Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy 2010!

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Though today, I wish I could go back in time about 10 years, when it was just the two of us in a tiny apartment with much, much less responsibility. When life was simpler (though it didn't feel like it at the time) and generally less expensive. When deciding what movie to see and where to eat were the toughest decisions we had to make. I suppose it will always feel like that. Life may never seem easier than it did 10 years prior, at any given moment. It just keeps getting more complicated, yet fulfilling, at the same time. Make sense?

David just got home from trying to pick up the Explorer. It was supposed to be a fun morning for him. Drop the truck off for new tires (that part not so fun, because we were expecting the $800 charge). A friend from work was coming to pick him up and drive them across the street to the mall, to see Avatar, then bring him back to pick up the truck. Boy was I surprised when I opened the front door (to let in light for the photo above) only to see the yellow courtesy van pull in to the drive, dropping him off. I immediately panicked and felt sick inside. He couldn't tell me fast enough (for my taste) what happened.

We just paid off the truck last August, so I guess this shouldn't surprise me. You're never truly done paying, right? But now a bill totaling $3500 (all 4 brakes replaced plus a ton of little things I've never heard of) was just added on top of the $1500 fridge we had to replace yesterday (we are without one until Thursday now) and the $300 vacuum we bought on Christmas Eve to replace our newly broken one. My head is spinning. Can I just say two words? NO SAVINGS! Yep, we are falling even more deeply down that slippery slope of credit cards and we hate it. Now our payments will be even higher, taking away from our already tight budget. How did we get here? Don't answer that. We know. It started 2 years ago with $5000 worth of dental bills for me. Not so fun. And it just spiraled downhill from there. I'm beginning to think we'll never have emergency savings and it's starting to feel like I should just let go of that dream of ever moving. It certainly won't be in 3 years like I had hoped.

Alright, enough of that melodrama. I hope your 2010 has started off much better than ours. And here's hoping we've got all the big stuff behind us for the year. Back to what this post was originally going to be about. Why I was opening my door to let in more light... Cleaning and organization were on my mind.

I'm not one for resolutions since I usually break them within two days. For instance, "spend less", that one has already been broken and now even more important at the same time. But in general I'm always striving to be a better steward of the resources God has blessed us with, to have a deeper relationship with my Savior, to be more thoughtful and kind to everyone I meet and especially those at home and to be more healthy.

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One of the things I'm starting new this year is a Home Cleaning Schedule spelled out by Kate. I happened upon Kate's post through the blog of the sister of an old friend from Jr. High Church Youth Group who I found through facebook. Did you follow that? Julie wrote a beautiful post called a Modern-Day Footwashing which lead me to this great tool.

My hope is that this will be super easy-to-follow and will help me be a less-stressed out Mommy because of a messy house. I used to be a neat freak. Really, I was. Stop laughing! I read about Kate's system just yesterday and knew that it would be the answer to what I've been searching for, but just had no clue how to go about it. The whole keeping my house clean has alluded me since the girls started walking. Or perhaps I just gave up. It can be disheartening to be cleaning in one room only to find that another room has just been destroyed.

Not even 2 hours after reading about it, I was at Office Max picking up everything I needed to make my own box. I love it! And I'm so excited to get started on Monday. I still need to cover up the alphabet with the correct headings, but it's workable for now.

Here's what's on my cards. I'm a bit worried that the monthly category will each take more than 15 minutes a day, so I might need to break them down further. I also may have missed some things. But in theory my house should always be clean and ready for visitors. It used to be that we only really cleaned about an hour before Bible study, every other Thursday. And of course that was just the throw-everything-in-the-other-room kind of cleaning, run the vacuum, scrub the toilet, and wash some mirrors. Did I just admit that? I guess I'm just keeping it real today.

Anywho,here's my list...

Daily

quiet time/pray/read Bible
make our bed
empty/load dishwasher, run 1-2x
wash counters/highchair/table after every meal
sweep kitchen floor
1-2 loads of laundry washed and put away
pick up clutter/put away toys
empty sippy-cups from fridge at night

Weekly
Su clean-out fridge and freezers/meal plan
Su pay bills/file papers (David)
M grocery shop
M change/wash sheets
Tu dust all furniture upstairs
Tu wash all mirrors and glass door
Tu go through Awana/Cubbies books with girls
W wash bathroom counter/floor/baseboards/toilet
(while girls take a bath and Sam naps)
Th spot clean entry tiles
Th vacuum all carpet/rug
F wash kitchen chairs/floor

Monthly (one every other day)
dust all lampshades/ceiling fan/cobwebs/top of armoire (on a Tues)
clean top of fridge, small appliances, front of stainless fridge and dishwasher
clean washer and dryer/dust all downstairs
scrub shower/tub
wash one window, including blinds
spot clean carpets
organize/purge pantry
organize/purge front closet
organize/rotate toys in playroom
wash 2nd bathroom rugs
clean out cars and get a car wash
clean oven/microwave
wash door handles and railings
wash leather furniture/vacuum under cushions (on a Thurs)

Annually

Jan call for air duct and dryer vent cleaning every other year
Mar wash everything above kitchen cabinets
Mar call for furnace inspection
Apr
clean all ceiling mounted light fixtures
May wash outside windows
May/David fix broken sprinkler heads
May/David use leather cleaner on car interiors
June/David trim trees/bushes
July/David inspect and fix siding/trim
Sep call for furnace inspection
Sep wash outside windows
Oct rake leaves
Nov use leather cleaner on living room furniture

3 comments:

mommypants13 said...

Wow, good luck! I have just started a home managment binder and as I've been writing down things to do I think 'WOW Thats a lot" I think most of us moms have similar resolutions. I have decided to postpone mine till after my trip to see my mother in law. This week is an extension of christmas for me! The box looks cool, I'm reading the post on Kate's site now

Angel said...

So true! It's nice to have something small and compact to help me out. Life can get so crazy and sometimes it's just hard to know where to start. I have a binder too, but it's so big I never pull it out.

Happy extended Christmas! We just had our final get-together last night.

Jessica said...

Sorry to hear of the mess with the car/vacuum/fridge. I hate when necessities all decide to strike out at the very same time :( Maybe this just means you've fulfilled your quota for 2010 and it's smooth sailing from here on out!

LOVE that organization system. It makes it so manageable. I know I often just get overwhelmed at the thought of tackling big tasks and then end up doing nothing. Today I just went for it - kids in the room and all - and just tackled two painting jobs, a dresser turned craft cabinet and a mirror/peg rack that holds a bunch of my aprons. It feels so good!