Last Week in my life :)

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Just a little bit of bragging and some Before & After pictures from last week!
Last week, FlyLady’s Zone of the week was the master bedroom.  
 My bedroom was in serious need of some TLC. I’m a bit ashamed to show you these, but I think many of you can probably relate!

Uhm… yeah, that’s my Master Bedroom. This room can quickly become a disaster in my life. It’s not a place that needs to be “company ready”, because Company, if any is had, would have no need to go in there. It becomes the “Stash and Dash” area. To busy to put laundry away? Stash it in the bedroom. Not sure where to put something, or too lazy to put it away? Stash it in the bedroom. As you can see, this hasn’t really worked out!  Also, I couldn’t even GET to my closet!

So anyways, I set to work on my bedroom. I took on a “no pressure” type attitude, letting go of perfectionism and just accepting that ANYTHING would be an improvement on what it was. And guess what? It only took about 2 hours to get the majority of that mess cleaned up! Afterwards, I wondered why I had put it off for so long!   Look! I can see the floor!! AND I can get to my closet! The clothes are all hung up and/or folded and put away. The boxes are back where they belong! The top of my dresser is now a perfect place to do my daily devotions or meditations.

FlyLady helped too! With her zone projects and “Fly Missions”, I was able to get more done than just cleaning up the mess. She had some great suggestions that only took 15 minutes (or less) a day and really helped me Bless my Bedroom!
On Monday I cleaned out under the bed and vaccuumed the whole room.
On Tuesday I cleaned out my sock drawer, threw away old socks and organized it. I even bought myself new socks and did the same with hubby’s sock drawer!
On Wednesday I spent more time clearing away clutter on the night stands and tops of dressers.
On Thursday I dusted the room, even wiped down the tops of the door jambs, wiped the doorknobs, windowsills, etc.
On Friday I pretty much had my bedroom nice and clean, so I focused on the small bathroom that is adjacent to the bedroom. I gave that room a good scrubbing and put stuff away that needed to be put away. Now when I go in my bedroom I really feel like it is a relaxing area, both for begnning and ending my day!
My bathroom, before –
and about 30 minutes later…. after putting everything away, taking out the trash, scrubbing the toilet and shining the countertops and sink;
It’s funny the things we take for granted, and the way that we minimize the importance of having a clean, sacred space to rest. This week, the work I did here in my bedroom was not just a cleansing of the room where I sleep, but it was a major blessing for myself! Giving myself a peaceful environment to sleep, read, rest, get dressed, etc, was a HUGE affirmation of self-love. It gave me a major boost that I really needed!
On another note, I also had a great time using my coupons and checking the sales papers this week!  I brought my grocery bill for the week down by about $30.oo by watching sales and using some coupons.  I also went to Walgreens and picked up a few things ….

I got all this for $16!

Walgreens Coupon Trip 1/25/2011
Subtotal $38.17
Total paid – $20.91
plus Walgreens Register Rewards $4.00

(If you calculate in the $4 they gave me back in Register Rewards then my actual total was $16.90!!)

2 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios, sale plus coupons = $1.50 each
2 Red Baron pizzas sale plus coupon = $2.00 each
Mens Socks $6.99 buy 1 get 1 Free
Kleenex sale .89 each
Kraft Mayo, sale plus coupon = $1.24
Jello sale plus coupon = .50 cents each
Bowl Fresh sale plus coupon = .50 cents each
Pediacare sale $5.99 plus $4 back in Register Rewards = $1.99
Soda & Chips for Xander – not on sale LOL but he was a good boy while I was shopping 🙂

Coupon Savings – $8.46
Register Rewards used froms last week $9
Walgreens Sales Savings – $20.05

Total savings $37.31

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Morning / Evening Routines

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It’s time once again to re-vamp my Routines.  My old routines haven’t been working for me any more, and I realized that on different days I need different routines because of my work schedule and the kid’s school schedule.

