Never have I named a year before, but one night as 2006 dwindled to a end, the thought came came to me that I needed a fresh start. 2007 would be a new year for us here at The Potter Place. It would be The Year of Order.
You see, I am famous in my circle for being Disorganized with a capital D. I'm rarely, if ever, on time. My house almost always looks like a tornado hit the night before, and there has not been a single day since I embarked on this journey called Motherhood seven years ago that I haven't been missing something important. Like a cell phone. Or a set of car keys. Or my debit card.
My lifestyle, in short, has been an enormous source of stress (to me and others), and as I reflected on the previous year, the time just seemed right to make some long-overdue changes.
I know better than to try to revamp my entire life overnight. It's been attempted before with disappointing results. Okay, if I were to be honest, I'd have to say it's been attempted with NO results at all. Too much too fast = guaranteed failure, in my opinion. So, with that in mind, I am committing to myself to tackle ONE new area each month, giving myself time to adjust to every change before adding another.
In no particular order, here are a few of the changes I hope to make this year:
- I will go to bed each weeknight at a reasonable hour. This one's going to be really tough. I am a nightowl by nature and love those hours between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. when the kids are asleep and my creative juices start to flow. I do my best work in the wee hours but always pay for it dearly the next day. I will still allow myself a few liberties on weekends, though!
- I will go to bed each night with a spotless kitchen. There's something about waking up in the morning to a sink full of the previous night's dishes soaking in Mystery Water that just puts me in a funk right off the bat. On the contrary, a bright shining sink and clean countertops energize and inspire me to create great meals for my family.
- I will discipline myself to do one load of laundry a day, folding and putting away each load before washing the next. This will be a huge accomplishment for me. For years, I have followed the practice of washing, washing, and washing some more, only to let Mt. Washmore move from the dryer to an ever-growing pile on my living room sofa. Countless library books, keys, purses, and other important possessions have vanished into the cavernous depths of Mt. Washmore over the years. In addition to being a source of enormous stress as we follow our weekday morning ritual of Hunting for Matching Socks, it has also been the source of much embarassment when unexpected guests drop by.
- I will make it a priority to enlist the aid of the kids and have them take ownership of their personal spaces. Chief has created a daily chore list for each child and has established a reward system based upon the number of stars they earn each week for completing their morning and afternoon chores. Although they complain about having to work more around the house (imagine that), the girls are already starting to see the benefits of keeping their play room and bedrooms tidy.
- I will be more intentional about planning and preparing meals. I wish I had a dollar for every time I have bought the ingredients for a fabulous-sounding recipe only to misplace (or throw away) my weekly menu and stand scratching my head six months later wondering why, exactly, I did I buy that bag of frozen salmon??? I'd be a rich, rich woman, I tell you. From now on, I plan to post my weekly menu on the refrigerator door along with the page number of the cookbook where each recipe can be found. As each item is prepared, it will be crossed off the list. Any menu item which does not make its way to my table that week will be automatically carried over to the top of the following week's menu.
I'll be keeping you posted on how it goes as the year progresses and hope that you (all two of you who read this blog) will share your home management strategies with me.
Now, it's off to unload the dishwasher and shine my stove!