Friday, June 24, 2011

What To Do When Everything Needs Done

If you don't know the reason I'm Mrs. Undomestic, let me give you a little background. I never figured out the whole "keep a house" thing (despite my mother's many attempts). I wasn't interested for various reasons. Which is very odd since one of my life long goals has been to be a Stay At Home Mom. I always figured I'd learn later.

Well, later has finally come and I'm learning, although it's slower than I (and sometimes Dave) would like. Which leads me to today's post. Ever had a list that has at least 20 things (and probably more) and covers every room of your house? Ever feel like EVERYTHING needs done and it needs done yesterday?

I know. I've been there. More than once. So here are some suggestions that I'm finding work for me (and may help you!)

1. Focus on One Room a Day/Week (pick which works for you. I have the time to focus on one room a day. Most people who work outside the home don't have this option, which I totally get too!). For this example, we're going to use the kitchen

2. List what needs done in that room only. This may seem like an exhaustive list if you haven't tackled that area in awhile. That's OK! You should include what needs done, no matter how small it may seem. So include "load the dishwasher" and "wipe down the counters" along with "Clean out the Fridge" and "Organize the cupboards"

3. Figure out which are "5 minutes or less" projects. For me, since I have a dishwasher, loading and unloading the dishwasher are both 5 minutes or less. So is wiping down the counters and sweeping the floor. At this stage, if you're a one room a week person, split the big projects over the course of the week, so you'll know what you're doing.

4. Start on the list! I usually start with a 5 minutes or less project, it makes me feel like I'm getting something done right away.

5. Keep going. Pick a "big thing" on your list and tackle it next, like clean out the fridge. For me, this can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how messy we've been and how long it's been since I did it last time.

6. Alternate "Big" and "Little" projects. This will help break up what you're doing so that you don't feel quite so overwhelmed.

7. Take Breaks. Part of the reason you alternate big and little projects is to help you keep from getting burned out, but take a short break if needed.

8. Break Down the REALLY BIG PROJECTS. Organize the cupboards is a MASSIVE job (or at least in my house). I break down the big jobs into smaller ones, like working on just one cupboard. I can organize the cupboard next to fridge now and work on the ones next to the stove later today.

9. Don't Worry if it doesn't All Get Done. You will be back to that room either next week or month. If it doesn't get done today, you can always do it then. Make sure it becomes a big star project for next time, so it will get done next time.



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