After my daughters were born, I stayed home with them. And at first, it was great. They were babies and stayed where I put them. I could spend a whole day doing laundry. And another day cleaning the house. So the routine from before babies still worked.. for a while.
Those babies didn't always stay on the blanket in the living room while I vacuumed the bedrooms. So I told myself I'd do it later, but then later never happened. Before I knew it, my house was a disaster. Really, it was a mess, and I had no idea how to deal with it. I didn't know where to start. I would choose a room to start in, but it was so overwhelming that I'd give up before making much progress.
And then I started buying stuff because I couldn't find the stuff I already had. And as my babies became little and then bigger girls, I was buying them stuff too. And I was buying even more stuff because we couldn't find the stuff they already had. Before I even realized what was happening, I had a house full of stuff, but no one was having any fun with their stuff anymore. And it was still a mess!
One day, I stumbled across www.flylady.net and she gave me a starting point. She told me to go and shine my kitchen sink. So I did. Then she told me I couldn't clean the clutter, and I had to begin by decuttering, 15 minutes at a time. So I did. I cannot even begin to tell you how many car or van loads of stuff I'd taken to the thrift store. But slowly and surely, I am taking back my house and finding that the stuff is actually just thin gs which have specific homes.
I'm not saying in anyway that flylady is THE answer for everyone who is struggling with the routines that make a house into a home. I'm just sharing with you the tool I use. There are many systems out there. Just do a google search for "home routines" and see what comes up. Eventually, I will write down my flylady routines on index cards and that will be my routines, customized to me and my home.
My routines allow me to spend about 1/2 hour each day on housekeeping so I do have time to be More Than Just a Stay at Home Mom and do the things I enjoy -- playing with my daughter, crochet, baking bread and cookies, and dancing.
What kind of a system do you use for getting your housework done? Please share your thoughts and routines in the comments.