Mama Musings: Controlling the Chaos

What is it about Mondays? Why do they always insist on being so difficult? I’ve got a sick-ish kid, a trillion + one things to do to get ready for the holidays, and don’t even ask about the Pit of Despair (or “laundry room” to you regular folks who somehow manage to keep laundry under control). Oh, and the pest control guy decided to drop by this morning of all days. Thank goodness he gave me 30 minutes to throw on some clothes and shove junk into closets!

I try really hard to control the chaos in my life because I feel so much better when things are in order, but I think the world conspires against me!

Okay…I admit it: I am my own worst enemy in this area. I can easily make a pile of papers to file then walk past it for 7 days straight. I can wash and dry a load of laundry, then leave it sitting in my Pit of Despair laundry room until they are hopelessly wrinkled. I end up running to the grocery store almost every day for a little bit of this or that instead of making  a meal plan.

Image Credit: antwerpenR

I know I work better with a plan of attack or some kind of guidelines, yet I’ve not made an effort to make one lately. In the past, I have followed the Fly Lady’s  daily plans and they really do help. The best tip I walked away with was “You can do anything in 15 minutes!” That’s so true! When I feel overwhelmed, I start by setting my stove timer for 15 minutes and it’s amazing how much I can accomplish. Otherwise, I just stand and stare at the pile of dishes in the sink all zombie-like and feel like I should wave a white flag in defeat before I’ve even started.

I’m a real believer in “There’s no such thing as small change.” It’s my mantra. My motto. I want to hang it on my wall. So, I’m always looking for ways to make those little annoyances less annoying. Some things I’ve tried recently:

  • I was washing way too many towels. No matter how many times I asked my girls to hang their towels up and reuse them, they always ended up in the floor. I blamed this on the unlimited supplies of towels in their bathroom. So, I assigned them a shelf and provided enough towels for each kid to make it through the week (provided that they actually hung them up to dry). I told them I would not be washing towels until the following Monday, and if they run out, TOUGH. It worked!
  • I made a laundry schedule and resolved to wash at least one load daily instead of doing marathon laundry sessions. It worked pretty well, though I did have to do more than one load on occasion.
  • I noticed that my husband had somehow managed to accumulate two weeks worth of white undershirts. I’m not sure where they all came from, but I put half of them away so I wouldn’t have four thousand loads of whites to do each week.
  • I started using clothespins to pair socks together as I put them in the washer. They (usually) stay connected through the washer and the dryer, cutting down on the time spent searching for pairs afterward.

 As you can see, this all has to do with laundry because it’s the biggest thorn in my side (next to keeping the glass in my shower clean). Do you have any tips for controlling the chaos at home? I’ll take all the help I can get!

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4 Responses to Mama Musings: Controlling the Chaos

  1. Jessica says:

    The one load of laundry a day is the best…if you can stick to it.

    Things have gotten much easier in the last year around here with my 10 year old helping with laundry, dishes and sweeping. How was I keeping up with all of this before!? Oh yeah. I wasn’t.

  2. Yup, one load of laundry a day, sometimes two. (I am a little crazy about washing bedding, so that adds to the laundry.)
    I also have a household binder where I keep things straight. The chore list has been great for me. http://meeshimama.blogspot.com/2010/06/round-house.html I list daily and weekly tasks and the list is in a page protector so I can use a dry erase marker to put a dot next to things that are done. When I actually follow the list, I manage to stay on top of most of the housework

    • Megan says:

      Michelle–my entire life is in some kind of binder or another. I used to have a chore binder like yours that had daily-weekly-monthly chores listed, but somewhere along the way (probably during one of our ump-teen hundred moves), it got lost and/or tossed. I just need to sit back down and sort my brain out on paper again!

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