What we all agree on is that it is difficult to stay motivated and on task. "Of course I have days where I go out for coffee, or have baking days, or simply want to be lazy and catch up on Greys Anatomy," says Valerie. "I'm motivated by the fact that I can't bear untidiness but sometimes I just give myself a day off!" Actually giving myself a day off and writing it on the calendar is something I hadn't thought of. I often find myself feeling guilty when I'm out nattering over coffee with Cagey or Kaybee, or spending time on my blog, and resentful when I'm cleaning the kitchen floor and bringing the coal in. My particular difficulty is that I CAN bear untidiness but then, once a month or so, it really gets to me and I find myself wondering where to start.
As we all know, housework is never completed. There is always one more chore that could be done. This in itself can be demoralising, and it means that prioritising is key. It's important to know what your limits are and what you are happy to put up with. Do you need clean bath towels twice a week, for example? Does shining your sink, a la Fly Lady, actually help? Does EVERYTHING need ironing? Women who have to deal with PMS would do well to organise their housework round their hormones. Make the most of the few days a month that you feel like Superwoman and don't give yourself a hard time if you do nothing but watch Benedict Cumberbatch movies when you're pre-menstrual.
For me, the biggest temptation after dropping the kids off at school is to stroll home, put the kettle on and start surfing the internet, when really I need to hit the ground running. Valerie has found that she is "really motivated after a brisk walk once school drop off is done."
If you want to get on top of your housework once and for all, and be able to stay in charge of your chores long term, then I have the perfect resource for you. Check out the Motivated Moms printable chore planning system. These ebooks help you have a clean and ordered home, and still have time for yourself. You'll download the e-book you've picked (page per day, half-size, bible reading etc), save it to your computer and then either print the full year out at once, print a week at a time or just view it on your screen.
|photo: Motivated Moms|
These printable chore lists are just what you are looking for if you need to know exactly what to do each day in your home and love to be able to check items off a list to feel that sense of accomplishment. I particularly like the way they cover simple but important tasks that we are apt to neglect. "Pamper yourself" is one of the jobs on Sundays, for example, and "Spend time on a craft/ hobby" comes up on Fridays. As well as the usual laundry, bed-making and dish-washing, "Quiet Time" and "Exercise" are listed every day.
You can keep your tick list inside a home management binder, attach it to the fridge with a magnet, or blu-tak it to the kitchen cupboard; the main thing is that you take action and do what it says. The system will help you keep on top of money-saving coupons, plan meals around leftovers, clean up your hard drive on a regular basis, sort through clutter, and read to your kids.
Motivated Moms' approach is simple: just consult the list each day, do the work, tick the boxes and feel free to enjoy the remaining spare time. Whether that involves Benedict Cumberbatch movies or not.