Before my feet hit the floor this morning, I realized that I had to make some changes around here. After I made my coffee, I looked through my feeds and saw that a friend blogged about making changes. Jen at Conversion Diary talked about “mini new year” in her 7 Quick Takes Vol 44 post and about periodically assessing, reassessing and tweaking those goals (resolutions, if you will, but it seems that word has fallen out of favor lately!) I think it’s contagious, maybe. Or maybe it is simply that a new school year is a good time to take a look at things again (whether you have school age kids or not.) Jen mentions Easter, the Feast of the Assumption as the other 2 days of the year that she will stop and reevaluate. Great markers. I think that The Feast of Christ the King, the “eve” of the Church’s new year would be a 4th that I would add ~the first being New Year’s day, the first to come along on the calendar. As a homeschooler, the end of November is a good time to see how school is going anyway (unless, of course, everything fell apart sooner!)
Almost everything is going under the microscope, I think. It is so easy to slip in one way, then another only to find that after a bit of time has passed that nothing is working as it should anymore. For me, it is time for a major overhaul. There are so many things for me to take a look at and think through that it is a bit overwhelming, but the way to eat an elephant is simply one bite at a time. That means that it is time to simply “dig in” and not allow myself to be so overwhelmed that I am plagued with inaction. It’s time to tame the monsters.
So, here is the first thing that came to mind. It is not our biggest “issue” mind you, but simply what first came to mind, so I’m going with it.
We are going back on a laundry schedule. There are six of us at home. There are 7 days in a week (6 if you don’t count Sunday and I really try not to!) This laundry schedule worked fairly well when I enforced it in the past.
First, each person has an assigned laundry day and time. Each person who is able will do their own laundry during their time. The rest of the day is left for “community laundry” (towels, bath mats, “emergency laundry” ~ of which there should be little if we’re following the schedule.) Each person’s sheets will be done on their day (by them if they’re able to do laundry… and for the record, that means only one person does not do his own laundry here. At 3 years old, he can’t even reach the buttons!) Each person has to finish their laundry by noon. That way everyone knows they have plenty of time to get their thing s washed each week without holding up the laundry room for an entire day. Here is what it will look like:
Thursday: Miss Creativity
Friday: TheBoy (Mom!)
(now before you feel sorry for Chief for having to do his own laundry, he’s done his own laundry for almost our entire marriage. He wants things done a certain way and he decided ages ago that he’d rather just do it himself. I am happy to accommodate him!)
In the afternoon, I am free to do whatever other laundry must be done. I will make sure that I wash towels and washcloths on Mondays and Thursdays and I’ll wash the scatter rugs/bath mats on Wednesdays. Everyone (except Chief, because it does not fit his “method”) will use the clotheslines out back to dry their things, weather permitting. Anyone can request the use of the washer any afternoon if they need to. The key to our previous success was to have enough flexibility to adapt to the unexpected while not being so flexible that nothing got done. For the next 2 to 3 weeks, I think that I will have to allow that flexibility because the girls are away at the theater in the mornings, so they will have to have a block of time in the afternoons instead. I will use the mornings while they’re gone to do some of that community laundry. I think I’ll give them from noon until 4pm or 5pm until this production (and the next one if they get a part) is over.
Everyone has to finish their own loads completely (washed, dried, folded and put away) and everyone has to help with folding and putting away the “community” laundry ~ even TheBoy loves to fold washcloths. They are not even close to “right” when he’s done, but I’ve learned that that is really okay!
One other laundry related time is that the “random” laundry (stray socks under the furniture, for example, or boy clothes that end up wherever since he loves to strip!) can no longer just be thrown in the laundry room. They must be taken to the laundry hamper/basket of the individual.
The last rule for this is that everyone has to take a minute when they’re done in the laundry room to make sure that everything is cleaned up and put up. The detergent, bleach, oxy-whatever, etc., must be put back where they belong, the spilled Tide has to be wiped/swept up and the washer and dryer need to be wiped down (the amount of dust in there is unbelievable… except it is!) I will empty the trash on Mondays.
I am hoping that returning to this routine will make laundry manageable again and will help to keep it as caught up as laundry can be. Why on earth did we stop in the first place? Oh, yeah…. SoldierBoy moved out, got deployed, then Chief deployed… yeah. Things got shook up around here. Now that Chief is back and CarKiller has moved on, things should be fairly stable for a while. This just might work ~ as long as we work it.
Now to figure out some of the other stuff!