Monday, February 6, 2012

Organization - cleaning the home

Hmm. This is something I've always admired and never been good at - keeping an area of space organized and clean. I was one of those kids that would go on a cleaning rampage and spend hours straightening up my room in one afternoon... and then neglect to keep up with the maintenance side of cleaning, so before too long it would look pretty much the same as it had before I cleaned.

But I would really, really like to be able to get my home clean and then keep it that way! Especially now that it has become my responsibility to demonstrate desirable disciplines (try saying that five times fast, ha!) and character traits to my children. I want them to grow up in a peaceful home, and at least for me personally, clutter and messiness equals stress, not peace. Actually, I think it's the thought that I'm not doing my best that leads to stress. I think I could be content with messiness if I needed to - and I'm going to have that tested here pretty soon, as we're moving in less than a month.

Actually, on that note, I'm going to be tested on it right away. Boxes are going to be everywhere, and things are slowly going to go from being "in their place" to being stacked up wherever they fit, ready to be loaded into a truck and hauled to our new home.

So we'll see how that goes. But a new home seems a great opportunity for a new start - a fresh try at organization from the beginning, starting with an empty home instead of having to re-organize something that's already set up.

With that in mind, I thought I'd jot down some ideas to keep me on track when we do move into our new place.

For one thing, I don't want to get overwhelmed. So I'm going to try and focus on one thing at a time, and not worry that it might take several weeks to get everything finished. I'd rather have it done right and take longer than get it done fast and then have to redo everything later.

For another thing, I want to remember my priorities. God is first in my life (or at least that's the way I want it to be - still working on that), so I don't want to get so distracted with setting up my new home that I forget that I'm doing it for his glory. I want to make a point of taking time to watch a few sermons at, and maybe go through a good Christian book on my breaks, reading just a few pages a day and really taking time to meditate on what I learn and let it sink in.

I also don't want to neglect my kids. It's tempting for me to just try to "get it done" when I start working on stuff like this (organizing the closet, for example), but I would rather let Kaira be involved and have a good time with it, even if the project takes longer or we have to do it in several small chunks. I don't want to approach this with a "just get through it" attitude - when I do that, I have this mindset that peace lies on the other end of whatever I'm trying to accomplish, but that leads to stress, and a kind of rushed feeling when I'm working, and I don't enjoy the work itself at all. We're supposed to throw our hearts into every task, doing it to glorify God - not rushing through it to get to the next thing.

Here's how I think I might divide the task of setting up our new home:

As we unload - make a place for downtime. Reading, using the computer, etc. Make a place for Kaira to play. Set up Indy's kennel somewhere.

Day 1 - Kitchen. Definitely a priority since I make almost all of our meals at home. Maybe we can plan to eat without cooking for the first day, to take away some of the stress of trying to get the kitchen cooking-ready. I'm thinking like fruit for breakfast and maybe go out to Chipotle for lunch. By dinnertime I think I should be able to cook something. Maybe I'll pack one box with all the essentials - a couple of plates and bowls, silverware, and a pot and pan, maybe a baking dish... and a couple of glasses and food storage containers. That way, in case something happens and I can't get the kitchen set up quick enough, we'll still be able to cook and eat. :)

Day 2 - Finish Kitchen

Day 3 - Bedroom - furniture, room layout

Day 4 - Bedroom closet - hang up clothes and get closet boxes unpacked

Day 5 - Bedroom closet - organize

Day 6 - Bedroom closet - organize

Day 7 - Living Room - furniture, room layout

Day 8 - Living Room - books

Day 9 - Living Room - movies

Day 10 - Living Room (or bedroom, maybe) - diapers (I'll have these in a pile somewhere until I get around to setting up a changing station)

Day 11 - Living Room - organize/details

Day 12 - Bedroom - organize/details

Day 13 - Dresser - organize

Day 14 - Nightstand - organize

Day 15 - Kids' dressers - organize

I'll probably let Kaira watch a little more TV than usual during these first couple of weeks (and the last few weeks over here before we move) - I've been trying to limit her TV-watching to one video every other day, but I'm going to try to make resting a priority so I don't exhaust myself during the move, and resting is generally easier when I know Kaira has something to keep her occupied. On the other hand, if she's content playing with toys or other items, maybe I'll be able to continue to limit the TV to once every other day. Who knows? I'm just not really going to worry about it either way until we're done with the move.

So, there's some semblance of a plan. We'll see how things turn out, I guess, huh?

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