Today we are continuing with our guest post by Marilynn Rockett on the ABC’s of Home Organization. If you haven’t read Part 1 make sure to check out last Wednesday’s post.
If you often jump from one task to another without finishing anything or you feel as though you don’t know where to start on most days, you need a basic routine. Your creative spirit may bristle at the thought of a “schedule,” but a simple, doable framework frees you and allows time to accomplish the basics.
Make a weekly routine based on a predictable sequence rather than on certain minutes or hours to do what you need to do. A simple routine that you stick to, even for part of your day, is the single most helpful thing you can do to restore order to your home. After all, it was skipping those basic responsibilities that brought about the chaos in the first place.
A simple, skeleton routine that allows for housework time, play time, and school time allows you freedom to be flexible while still maintaining order and a generally clean and tidy home. If you keep it simple, you will find more time to do other activities without sacrificing your home on the altar of the urgent.
Evaluate each room in your home, deciding which things are most important to accomplish and which could wait, if necessary. Write those things down on paper as you walk through your home.
Then use the list to establish your routine. You and your family must grocery shop, cook meals, wash dishes, do laundry, clean floors, and make beds—or at least change sheets occasionally. You may want to include a daily pick-up time to help keep clutter to a minimum. Include anything else that helps you maintain your home at a reasonable level of functionality.
Put your routine on paper, marking blocks of time each day for activities such as housework and chore time, school time, fun time, and any particular commitments such as music lessons, sports practices, and so forth. Post the routine where the family can see it, and stick to it as much as possible.
Remember that you don’t have particular hours or minutes to do things, rather you have blocks of time to accomplish the necessary tasks—chores after breakfast, school time after chores, and library trips on the days you take the children to music lessons, for example.
If an emergency shifts your routine, just go back to the basics as soon as you are able. Assign chores to each of your children old enough to do them, and supervise to see that they complete what you expect of them.
Most important, don’t overplan. If you stay too busy with multiple activities, you won’t have time to teach your children to work and to maintain your home in a God-honoring way—not perfect, but presentable.
Motherhood, homemaking, parenting, and teaching children are not for wimps! Those jobs are difficult and require continual learning and adjusting. I don’t know anyone who has ever accomplished all of them perfectly.
Change is difficult, isn’t it? If you haven’t done well in keeping your home, determine why and then work on that particular problem. Your example of a commitment to persevere will teach your children to keep going when things are hard and to continue to learn and grow in all areas of their lives.
Don’t be afraid to make changes in how and when you do things. If something isn’t working, change it. Find the best method and time for you and your family, and don’t do something just because your mother did it that particular way.
Ask older women for help and ideas or find a mentor. Scripture tells us that the older woman should teach the younger woman (Titus 2:3-5), but we seem to forget that practical admonition in today’s culture. Someone else who has been where you are often can see problems that you are overlooking. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.
I’m so grateful for the new beginnings the Lord provides when needed. He desires that we work toward homes that honor Him, and we can trust that He will give us the energy, power, and new beginnings for our tasks.
Praise Him for your strengths and offer your weaknesses to Him for His correction and change. The only “it” that matters—and that you need—is a heart that longs to honor the Lord through your home and a desire to go back to the basic ABCs, when needed, to accomplish what He has given you to do.
Marilyn Rockett is a “graduated” homeschool mom of four grown sons and Mimi to six homeschooled grandchildren. She is the author of Homeschooling at the Speed of Life, providing encouragement and organizational helps with a scriptural emphasis.
Marilyn has worked in the homeschool community for more than 25 years. She is currently the editor for Homeschooling Today® magazine and speaks at homeschool and Christian women’s events as well as presenting her own “Minding Your Time” seminars. Visit her website at www.MarilynRockett.com or contact her at Marilyn@MarilynRockett.com
This article is a reprint from the April 2007 Homeschooling Helper e-newsletter published by Homeschooling Today® magazine. It may not be copied or reprinted without written permission from Marilyn Rockett.