A while back I mentioned I was reading the book "A Mother's Rule of Life, How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul" by Holly Pierlot. I've been enjoying it slowly and most of it is her story, through which she shares gems of wisdom that you would otherwise have to suffer and struggle in order to learn yourself.
Now, 122 pages into the book, she's gotten to the crux of what I picked up the book for - 'Working Out Your Essentials', and offers up a starting point:
What exactly do your children need to do? For daily hygiene? To deal with their clothing? Their personal prayer? Sports and hobbies? Friends? Catechism and Mass and Confession? Homework or schooling? Sleep and rest? Exercise? Make lists, and write these down.Pure genius. So obvious! Why wouldn't you start here? Yet somehow its foundational simplicity has managed to evade me for years as I struggled to make room for it all - particularly the clean and orderly home part of it ;)
If you aren't Catholic - which I am not - you would just change those areas to what you do.
So I spent about an hour scribbling lists off the top of my head and put it all together in a weekly schedule of sorts. It isn't a final schedule (is there such a thing?), there will be many adjustments and lots of fine tuning as I go. But I just wanted to start, and start with the basics.
So here's what I came up with. Feel free to upload it and adjust it to your own needs if you see any use for it in your home.
Our school schedule is separate from this, although I did include some of the things we do all together. As you can see, I have no times since I don't do well with strict time schedules. That's just me.
She recommends making lists of what is involved in every task for them so they know exactly *what* to do. I LOVE this part of it because it makes what is expected of them clear. It eliminates the "what else Mommy?". For now I made a list for after-meal cleanup, which is marked with a * on the schedule and mapped out for them on the second page.
I also made a revolving list of things to be done on Saturdays on the second page. This way things like washing sheets, etc. that don't need to be done weekly, are still being done. Again, this is just a start, which I wanted to keep 'light' until somewhat of a habit is established, at which time I can shift some of the items from my Saturday list (like toilet cleaning) to the more regular weekly time slots. I focused on the major trouble areas first.
I added "Clean Floor" first thing in the morning - meaning they clean the floor in their room, which is where most of the mess ends up, and "5 Minute Tidy up" before bed - because that's usually all it takes for them to quickly clean up the mess that was made that day. Just these 2 things alone have put a big dent in the mess in our home.
I just know this is IT, the schedule I've always been waiting for, the one that will finally bring complete order to our home and peace to our souls!
And if you laugh at that like my husband did - you're gonna get it! ;)