Monday, September 6, 2010

Organization Station

I knew I would need to approach being a working mom in a very organized way.  The thing is, by nature I am not an organized person, but I was quick to realize that if I wanted to capitalize on my time at home with my baby, that I would need to be organized in order to be able to keep our home in order and in working condition.

So, I trained myself to be organized.  To have all my ducks in a row.  That way, when I get home with my guy, it's all eyes on him the entire time he's still awake.  It was a challenge because I love to cook, but gone are the days of standing over a stove for an extended period.  My baby and I are playing, thank you very much.  How was I to get a good meal on the table and play with my son?  Trust me, if I left my husband to his devices to cook for himself, he would subsist on hot dogs and frozen pizza.  That kind of thing does not fly with me.  So, I devised a weekly meal system that works like a charm.

What you see here is our weekly menu that I work on every Saturday morning, before the boys get up.  Monday is always Crockpot Monday, Tuesday is always Casserole Tuesday and Wednesday is "Fend for Yourself."  This way, I don't cook for the first three days of the work week.  I feel okay with letting hubs fend for himself that Wednesday because our leftovers from Monday and Tuesday are what he eats, so it's okay.  Thursday is a quick meal in a skillet and it gets cooked after hubs gets home.  Friday is Pizza Friday and hubs is always in charge of that.  We have fun experimenting with pizza that night.  Saturday is our grill-out day and Sunday is always something easy and simple.  I make our menu Saturday morning and later that day, we go grocery shopping.  I always make Monday's and Tuesday's meals on Sunday afternoon, so that way both are ready to go on their respective nights.

Works like a charm.  Another thing I keep on our fridge is a monthly calendar with important dates.  Here was August's:

This was August's calendar.  Look closely at Aug. 19.  When prompted as to what day that was by me, he wrote that it was the "Monster Truck Rally."  Ah, I only hope Toph develops his sense of humor...

Anyway, this is a good tool for both of us to be privy to little things that we may forget to tell each other in the course of our day.  Originally, we had planned to take weekly turns with giving the baby a bath and doing the laundry.  We soon found out that all works out better if I'm in charge of the laundry all the time and if hubs is in charge of bath-time.  It's the Kelsey system and it works like a charm.

The last thing I had to tackle was the big one; how to maintain a clean and tidy house?  Well, the answer took a lot of searching, a lot of guilt, but we finally came to realize we would need outside help with this matter.  We can easily take care of the daily work; dishes, bed making, laundry, general pick up.  But the deep cleaning that we used to spend our Saturday morning doing?  Gone are the days, at least for now.  So, we hired a housekeeper.

Where was I before I had someone come in  and clean my toilets for me?  It's worth every penny.

Anyway, that last one was a hard one to give in to, for both of us.  Matt is a very clean person and has a strict cleaning regiment, but with this baby, his standards were falling.  Now, we feel good.  And, it won't last forever.  Isn't that what kids are for? Kate Gosselin had her kids sweeping at 2 years old. Only a year and seven months until I can start assigning Toph chores.  :)  I say this tongue in cheek, but he will have chores.  Oh yes.  The other day I was vacuuming his room while he watched with his feet up.  I told him not to get used to it buddy because in a few years it's going to be the other way around.

Other little things I do to maintain order: every Friday afternoon Toph and I go shopping in my closet and I pick out my outfits for the following week and hang them on the designated hook in the back of the closet door.  I do all our ironing at some point during the weekend, usually Sunday.  We then to to Toph's closet and pick his outfits out (he's growing out of his 3-6 month clothes quickly).  Lunches are always pre-made the night before, and coffee is made and put on the timer the night before.

All of this certainly has streamlined the way the house runs.  I can say I have to constantly remind myself of the consequences if I think about not planning things out.  The added stress? No thanks.

And that's the story of how our once disorganized home became an Organization Station.

1 comment:

Jess and Matt said...

Wow, I could really learn from you, Gin. I am STILL on the quest to become's SO not in my nature. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I am finding that gone are the days that I can keep a calendar stored in my head and never forget a thing. It's hard to be organized and I wish so badly it came easier to me. It's worth the work in the end though--or so I am telling myself ;)