Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stress Strategy: Get a New PLAN!

Sometimes, when we look around and find that what have been doing for awhile isnt working anymore. Maybe there was never a plan to begin with, or maybe its just that your family, schedule or priorities have changed over time.

I know that when I was child-free, by routines were much different. My home would get cluttered, but was easily gotten under control. When I cleaned, it stayed that way on the most part. The messes were mine, or my hubby's ..which were easy pick up and put away in their clearly designated home. My routines were simple, through and completely inefficient for a home with children in it.

When I had one child, I got stuff done during naptime. It stayed clean, if not only for naptime. I had one child's worth of clutter and stuff, and only one to follow after. His schedule was mine, and I worked around it. That routine was slightly more complicated, but worked well for the time period. It does not work for our current crazy home of playdates, two kids, a dog, a cat, a part-time working mommy, an extra bedroom or two, church responsibilties ..etc.

If I held myself to the standard of either of those previous women, I would fall dreadfully short.

Even since I have had two children, our schedule has changed and evolved as naps changed and disappeared. Our plans have changed as kids get older, can take on responsibilities or their needs change. Our plans need to change as the kids have their own out of the home activities, and those have to meld beautifully their siblings, fathers and everyone's physical needs.

Plans need to change.

So, if things are not working right now ...ask, is it the plan itself that is flawed?

I could be that the routines that you have always used, and have always worked, may need revamped!

A New Plan

A fellow SAHM friend of mine has come up with a great plan that I am working on initializing. She calls it her "Plan for World Domination" ..an excellent name, I think :) I know keeping my home in order feels like a task that large!

Here is a basic overview of her plan to get all the deep cleaning in her house done in about 2 weeks.

She suggests making a list of the tasks you would like to get done. My list may look like this..

* Living Room/Kitchen/Dining Room mopped
* Master bedroom vacuumed
* Master Bath scoured
* Guest bath scoured
* Boys room vacuumed
* Refrigerator cleaned out
* Ceiling fans dusted
* Living room dusted

Then, she says to assign a time period to achieve all these tasks, i.e., a week or two weeks.

Last, you break the tasks up where you spread them over the time period so that you can get an idea of how much you need to do every day, while still giving yourself a couple days off. Also, if you need to break some of these tasks up into a couple different sessions in order to get them done, thats okay. Her example is, if you hate vacuuming or dusting, only do half the living room dusting in one session instead of the whole thing.

So, you may have plan that looks like this:

Dust LR #1
Dust LR #2
Clean BR ceiling fans
Clean LR ceiling fans
Clean out fridge
Mop LR
Mop DR/Kitchen
Boys room vacuumed
Master BR vacuumed
Master bath scoured
Guest bath scoured

= 11 activities

Then, each day you pick the number of tasks you need to to get them all done in the period you decided on before. In my example, 11 tasks = 11 days, with a couple rest days in there somewhere for a total of a 14 day cycle.

I would add one more suggestion. I would suggest you use a timer, assigning a mental number to each activity so that it you have 15 minutes today, you would chose a 15 minute task. If you have a little more time, or less time..you can chose a different task. Then, pick a task, set a timer and go!

She likes this plan, because it is as flexible as her day is unpredictable. If you dont get to your daily task until the kids naptime, pick something other than vacuuming that day! Or, if the day doesnt allow for even a 15 minute task, then you still have some wiggle room.

This is a great plan ..flexible and less overwhelming when looking at all the stuff we have to do!

If this plan works, great! If not, then look for one that does :)


  1. Wow...seeing it all written out made it somehow seem more complicated to me! I guess it all just made more sense in my head--most things are like that:). All I know is that for so long, I thought that I just couldn't keep my whole house deep-cleaned in this phase of my life. When the kids went down for a nap and I got done straightening, doing dishes, etc., I'd think, "Now, I really need to CLEAN something." But then it seemed like EVERYTHING needed cleaning, and I'd just shut down b/c it was too much.

    SO, I finally divided all my vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and bathroom-cleaning into 12 "bite sized" chunks, wrote them in a list, and then gave myself two weeks to do them. Obviously, some parts of my house need vacuumed and mopped more than once every two weeks, but this at least guarantees that they WILL be done in that time period. And I've found I can go large amounts of time without dusting my downstairs if I'm not careful:).

    Like you said, the beauty of this plan is that it is so flexible, which I really need right now. If the kids are in a good mood, I might vacuum a bedroom and bathroom. If they are playing well in Luke's room, I'll dust it while they play...and then we'll go down to Anna's room and dust it, too. If Greg comes home early from work, I might vacuum the stairs while he watches the kids. If they go down for a nap at the same time, I might clean a bathroom or two. Or I might just need a day off. It varies:).

    I'm on my second cycle, and I must say, I'm shocked at how easy it is. In fact, I think I could condense it down to less than two weeks...but I don't want to rush anything or overwhelm myself:).

  2. Hi. I'm Courtney. I'm in Lacey's home school group (or she's in mine, I'm not sure :0)). I thought I should let you know I've been reading your blog. ;) When I saw the title of your blog, I thought, "this is for me." But, then I saw it was about cleaning. I was thinking I need a new plan for our homeschool. ;0) I think the ideas can crossover, though.

  3. Yay! I do something kinda like this... er, I at least have the list :P Sometimes I fall off the bandwagon.


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