I struggled with cleaning and organizing as a kid.
I struggled in college.
I struggled as a single adult.
Now, living with three other people (two of them being very little) adding to the mess, the busyness, the fatigue, and the excuses, I struggle as an adult. I don’t claim to be an expert in overcoming these excuses, but I can say I’m learning to manage the busyness and utilize the time.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
During Wake Time:
- Relax and play little!
- Minor clean-up: take dishes to kitchen, throw away garbage laying around
- Encourage help from kids: put away toys when done, sort laundry, help with minor clean-up
- Run errands (if necessary)
- Sort mail
Occupy the Kids:
- Meals and snacks
- Stationary activities: chalk on the patio, Johnny Jump-Up, toy bin in the room, etc.
During Nap Time:
- Meal prep
- Chemical cleaning
- Wash and dry laundry
- Blogging, meal planning, other “homework”
After Bed Time:
- Take out garbage
- Run errands
- Finish nap-time activities
(One advantage of weekends is having an extra set of hands and eyes to help with the kids while I work on these:)
- Donation drop-off
- More errands
- Deep cleaning in kids’ room
- Catch up on “heavy” tasks (such as the huge box of filing)
- Trips to/from basement storage
Limit Diversions: (my weakness)
- Social Networking/internet
- Excessive Snacking
This is a healthy start, but not an exhaustive list. Other tasks should generally fit into one or more of the above time frames. Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to hire a babysitter (or trade babysitting for free) to get some of the more intensive projects done. I had to do this in the earlier stages of getting home under control, and sometimes still do when I want some uninterrupted cleaning time.