Thursday, January 22, 2009

Let's Get Organized

Well, I thought about making the title sound a little like Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical"--I might have gotten a few more visitors ; ) (But then again, I don't think I want visitors who might be looking to "get physical".

I am doing this post for two reasons--first of all, I'm excited because THESE finally arrived. I'll be REALLY excited when I can use them both. You'll note that the dryer is not pushed back to the wall--still isn't installed--minor adjustment. Oh, I could do a whole post about what a pain it has been. Not sure I'd ever buy another appliance from Sears. Last night after waiting all day for it to arrive--supposed to arrive the day before, when the guy left and we tried to turn it on--the power button wouldn't respond. (The panel wasn't on correctly ; )

Also, I'm enjoying this--it is extremely light. (Actually Kyle is enjoying it, too, since he does a lot of the vacuuming ; )

As well, when I posted my accountability list and mentioned my "card system" for keeping my house clean, a couple of people expressed an interest in hearing about it. So, I'm going to do my best to explain how it works:

It has helped me a great deal try to maintain a clean house. In fact, when we moved out of one house, the person who bought it said she had never seen a house so clean. (Ha, doubt that would be true today!!!!) I have mentioned before that I am a list maker--I love making lists and ticking things off. Nothing better than that feeling of accomplishing something ; )

So let's get started. First, you take a regular sheet of lined paper (or several) and make a list of all the chores in your house. That sounds a bit overwhelming--but you can save it, so the next time, the kids ask EXACTLY, WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY??? just whip that baby out ; ) (Now, I don't go so far as writing down "make your bed"--that's a given--something i will do every morning.) I list everything whether I do it daily, weekly, monthly, semi-annually, etc. At the top I put CHORE and then FREQUENCY.

My list would look something like this: (I know when I post this, it will not come out in nice little columns like it is here ; (


Vacuum--Master Bedroom Weekly

Clean bathtub--Master Bath Weekly

Wipe out microwave Daily

Clean under bed--Master Bedroom Monthly

Clean light fixtures--downstairs bath Every other month

Clean stove drip pans Weekly

Wash windows inside--family room Every other month

Clean cobwebs--basement family room Monthly

Getting the system started does take a fair amount of time, but it is definitely worth it. There are different ways to do it. You could do all of your kitchen chores on one sheet, bathroom (each one) on separate, bedroom (each one) on separate, etc. Believe me, so often I found I was doing some chores more often than I should or not getting them done because I couldn't remember when the last time I did something.

After you do this exercise, you transfer the info onto 3 x 5 cards--I use a different color for daily, weekly, monthly.
On the card at the top I write the chore in the middle near the top. If the chore can be done quickly, I write " and on the monthly, at the bottom left "last done" and bottom right I have a "skipped" spot. The rule is I can only skip one time. (Hey, no one checks, but it just helps me stay on top of things ; ) Here's a couple of examples.

Note where it says "mini" at the top (that means the job is a quickie). So I know those jobs I can do very quickly and can add those cards to a particular heavy day of cleaning and can get lots of little things done.

If you are still reading, I'm impressed.

I then bought a set of dividers for a 3 x 5 box (I have 31 for the days in the month, and I have 12 for January - December.
We'll pretend we're going to start on February 1st. So starting with number 1 you would put the dividers 1, followed by 2, 3, 4, etc. through 28 since there are 28 days in the February divider. (29, 30, and 31 would be in March for now). You would take your all of your chore cards for the month and divide them according to color/frequency. I use yellow for daily, blue for weekly and white for monthly. So I would take all of the yellow cards and put them in for today. I then put my weekly chores in for this week. I try to do my chores on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My weekly chores I do as follows: all my kitchen chores on Monday, bathroom chores on Wednesday, and vacuuming and dusting on Friday. My monthly chores I just divide up trying to do as much as possible on Monday, Wednesday and Friday--occasionally I might throw a few in on Saturday. On Tuesday and Thursday I do only daily chores and occasionally one or two monthly chores, if I got a little behind. (That way I feel I have some days off ; ) Sundays are my day of rest--WELL, AT LEAST FROM DOING REGULAR CHORES!!!!

I would put the chores that are to be done EOM (every other month) in March and on February 28th would get those ready to go into the days in March when I want to do them. After I complete a monthly chore in February, I write down on the card, the day it was done, and then would file it in the March file. The weekly chores I just put in the next week. So if I cleaned my bathtub on February 4, I would move the card to February 11th, so it's ready to be done on that day. (Hope this is making sense)

You can also keep track of your children's chores. You just give them their cards and then file them back in the box when they have been completed.

I've done my best to explain this system, but if you don't understand, and you'd like some help, e-mail me and I will clarify.
This has helped me a great deal--but like I said, I'm a list maker.

