Has this ever happened to you? It’s almost bedtime, you send your kid upstairs to shower and a few seconds later you hear, “MOM!!! There are no more clean washcloths!”
Or how about this one? Your husband rolls out of bed 20 minutes before he needs to leave for work, opens his dresser drawer and proclaims, “I don’t have any clean undershirts!”
EPIC WIFE/MOM FAIL!!! How did I forget to do the laundry this week???
I’m sure things like this happen to people other than just me! That is why today’s post is all about making an organized plan to ensure that these things don’t happen again. Here are some helpful tips on how to be more productive and efficient without stressing yourself out.
The first and MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember is that you need to HAVE A PLAN!
Maybe you’re not usually the planning type, but the beauty of this plan is that you only need to do it once! Once it’s all mapped out, just go with the flow one day at a time, and nothing will be forgotten!
To get your plan started, MAKE A LIST. Create a list of every task and chore that needs to be done over the course of a year. WAIT, WHAT???!!! A YEAR???!!! THAT’S GONNA TAKE FOREVER!!!!
Actually, it won’t. And here’s why…
You are NOT going to list the things that you need to do everyday (i.e.- dishes, cooking dinner, clearing the kitchen table after meals, etc.) The purpose of this list is to help you remember the things that you DON’T do everyday. Those are the things that are much easier to forget. (Trust me, if you forget to cook dinner, you WILL be reminded!!! I may or may not know this from experience!) 😋
To get started, you will want to make a simple chart like this one:
This is just an example of how to make the chart, but the full list is much more extensive. Here are some things to remember:
- List EVERY load of laundry (even the ones that don’t get done often, like washing the curtains and tablecloths)
- Polishing the wooden furniture
- Sweeping/mopping the floors
- Cleaning the bathrooms
- Washing the windows
- Wiping down baseboards and window frames
- Meal planning
- Grocery shopping
- Running errands
- Balancing the budget and checkbook
- Paying bills (DON’T FORGET THIS ONE!!!)
- Bleaching all the light switches, door knobs, cabinet handles, remote controls, phones, railings, faucets, etc.
- Going through emails
- BLOGGING! 🙂
- Washing the walls/ceilings
- Cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures
- Allowing time for special projects (things that come up that aren’t on the regular chore list, such as an organizing project, craft, diy or sewing repair, etc.)
Your list may look different from mine, but this should give you an idea for a starting point. Customize it to suit your own needs.
The next step is to add the intervals of time (how often you plan to do these things) next to the task.
In order to keep your schedule straight, you will need some type of calendar. Here are some options:
- Use the calendar in your smart phone. You can even set alerts to remind yourself what to do each day.
- Use a planner.
- Use a wall calendar.
- Use a large desk calendar.
I have tried all of these methods, and the one that gives me the most success is using a big desk calendar. Even when I had alarms set in my smart phone, I would see the list of tasks in the morning, and by lunch I had forgotten all about them.
I do much better when my list is right in my face in a place that I can’t miss it, and I can keep referring back to it all day. I also really like being able to see the whole picture (looking at the whole month at once) so that I can see what’s coming up and begin to make alternate arrangements if I know there will be a time conflict.
This is the desk calendar that I use:
You can find it here on Walmart.com
To start filling in your calendar, begin with the most frequent tasks, and pick a day (or days) out of the week to do them. I tried to spread my chores out as much as possible so that I’m not too overwhelmed on any one given day. I also think that it is SUPER IMPORTANT to give yourself AT LEAST one or two free days each week!
For me, I chose to keep Saturday and Sunday clear every week because that’s our family time. I don’t want to be busy doing chores when my kids and husband are home with me. I’d rather spend time with them.
I also kept one weekday free. Not only will this give me time to tackle those special projects that come up, but it also allows me to catch up on anything I may have missed during the rest of the week.
After you have the once a week chores filled in, move on to the biweekly chores. I chose to split those up so that I do a couple of them on weeks 1 and 3, and do the other ones on weeks 2 and 4. Again, I do this so that there is not a day that gets too overwhelming for me.
Use the same philosophy to fill in the rest of the calendar with the less frequent chores until all of your tasks are scheduled for the year.
If you’re anything like me, just having this schedule will ensure that your chores get done A WHOLE LOT MORE OFTEN than they did before. Even if you skip a week, your house will most likely still be cleaner than it was before you had a plan!
Also, having a plan ahead of time helps you to hit the ground running first thing in the morning. I find that is the best time for me to get stuff done- before the kids wake up and the chaos of the day begins. Plus, being able to have your first chore done even before you eat breakfast will give you a serious boost of momentum to get the rest done.
I like to throw in a load of laundry before breakfast. Then I can relax and enjoy my breakfast knowing that chores are already happening as I eat. I can usually get the second load in before I put the kids on the bus, too!
When I used to wait until morning to try to formulate my plan for the day, I would spend an hour or two trying to get my exhausted mind to focus long enough to remember what needed to be done. Then, when I saw the size of the enormous list I would come up with, I would feel overwhelmed and helpless, knowing I could never finish it. The stress of it all made me a lot less productive, and I would get almost nothing done!
That’s why I love having this schedule so much! It’s already planned out, and just by doing a few things a day, I know that nothing will be forgotten and everything will be taken care of without me losing my sanity!
Lastly, a very important thing to remember is that STUFF WILL COME UP! Life is full of surprises! Kids get sick, cars break down, a family member or friend needs your help, etc. This schedule of tasks should NEVER become more important than your family and friends! It is here to help you stay organized, but it is certainly NOT life or death that everything gets done every week!
When life gets overwhelming (and it will!) just make sure the important laundry gets done, and everything else can wait. The carpet won’t unravel if you don’t vacuum it this week! You can go another week with smudges on your windows and dust on the light fixtures.
REMEMBER, this plan is intended to help you, not to stress you out!!!
I hope that using this plan will help you to be less stressed and more in control of the things that you’d like to accomplish. It definitely works for me!!!
As always, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments you may have. 🙂