Friday, January 11, 2008

Focus Cleaning

This has been a week of getting back into the routines that make my household flow. Somedays the flow is smoother than others. Kyle is doing great. No seizures and his meds are being tolerated with no side effects. He is bored and wants to go back to work. This morning the call came. He can return to work on Monday. I feel my life, and his, returning just thinking about it. He has had nothing since June of 07. Anyway, routines. They are so important in my house along with schedules. My unique family thrives on schedules and structure. Not that things are held so tightly there is no room for change, but something in place that tells us what is to be done and when...what to expect. Traumatized children feel safe when structure and schedules are established. If you have a traumatized child (or if you were one) you will find setting up a schedule and routines to be very helpful.

On Tuesday, my schedule told me it was the day the bedrooms were to be dusted, vacuumed and sheets changed. Basic surface cleaning. I opened my blinds to let some sunshine in the room and what did I find? A dead fly. Legs curled up, laying on his side with dust collecting on his corpse. What did this tell me? It told me that my focus cleaning schedule was not working for me. I already knew this. The previous set up had me doing monthly jobs like window sills and baseboards all in the same week, once a month. It was not functional. I spent one week a month doing all the baseboards in the house instead of concentrating on all the focus cleaning in a room or area of my house. So all my baseboards were clean that week, yet the ceiling fans were dirty. I wanted a system where each room got an entire deep clean once a month. I spent the last few days doing just that, and even though I need to tweak it a little bit, it is in place and up and running. I used Flylady's zone method, mixed with Messie's Manuel scheduling, and some Copperswife tips. Her daily article is now up on her website. Check it out if you have not already. I updated my post on my Home Management Binder to show all these pages added to my binder. You can find them by clicking on the link. Here is week 3, which is next week, just to give you an idea.
There are still big jobs that need to be done, but those are seasonal and will be added as I work on that section. I will be able to cross that off my goal poster in the next little while here.

This week was spent getting the laundry caught up, which as of today, is DONE. Charlotte did some extra chores to earn some more money onto her allowance. This was done without me asking!! She is a good girl. During the 2nd week of the month, my laundry room gets a deep clean. Since I did not have this section together in enough time to do all the focus cleaning for the week, I thought I would at least do this room. My laundry room, if you remember, is not a room at all. There are louver doors that open off the back hallway from the kitchen. My washer and dryer just fit in the space, so there is no walking room. I have plenty of space in the hallway so it is not difficult. Because of this, there is no room for a wastebasket. I hang a Thomas Kincade plastic bag on a hanger, hanging from the shelf for a waste basket. This was full and needed to be emptied. I used Hazel (my vacuum) to get rid of all the cob webs from the ceiling and walls. The attachments are great and allowed me to reach the 9 foot ceiling. Another special attachment had a groove in it that was perfect to clean the dust (and there was alot!) from the wire shelving. I used the attachments to reach along the sides of the machines and in the back as much as I could. Pulling the machines out and cleaning behind and under them will be a seasonal job. Probably Spring and Fall. I washed down the machines (they do not match, but they are both clean!) and got all the gunk from inside the washer that seems to collect there. I got rid of a couple of empty bottles, straightened out the shelves, and cleaned the picture frames. Then I cleaned the dryer's lint trap. Once a month you should scrub this with soap and water even if it looks clean. Here is a tip that will tell you if your trap needs it. If you run hot water through it and water pools, it needs a good scrubbing. Mine needed it. Good as new and the water runs right through the screen.I also keep a clothes basket on top of the washer or dryer to collect dirty kitchen towels, napkins, aprons and table cloths. My laundry room gets a regular straightening out every Saturday, but this deep clean will make that job much easier for a few weeks. Schedules. They are so important here. I think without them I would get nothing done. Many people comment here about how organized I am . I am not sure that is true. A truly organized person would not need the lists and schedules it takes for me to maintain my home. I do acknowledge my need for a system. That does not make me weak, but smart! If you can maintain your home without lists or schedules, then that is great. If you struggle, then you, like me, need a system.

Another thing we did this week was to create book baskets for the kids. Their baskets contain books for fun and for learning. We work together to choose books that are acceptable for school and also fun and interesting for them. Here is Charlotte's book basket. And Zach's book basket. Zachary has been having a hard time with math. He is very tired of it and is not at all challenged. I decided to skip ahead and he is loving it again. That kid always lights up my day with his wit. He made a comment to me the other day about needing to live his life. I looked at him with a question mark on my face and he said, "You know Mom, I am going to get married and have a family some day. I do have a life to live." This was in response to me asking him to pick up a mess he had made with a game. I told him I thought he had time to pick up that game before he needed to live his life!

I received a couple of awards this week and I have not forgotten. I am just thinking about them and who I will pass them onto. Most of the blogs I read already have them, so it is tough. I don't want to let them die though. I will think about it and get back to you!

I am going to have a cup of tea and visit with Sweet Hubby just as soon as I tuck the kids in bed. I am a big coffee drinker but I found this tea and it really helps fill that dessert void. It is called English Toffee, but tastes just like a cinnamon roll. No calories, carbs, or fat. Perfect.


Marilyn R said...

Wow Bren, just reading about all of your cleaning made me tired! *G* That tea sounds wonderful, I am going to have to give it a try!

Jamie said...

I love reading your blog. I so need to get on a system sechdual. you need to email me your routens.That is what I want to do this year get out of debt,lose 50 pounds and get on a sechdual. I use to be on one and after a few major family things it has gitten me off. I have now been off for 6 years and i wfeel like ak=ll the ones i come up with fells me. can you help?

Niki RuralWritings said...

English toffee is one of my favourites! Have you tried candy cane tea by celestial seasonings? Oh yum. Peppermint mocha-y.
You have been toooo busy, but it all looks so good! I love your binder.

Idaho Quilter said...

Sounds like you have your routine worked out, I tend to do cleaning in 10 or 15 minute increments. I am happy to hear Monday will be a good day for you.
\ And I have got to find the tea, I recieved a box of toffee for Christmas I allow myself one little piece every evening. Hard work, being healthy.

teodo said...

I'm very very happy for Kyle.
Monday will be a great day for him, for you and all your family.
a big kiss.

i like reading about your cleaning, you are very organized..........I'm a bit bungler and so I spend more time.
ciao ciao

motherofmany said...

Your laundry closet is so pretty! I also have a laundry 'closet' but am embarassed how messy it is. You have insoired me to make itpretty, which will make keeping it tidy easier!

And the comment about living his life- what a hoot!

Tammy said...

What a busy bee you've been! I love the Cinderella graphic...cute!

I have heard that about the dryer lint trap. I'm thinking I probably need to clean mine!

Where did you find that tea, I will for sure be on the lookout for it! I was reading somewhere that having a daily cuppa of a flavored tea can help curb cravings for things and actually help you to lose weight...if only...
In any case I bet it tastes good!

Copper's Wife said...

Great work on that laundry room, and great news about Kyle!

Donetta said...

Have you ever tried math the fun way curriculum it is great stuff

Coleen said...

I'm a blogger!

drucillastitches said...

Your blog is such an inspiration, thanks for sharing!
Seems I remember you showing some hand stitching that was Redwork? Do you use a stabilizer when doing this? Do you use muslin to stitch on? I have done a little reading about Redwork and I'm looking forward to getting to a quilt store to look at some patterns.