Oct 19

Good afternoon.  I'm feeling pretty great today – hope you are too.

This weekend I came to the realization that I don't function well when there is chaos around me.  OK – I really knew this about myself before this weekend.  I just didn't know what to do about it.  And as I said last week, I'd like my house to be clean for more than 15 minutes at a time.  Here's the realization:  I am the biggest obstacle to keeping this house picked up.  All this time I have been looking for a solution, but not getting to the heart of the problem.  It's not the myriad coats and shoes thrown on the mudroom floor or the fact that my children leave papers scattered on any available flat surface that is driving me crazy.  It's that when it gets messy, I don't deal with it right away.  In fact, I don't deal with it because it is messy and then it even gets messier.  Follow?  I decided to focus on the problem and to do that, I am going to have to change my behavior.  Instead of waiting until it's overwhelming and then tackling it all in one full swoop, I am dealing with bits of the cleaning each day.  So on Saturday, I cleaned the front part of our house – living room, sun room, dining room, front hall and stairs, powder room.  And then I stopped.  Yesterday, I finished the laundry and made the girls and myself put it all away as soon as it was folded.  This morning, I got up and picked up the family room and the laundry room.  I'll probably tackle the kitchen and the mud room this afternoon.  Breaking it up into these little tasks is more manageable for me.  It's amazing how much I can get done in 20 minutes!  And once something is clean, it's that much easier to keep it that way.  I'm sure this is not revolutionary for some of you, but for me, it is.

So yes, I am feeling pretty good today.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And once I get this house sorted out, I am going to have to enlist the girls' help to keeping it that way.  I'm pretty good about making them help out, but other than clearing the table after dinner, they don't have any specific chores.  I'd like to change that.  I know some of you have kids the same ages (almost 8 and 10) and I am curious what chores your children have.  If you feel like sharing, I'd love to get some feedback on that.

All right, back here soon (probably tomorrow).  The sun is finally out and I can take photos of some things I have finished up over the last week or so.  See you then.

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