Friday, 13 April 2012

My Daily To-do List

I've been reading a lot lately about daily chore lists and homemaking binders and organisers. It goes on and on and it feeds something within me that loves to think of things to be done. I just love lists, I think that's it. I love ticking things off lists, actually. I love making the list (high point) then I love each time I get to tick something off it(other high point).

On my daily to-do lists are usually these things:
*Make beds
*Wash up dishes
*Put a load of washing on
*Hang out washing
*Cook meal for dinner/lunch
*Wipe over bathroom sink
*Clean toilet
*Bring washing in and put away
*Tidy loungeroom

That's about it for my day, but of course there and many many things that I add to it, and I may not put the washing away that day etc. Changes are often made. Yesterday, for example, I took a bag around the house and just grabbed things I didn't want anymore. I put toys in there I was keeping out of guilt but that were taking up too much space. I put old makeup products I've been saving for years, and I even threw out creams from my medicine basket that were 4 years out of date!!! Why was I keeping them? I often sort drawers in my spare time and de-clutter benches. It's constant in a household of 4, to find things that don't belong here, there and everywhere. I remember when I was single and living in this very same apartment. I had 2 items of furniture in each room and I had NO MESS. At all. My floors were always spotless. I washed dishes as I used them. It's not like that anymore!!

I think the daily list should be the basics but have room for movement. I write a new list each day. Well as long as it's that kind of day -if I feel under the weather at all I don't need a list staring me in the face telling me I didn't do enough of my tasks. It's Saturday today and I've had a pretty productive week so I'm giving myself the day off. I may put washing away at my leisure later, but that's only because I shoved it onto the floor last night so I could crawl into bed at 8:30pm. I was exhausted. We have spiders (eek!) so I can't leave anything on the floor to tempt them (*shudder).

Make a list for your day. What will you have on it?

Chores for children

I've been thinking of ways my 4 year old daughter can help more around the house. My sleep has been lessened greatly lately because the baby (8months old) has been waking very early -5:30am seemed like a sleep-in today! - so I looked at this list of chores from Purposeful Mom and realised that at 4, my daughter is already probably helping enough. I need to get her into some sort of routine though.

At 18months of age she loved nothing more than to sit on the grass beside the laundry basket and hand me the clean clothes to hang on the line. She was all for it. It was her favourite thing. She does now often sort her clothes from the rest in the washed pile, then puts them into the right places in her little cupboard. I often cringe when I look in there afterwards though, as it's not to my standard. I think mummy needs to let go of perfection in these areas though. I read once that as long as someone is helping you (especially a child or a messy husband) you should just be happy they've completed a task, no matter how differently they've done it to the way you would do it. That's got to be true. I know a lot of the time I do way more than I need to do alone just because I want things to look a certain way. I can ask my husband to wash up but I would prefer the dishes to be washed the way I want them done, and then I know the kitchen will look its best at the end as well. Gah. Perfectionism. It really does stand in the way of a lot of things for me, I'm realising.

I'm not sure how to do a chore chart for my daughter. Perhaps I'll do a small list for starters and see how she goes. She could:
*Make her bed
*Put clothes left in loungeroom back in the bedroom
*Make sure the cushions on the lounge are tidy
*Sort washing into piles
*Put her washing into the cupboard and drawers

I think those few above will do for starters. If she starts doing them regularly then a few more added in won't be a big thing. It will definitely free up more of my time if I can delegate at least some little tasks to her. I love making the house a home, and I can more than happily do the rest, but I think it is also good for kids to have things to do. They can feel as if they are achieving something and helping the family. My mum always complained that we never washed up or did anything useful as teenagers -but she hadn't taught us to be useful. I think she has my disease (or rather, I have hers) of wanting to do everything herself and then looking round and realising that no one has helped. But of course no one is going to help you if you're being some sort of cleaning and tidying maniac, you didn't ever give chores to your kids (I think we used to wipe coffee table glass, that was what she made us do. That's it!) and you don't stop to breathe and consider that it may be up to you to do the delegation.

Good, easy, regular tasks. That's how I'll start with my daughter. I'll let you know how it goes. Today she will make her bed and we'll go from there.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Inspiration from other mothers, blogs, books and vlogs

Well, that's what a new baby will do to you -I almost forgot I'd started this blog and that was only a few days ago. I shouldn't say he's a new baby, because he is 9 months old this month, but for the fact that I've probably slept a total of 2 weeks since he was born, we can say he's new, right?

