Wednesday, April 11, 2012

She Said I Was Spoiled?

Some days life just overwhelms me.  The kitchen is a mess from the latest meal, the family room is scattered with toys and books, the toilets need to be cleaned, clothes need to be washed and put away, animals need food and water, eggs need to be gathered and the coop needs to be cleaned.  BUT most days I have it under control!  As I was responding to a post the other day, I realized, that even though I have a long way to go,  I have taught myself a lot about organizing, cleaning, and managing my home.  What a long way I've come!  I remember days my husband was ready to walk out and leave me!  SO!  Don't despair!  If I can do it, you can too!  I used to be the queen of clutter and mess!

I thought I would share a couple of tricks I use to keep myself and my home in order.  The first method has to do with my laundry.  Not too long ago, my daughter had company spend the night.  The little girl went with Alissa as she put away her clothes for the day.  Upon walking in the laundry room and seeing our system, the little girl said, "Now, that is just spoiled!"  After I picked my jaw up off the floor from having a child speak to me in such a way, I thought to myself, "Oh, little lady, you'll see one day, I am very, very smart to have done such a thing.  Just you wait!"   :)

I started my laundry system about four years ago when my daughter was almost three.  I have four mesh bags that now hang from my folding table in my laundry room.  I have one bag for towels, one for cold clothes, one for warm clothes, and one for whites.  At the end of the day, each person deposits his/her clothes into the proper bag according to the directions on the tag in the clothing, except for the towels and white clothes.  Even Jacob knows where to put those! ;) I cannot begin to tell you how much time this saves not having to sort clothes on wash day! 

This is my folding table my husband sweetly built for me one day while
I was at work.  When he was done, he placed nails on the back side from
which we can hang the bags.

When I started the system, my daughter couldn't yet read, so I had to be creative about teaching her how to put away the clothes.  As her clothes would come through the wash, I would use a permanent marker to put a "C" for  cold or a "W" for warm on the tag.  Through lots of practice, she learned which bag was cold and which was warm.  Now, my son is also learning.  He has it a little bit easier.  I actually have a way to label the bags for him.  This wasn't possible when Alissa was little.  Now he knows to look on the label to find the letter and match it to the correct bag.  I have also circled the words 'warm' and 'cold' on his labels to help him recognize the words.  It turns into a great lesson on beginning sounds and sorting!

These are the labels above my bags.  Please excuse what looks
like a mess under the table.  Those are my craft supplies.

Here, you can see the tags in his clothes.
My other systems helps me keep the small, weekly chores under control.   I don't like having to do all my cleaning in one day.  I tend to get overwhelmed and unable to do anything if I do that!  I would rather spend thirty minutes a day or less on one chore.  When all my smaller chores are under control, I find it is easy for me to tackle big chores as the need arises.  One day, I sat down and made a chart to list the chore of the day.  Somehow, having it in writing made me feel more accountable as if I couldn't ignore it, lol!  I have recently added my flower beds to the chart.  I just check and see if there are any weeds that need to be taken care of.  On Monday, the chore is bathrooms and flower bed one.  On Tuesday, the chore is windows and flower bed two.  On Wednesday, the chore is dusting and flower bed three.  On Thursday, the chores are floors, start laundry, and flower bed four.  On Friday the chores are grocery shopping and finish clothes.  If life interrupts my system, as it often does during holidays, the world doesn't end.  I just pick up on whatever day I need to and carry on.

So, why are we sitting here chatting?  We've got work to do!  It is time for me to feed the pigs and chickens, water the tomatoes and peppers, water the flowers, and get supper ready!  What systems do you use?  I'd love to hear about them!


  1. Thanks for this article. Lately I've been getting discouraged about housework just NEVER ends! 1 new thing that I'm trying is apron wearing, I got the idea from the lady who wrote Large Family Logistics. I use the pocket in the apron to keep a small pencil and paper and then as I am working around the house and see things that totally disgust me an make me irate, I write it down and say, we will do something about that! Then when I make out some chore lists, it goes on there and gets done!
    BTW--I bought myself some chic aprons on etsy, so I feel chic to do my housework, I bought from seller
    She did a very neat job.
    Tomorrow is my b-day, so I am doing my cleaning today and tomorrow I will go shopping and etc!!!!

  2. What an interesting idea! I used to do that when I taught in my own classroom. It sure did get some funny looks, but it sure did help! I've never thought about wearing one at home except to keep my clothes clean and to wipe my hands! :) I will have to look at the ones you listed above. Thank you for the idea! I wish I had know sooner so I could have sent you a birthday card! I hope you got all your cleaning done today so that you can have a wonderful day tomorrow! Happy birthday!!! May you be blessed with many more!

  3. I love the ideas you shared on laundry! Thanks!