Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Loving the chore schedule

In my last post I mentioned how we are going to try to start doing a few chores each day instead of waiting until the weekend.  We are a couple weeks in on my goal of doing a little bit of chores each day and my oh my, I love it!  Again, I hope it sticks, but I am so excited I just had to blog about it.  You see, there have been benefits I didn't even realize were going to happen in addition to the ones I was hoping for.  So I thought I'd make a list of all the wonderful things that have happened because of this new change in our lives.  Maybe on those days I'm tempted to skip chores I can look back and remind myself why doing a little each day is so much better than saving it for the weekends.

1.  The kids no longer complain about having too much to do since it is just a little at a time.

2.  In fact the kids no longer complain about doing chores at all because it is just part of our routine and they get an allowance.  Making it part of our routine means I don't have to nag to get things done.  It is just what we all do together at the same time each day.

3.  Kids no longer watch TV after school.  No time with chores to do.  I always find their behavior is better without TV.  

4.  If everything gets done (homework, chores, bath, suppers) AND there is time left they can play.  AND I no longer hear, "But there's nothing to do!"  Playing now feels like an earned privilege.

5.  We NEVER run out of clean clothes.  In fact, I don't have to have as many clothes in my overstuffed closet since I do the laundry practically everyday.  Because of this, I purged a lot of clothes and paired down to only the pieces I really like to wear.  My closet breathed a sigh of relief and just seeing it not overstuffed makes me feel in control again.

6.  There is no longer a MOUNTAIN of laundry taking the entire guest bed up for days.

7.  The house stays more tidy than it used too.  The girls seem to be more conscience of mess since they have to tend to it daily.  They aren't entirely mess free, but there is some minor improvement starting to happen.

8.  My bathrooms get cleaned more often then they used too.

9.  I feel like the burden of caring for the home is more easily shared.  Too often, I took the brundt of the work before because just getting it done myself was quicker than nagging the girls to get it done.

10.  I am FREE on the weekends from household chores.  I actually get a break and feel refreshed when I return to work.

11.  When I come home from work I am in go mode.  It seems easy to keep going and get things done.  Trying to get motivated on Saturdays is so much harder.

12.  My washer tends to get some stink problems when it hasn't run a couple of days (despite trying to clean it out).  Now that it's run everyday except Sat and Sun, no more stinky problems.

13.  Doing extra chores each day helps me stay active and get closer to reaching my step goals.

I could only come up with 2 negatives of doing chores daily:

1.  Some days when I have to stay at work late it is impossible to get them done and I have to double up chores on other days to make up for it.

2.  The house is never spic and span all at once like it is when it all gets done on one day.

Really there is way more perks to doing a little at a time.   Hoping I keep my momentum and continue in this trend.

Monday, August 4, 2014

New Goals as we start

As the school year is set to start I've been thinking about ways to change our routine to make life run smoothly.  One of my goals this year is to find a different church that fits us better.  One our main issues with church is that it seems to take half a day of our precious weekend time.  Add into that cleaning, grocery runs, laundry, etc. and there goes your weekend.  I hate to say it, but it almost makes us resent having to go.  We took an entire year off last year from church.  I did bible stories, worship time, and prayer time with the girls on my own each Sunday and actually it was so lovely.  We all learned so much, and enjoyed it so much.

But alas, it is time to get back into a community of believers and make some connections.  We are hoping to find a smaller body of believers to join this time so we can make closer connections with folks (which we were unable to do at our last church after 4 years!) and also we are hoping that the services and children's programs are a little more traditional than our last church home.

So in order to make attending church feel less like an obligation and more like a welcome part of our day I have decided to change the way I clean my home.  Instead of waiting until the weekends to do it all, I have made a schedule of things for the girls and I to accomplish each day, so that when the weekend comes around we are done.  Saturday we can take it easy and do whatever we want whether it be relaxing or just having fun. This way attending church for half a day on Sundays won't seem so much like another thing to check off my list, so I can be done.  I sure hope I can keep to my plan and I sure hope we find a church that we actually look forward to attending.

On a different note, I have also had a newfound determination/goal to pick up after myself immediately after I make a mess.  I am the queen of "put the dishes in the sink and do it later."  Jeff and I have been watching this show called "Tiny House Nation."  This show has been my inspiration.  It has fascinated us.  Basically there is a wave of folks who are giving up the societal norm and redefining the American Dream.  No longer are they striving to get the big house full of nice things.  Instead they are building tiny homes 500 square feet or less.  These homes on average cost around $30,000  (or less) and make a much smaller imprint on the environment.  Because they are so cheap, they are able to live in these homes mortgage free.  They are able to pay off all their bills.  They are unable to spend their money on things which frees them up to spend their money on experiences, just living life, being active, and having fun.  They are able to save too!  They seem happier and more content.  It really is amazing if you think about it.

Now before you think this kind of life is impossible you should really see this show!  These houses are incredible.  They are beautiful because they usually use very high end materials during construction.  With such little space you can afford to do so.  They are so cleverly built that they really are not doing without as you might think they do.  Rooms and furniture are multifunctional.  Many of the homes are mobile so you can take your home with you when you vacation.  Some are almost self sufficient with solar panels for energy and composting toilets, etc.  It really is fascinating to see how these homes are built.  It is also fascinating to see how different each home is from the other and what some people prioritized in their tiny home over others.  Most of the times when they show the finished product we have thought, "I could totally live in that!"  I'm telling you, they are really neat!  I'm not sure they would be great for a family with children, but for a single person or a couple it really is a neat idea!

When you think about living in such a small space you begin to realize how important it would be to always pick up after yourself.  And because you have to pick up after yourself you really don't need as much stuff.  If you wash that dish every time you use it, you wouldn't need extra dishes because you would always have a clean dish waiting to be used.  If you did a load of laundry everyday, you wouldn't need a weeks worth of underwear.  You get my drift.  After watching this show, suddenly my too small kitchen, seems huge.  My too small closet, seems gigantic.  I realize that the things I thought were not good enough, really are more than sufficient. It's all perspective.  I love the way this show makes me feel about my own situation and how much is inspires me.  Heck, Jeff and I even pondered someday building a tiny house of our own, buying some beautiful plot of land somewhere to put it on, and making it our vacation home when we retire.  Who knows?

Another goal I want to have is to always get in 4 miles of walking.  Every year I desire to make physical activity a habit. I usually do pretty good for about a month and then I take a break because I'm so tired after I come home, and that break ends up being a permanent break. This time I'm going to go about it very differently.  I did pretty good wearing a pedometer last year.  There are many days I hit miles easily just doing my normal day to day routine at work.  On those I'm exhausted and have absolutely no desire to work out at home.  So this year I'm going to give myself a pass.  If I meet my goal of 4 miles at work, I'm off the hook for working out and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.  If I have not reached my 4 miles, I am on the treadmill when I get home to make up the difference.  Technically speaking, if I haven't put in 4 miles at work, I should have enough energy left over when I get home to finish it up.  I hope.

Well there you have it.  New goals with how I want my life to run or the routine of our life for this coming school year.  Time will tell whether I can make it a permanent change.  More times than not, I go through phases and they always fizzle out.  But, that doesn't mean I can't try.