Well, here on our homefront, we are getting ready for another whirlwind year. It is a balancing act of making sure everyone has special time with both parents, something for them to do as individuals(one sports activity each per year), that each child is excelling in his/her academics and life skills and managing the home of a "larger-than-normal-size" family. Most importantly, we are a "home is where the heart is" type family. We want our children to want to be here and for others to have a place to come on playdates and even temporary living quarters (which has happened more often than not) and we LOVE it when it does happen. We want our home to be a haven for us as well as anyone whom may enter.
In order for things to run smoothly and to keep our home from becoming a disaster area, we have to have a system in place to manage it.
So, in preparation for the year, we have been spending much time cleaning out closets, bedrooms, bathrooms, under beds etc.
Management does not end there though...we have to come up with a way to maintain that order.
For example...our hallway bathroom. I will take a notebook in with me and as we clean, I will make a list of everything that has been done in order to get it as near to perfect as possible:
Clear counter and wipe off
Fill toilet paper
Make sure bath toys are in basket
Take out any dirty laundry
Take out trash
Shake out mats
Wash out trash can
Stock toilet paper
Change out empty soap bottles/shampoo etc.
Organize and clean out drawers
Organize and clean out under sink
and so on...
When that is finished, I will delegate who does what and when. Then each of my children and myself have a checklist in our personal binder. Most of us have it memorized and rarely have to go to it except for on cleaning day (Friday) when everyone's chores are just a bit different.
I do this for every room...it sounds a little complicated when it's all typed out, but the fact is that we will never keep a neat and tidy home if we do not maintain it. It only takes 30 minutes to maintain our home everyday instead of living in a disaster and have to spend days of frustration trying to whip it into shape.
I don't live in fairyland either though...I have to keep in mind that there are seasons. There are days when the house gets neglected, but I know that it will pass and when we do get back on track, we have a system in place that will keep it maintained a majority of the time.