In my last post, My Big Rocks, I talked about priorities… and learning to fit the “Big” things in before the little things.  I would love to do it all, but I realize that is pretty unrealistic.  Among my list of priorities I listed “Morning and Evening Routines”, because – thanks to FlyLady – I have realized that these are crucial to running a household; and maintaining sanity!

So… here goes.. these are my New and Improved “Morning and Evening Routines!”

Morning Routine (Daily)

  • Get up @ 6:15 am
  • Get Dressed
  • Kids Dressed to Shoes
  • Make Beds
  • Breakfast / Coffee
  • Feed the cats
  • Brush Hair / Brush Kid’s Hair
  • Brush Teeth / Brush Kid’s Teeth
  • Check Backpacks

Walk Alyssa to bus stop @ 7:08 am (Walk to school @ 7:35 on Tuesdays)

Morning Routine Part 2 (Mon – Fri)

  • Clear Kitchen table and countertops
  • Wash breakfast dishes
  • Have Mackenzi read out loud
  • Gather Laundry from Bathroom and Bedrooms
  • Start load of laundry for the day

Mackenzi walk to school @ 8:00 am (Leave at 7:35 on Tuesdays)

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Evening Routine (Sun. – Thurs.)

  • Rescue Living Room
  • Put out clothes for tomorrow
  • Kids Brush teeth/hair
  • Hot Spot Firedrill (Computer desk, homework desk, etc.)
  • Check Backpacks
  • Read to kids / prayers / Kid’s bedtime (8:30 pm)
Evening Routine Part 2 (Sun. – Thurs)
  • Rescue Kitchen (Clear table / countertops, wash dishes, sweep, take out trash)
  • Feed cats / Clean out Litter Box
  • Bathroom Rescue
  • Brush Teeth and Hair
  • Take Vitamins / Drink water
  •  

After Work Evening Routine (Friday & Saturday)
  • Change clothes
  • Rescue Kitchen (Clear table / countertops, wash dishes, sweep, take out trash)
  • Feed cats / clean out litter box
  • Brush teeth and hair
  • Take Vitamins / wash face

So, my hope is; that by fitting my morning and evening routines around our work/school schedule I will be able to stick to them a little better.  Also, if I make these routines a priority, this gets a few things out of the way on a daily basis – like washing the dishes, laundry, and quick room rescues… and I will have more time to fit other things into my day (rather than spending the whole day cleaning!). 

I hope that since I have different night routines on my work days than on other days, this will encourage me to keep at it.  In the past, I look at the big evening list after coming home from work –  feel too tired and overwhelmed, and just don’t do any of it.  By giving myself fewer things to do on the nights I know I will be tired, I’m doing myself a huge favor.  Also, breaking down the routines into part 1 and part 2 really seem to make them more manageable.

Wish me luck!  Here’s to Enthusiasm and Inspiration!

My Big Rocks

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I saw this video posted on Facebook today.  I loved the message behind it, and the way that it is illustrated here.  So it got me thinking about my priorities.  I am usually like the lady here, trying to shove the big stones in with the pebbles, and then feeling frustrated because they won’t all fit.  I have always understood this concept, and I recognize the need to prioritize.  But my problem lies in deciding what my priorities really are.  As a perfectionist I tend to think that EVERYTHING is important.  So I spend my days sweating over all the “little stuff”, and then still feel like a failure because I didn’t get around to something important like paying a bill or reading to the kids.

So this video inspired me to sit down and make a list of my Priorities.  These are my “Big Rocks”.  If I can shape my schedules and routines around these, and fit the little things in the spaces in between… well… it might work.  Might be another last ditch effort to attain the ever elusive organization that I was born without… but it can’t hurt!

