Thursday, May 20, 2010

Home Organization: Zone Cleaning

This is an additional little side note to my Family Manual Post.

Once upon a time, when I first started my career as a stay-at-home mom of just one very calm and predictable baby, I used to wake up and clean everything in the house that needed it. I worked until the house was clean, and then I sat down to relax and have "me time". This worked right up until we had more kids, really chaotic and unpredictable kids that refused to nap on a schedule. Then of course we added homeschooling to the mix, so everyone is home all day. The above system I like to call "ineffective busybodyness".

In our house education has to rank higher than cleaning the house. I could chase my tail all day cleaning, but the house is never going to look like a model home with our current life. Nor should it. I want us to be a house where you can tell as a family we are having a ton of fun. I don't want it to be sterile and look like nobody lives here. Okay, well, that's not true... I really do want it to look sterile and like no one but me lives here. But it just isn't going to happen unless I am willing to send the kids to school and ban playdough, paint, and glitter. So I decided I could settle for a house that was essentially clean, but looked "lived in", maybe even "well lived in".

Enter the Zone cleaning option. I don't know if someone out there has formalized this system, I just kinda grabbed bits and pieces of what I read on blogs and websites to form my system. The whole family pitches in for whatever the zone of the day is. Yes, I really am exactly. that. mean. This is what it looks like in my house......

Get as much help from the kids as you can……

Monday: Kitchen/Fridge
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Remember to check the door of the fridge and all the bottles of condiments for expiration
  • Wipe down the inside of the fridge.
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Wipe down the outside of all the cabinets and appliances
  • Use Old English lemon oil on all the cabinets
  • Try to impose some order on the plastics cabinet (good luck!)
  • Clean the Microwave inside and out and the stove
  • Scour the sink
  • Wipe down the backs of all the kitchen chairs and the legs of the table.
  • Check oven, see if need to clean.

Tuesday: Errands and Shopping Day

Wednesday: Kids Rooms/Hall Bathroom/Master Bedroom/Master
  • Check the kid’s bedrooms, closets, under chests of drawers, inside of drawers for neat and cleanliness.
  • Pick up Master Bedroom and Master Bath
  • Vacuum the kid’s bedrooms
  • Vacuum Master Bedroom
  • Dust shelves/windex mirrors
  • Clean hall and master bath sink and mirror
  • Deep clean toilets
  • Scour bathtubs and shower
  • Check linen closet for neatness
  • Mop floors in bathrooms
  • impose some kind of order on hair products

Thursday: Big Laundry day/Playroom
  • Strip beds of sheets and wash them
  • Put clean sheets on beds
  • Move all the remaining laundry through the washer/dryer
  • Fold all clothes and put clothes away in drawers (all of them, no stragglers)
  • Pick up playroom
  • Check under couch in playroom/vacuum
  • Dust all wooden surfaces
  • Run damp washcloth over all the window sills and baseboards
  • Sanitize light switches/door handles/play station controls/remote controls
  • Vacuum playroom
  • Clean fireplace surround
  • Windex TV
  • Clean entertainment center

Friday: Living room
  • Windex all glass and screens
  • Organize entertainment center
  • Vacuum Living room
  • Wash table cloths or at least get cat hair off (try to encourage cat to nest somewhere else)
  • Clear off the hooks near front door and "landing strip"
  • Organize bookshelfs
  • Be picky about picking up
  • Wipe window sills with damp cloth
  • Sanitize door handles/light switches/keyboards/mousse/wii controls/remote controls
  • Move furniture to pick up behind
  • Clean out glut of recorded shows on DVR

Saturday: Outside/Organize Papers
  • Mac Poop Scoop
  • Clean Grill/Check gas levels/exchange cylinder
  • Mow Lawn
  • Edge lawn
  • Pull Weeds/Prune Plants
  • Clean outside furniture
  • Treat any weeds/ants/bugs
  • Clean out the garage some
  • Evaluate need for fertilizing/grass seed/plants to buy
  • Wash exterior of house: front door, front porch, exterior paneling as needed.Organize the home office
  • Go through the stacks of mail
  • Check the calendar for the following week and update.

