ok…so remember how i said i began with making some lists? ( love lists). i started with a list of things i absolutely had to get done in a day, then broke it down to adding things that i would like to get done, and then things that would really be a bonus to get done. on this list (which i can’t find a copy of) i also broke down things i had to do on certain days (i.e. clean baths, change bedding, ect). then i made another list that broke down my day in time frames so i could see where to fit different things into my day in order to check things off that first list. (note: i am not sure why this image is so big. maybe because i think my handwriting is so wonderful – joke!)
as you can see, (because this image is so big) there are some chunks of time where nothing is going on. that is where i was able to incorporate more time with my kids! which was the first part of this overhaul goal. now please understand. i “lived” by the time line list for only four days. then i tweaked it and it all became habit and natural. and then the boy stopped napping so i had to switch a few other things around. i picked things up more, and had my kids pick things up more. i made sure main rooms like our living room and family room and dining room stay picked up. the games and books stay in the family room and the toys make their way back to the sunroom/playroom. i have kept on top of the kitchen counters (for the most part), by just immediately putting things away. the “touch it once” rule. i now have things i do every day. both bathrooms are wiped up every day. a load or two of laundry are done everyday – washed, dried, folded and put away everyday. the dishwasher is run at night and the dishes are put away before we leave for school the next day. the kitchen is cleaned up after every meal…no dishes in the sink! the beds are made, clothes put down the chute (to be washed that morning), and toys are picked up before we leave for school. i have actually found that the kids are doing more themselves and by doing these things every day, i am happy with how my house looks and i actually have more free time instead of less.
here are some photos of the house:
dining room (this is our only table so this “room” is really an extension of our kitchen:
the buffet now holds (in an organized way) a drawer for place mats a drawer for cloth and paper napkins, a drawer for dvds (yea that is random but the kid’s dvd player is in the sunroom right off the dining room), a drawer for outdoor grilling supplies, a drawer for tablecloths, a drawer of mason jars and a drawer of platters. and some room to spare:) isn’t the old writing desk awesome? we use that as our “bar” when entertaining. the top swings down leaving room for cocktails and supplies.
the master bedroom:
i have (finally) embraced sparse flat spaces. i used to have a lot of “things” on my flat spaces. i also used to take a long time to dust. less stuff = less dust. now..to keep it real…the desk part is a little nook in my master. that is my work area…yea…it always needs a bit of attention.
no… i didn’t decorate off the brady bunch style with the twin beds in my oldest girl’s room…her little sister used to also sleep in there until she changed her mind. i was limited on arrangement because she wanted more space and my husband doesn’t want to bunk the beds. and this is what we ended up with. it somehow works for us. they pick up and help to make their beds every morning…even the little boy!
now…some more detail systems i “stole” from other bloggers:
the pantry from sunny side up (thanks erin! – well amazon thanks you too for my order hehe)
it’s no where as neat and tidy and organized as erin’s…but it is way better than it used to be. we have a weird kitchen with not a lot of space (for as much as we like to cook) and the pantry doesn’t hold much. i took erin’s advice and purchased some uniform containers and put the foods we always have on hand (noodles, pretzels, crackers, oreos) in them so i could discard bulky boxes.
then i just grouped things…for some reason these little changes have made a big difference…easier to find where to put things and it seems to stay this neat no matter how “packed” it is now. (disclaimer…that “hash” stuff is the husbands)
another blog i stole some ideas from was a bowl full of lemons. the big one here was her “office in a bag.” while i have my work area upstairs, if i have bills to pay or blog stuff to do, or a thank you to write, or school paperwork to fill out…the reality is that i need to have that stuff in a central location downstairs. or be able to move it to the sunroom or basement. i have three kids that need some supervision. the problem? i don’t really have a central location. so i made an office in a bag. in it i have a binder that keeps school calendars and necessary numbers for home upkeep. i also keep an address book and cards in there, as well as paper and pens and markers and other supplies. i carry a clip board in mine as well…i sometimes toss my office in the car and get stuff done while waiting in the preschool pick up line (i go early…the little one naps…i get stuff done!) i too used a thirty-one bag…but i guarantee mine isn’t as prettily organized…while making the home office in a bag, i also made a bag for the Realtor i work for and for MiUS. that way if i have to leave my home and go to a meeting or a training, i just grab the smaller “office” bags and am ready to go.
we have a weird, small closet next to our pantry. i have shelves in there and it has some tools and light bulbs, my office in a bag, school supplies for homework, rags, bags…a little eclectic collection of must haves for the home.
so…i guess my point is…i did “copy” or use some ideas from other bloggers (and actually, this is just a sample from the list) but i tweaked them to fit my home. after the deep clean and purge, i am so motivated to keep up with this system and organization/cleanliness. my house has looked almost exactly like these pictures now for almost two months. but…let’s be real…it isn’t all like this.
bottom drawer of the pantry:
ha! those above are picked up! like looking really good picked up. usually you cannot walk from door to door without stepping on some %^$#*&% toy.
i have tried a bunch of different ways to organize and have cleaning systems. and i really think, in the end, making the lists of what will work for me and make me, and my family, happy, and a list of how my day kind of pans out, has made all the difference.
so that’s it for this installment. i will put some pics of the kitchen organization on the blog soon. it was a task to complete…but i feel so good about my home every day now…and wake up feeling ready to start the day and not like i am running on that hamster wheel.
on that topic of house cleaning and organizing..have you noticed the new little tweaks on our MiUS website? if you haven’t, please go check it out. we will have a blog post detailing the changes soon. but you are the customer…what do you think? do we need to do any housecleaning or organizing to the blog or shop website? we see some shoppers left their carts full but haven’t come back…please let us know why so we can fix any issues out there. you are our informants! please dish on some feedback:)
have a happy, clean and organized day! (and if you can’t do that…at least drink good coffee!)