Sidenote #1: I am so enjoying this season of 24. I loved when justrandi posted her Friday flair last week and had this:

Sidenote #2: Regarding Lost--I'm sure glad I tivo'd it. Very confusing, but very interesting.


Millie said...

I love your chores system. I've tried it myself and may take it up again... did you read it in the S.H.E. book?

Also, do you have a planner, and is it more fun to use the cards to remind you about your chores?

Klin said...

I read the title and responded like a little kid. "Buuuuuut, I dooooon't waaaaaaaaant tooooooo."

Then I read what you do and thought it was really cool.

We've been clearing out the garage so that we can, oh, you know, park in it. I used to be the queen of organization. My kids were the champions of undoing it all.

I think they burned me out. I like your chore cards. I do a chore chart that works pretty well for us. Mostly my kids just need to learn to git 'r done ;)

JustRandi said...

I love that chore system too. I was thinking the same as Millie --it sounded like Pam and Peggy - which them morphed into Flylady.
And you're right, my house was never more clean than when I was on the S.H.E. system. I'm SO impressed that you have the discipline to continue it.

So frustrating about your dryer! Arggg.

I haven't watched 24 yet this season... I'm glad to know it's good.
But sheesh, talking about suspense, have you been watching Biggest Loser? What's up with that???

glittersmama said...

I have never seen anyone with a more organized cleaning schedule. I'm going to start with baby steps. Thanks for sharing the dirty details. No pun intended.

Ashley said...

That is an awesome system. I usually clean one room at a time from top to bottom. I get burned out real easy, because I think I am not in mood to do all that today and then I skip everything and get behind. Breaking it up is such a smart way of juggling everything. I might just try it!

Amber said...

Guilt. That is what I felt reading this post. And then envy. Because I want that washer and drier. :-) I wish I had a chore system but honestly, I do them when I feel like it. I keep on top of tnings pretty well but there are certainly days I could use a good reminder!

Nancy Face said...

I feel very sheepish in saying that a lot of your regularly done chores are NOT regularly done by me! For example...there is so much stuff stored under the bed in the master bedroom that It's pretty much been YEARS since I've cleaned under there! think I'm KIDDING? :D

PJ said...

We had a lady teach a system similar to this at enrichment a few years ago. I grabbed a few ideas from it.

I love the washer and dryers:D

Tonya said...

Nice washer and dryer. You system is awesome. You are so organized and when I read the title I thought of "Let's get physical" before I even read the post.

annie said...

Great system! I just downloaded a check off list I've been following and it helps to keep track and feel finished with something...

Melissa said...

I love the idea of daily, weekly and monthly chores! Makes it feel less overwhelming.

Oh, and I want your new vacuum. :)

Valerie said...

AFter 21 years of marriage, you'd think I'd have a good chore system like this, but I don't. This is a very nicely organized system. I wonder if I could pull something like this off!!! I started "organizing" my house this week and that feels really good. (Unfortunately I was waylaid by a heinous cold... but will pick it back up next week!)

I finally got to watch Lost last night. This is the first time I've had to wait from episode to episode and I think it will drive me crazy (I've always waited to buy the DVD's and then watched them all at once.)

Tori :) said...

I am soooo impressed Yvonne. I need to try your system.

I ♥ Jack.

No Cool Story said...

"Exactly what do you do all day?" and take out my handy dandy color coded binder!!

Thanks for writing all down for us. It sounds like something I'd like to do, like MElissa said, makes it look less overwhelming.

You are going to love your new wash/drier!!

Heffalump said...

I need to do something like this. What I do involves things like: It's dinner time, we are having soup, I had better wash all those bowls before dinner...
Or "Mom! I don't have any clean underwear!" Then I have to do some laundry...

Sheri said...

What a great idea!! Now to find the time to make the list!!!

txmommy said...

you are good to get all that done in such an orderly fashion!

Corrine said...

ooh my i just got tired from reading your chore system, not that the post was boring, but thinking about doing all those chores :) what a great system. better than my "ummm is that a cheerio under the couch...we havent had cheerios for a long while, maybe I should vacuum" system. you are awesome

and sheri and i were talking the next time you comme to utah we would LOVE to meet you!

aubrey said...

oh my goodness, yvonne. you are so organized..i love it! and now i have "let's get physical" in my head. hahaha!

Whitney said...

Yay for new washers and dryers!
I'm so impressed that you're so organized with your cleaning! I have a routine I do on my nights off, that covers everything, and I sure stay busy!

Suzanne said...

So far your no purchase month has turned out to be pretty purchasey, hasn't it? I guess that's just how life if sometimes! ;) I'm glad you're enjoying your new things though.!

