Friday, March 05, 2010

Freedom

(Hey Company Girls! Our virtual coffee time these last few weeks has been taken over by info about the Help Haiti Live concert. I hope that didn't offend you, but I couldn't think of a better way to get the info out to a lot of people than to bring you, my Company Girls along! Now that the concert's over, I'll remind you of the auctions that are still on-going here and mention the group of bloggers that are in Kenya with Compassion right now, but for the most part, we'll be getting back to our "regularly-scheduled programming" now.)

So, I wouldn't say necessarily that I've had a "homemaking epiphany" lately, because it's something I've heard from lots of sources for a long time now, but I guess I recently just started actually implementing it in my life. That non-epiphany is that I don't have to do everything absolutely to completion, nor do I have to do it perfectly. And it's been amazing how freeing that's been for me.

To implement this non-epiphany, each day, I make a list of things that need to be done. Some of them have to be done today (meals, any planned outings for the day, any errands that need to be run, daily cleaning regimens, etc.), some of them need to be done soon (laundry, tasks that have upcoming due dates, etc.), and some of them just need to be done sometime (deep cleaning something, getting something ready to be put away for a long time, etc.). By spelling out the necessaries like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I get lots of things to cross off my list (and I also have a better understanding myself of what I actually do all day)! And by simply rejoicing that I got _some_ stuff crossed off the list each day (and not beating myself up because I didn't get _EVERYTHING_ crossed off), it ends up being simply a reminder of my successes rather than an onerous list of onerous tasks that have to get done.

Sometimes things get copied from yesterday's list to today's list for weeks. And that's ok. Eventually I get tired of rewriting them and actually _do_ them. Sometimes I break up a task into sub-tasks just so that I can cross more stuff off the list! (Sometimes I do it because _part_ of the job got done, but not ALL of it and I want to celebrate that too!) Frequently I add things to the list after-the-fact, just so I can cross them off (and celebrate at the end of the day how much I actually did)!

The most amazing thing I've seen happen through it is that the cleaning load has started to get easier each day. Since I write down each room in my (small) house each day and mostly manage to spend a few minutes in each (some would call this "minimum maintenance," but by writing down each room individually rather than grouping it all together, I can cross stuff off the list without feeling guilty that I didn't get to them all), it takes less and less each day to _keep_ them clean.

Now, I'm definitely _NOT_ a "schedule" person (i.e., laundry on Monday, scrub floors on Tuesday, etc.), and I definitely _AM_ someone who gets a great deal of joy from recognizing my accomplishments by marking them off a list, so this works great for me. Maybe you'll do better with something else. But this has worked so far for me in my current life stage. And it's been wildly freeing for me, not to mention good for our house. It's still not "magazine clean" or even "company clean" most of the time, but it's better (and certainly easier and quicker to get to "company clean"). And that makes me happy too.

5 comments:

MrsJenB said...

You most definitely have the right idea there. Better to focus on what you've accomplished rather than what you would get done if life were perfect!

Crazy Lady Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing. We all have to find the system that works for us. I don't think my house is ever 100% "company clean" at once, but I do my best...and I know things are sanitary and I am always working on clutter. Press on!!

secondofwett said...

It sounds like you are a very organized person! Good for you...I have to make lists for new things that I have to do....it does make life a little easier.

One More Equals Four said...

good for you! I am glad you have found a system that works for you! I definitely need to get a better system!

bashtree said...

Good for you! I think that's such an important epiphany. I had to do that too, and it makes such a difference! I'm with you on the list stuff, too...I love crossing things off, and i love starting clean new lists too.