Monday, November 21, 2005

Managing the Home

I benefitted a lot from the visit of two sisters who called themselves "The Slob Sisters." They were, like the previous letter, daughters of a perfect mother, but her habits never quite rubbed off on them. After years of getting lost in their own piles of unsorted junk, and forgetting which meal it was time for, they got together and formed a system. They practiced it for awhile and then began to hold seminars to teach other "side-tracked" homemakers to have a more orderly life.

I believe many of their ideas were adopted by what is now called "Flylady," who sends regular emails when you sign up, to help you get a schedule at home and manage your time and work better. Here are some of the simple things I learned:

1. Don't begin your day until you are dressed and presentable enough to go somewhere, and put on your shoes.
2. Start at the front door and work clockwise, neatening, arranging, cleaning. Work from top to bottem and clockwise around each room.
3. Pick it up, don't pass it up. If you are going to your room to find something and you come across toys, shoes, papers, etc., pick them up on the way and distribute them where they belong.
4. Never leave the house until the bed is made and the dishes are done.
5. Plan your evening meal at the beginning of the day.

You are welcome to add more to this if you've got any knowledge of this system.

note: I've not had time to moderate comments, so be patient if yours don't appear immediately.

Picture: Apple Pie Harvest from allposters


Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, I agree that this is a wonderful system. My poor husband thinks I'm crazy because I ask him what he wants for dinner while he is having his morning coffee! I am still struggling to maintain my home, but I feel as if I am making progress.

To be honest, though, although I do enjoy the "flylady's" site, I find yours much more inspirational. I especially love the way you present the home as a retreat or a sanctuary.


Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled! Your website and the Flylady website are the two tools most responsible for my happy heart and my tidy home! Is this what it feels like when the planets converge? : )

Marie said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
One statement that I find helps me that Flylady states is this, "Don't obsess." I am all for doing a thorough and complete job with anything my hands are set to do. But, with five children, and homeschooling, I found myself very frustrated with trying to get it ALL done. I appreciated this statement from Flylady. I would want to scrub and shine and shine the way my Mother and grandmothers did. But, I would know, there were several other needs to be met, some for my children, some for my husband. Now, I tell myself, "don't obsess."
This has been very helpful. At least the home is pleasant and a blessing, instead of giving up and allowing it to fall apart due to discouragement. Fifty percent to seventy-five percent or eighty percent is still better than giving up in discouragement. Or doing the one hundred percent and not getting to another need.
I sure do enjoy your blog.

Lydia said...

Part of the problem we face today is the difference in what we have to look after. In earlier times when I was a child, there were so few "things" to look after, and if you didn't look after them, they would disappear somehow. We have fewer clothes, almost no toys, and a few kitchen items. Our grandmothers could indeed keep their houses spotless and orderly, but they also had less to pick up and they had less demands on their time. They didn't have to go to market as much, and outside activities were not as prevalent. We have a lot of distractions today, which enable us to to lose concentration on homemaking and get behind. I once made a vow to stay home for one week. In that week, I found myself getting my purse and heading out the door just at a casual suggestion or invitation. "Let's go...." A couple of times I turned away and headed back into the house, because I had totally forgotten my intention of staying home for a week. During that week if I needed something, I asked my husband to bring it home on his way through town. People though I was nuts with this self-imposed solitude. I just wanted to see what it would be like, and I must say, my mental state became much more calm and I was able to think in a more orderly way, as well as feeling a lot better physically--relaxed and better tempered. It allowed me to get my house under control and running smoothly.

Sonya said...

Dear Lydia,

I love nothing better than to stay home and get my work done. This may sound crazy to some but I find my homelife immensely satisfying. Being a fulltime wife and mother is absolutely the best job in the world and I proudly tell others, especially my children. I let them know that I "already have the best job in the world, why would I want another one!".

Kind regards,