(These are in no particular order)

  • Home Organization (Bills, Budget, Menu Planning)
  • Kid’s Education (Reading to the kids, helping with homework, preschooling at home with Xander)
  • Work
  • Marriage (spending time with Hubby)
  • Getting Organized (getting rid of clutter, scheduling, filing)
  • Family Time (fun, arts and crafts, outings, movies, etc.)
  • Spiritual Growth and Personal Time
  • Morning and Evening Routines
  • Health and Hygene
  • Friends and Extended Family

So.. I didn’t include “Cleaning / Chores” in my list of priorities… but let’s face it, I’m gonna do that whether it’s on the list or not.  Also, if I consider that a “Big Rock”… it will be like all those little pebbles taking up space and I’ll have to leave out some of the other big rocks.  I DID include Morning and Evening Routines, because I have found that without these… the housework will build up really fast and things will really get out of control. 

So, it’s a start.  I have my list, now when I’m wondering what to do; if I just remind myself “Big Rocks First”, I think I’ll be on the right track!

Weekly FLYlady report; 7/26 – 7/30

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A briefing on my progress this week as a FlyBaby.  Also known as my “Weekly Housewife’s Report”

After two years of following the FlyLady system, I have learned SO much, but I still struggle with maintaining my routines.  It’s that Evening Routine I just can’t seem to stick with, even though I know that if I did it, I would make the rest of the cleaning so much easier for myself the next day!  This is something I will have to work on. 
This week I did make some progress in a couple areas. 
On Monday I did some basic cleaning.  It seems like there were a LOT of dishes to wash on Monday, probably because I didn’t wash them before bed on Saturday and Sunday.  But I got the kitchen back in order anyways.
Tuesday I did some more basic cleaning, plus I cleaned and orgainzed the desk in the office.  The office which is currently doubling as a Livingroom and Family Bedroom.  You can see the Before and After pictures of the desk in my previous post, “Tackle It Tuesday”
Wednesday I was a slacker.  I did the dishes, but that’s about all.  I blame the heat, the humidity, and a headache; but it could have just been laziness.
Thursday I got back on track.  I started early in the morning and had done 6 rounds (30 minute cleaning segments, with breaks in between) by 11:00 am.
Friday (today)  I found that the basic cleaning didn’t need much attention.  I had done such a good job on Thursday that things hadn’t gotten too messy yet.  So I decided to take on a couple more projects. 
Number one- The Girls Room

Since it’s been so hot, this room has become more of a “Grab and Dash” than a “Sleep and Play”.   The girls haven’t slept or played in here in over 2 weeks, since the swamp cooler stopped working. 

Now at least they can access their clothes and toys.  Man, I hope the heat and humidity goes down before school starts in 2 weeks!  I would really like for them to be able to sleep in their beds once school has started!!

Here’s another angle on the whole mess, Before

and After;

No, I didn’t organize the toy box.  But I think this is still pretty amazing.  It didn’t take me all day either… the whole thing took less than an hour.

My second project is less impressive in appearance.  But this was definatley the harder job.  The other half of the office, the part I didn’t clean on Tuesday, looked like this;
And now it looks like this:

Okay, YES, it’s still a mess.  But as FlyLady says “Progress is Progress”  She says that getting a little bit done at a time is better than doing nothing at all, and also better than trying to do the whole thing at once and getting overwhelmed, frustrated, and give up.  So I spent 1 hour here on the floor surrounded by boxes and their contents.  I emptied 4 boxes!  Used 1 empty box for trash and junk, and filled it up!  Everything else got sorted, organized, and either put away or put in another box with similar items.

All in all, I think FlyLady would agree it was a succesful week.  Now I can focus on getting through my weekend at work.  I’m going to really try to stick to an evening routine after work on the weekends so that I don’t have piles of dishes to wash on Monday.

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(FlyLady.net is a self-help guide for bewildered people like myself who are not B.O. (Born Organized).  F.L.Y.  stands for Finally Loving Yourself…. as in Loving yourself enough to stop living in C.H.A.O.S. (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  Am I a neat freak for talking about my house cleaning online all day?  Not at all!  Am I a nerd?  Well, maybe.  But I have learned to take pride in the little things I do, to celebrate them, and to count every baby-step as progress!!)