something like this:
Get up, shower, get dressed, brush teeth, clean sink, empty dishwasher, do a load of laundry, eat breakfast, thaw dinner, pick up, put things away, hit hot spots, feed kids, take medications, etc. I have a time allotment to do all of this in. Alright, hot spots are areas in your home that tend to “collect stuff” you know, the end of a kitchen counter, coffee table, end table-whatever. Every morning I set the timer for 10 mins. and clean up my hot spots.
Make a night time routine. To do list for tomorrow, check calender for appointments, clean sink, tidy bathroom etc.
Each week I have one day set aside (mine is Monday because of all the weekend craziness, but others like to do it Thursday, before the weekend) where I do 7 jobs. I change all the sheets, vacuum, dust, mop, empty all the trash, clean mirrors and windows, and get rid of magazines. (I also do laundry) I do it every Monday-make it a habit.
Clutter Clutter Clutter. You can’t organize clutter. I love how you only have to take 15 minutes out of your day to declutter. It’s not a huge laborious chore that you dread. Set your timer and go to town, work on one or two areas for the full 15 minutes and be done. Here are a couple other ways to declutter:
1. Don’t let it in to begin with. When you get something new, get rid of something old.
2. The 27 Fling Boogie. Um what? Maria practiced this every day for 6 months and decluttered her whole house, just by doing this! Grab a garbage bag, set the timer for 15 minutes and collect 27 things to get rid of! When the timer goes off, take it out to the trash or your car to take to a thrift store. Put it in your daily routine, and you will be clutter free sooner than you think!
Basic Weekly Plan. Remember the day I do 7 jobs? What do I do the rest of the week? Make yourself a basic weekly plan. Here’s an example of one:
Clean mirrors and windows
Water and fertilize plants
Spend 15 minutes in the current “zone”
Remainder of weekly cleaning
Write thank you notes
Work on menus and grocery list for next week
Make sure menus are planned before you go shopping
Check grocery list, take it with you!
- Post Office
- Buy Gifts, Cards, and Candles
Be romantic day!
Get food from freezer for next week
Write letters and cards
Clean out purse
Mend clothes and polish shoes
Clean out car
Clean laundry room
Friday- Date Night
Saturday- Family Fun Day
Sunday- Renew Your Spirit Day
Instead of “spring cleaning” you use the zone system. Each home has 5 zones.
- Entrance/Dining Room/Front Porch
- Bathroom/Children’s Rooms/Spare bedroom or office
- Master Bedroom/Master Bathroom
- Living Room/Family Room/Den
Get out your calender. Most months have 5 weeks in them. This determines what what zone you are in. Start with the entrance. Even if you start on a Saturday. Monday start a new zone. Declutter your zones first and then go to the detailed cleaning. When you start the detailed cleaning, start at the ceiling, and move your way down to the floor. Set your timer for 15 minutes when you work in your zone!
Last of all reward yourself! After your 27 fling boogie, let yourself check your email, watch a tv show- whatever. Good Luck!