First: October prize winners will be announced tomorrow. Thank you to all who participated last month - it was a fun one!
Second, here is a new Tally Sheet for November. You'll want to have this handy! The fridge is a perfect spot for it. Download TallyNovember10
Now, our Small Thing:
It's something I like to bring up every once in a while because it is the little thing that makes the bigger things (like juggling a busy family life) possible. I think we talked about it in August last time, but if you're like me, I need a continuous nudge to remember to put it into practice.
I credit the genius of Bonnie in Bonnie's Household Organizer for this concept. Bonnie gives some guidelines for a simple daily maintenance routine that I've adapted to my own family's needs over the years. It is MAGIC, ladies.
Most of you know this already, but let's review together again anyway....because it will make November a month to Remember. Minimum Maintenance in a nutshell is this: acknowledging that every day a minimum amount of effort will go into that day to make it work.
Minimum Maintenance is NOT a thorough cleaning process. It is a morning (or evening) run-through of the house, that gives you a successful start (or finish) to your day, whatever happens.
Here is what Bonnie says:
1. Spend 5 minutes per room, picking up and straightening. NO MORE THAN 5 MINUTES! (Except the kitchen, which gets 15). When your friendly timer goes off, you move on. Oh, good!
2. Don't start cleaning too deeply during your morning run-through. Save that for later.
3. Don't let the needs of others control your life. (ex. telephone calls, TV shows, etc.)
4. Make the dinner decision early. (By 10:00) Deciding early give you more choices, even if you are deciding to eat out. It gives you control. Try an easy monthly menu plan.
5. Start from the outside in. Clean off the top of the counter before you attack a drawer.
6. Categorize items as you go: start grouping stuff as you pick up. Don't get bogged down in specific, precise categories, just simple groups so that when you begin to really organize, half the job is already done.
7. Learn to pick up before the mess becomes monstrous. We often don't pick up a little piece of paper because the rest of the house is so messy. For today, just pick up the stuff you took out and used TODAY.
8. Make the picking-up process a habit. At first it will take great effort, but soon it will become a second nature. Clean as you go. Having paper towels or pop-up wipes handy in each bathroom makes it easier to do a quick swab o' the deck.
So even if my home is a complete disaster, picking up and straightening the areas we live in gives me a euphoric feeling of success. Knowing that I HAVE to move on after 5 minutes in each room helps keep me from getting bogged down in my quagmire of despair.
Sometimes it has worked better for me to do 5 minutes per room in the evening, rather than in the morning. I like to wake up to a neat house, and getting the kids to pitch in to for quick pick up gives them an excuse to stay up 5 more minutes.
Today's Small Thing is to get out your timer give Minimum Maintenance a chance to work its magic. This month, I am going to give ample opportunities to take MM from theory to reality by giving you plenty of points for working on this habit.
Try to do MM every single day, jotting down when you have done it. Simply put a little "MM" on your calendar. I will be giving some surprise bonus points...randomly and without warning :).... throughout the month that will make it worth your while
POINTS: 50 big points for trying Minimum Maintenance. I'm not looking for perfection - just daily picking up and dinner planning that works for your family, using the above general guidelines. Need some more info about it? See what it really looks like here - it will help!
Song of the Day: Can't Fight this Feeling Anymore, Glee Cast