Monday, January 17, 2011


Goosie is reading and phonetically spelling in a really impressive way. She drew me a picture and wrote "Janewary" on it so I'd always know when she made it. I looked at her spelling and prefer it to "January" since I (along with so many others) look at what I accomplished in the previous year and evaluate what I want to do in the next. I'm not one for resolutions, but I love lists. One year I bought a pretty journal and made a list of 42 things I wanted to do. I think I did about 40 of them. I know I never got that pedicure.

This year, I wanted to be on a better homemaking routine. Things are coming together here at my home. The living room no longer looks like a toy store or a day care, unless the toys are actively being played with. The Dora Castle is stored in the basement because it's not played with daily. The "baby set" with beds, a swing and a highchair is down there too with strollers and baby cradles and carriers. There's some order here and there but it can all too easily be torn apart and trashed. I want to be more vigilant.

Ladies on the Reclaiming the Home group on Ravelry started talking home management binders, and there are tons of printables out there to make your lists/calendars/dividers etc. exactly the way you want them. I had started one a couple years ago, but as I pulled it out to modify it this Janewary, I laughed and instantly realized why the home management binder never worked for me: all it had in it was knitting patterns and recipes! Ah-ha!! These two things, which I love dearly, will not help me to keep my household in order!

So, organizing began. I kept the front cover, artwork from Goosie when she was 3.
Front Cover

I went slowly and only worked a few minutes at a time on it, over several days. It's still easily adaptable, which is exactly how I like it. My to-do lists include daily, weekly, monthly and seasonal chores. I have one printable from that has weekly/daily/monthly tasks all on one sheet.

Weekly Master Checklist

I designated zones for each week ala Fly Lady, but I can't follow her regiment and get all the emails and look at her site too much. For a program that helps you get rid of clutter, the site is completely cluttered! However, there are some good points, tips and tricks there if you can pilfer through and find them. My zones are based on the number of weeks in a month, so week 1 zone is Entrances, porch, one bedroom. Zone 2 is Kitchen. Zone 3 is Bathroooms, one bedroom. Zone 4 is Master bedroom, and Zone 5 is Living/Dining room. I work on zone tasks on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and
Saturdays if needed, or if I feel like delegating out some tasks.

Monthly Cleaning list and zone list

I have each day of the week focusing on certain tasks too: Mondays are my heaviest days, including one load of laundry (wash, fold, put away, and put away handwashing done on Sat.). Then I clean all 3 bathrooms (sinks, toilets, mirrors, tub, shower). I dust the whole house and vacuum the whole house. But notice I don't mop bathroom floors when I clean the rest of the bathrooms--I do that on Wednesday when I do all the hard floors in the house.

Daily Cleaning List

I just had to separate out tasks throughout the week, and some things I had to do when the girls are in school.

I'm at this point where I'm getting awfully antsy about things in this house. We have a nice home and we ALL need to take care of it. Blinders have to come off sometime, and we all need to do our parts. Heck, last week I handed Peanut a wash rag and had her locate and clean all the doorknobs in the house. Goosie got her own wash rag and she wiped every baseboard she could see. They both also have their own To-Do lists and the best part about these lists? They are in page protectors and there's a dry erase marker that we use to cross off each task. It's very satisfying to see the big list at the beginning of the week become completely covered in blue at the end of the week!

Girls' Chore List

Of course I need monthly calendars in my binder too, and I went to for some blank calendars, and I had the girls decorate their birthday months for me,

January monthly page

and facing that calendar month I have a monthly to do list, parties to get ready for, birthdays, field trips, due dates, knitting goals and deadlines...all of it. When February comes, I'll put it in front of the month of January so it can face the "to-do list" for the month too. I didn't have the girls decorate all the months either. In my search for printable calendars, I ran across some awesome inspiring artwork on etsy and I wanted to buy several calendars. Then I figured I should hone my own skills and get some art in my life in the form of drawing again.

So, it's a start for me. I'm working hard at it and I'm teaching my girls to work hard at it too. It doesn't take too long at all, if we keep it up, and working together makes it fun too. Well, you know, not fun like eating ice cream fun, but fun to see a sense of pride in the work.

But mostly? Mom's not going insane with all the junk, clutter, trash, doll clothes, Barbie shoes, Lego bits, paper doll stands, tea party items, stuffed animals, headbands, shredded pieces of tissue paper, Lite Brite papers and pegs, parachute guys and horses all over the floor. (Yes, that is an inventory of what's on my floor right now. And I wonder why MY Dyson IS the only vacuum in the world that doesn't maintain it's suction).


  1. I love that your girls' list has pictures of the task. (The garbage one is my favorite!)

    Great job, Bethany! I hope this system works for you and you are able to have the kind of home you really want.

  2. I've gotta tell you that I chuckled when I read the first few words of this post. I am taking alternative education certification classes, and I spent the ENTIRE day working on my reading class assignments, of which were the topics of phonemic awareness and phonics.

    I cried out, "Noooooo. Not that word again!!!"


    Your system is wayyyyyy beyond me, Lady! I hate do superficial stuff. I have zero time to be that organized.

    I hope you stick with your plans, though! Everyone's got to have a system that works for them.

  3. Organization was on the top of my list for things I wanted to accomplish this year. I will have to check out those links you shared & the group on Raverly maybe that will help get me more situated thanks for sharing.

  4. I like those to do lists!! You're inspiring me!! Perhaps I'll do my couches again and get that steamer back to you! :)