I thought I would start by sharing some recent inspiration of mine for homemaking and parenting, things I've found online as well as books that I'm reading.

My bible as a new mother second time around is definitely Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall. I am currently re-reading the solids section to see which foods my baby can now eat, and I love that she has such a structured approach to parenting, eating and sleeping. With my daughter we were ANYTHING BUT structured, co-sleeping and demand feeding. I was an absolute wreck. This time I'm wreck-like but I have my baby on a sleeping schedule (he's recently began going to sleep on the floor wherever he is so he's surely in his own routine now, lol), an eating schedule and milk schedule. My daughter, on the other hand, barely ate a grain of rice before she was 1 year old. She must have tried more than that but it just seemed like she was forever on the boob and when we took her overseas to her father's family they were shoving rice and meat down her throat and I was in shock -Don't worry, she eats properly now. At least as well as a 4 year old who seems to think everything with colour is poisonous does.

I am a devout de-clutterer and my favourite thing is to read about de-cluttering, see before and after pictures of de-luttering, see makeovers of rooms and storage areas, and basically live vicariously through other people and their re-organising challenges meanwhile pumping up my own desire to re-organise and de-clutter further in my own home. Sometimes I think I want to buy all new furniture and re-vamp my life that way, but you'd be surprised at how much a little tweaking of what you've already got can change your home. We had one wall of our loungeroom that held a useless hall table (obvsiouly, our loungeroom is not a hallway) that was just taking up space and a surplus of my daughter's toys. We bought the baby a colourful rubber playmat (no, not this one, but I die to dream that I would spend $199 on a playmat and feel ok about it -it's squishy and delicious to walk on, let me tell you) and a playpen and have transformed that side of the room into a colourful baby heaven. I was so happy to put the hall table in the kitchen (I know, still no hallway) and see such a change to the room. It made my life.

My decluttering, tidying, re-organising and homemaking inspiration and readings are as follows:

Cut The Clutter, by Cynthia Townley Ewer -I've had this book for years and love just melting into the de-cluttering advice, as well as the meal-planning and sheet-folding bliss. I'm not so psycho as to actually meal plan. I do plan meals, but not with such fervour as Cynthia.

Home Rules, by Nate Berkus -Ok, so I want to marry him, and the loungeroom he made over on pages 52-53 makes me want to marry him just that little bit more. I may not always love his colour schemes (I am very much into the quiet elegance that is the (apparently) many varying shades of white and grey, I love decorating with silver next crystal pieces, and I love only pops of light green or pink), but his placement and scale of furniture is something legends are made of., by Courtney
This is defintely a blog that I am IN LOVE with. Plus she has amazing youtube videos about homemaking and being a good wife. She is everything my mother (who thinks she was part of the women's movement) would cringe at but she is everything I want to be. She is just so chirpy and happy and bubbly. I can't get enough!!!

organizedlikejen is a Youtube channel that I adore. This girl seriously has some organising love, although without kids sometimes I judge her and I wonder WHY THE HELL DOESN'T SHE HAVE SOME KIDS!! -maybe she's trying to, and if so I'm sorry. But if you get into her videos you'll see what I mean. She has made organising a house into some sort of art form. She has seasonal decorations (!! I can't even get the basic decorations right sometimes) and she has really, REALLY thought about her house. And I wish it was mine, let's be honest.
This is a blog I have loved for a few years now. She is a new mum, and a keen home organiser with a talent for decorating. To be honest, if I had half her know-how of decorating I'd be doing well. I laugh often at her posts, especially this one

Candidmommy is a vlog I love on Youtube.

Shaytards are a family with a daily vlog that make family life fun. They go shopping in their vlogs too, which I LOVE.

Organized Mummy vlog /Malitose79 is a vlog that I adore and find laughs in. She has a crazy, happy personality, is very good with organising the kids' stuff and her house is the cutest!! See here.

I also read a bunch of blogs at the moment which are mostly found through

A couple of e-books I just downloaded are also a-mayzing. I recommend both and please note they are in the Christian Homemaking genre:

31 Days to Clean

The Challenges of a Homemaker

I hope you can find some fun inspiration in these places as I do.

Happy Easter Sunday :)