Raise your hand if you're busy! Ah, yes, I see lots of hands! Aren't we all busy? And sometimes it's a challenge to work everything important into our schedules and have it all done well.
Now, let me ask you this. Do you like to have your home in order? Or at least clean? Personally, I like to have a place for everything and everything in its place. Not everyone in my house is at the same extreme in his mindset as I on that matter, so some days I do settle for "a place for most things and most things in their places." Occasionally, illness overtakes us or we over-schedule ourselves and, for a brief period, it's "a place for some things and some things in their places!" I must admit that drives me crazy!
But whether you're more comfortable with everything in its place or a few things scattered around, we all want a basically clean house. I found a perfect-for-me system to help stay on track in this area and wanted to share it in case it might be a perfect-for-you system, too!
It's called Motivated Moms, but don't let the name mislead you! Anyone who has housework to do can benefit from this. Basically, it's a chore chart for grown-ups. :) No stickers, but checklists. It breaks down a year's worth of housework into very doable daily lists. There are some things they suggest you do every day--things you probably do already, like clean out the sinks in your home and sweep the kitchen floor. It even reminds you to take your vitamins, exercise and pamper yourself! Gotta love that!
Then, each day you have a different list of things to do. Some things you do on the same day each week. Some jobs are broken down into small segments. For instance, one day each week, you're cleaning a part of your refrigerator. One week, you clean the first shelf, the next week, the second shelf and so on. Once you've made it through the entire fridge, the next week will start over on the first shelf again.
I started using this last year and have found it so incredibly useful! It reminds me to do things I might not think of, like clean the mouse on the PC. The housework is broken down into such manageable segments, that it's not a heavy burden on any day, usually. Often, my only time to do housework is when Little Mister is doing independent work for school, and I can usually get my chores done in that amount of time with no problem, some days with time to spare. A mom with younger children could accomplish the list during the kids' nap time, or someone with a job away from home could manage the list before and/or after work. It just makes sense!
You might choose to add to the list of everyday chores (there's room to do that) or if, for you, something they suggest doing every day doesn't need to be done that often in your household, you change it to work for you! And, of course, some of the chores can be delegated to other members of your household.
Anyway, I drastically simplified my time organization for this year. Last year I used the Keepers at Home organizer and, while it was nice in some ways, it was just too complicated and time-consuming to repeat this year. Now I have the monthly tabs from last year and behind each tab, I have that month's printed calendar, with the holes punched on the "wrong" side (right-hand side of the paper), and then I print out the current week's "Motivated Moms" chart, holes on the left side, so when my planner is open, I can see both pages (calendar and chore schedule) at once. My appointments go on the calendar, and the things I need to accomplish that week are listed on the appropriate days of the chore sheet.
I like the price, too: $8, plus the cost of paper and ink to print it. I use both sides of the paper, printing a week on each side. When you pay for it (via PayPal), it loads on your computer and you can print it out a week at a time, or however you wish. To see samples and sizes and/or to order, go here.
P.S. I'm not being paid anything to tell people about this. I just like it! :)
Edit (1/1/12): You can get this as an "app" as well this year, if that suits you better!