7 Habits of Highly Immaculate People

  1. (especially of a person or their clothes) perfectly clean, neat, or tidy.
    "an immaculate white suit"
First, this does NOT describe me currently.  It used to, before I got married and had kids.  Once I got married and had kids, the struggle began.  When I was growing up my mom had a little sign in her kitchen that she cross stitched that read: "Dull women have immaculate houses."  I thought my mom was saying she was "dull".  Seriously, I did.  I always thought the house was immaculate.  Clothes never needed folding or washed, everything was pristine, ultra clean, spotless, etc.  I think what that little picture was trying to say was it's okay if your home isn't pristine or immaculate because that would mean you are dull and have no life.  Yes, I'm certain that is what it meant.  Still, in my mind I am always looking for ways to stay organized.  The difference between what my mom did and what I feel I'm capable of is a few things.  One, I have 3 boys.  Two, I have Adult ADD.  Notice that I left the "H" out because I'd give anything to be a little "H".  I'm not, I'm tired which is why I take supplements for energy and mental focus.  HA!

In the last few months I have implemented a few things around our house that has helped things run smooth, given our kids responsibility, given me focus on tasks that I can handle, and I wanted to share them with you.  So, I am bringing this to you from the perspective of a daughter who grew up with a Highly Immaculate Person.

1.  Schedule - It's necessary.  Why?  Because you will find that you just spent a whole day scrubbing your bathroom and the WHOLE house is a wreck.  A schedule of tasks to do each day that spreads out your responsibilities is ideal.  I found an app in iTunes called Tody.  I thought I'd try it for a week before posting about it because I might love it for 2 days and then hate it's guts.  Not Tody, not so far.  So far it has been fabulous.  Visit http://www.todyapp.com/ to learn more.

2. Chore Charts - For the kids, this has really helped.  They don't always get things done so I put their chart of to-do's on my Tody and it reminds me to remind them and everyone gets it done.  Below are two examples of chore charts I have used.  I ended up making one I could print off each Sunday as I pay them.  Money talks with kids and sometimes a toy they want sitting in plain view and can't reach. :D
Click here to download the Word Document and feel free to change it as needed to suit your routine and kids.  
Charts from the dollar store.

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3. Make time because you are never going to find time.  To keep these chores going you just have to do them.  They are chores, by definition they aren't fun but they are necessary and the reward for doing them is satisfaction.  You've got to purposefully carve out time during your day.  Most tasks can be done in between others.  I fold clothes while I wait for water to boil or food to grill up.  I change the sheets on my bed while taking a call or handling business.  You MAKE time.

4.  Throw Away or Donate - Seriously, people are going to have to learn to do this.  Trash cans should be used and keep a donation box going.  Get things out of the way.   I constantly have a box or bag ready to fill up, when it's full I drop it off and do it again.  We accumulate alot of things very fast.  Somethings might be worth selling and if you are a Dave Ramsey fan like me you'll want to put that money into savings.  But be careful to not let that turn you into a closet hoarder.  If it doesn't sell, donate it.  Don't save it for next years yardsale.  Get it OUT!  Find a good way to get rid of items.  We take all of our used books and get a credit at our local used book store for more books.  Make trips often, don't let this stuff pile up.

5.  Be Prepared - stock up on supplies and keep them handy.  Nothing throws a schedule off like not having dusting spray, floor cleaner, laundry soaps, or tile spray.  If you run out, write it down or make a note to get it ASAP.  Organize your cleaning supplies and if you have a two story home, have a basket of supplies on each level.  Keep it stocked with cleaners, sponges, paper towels, cloth towels, etc.

6.  Ignore Zones - something I've learned is that I can't tackle EVERYTHING at that moment but I know it's on my to-do list and coming up soon.  If I find a moment to do extra I will but I love knowing that I can do some tasks now and the others tomorrow, they don't all have to be done at this moment.  For example, I need to wipe down and dust my dining room table but it can wait until tomorrow when it's scheduled to clean that room.  It helps take the anxiety off and gives me permission to focus on doing a few things well. 

7.  Relax - Once you have finished and you start finding you actually have more time on your hands to clean, don't clean more.  Relax, read a book, enjoy a movie, I promise it will happen.  You will have that clean home and things will be looking spotless soon.  My boys keep me on my toes yes, and there's always stuff to put away but it's important that you start relaxing and enjoying your clean house.  

Be house proud but remember...NO ONE is this perfect, no one!

all images are personal or from istock.com :D

Throw Off Everything...

It's 5:30 a.m. and I have had little sleep.  I'm not going to complain, just wanted to justify if any part of this post doesn't make any sense.  It's a little hard to focus but I think sometimes those are the moments when God's love and plan becomes more in focus.

Tonight I have stayed with my Granny in the hospital.  She turned 87 this year.  That's a big number.  That's a great many of days on this earth.  When my baby's were little I would say to them that they had only been on this earth for a little while.  My Granny has been here awhile.  There are lots of Granny's out in the world.  Some are not as fortunate as mine to have family all around.  

Embrace the Struggle...as real as it is.

I don't even know what to really say but I know I've got to get out this feeling I'm having this morning.  It was not a restful night last night and my 5:00, 5:15 and 5:30 alarm went off, very quietly this morning.  I had my ringer turned down and they did not wake me.  When I did wake up 2 hours late I walked into the bathroom started getting ready, stepped on the scale, then got back in the bed.  WHY? do I do that too myself?

Image belongs to PBS
I sat here and looked up meal plans for women who are bodybuilding.  Yes, I want a lean body that has muscle.  Not like a crazy weird looking morph of a woman/bodybuilder.  Just lean and muscle, fit.  I get so

A Content Heart

Jake, my youngest, had a dentist appointment this morning.  He's had a tooth that's been bothering him and I we thought he was going to have it capped.  When the dentist looked at it again he decided it should be pulled.  They adjusted my bill and handed me the estimate.  I can not tell you the defeat that washed over me when I saw the amount due today.

I went back to my chair and stared at the number $555.45 was written large and circled in the top right hand corner.  My heart had sunk for my baby boy and I sat and blamed myself.  My imagination had him kicking and screaming under the doctors bright light like in the movies.  I went to the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror trying not to get sick and holding back tears.  My head was saying...Bad Mom, Bad Mom, Bad Mom. 

Cinderella's 10 Tips to Keeping it Simple

Once Upon a Time there was a Mom with 3 Sons...well, 3 plus a dog named Hiccup and a husband.

I have to share really quick...Today, I downloaded an app that I am hoping I will stay addicted too.  It's called "Tody" and I scheduled cleaning all over my house by area, frequency, and type.  There's even one for the "Loo".  It was a dream today to look at the tasks that are ready for me to do.  I could buzz around the whole house or choose to work in one room at a time.  Either way, I found some help for my ADD brain that can't seem to finish any job.  Add in a little extra "mental focus" and an apron and let the power cleaning begin.

Your friend in Christ,


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