Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hospitality for the Energetically Challenged, Part 4 Schedule Your Time

In Part 3 of Hospitality for the Energetically Challenged, we spoke about realistic expectations on how much cleaning to actually do. We introduced some important Life Truths: building relationships is more important than pretending you are a supper mom, and love the friend, but avoid the sin.

Now we are going to get down to the nitty gritty and talk about how to schedule your time, in Part 4, Schedule Your Time.

Keeping Up During the Week
One of my biggest problems in keeping the house clean was not setting aside special time to actually perform the duties. I might know that I need to wash the dishes, vacuum, and freshen up the bathrooms, but during the day, between homeschooling, kid’s activities, cooking, and simply making sure nobody set the house on fire, I just didn’t have the time.

I had to create a daily cleaning routine. It started off simple with just identifying each day of the week as a day for a specific area.
  • Monday – errands (too tired to do that after co-op)
  • Tuesday – freezer cooking (don't do that anymore)
  • Wednesday – office work (HA)
  • Thursday – laundry (Must be done every day!)
  • Friday – general cleaning
  • Saturday – yard work
  • Sunday – rest

I still fall back on this schedule when my daily routine starts to get behind. We graduated to a little more complex system recently. We set aside 1 hour in the morning to do chores. We use index cards with all the areas of the house that have daily chores that need to be done. We each take a few cards for the week and take care of those areas. We very rarely get all of it done, but the thing is that at least once a week all those areas are being touched. This may not seem like much, or maybe it seems like a lot, but honestly it was what had to be done. (That was a flop.  Guess I better get a new post out there about how we do chores now.)

Keeping up with chores doesn’t exactly fit in with the Energetically Challenged’s lifestyle, so it seems. However, being one who is energetically challenged, I know that I would rather expend a little energy through the week in short bursts than all at once when I don’t really have it. This by far is the most important thing you can do. Choose a cleaning routine that fits well with your family and lifestyle. You may need to try many before you hit on the right system. (Now that's still true.)

 New Life Truth: A little goes a long way.

Evaluating What Needs to Be Done
With 5 very messy people in this home, we still have things that need to be done before the guests arrive above and beyond the list or repeated from the list. I put those things into my calendar with a reminder that those tasks are in preparation for guests. For instance, next Sunday evening is our Bible study. My list of “to-dos” so far is as follows:

  1. Bake brownies
  2. Make lemonade and tea
  3. Set out cups, plates, and forks
  4. Freshen bathrooms (no major cleaning, they aren’t going to take a bath)
  5. Dust common areas
  6. Run vacuum in common areas
  7. Take baskets upstairs (these are baskets at the bottom of the stairs that are loaded with kid’s stuff left laying about during the day)
  8. Straighten front porch
  9. Wipe down walls and doors where needed.
  10. Mop kitchen floor (and bathrooms if needed)
  11. Set out a couple of games the kids would like
  12. Straighten the living room
  13. Everyone declutter their own bedroom and make beds.
During the week I will schedule some time to do these tasks when we do the morning chores.

  • Thursday – wipe down walls
  • Friday – make brownies and freeze, dust common areas, straighten front porch
  • Saturday – take baskets upstairs, bedrooms, mop kitchen floor, straighten living room, run vacuum
  • Sunday before church– take brownies out of freezer
  • Sunday After lunch – set out games, make beds, make drinks, set out cups/plates/forks, freshen bathrooms
As a disclaimer, the first few times we did this, we were pulling all-nighters because during the week we weren’t taking care of the necessary cleaning chores. Don’t be discouraged the first time you get the house ready. You will eventually get into the cycle of cleaning and inviting, cleaning and inviting.
Remember: It is very important that you actually put this into your calendar. It will remind you of the high priority. If you just have a “to-do” list laying around, it doesn't show the importance as if each of those items were actually action items on your calendar.

In Part 5 of Hospitality for the Energetically Challenged, we are going to wrap up the series with some great Bible verses that apply to hospitality and fellowship and general inspiration to get you going.

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