Saturday, February 9, 2013

Clean Sweep!

It was a nice Saturday! I went to a baby shower for a good friend this afternoon. I was up trying to finish sewing my presents at 7:30 this morning but couldn't finish in time, darn it. My neck and back have been so bad in the past 2 weeks that hunching over to cut fabric and sitting in front of a sewing machine was just not happening!

Thankfully, the pain has decreased a lot in the past 3 1/2 days and I am really hoping that it will leave for good this week. Please, Lord!

I got to carpool to the shower with a couple of friends, one of whom I haven't seen in 2 1/2 years. It was so fun to spend the long car ride catching up! After a couple hours of munching, talking and watching our friend open lots of adorable presents, we headed home.

And I walked in to a spic and span house! Which, unfortunately is a rarity these days. Sigh. Let me explain how this all started. I, like many people I've discovered, feel really overwhelmed and stressed when I am surrounded by a messy house. I have a lot of systems in place to create routine and organization around here (you know how I love organizing!), like baskets, hooks,etc. but with me being the only one who has attempted to keep these systems wasn't working. I started feeling really defeated by the constant multiplying messes 5 seconds after I cleaned them that I started giving up cleaning them. Vicious cycle!

On Friday I was excited to attend my MOPS meeting (Mothers of Preschoolers) because they were bringing in speakers who were talking about none other than...organization and decluttering!

I learned a few good things at the meeting and when I came home, had a heart to heart with my hubby, sharing my feelings of stress and defeat. My dearest was SO helpful in brainstorming with me ways to help reduce the toy clutter (because we aren't lucky enough to have a playroom) and the overflow of papers, 2 of my biggest trouble zones. We get, on average, a minimum of 50 school papers weekly sent home with the boys. Add bills and normal household papers on top of that and we've been drowning in paper!

We've implemented some new paper filing systems, which I'll be happy to share later and some other new cleaning rules. For example, the boys each have a colored fabric bin (same one I use for traveling kits, etc) that they put their toys and belongings in that have been scattered around. Now, before dinner each night, they will go around the downstairs, collect their belongings and take them up to their bedroom and put them away.

And after dinner, they will get their schoolbags all ready for the next day, hopefully adding a few extra minutes to our morning so we won't have to rush so much.

It's been hard to reinforce a lot of cleaning rules without anyone else on board but let me tell you, once Ben jumps on board, he's behind you 110% He had these boys jumpin' and hoppin' today and the result was a clean kitchen (woohoo!), a cleared off table (rare), toys put in their homes and a much more organized downstairs! Gotta start somewhere and having our most lived in space cleaned up was a great start.

We are making sure everything has a "home" to decrease dumping spots. So we are telling the boys to put things in their homes and if it doesn't have a home, we are creating one!

We're both really excited to see how these changes help our home run more smoothly (and decrease my stress~yea). We have some other changes we're planning to make, too, which will be fun to share with pictures when we're done.

It's amazing how something like this energizes me and makes me feel more hopeful and ready to tackle projects that have been layed by the wayside for far too long!

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