I've resolved that lists or not, I'm still not going to be as great of a housekeeper as I want to be. I guess the key is to keep trying. Yay for you!!! :)

Natalie said...

Great System! Here it's so easy to have a spotless apt, because there are only 2 of us and because we don't have that much stuff.
My washer and dryer here in Belgium stink. They are both brand new, but very tiny. I am used to the extra large size, although now I don't really need that. Anyway the washer will hold a large sheet and pillow case and a few other little items. It takes about 1 1/2 hrs to wash. The dryer is the worse. It doesn't ever really dry the clothes completely unless you leave them in the dryer for about 3hours+. I'm talking the tiny load. Also, the dryer has a long, covered drawer thing with a hole in the top. The drawer collects a ton of water from the laundry as it spins and needs to be emptied frequently. When the machines are done, they have to be manually turned off. What a pain. I usually just hang up my clothes on a clothes rack in the pantry. They dry really fast there.

Amanda said...

Love your system! Might have to try it myself. Thanks for sharing it! :) I really need to get organized and physical. ;)

How fun to get a new washer and dryer, sorry the dryer wasn't working right. Major bummer!

txmommy said...

I'm less than an hour away from Frisco, I'll totally run up and meet you when you have a free minute!! Can't wait!!

Jodi said...

Oh my gosh! I have almost the exact system...BUT I have not been doing it! I spent literally HOURS putting the cards together and even printed them in purple on my computer. I need to get back on track because my house used to stay UP and now I feel like I can never catch up! One of fav quotes is: "It's far easier to keep up than to catch up" Maybe if I do a post on this too it will actually motivate me to get back with it! Thanks for the inspiration!!!!

chellie said...

I am a list maker too! I love your cleaning system! It would help me to remember ceiling fans and baseboards and moving furniture for cleaning - I sometimes forget when I did it last! :)

From one clean freak to another... YOU ROCK!

Yvonne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yvonne said...

First of all, as I said on my next post, I am TRYING to get this started again ; )

millie: Not my system--it is from S.H.E.

No planner, just my cards and a mind LIKE A STEEL TRAP--unfortunately ; )

klin: Love what you did with your garage.

Good luck with getting the kids involved.

justrandi: Like I told millie--yes, it is from S.H.E.

24 is wonderful--I'm hooked.

Biggest Loser--I was so frustrated last week when they didn't send home joelle. Last night I felt very bad, but the partner of the one who was sent home really should have gone home.

glittersmama: Baby steps are the way to begin. You are ALWAYS so clever.

ashley: It really helps me to break it up--that way I don't feel so overwhelmed. (I also love having a couple of days "off"-other than the daily things that have to be done; )

amber: No guilt--please don't ever feel guilt here.
this is a guilt free blog.

nancyface: Somehow I find that SO HARD TO BELIEVE.

pj: The lady who taught it probably got it from S.H.E. like I did. It is great.

I love my washer and dryer, too.

tonya: I have had that song in my head for days.

The washer and dryer is great.

annie: It's great to feel something is finished--so much never is; )

melissa: Absolutely--I don't like to feel overwhelmed--too many other things to feel overwhelmed about ; (

The vacuum is fabulous.

valerie: It is a good system, it really is.

Lost will be interesting this season. (That's what I did the first 2 seasons, it is much harder watching it this way ; )

tori: It isn't really my system, but I do love it. Try it and let me know what you think.

I lvoe jack, too.

NCS: I'm sure you've never heard that from your kids ; ) I always talk about eating bon bons and watching TV ALL DAY ; )

It really does feel a whole lot less overwhelming.
Let me know how it goes.

I do love the washer and dryer.

heffalump: Let me know what you think. Frankly, I don't know how YOU do all you do.

sheri: Finding the time to come up with the list is a toughie, but so worth it.

txmommy: Like I said, WORKING at it.

corrine: It is helpful.

I'll let you know.

aubrey: Again, working at it. Sure wish I'd kept it up. Got the cards ready to go February 1 ; )

whitney: I'm sure you stay busy, and just wait for that little one. Hugs.

suzanne: Yeah, it has been a very expensive month . We are enjoying the washer/dryer and the vacuum.

Trying is the key.

natalie: I bet it has been very quite different keeping a little apartment clean. Sorry about the washer/dryer situation. What an adjustement.

amanda: It is a good one.

txmommy: Will keep in touch--it is late May ; )
E-mail me.

jodi: It is a great system, eh??? You crack me up with your purple ; ) Let me know how it goes.

chellie: That's the beauty of the system--ceiling fans and baseboards are PERFECT examples!!!!

Glad you are back. Hugs.

jacker said...