Posted by: organizationstation | January 20, 2010

Myth or Reality, Weekends Free!

Author:   Diane Sullivan

The Organization Station

402-253-8145

E-mail:   diane@organization-station.net

Website: organization-station.net

Blog:       askanorganizer.wordpress.com

Shorten Version of the Book:

Myth or Reality, Weekends Free

This book is your step-by-step guide to Organizing the FUN back into your weekends. It was written to help anyone who works 5 days a week and then does all the house cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry and other chores during your two free days from work. This book shows you how to fit the chores into 5 days. It doesn’t matter if you are a single person or a family of 10. Everyone needs time to unwind and spend time with family and friends. My family has been using this concept for the past 5 years. My family wakes up every Saturday and Sunday asking ourselves, what would we like to do today! Wouldn’t you like to have that freedom too?

Weekends Free

It CAN happen!

1. Inventory your “stuff”

The goal we wish to accomplish in the chapter is simple:  Know what you own and make sure that every item has a home. I want you to put everything in the place it really belongs.

2.  Keep only the “stuff” you love!

I would always make a plan for organizing your home, one step at a time.  Break it down into manageable sections.  I personally never spend more than three hours, at a time, organizing.  I have found that most people’s eyes glaze over from having to make so many decisions, about their stuff.  But I must say I do know of someone who takes four days straight, every year, to deep clean, organize and purge, from their home.  Now that is a marathon! Everyone is different, so work with your strengths and find the right time of day and the amount you want to tackle in an organizing session.

Functional, Useful or Adored?
Ask yourself if each item you pick up is “functional, useful, or adored” — if not, get rid of it. Thinking of bringing one more thing into your home? First make sure of two things: you have a place to put it (other than the kitchen table), and it makes you smile. If it doesn’t have a logical home and it doesn’t bring you joy, it doesn’t belong in your life. If you only keep the things that are “beautiful and adored”, you will be surrounded with the items that make you feel great for a long, long time, not the short lived feeling of joy you achieve when you purchase an impulse buy.  What can I say about the “useful” items?  We all need them, but just how many do we need?

Is it Bubble Wrap Worthy?
How important are the items you own?  If you had to leave your home in one day, what would you pack and take with you?  That is “Bubble Wrap Worthy”.  It is time to rethink all the other items that didn’t make the cut.  I would imagine that about ½ of those items; live in your home, because they just always have. Don’t let your home be full of “stuff” that means nothing to you.  The more open and free space you can have within a home the more freedom and calmness you will feel.

3.  D.I.E.T. Analogy

D-Declutter, Discard, Donate, Delegate, Decide later

I- Initiate change, Invent new routines

E-Everything in its place, Evolve to a new level, emotional attachment

T-Time savings, Take control, Tackle the clutter

4.  A detailed breakdown of a normal week

The goal in this chapter is to give you a list of chores most households need to get done.  You can customize this to your own needs.

Daily Chores

Kitchen

  • Clean off the counters and appliances
  • Do the dishes
  • Clean up any spills
  • Cook the meals
  1. Breakfast
  2. Lunch
  3. Supper
  • Setting the table
  • Cleaning off the table

Bathroom

  • Clean the sink

Bedroom

  • Make the bed

Mail Center

  • Open all the mail
  • Throw out, shred, or recycle all the junk mail
  • Put the remaining mail in your action file

Pets

  • Feed the pets
  • Give the pets water
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Do daily activities for all other pets

Weekly Chores

Laundry

  • Collect the laundry and get it to the laundry room
  • Washing the laundry
  • Drying the laundry
  • Folding the laundry
  • Getting the laundry put away

Grocery Shopping

  • Make a grocery list
  • Cut out the coupons
  • Buy the groceries
  • Put away the groceries

Lawn Care

  • Mow the lawn
  • Trimming the lawn
  • Watering the lawn

Garbage

  • Empty all the trashcans within the house
  • Take the cans to the curb, for pickup

Whole House chores

  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Clean toilet
  • Clean showers and bathtubs
  • Sweep floors
  • Change bed sheets
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean out the refrigerator

5.  Make an assessment of how much time each chore takes

The goal here is to be realistic about the amount of time it will take to accomplish each chore.  You need to know what needs to be done, how long it will take to get it done and who is going to do each chore. You would not want to leave 10 minutes to clean a bathroom, when in reality; it is going to take 20 minutes.  All that ends up doing is putting you behind and very frustrated.  No one wants their day to go that way.