Sunday: Cars/Lists
  • Clean out the cars
  • Wash if needed
  • Make Menus
  • Make Lesson Plans
  • Make Grocery lists
  • update calendar and sync online, paper, and phone
  • Pick out clothes with the kids for the following week (using the calendar) and store them in the correct day's slot in closet so everything is ready to go.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home organization: The Home Manual

I can't claim to be a home organizing maven. As a matter of fact, I am a flylady drop out. I just couldn't keep up with her. But the one thing that stuck was having a family manual, or a house manual. I adapted it to suit me and it has stuck. You can see how well loved, and colored upon it is.

I recently got to see why it is such a good idea. I had surgery and my husband took off work to "run the house". I had to take pain meds. When you are the woman to whom a baby benadryl is like rohipnol, you just aren't going to be able to communicate and direct the house from the couch. Having a manual of this kind will make it super easy for someone to step in for a day, a week, or just dinner when you are having a rough day. I am going to try to put the text right below the pics, but sometimes blogger doesn't really love me that way, so sorry if its awkward.

I have my coupon book and my zippy pocket at the front of the book. The zippy pocket holds my pens and pencils. I keep all my business cards and little shopping cards I don't use all the time in a baseball card holder.

The next section is my "To Do/ Routine". I typed up what my routine is each day, I have a list of each of the kids chores, and a list of the different zones I tackle on which day. For example, On Mondays I concentrate my cleaning on the Kitchen. I involve the kids in whatever zone I am tackling, we call it our "life skills" class :) Previously I tried to keep the entire house clean all the time. At some point I realized the insanity of trying to do that and homeschool with three kids, so I settle now for cleaning the house in zones. It breaks the job into manageable chunks, which works, because I am probably not going to have three full hours of uninterrupted time to clean the entire house for the next ten years or so.

My Grocery Section has my coupons to be cut out in a sheet protector, my grocery ads, my special offers for restaurants and such. I also have my Menu for the week in a sheet protector. I don't have a good picture, but I also have print outs of the recipes for what is on our menu. That way, if I am having a stressful day and Brian is going to be home, I can pass the torch for dinner onto him. Because I know that I may do that, I make VERY detailed recipes.

At the back of my manual I keep lists of what I need to buy for the next season's clothing, for next years curriculum, a wish list of items for the house and bigger home improvement projects we want to get to "someday".

As a Mom, I have found this whole idea to be super helpful. Instead of all the information about the house being up in my head, it is down on paper. This allows Brian, or anyone else, to jump right in and help out. I think the general idea can be modified to fit each individual family's needs.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

She is tall enough!!!!!!!!

Today Chloe joined the ranks of the "big kids". She was finally tall enough to ride the cliffhanger. Its the white slide in this shot. All last year it rankled Chloe that she was just not quite tall enough. But today she conquered the 81 foot high water slide at 40 mph.

The rest of us had a great time too ;). It was just a perfect day full of sun and chlorine. We wrapped up our day with Brinner (breakfast for dinner).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Signs that you Drink too much Coffee....

- You answer the door before people knock.
- Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
- You ski uphill.
- You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
- You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
- You lick your coffeepot clean.
- You're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there.
- Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
- You chew on other people's fingernails.
- Your T-shirt says, "Decaffeinated coffee is the devil's blend."
- You can type sixty words per minute ... with your feet.
- You can jump-start your car without cables.
- Cocaine is a downer.
- You don't need a hammer to pound nails.
- Your only source of nutrition comes from "Sweet & Low."
- You don't sweat, you percolate.
- You buy 1/2 & 1/2 by the barrel.
- You've worn out the handle on your favorite mug.
- You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
- You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it's not plugged in.
- You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
- Charles Manson thinks you need to calm down.
- You've built a miniature city out of little plastic stirrers.
- People get dizzy just watching you.
- You've worn the finish off your coffee table.
- The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
- Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
- Your taste buds are so numb you could drink your lava lamp.
- Instant coffee takes too long.
- When someone says. "How are you?", you say, "Good to the last drop."
- You want to be cremated just so you can spend the rest of eternity in a coffee can.
- Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
- You're offended when people use the word "brew" to mean beer.
- You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
- You can thread a sewing machine, while it's running.
- You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
- You short out motion detectors.
- You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
- Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
- You think being called a "drip" is a compliment.
- You don't tan, you roast.
- You can't even remember your second cup.
- You help your dog chase its tail.