"Let all things be done decently and in order" ~I Cor. 14:40
A short time after having Will, our fourth child, it became quite evident to me that my current system of "keeping up" was not going to work anymore. I had a mini breakdown. I have had a few of these over the years since having children. They are short-lived but each of them has resulted in my creating a system for whatever it was that caused me to have the meltdown in the first place!
I got to a point after a certain number of children, where my mind no longer functioned well and until I've had that 3rd cup of coffee I see everything hazy. My brain no longer has the capacity to function the way it once did. I can no longer wake up and say, "today I'm going to do this, then this, and then this". Now I wake up and am lucky if I remember what day it is. I needed a system that when I woke up in the morning I had someone or in this case a list, that told me exactly what I needed to do that day.
I wish I could tell you my system eliminates the need to do laundry or clean. It doesn't. What it does do for me is help me stay on top of everything that needs to get done. I have a laundry schedule and a cleaning schedule taped to my fridge. Each family member gets a day of the week their laundry gets done and each day a certain part of the house gets cleaned. It goes like this:
Monday: Noah & Owen- Wash floors & vacuum downstairs
Tuesday: Gabe & Will -Dusting and Windows/Mirrors
Wednesday: Bath & Dish towels-Bathrooms
Thursday: -Ben & Lissa-yard & gardens (summer)/playroom
Friday: Jena, Tess & Emma-Misc.picking up & downstairs bathroom (again!)
Saturday: Bedding (every other Sat.)/Bedrooms get picked up & vacuumed
I have reasons for why a certain persons laundry gets done on that day and why a certain part of the house gets cleaned when it does. You can customize this however you need to to make it work for you. I have some friends who don't like to do laundry every day so they don't like this system. I don't necessarily like to do laundry everyday I just have no choice. I cannot keep up without doing it this way so at least now I can wake up and not have to decide who needs it more I can just look at my list and do it. Yes, I am a slave to the list but it has helped me tremendously. What I like the most about this system is my house is for the most part always picked up and neat and I only have to spend 30-45 minutes each day cleaning. It may not be spotless but at least everything is getting done once a week and I don't have to worry about the house not being in order when the unexpected guest pops in!
*****************************Since writing this a few years ago I did have to edit my schedule a bit. I do way more laundry now than I did at the time I wrote this. When I wrote it I did 1 load a day. Now I do 2, sometimes 3 loads a day. I also have to clean the downstairs bathroom twice a week. I will say that though this system works very well for me I have not been able to keep up with it exactly since having Tess. Two babies back to back has left me with very little time for anything but taking care of babies and the house shows for it. Things are starting to get easier as the babies get older so I'm slowly easing back into it. Even though I have more kids now than I did when I implemented this I still feel it is a good system for me and I will continue to do things this way.One great thing is that as the years go by, kids get older so now they are able to help with some of these chores. If I have a day where I am unable to do that days chore then I leave it till the next week or fit it in IF time allows on another day. But I don't stress about it. If I get to it that day great but if not, it will still be there next week. The only thing that HAS to get done are the bathrooms. I will say that if I don't keep up with the laundry then I fall behind badly and it takes a good week or two to catch up again so I make sure as best I can to keep up with it.