Organizing and Cleaning for Moms with Chronic Illness-
Some of you know - I suffer from RA (rheumatoid arthritis) so it is rare that I'd be "feeling like" organizing and cleaning - although it never fails to make me feel better once I've gotten things in better order. I'm sharing this week a step by step process to help you and me both get things in order and keep them that way:
Day #2 - Prepare your body - and a few ways to make it easier on you while you work
Day #3 - Organize your organizing and cleaning - gather supplies and tools
Day #4 - Action - jumping in - cleaning order step by step
Day #5 - Keeping Up - simple ways to help you keep things in order
Our plan this week to help moms with chronic illness take control of the mess has entailed a lot of planning and preparation in order to get things in order. For those of us who battle pain and exhaustion daily - a pile of laundry can seem like an immovable mountain. Just knowing how much organizing and cleaning needs to be done - is daunting. I hope I've been able to spread a bit of hope and a little bit of encouragement throughout this series.
I didn't choose to write on this topic because I have it all together - but because I'm down here in the trenches - with the pain - and the laundry. I'm fighting each day to accomplish the normal little tasks that it takes to run a home as well as working to organize the bigger projects. I have a long way to go, but I'm keeping at it.
Little at a time, one day at a time - it's getting done!
All week we've looked at tackling major organization projects in your home.
Today we are looking at regular daily upkeep. I have a couple of suggestions to help you with the normal day to day organizing and cleaning:
Strategically placed baskets and other clutter busters - Everyone has particular places in their home where clutter tends to gather. You know the ones, the shoes piled up near the front door - or the mail piling up on the kitchen table. Find an attractive container (hopefully already on hand) that can be used to corral that clutter.
I use a basket by the front door to catch the thousands of flip flops we use and hooks on the wall for rain jackets - assess your home to see what simple touches would make a difference for your family.
Instead of letting books and magazines pile up (and spill over) everywhere - I use trays and baskets to help keep it neat. As a homeschool family, we use our books and the book shelves daily. With our homeschool spread out all over the house (we like to move from one space to the other) - I try to keep it as attractive as possible. I want it to reflect a lifestyle of learning, while remaining homey.
By mixing in a little art and a sea shell or splash of color here and there - it can be inviting and encourage learning at the same time!
Doesn't everyone keep scrapbook cubes filled with art and craft supplies in their living room? Our "classroom pets" are scorpions who live in those aquariums on the shelf. My joy over-floweth. :)
For decorative touches - I use a bowl of sea shells here and a big bowl of fossils there to bring some beauty from nature into our home. We encourage games - and the boys are learning to play chess this week. I don't mind having it out and accessible - but I want it to be neat as well.
Don't fight it - work with your families style. I use inexpensive canvas painters cloth thrown over my sofas because we live near the beach. I'd be fighting a loosing battle to try to pretend that our lifestyle is anything more than sandy and wet. By implementing a simple yet attractive design style - and working with our families hobbies and interests - I find places for the things we like to keep around us.
Look around at the things your family uses regularly and see if you can find ways to keep them accessible while working them into a design style you can be happy with. It's much easier to put things away when you know where they belong. It also makes it easier for the family to learn to help out!
15 min morning plan - in the mornings, after breakfast yet before we get started with our homeschool day - I have a simple routine. I let the boys know to take action while I put my face on and get ready to start the day. That means they are to gather up any dishes from breakfast or things they've left laying out and put them away. They are to get dressed for school and brush their teeth.
Then, together we rush around and do some light cleaning. I start the dishwasher, and a load of laundry. I wipe off the stove and the kitchen counter tops - while they are cleaning up any clutter in the family room.
When we sit down for school, I can look around and know that we are, at least mostly, descent and in order. I prefer to start off the day this way!
Daily chart - once we are done with school and play. We do specific chores for that day. (OK, big confession) I have to get BACK to doing this - I've gotten off the wagon and I am so glad to be doing this series as this is one of the things I've let slide this summer. Boy, does it make a difference. If you clean the bathrooms on Mon, Wed, and Fri (3 boys) - Run the big vacuum on Tues and Thurs - and break up the rooms for dusting - it really helps to keep up with the regular cleaning jobs. Arrange your chart in a way that works best for your family! Be sure to assign the kiddos their jobs too.
15 min afternoon plan - at the end of the day - just before daddy gets home - I like to do a quick run through the house - have the kids pick up any toys they aren't using - and clear the counter tops then start dinner. We try to move a load of laundry through at least another step in the process each morning and afternoon - so we do a load or 2 from start to finish each day.
I pray this series will encourage you that your home doesn't have to be perfect - you don't have to be perfect. But, by implementing some good plans, setting your mind, and taking care of your body -
Little at a time, one day at a time, you can do it!
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