My Dirty Little Secret

My Dirty Little Secret ~ Our Cozy Den

Ever since I started blogging, I was getting comments from readers. Most of them sounded something like this:

How do you do it all? 

How do you keep up with everything? 

I don’t have enough hours in the day to do all that. 

Well guess what? Neither do I.

I can’t do it all, and I don’t do it all most of the time. I just do my best to do as much as I can. 

And I have photographic evidence to prove it.

Let me introduce you to what we call “The Back Room”. It’s a common topic of conversation around here.

Husband: Where do you want me to put this? Me: The back room.

Kids: Where does this go? Me: Put it in the back room.

Husband: Do you know where my _____ is? Me: I think it’s in the back room.

And this is what it looks like after about a month of neglect:

"The Back Room" ~ Our Cozy Den

I think there’s a floor under there somewhere…

This room encompasses many things for us. We don’t have a garage, so it holds many of our outdoor things and tools. It serves as our pantry. It’s our laundry room and laundry sorting area. It houses our seasonal organizer, 5 recycling bins, and tons of miscellaneous storage as well. It’s also the entrance to the basement, so it tends to be a catch-all for things that need to go down there.

But my whole point here is that I’m not perfect! My house isn’t organized all the time. It’s messy. I have 4 kids, life is messy. So when you look at blogs like mine, packed full of money saving tips and organizational tips and stuff about homeschooling and field trips and traveling and life — keep in mind that nobody does everything all the time. We are all just striving to be a little bit better each day, baby steps toward a slightly cleaner house and a slightly easier routine.

Yes, I have my kids do most of the housework. But sometimes I forget to tell them to do chores. Yes, we try to eat healthy. But sometimes we order pizza. Yes, we homeschool. But sometimes I cancel school so I can read books.

And that’s okay.

By the way, I did eventually clean The Back Room. This is what it looks like all spiffed up.

Not perfect, but good enough. And that's all I need.

Not perfect, but good enough. And that’s all I need.

Have a blessed day! ♥

 

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Tip Tuesday: No more folding laundry!

Tip Tuesday ~ Our Cozy Den

I’m introducing a new blog series: Tip Tuesday! Each Tuesday, I’ll throw out a quick tip, showing various ways I keep myself, my family, and my home more organized.

Ever since I started this laundry organizing system, I haven't had to fold ANY clothes except my own! What used to be a dreaded chore is something of days gone by! This works for kids of ANY ages. My kids are currently 3, 5, 7, and 9. They start folding their own at age 4. My older 2 kids fold the baby's laundry and the linens. My husband folds his own.

Ever since I started this laundry organizing system, I haven’t had to fold ANY clothes except my own! What used to be a dreaded chore is something of days gone by! This works for kids of ANY ages. My kids are currently 3, 5, 7, and 9. They start folding their own at age 4. My older 2 kids fold the baby’s laundry and the linens. My husband folds his own.

I’d love to hear, what sort of laundry system does your family have?

My new project schedule

About a month ago I decided that if I wanted to get all the things done on that neverending to-do list, I needed to schedule it in. And besides that, I needed to be better about general household maintenance. I felt like every time I turned around, another space was out of control!

So I made this new project schedule, and it has been amazing. My house is cleaner, things are getting done, and I’m just happier overall!

project schedule

There are 3 parts to this, so I’ll explain them one at a time:

1) 10 minute clutter control – this is basically I run around for 10 minutes clearing the table, counter tops, and putting toys away that litter the floor. It usually gets done in the evenings, but if I do it when the kids are awake I make them help as well.

2) 10 minute room specific cleanup – this one is the moneymaker. I made a list of all of the zones in my house, counting each room and closet as a zone. I ended up with 22. Then I rotate through these, cleaning each one for 10 minutes. Then each space is getting a little love at least every three weeks or so. And some places that usually get neglected for months (like sweeping the stairs outside and cleaning the basement) get just enough attention that things don’t get crazy.

I chose 10 minutes for these two things, because 10 minutes is totally doable. Seriously, I can fit 10 minutes into so many parts of the day. It’s only 10 little minutes. I waste far more than that browsing facebook and pinterest. And I always set a timer on my ipod while I’m cleaning a space. It ends up being a race-the-clock kind of thing, and the amount of improvement that happens in 10 minutes can be astounding.

3) For the last part, the big one, it’s a 45-minute block. This happens while the kids are in quiet time / naptime in the afternoon. Instead of wasting it watching tv or surfing the internet, I scheduled it all out so that the things I want to accomplish actually get accomplished. These are my more time consuming projects, like working on the budget or taxes, making photo books on shutterfly, larger organizing projects, photo editing, etc. I put an X on the days that Byron has off, because I only do my project blocks on his work days.

I’ve been so happy with this! I know that I am the kind of person that works well with a schedule, so I don’t know why it took me so long to do something like this. I think I got three times as much done in March as I did in previous months.