Monday, December 28, 2009

The Whole House is a Mess!

This happens after Christmas, or any time we have an extended "vacation" time. We have new toys and gifts to be put away, boxes and gift bags to be stored, and all of those Christmas decorations to take down! Plus the regular routine of cleaning and other chores. The refrigerator and countertops are full of leftover holiday foods, and all of my drawers, cabinets, and closets are in need of a deep clean.

Where to begin?

I plan to tackle it like I suggested how to accomplish the holiday baking----a little bit at a time, not all in one day. While it seems like a great idea to take down and store all of your Christmas decorations, plus clean the entire house, plus reorganize your kitchen.....all in one day....I know that I would lose my steam about lunchtime, and the rest of the day would be miserable. So I am making a list for the upcoming week (and the weeks after that as well), of what I plan to accomplish each day. This way takes longer, but it really is more manageable, and the work is more likely to actually get done. We have one more week off from school and outside activities, so I plan to take advantage of this time. I originally planned for us to not begin school again until January 11th, but since we have decided to take the school day completely off when Jimmy is off from work (about 3 days a month), I moved our "back to school" start date to January 4th.

The Plan

1. Make a master list of every single thing you need to do. Be very specific. Carry this list around the house with you as you complete your daily tasks, because you will find things to add to the list,
2. Look at your calendar for this week. After considering your daily housekeeping tasks for each day and any further travel or party plans you may have for New Year's Eve/Day, begin assigning a reasonable portion of your to-do list for each day.
3. Make sure you schedule in time to spend with your children doing something other than clean/organize. Involve them in this cleaning project, but also set aside time to play a game with them, push them on the swing, read to them, etc. For small children, make sure you spend 10 minutes of each hour doing something with them. This really prevents discipline problems.

I will try to share my To-Do list each morning (or late the night before) to give you some sort of idea of what we all need to be doing!

Today's List:
1. pay bills
2. make menu and grocery list
3. buy groceries
4. buy albums for Christmas cards (more on my new idea later)
5. buy storage containers from Walmart
6. straighten Leah's room
7. straighten Julie's room
8. Update Christmas card addresses (more on this later too)
9. Pack up Christmas decorations that are sitting around on bookshelves and tabletops
10. Complete my normal housekeeping chores which include 2 loads of laundry, and cleaning the boys' bathroom

Have a productive day!


  1. Thank you for sharing this! I am going to work on my list!

  2. I'm exhausted just reading your list! I'm trying to make a little progress each day on our mess, but also trying to enjoy a few more days of unbridled reading before we start back to our school routine.

  3. I'm so thankful that my husband helps out. Otherwise the Christmas/vacation chaos + morning/all day sickness would equal disaster. Instead it's just a bump in the road.

    The Lord certainly knew what I needed when he gave me my husband.