The biggest thing that I was nervous about was trying to jump in with both feet and then getting burned out. It doesn't sound like much to do 15 minutes a day in some area of your house, but add to that a morning routine that includes scrubbing the shower walls and cleaning the toilet and an afternoon routine that includes a clutter check (running around the house picking up toys and other items out of place) and an after dinner routine that includes sweeping the kitchen floor and running the swiffer in the bathroom floor and it gets to be a bit overwhelming. So, I started with the evening routine first, creating just what I wanted to include and did only that for a week. Once it seemed like it was working OK (it did require some tweaking to get it to fit into our lives just right), I moved on to the morning routine and created that just the way I wanted it and did that for a week or so.
Then, I started putting things down on paper and started typing up my checklists and working on a daily plan. I created Zones for my house (they are different than the way FlyLady set up her zones, but my zones work for my house and my plans). These are the different areas of the house that I will focus on during a given week. For example, Zone 6 is the car and the garage and will include cleaning out the trash from the car and washing the car and cleaning the junk out of the garage and hopefully purging unneeded items and so on. This means that every 6th week, my car and garage will be getting clean. This 6 week rotation means that every area of my house will be getting a deeper cleaning and organizing every 6 weeks. The goal is that after a few rotations, the areas will be/stay organized and the time spent on the area will get shorter.
The goal is to have a home that is mostly always clean and organized as well as having routines in place that make it like your home almost cleans itself. For example, my bathroom. I am never going to clean my bathroom again. This is because, as part of my morning routine, I scrub the shower walls while I am letting conditioner soak into my hair. It takes about 90 seconds. After I get out of the shower, I wipe down the sink and counter. After I am dressed, I wipe down the outside of the toilet and put cleaner into the bowl. All this takes about 2 minutes. As part of the evening routine, I scrub out the tub, this is because Smug-Baby hates hair and all things "yucky" in her bath, so this cleans the tub daily and removes any hair and whatnot from Smug-Hub's and my showers that morning. While she is in the bath I run the swiffer vacuum over the bathroom floor. Scrubbing the tub takes 45 seconds and another 60 seconds on the floor and my bathroom has been totally cleaned and is clean each day and build up never happens. Noe, on Monday's I have as my daily task to clean the mirror (45 seconds) and wipe the base of the toilet (30 seconds). That's it, a matter of a few seconds daily and I never have to clean my bathroom!
My daily breakdown includes time to work on my daily task (something that has to get done that particular day, like collecting the trash on Tuesday's or washing diapers on Wednesday's) as well as two 15 minute slots to work on that week's zone. I have my day broken down into a loose routine for various sections of the day; example: 9:30-11:30, spend 15 minutes on daily task, spend 15 minutes on the weekly zone, snack for the kids, clean up snack, change diapers before nap time. It certainly doesn't take 2 solid hours to complete these thing, but my life needs a lot of open time to spend playing with and cuddling the children in my life.
My goal for this week has been to add water back into my day. I realized that I have only been going pee once or twice during the day and given that I am a nursing mother, I need a whole lot more water than a sip here and there. So, I set alarms on my phone to remind me to drink water several times during the day. The hope is that this too will become habit.
I have a few more things to add into my life. I haven't started working on my zones yet. I have them worked out and the checklists created, but haven't started them That starts next week, now that I have the other routines under my belt. I also need to get back into a workout plan. I had been walking the treadmill in the mornings, but then the treadmill got covered with junk :)
The goal this weekend is to get the downstairs room clean enough that the treadmill is usable and start walking daily next week.
Once I incorporate the zone cleaning and the working out, my plan of action will be complete!
The nice thing about this plan is that, if I have to skip a day on wiping down the bathroom sink for example, I just pick up again the next day without it causing a huge backlog or making me totally behind. The zones are designed to be worked on in repeat. As in, if you don't complete everything on the checklist for that zone by the end of the week, you just pick up where you left off the next time that zone comes around.
A plan like this is very forgiving and if you fall off one day or week, just pick back up where you left off. Eventually, you will get to everything and get where you want to be. Give it time!!