6.  Picking up after yourself

The main problem people have is that they do not know where to put things away to.  Picking up after themselves CAN become a way of life.  If your loved ones have had a hard time with this concept for many years, it will not change overnight.  You need to have many GREAT rewards to get them started.  It takes 28 days to make a habit, so be patient.  IT CAN BE DONE!

7.  The Formula

Every room of the house needs to be cleaned once within the week.  Use this formula to figure out how many rooms need to be cleaned a day.

TOTAL NUMBER OF ROOMS IN YOUR HOUSE DIVIDED BY FIVE DAYS

EXAMPLE:   10 ROOMS (DIVIDED BY) 5 DAYS = 2 ROOMS A DAY

These are the rooms an average home has.  Your home may have more or less and the formula will work no matter whether you have a 3 room studio apartment or a 20 room home.

8.  How do I get my family to “Buy In” to this concept?

About now you’re thinking “What a Great Idea” but my family will NEVER go for this.  I am here to tell you IT CAN WORK!!!!!

The way it will work is to; make the rewards so great that they will want to make it work so they can receive the reward.

The reward being: “Time with Mom and Dad on each and every weekend of the year.”  Children thrive on the interaction and time spent with their parents. It’s not the big things or toys that make children happy (even though you wouldn’t guess that, when they are in a toy store!) It is the little things you do to make them feel special that counts. I have been surveying many, many children of all ages to find out what they would want for a reward and here are some of their answers:

If a child, young or old, can keep all their “stuff” put away for a month, they can:

  • Have their Dad go to their sporting games
  • Play board games with everyone including Mom and Dad
  • Go camping as a family
  • Swimming with Mom and Dad at the local swimming pool
    • Paint their room
    • Go to a movie with only your parent ( no brothers or sisters)
    • Have a sleepover
    • Go to an amusement park
    • Buy something they want to own
    • Pay for their car insurance for a month
    • Buy gas for the car for a month
    • But tickets to a play

As for you husband or significant other, I bet there will be no problem getting them to tell you want they want for their reward.  Have fun with it!

Don’t forget about yourself with this “reward” concept.  You should have the most rewards of anyone because you will be coordinating the bulk of the organizing in your home.  Now read the last sentence again.  I did NOT say you will be doing all of the organizing, I said you will be coordinating the organizing.  Everyone in the household can help with the actual organizing of the home.  Don’t let them pretend that they can’t.  You may need to show them “how to organize” but do not do all the work yourself.  Everyone lives in the home and everyone should pitch in and make this happen!

Even if you have no children or they have left home, just think of the freedom the two of you could have together without the drudgery of chores on the weekends.

Say you are single; wouldn’t you want weekends free to have fun with your family or friends?  What about your hobbies and volunteer work?  If you don’t have any hobbies, now you will have time to pursue some.

This is especially true for a single parent family.  Kids want time with you “The FUN mom or dad”– not someone all stressed out all the time about how to get everything done with just one adult.

Please make very sure that you ALL follow through with “the rewards”, because if you don’t you could have a “mutiny” on your hands.  Don’t kid yourself-until this concept becomes a HABIT, everyone, including yourself, is changing for the “reward!”

9.  How clean is clean?

Every person has their own idea of how clean is clean.  I can tell you that most kids will not think the same way that you do.

First you need to decide if perfection is what you want to achieve.  Only you can decide how the home is to be cleaned.  The next step is to convey this to each and every member of your family.  I know that in my house, my husband has a VERY different idea of clean then I do.  You need to make a compromise that everyone (including yourself) can live with.

The next step is to actually show each person how to clean each room in the house.  People learn easier if they can have someone show them how to do each step of the process.

10.  How to do a Home Inventory

If you have never done a Home Inventory before, it can seem like a daunting task.  I believe the easiest way to do a Home Inventory is to use a Video Camera and a digital or film camera.

  1. Start in one room
  2. Open every drawer, door or closet
  3. Start Taping at the top of the room and video tape in an upward and then downward motion
  4. Move around the entire room
  5. Put down the video camera
  6. Pickup the Camera
  7. Take a picture of any item you think is of special value (ex: Artwork, Jewelry,  Stereo system)
  8. Close each drawer, door or closet
  9. Move on to the next room

When you have a finished Home Inventory Videotape and pictures, I would suggest you keep it in a fireproof safe.  Another idea is to keep it at a relative’s house and you keep their Home Inventory at your home.

11.  Leave open time for your everyday crisis

Don’t plan every minute of every day.  That can make it become a major stressor in your life.

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