Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Homemaker's Best Friend

"My timer is my best friend." - FlyLady
There are more than a few lessons I've learned about keeping a home since my wedding day. Some, I had heard pre-marriage, but I didn't LEARN them until after I said "I do".

One such lesson is from Erin Gerlt and her beloved Fly Lady. Thanks to both, I have learned an invaluable lesson about cleaning with timers. You see, I get distracted easily. I am fast-paced, on-the-go, a big-kid and it's hard enough for me to slow down to read, sleep or do important, quiet things. Cleaning house can get... boring. Yes, it's wonderful to make a home for your husband and family, but let's not make it more exciting than it is. The exciting part is truly when you are finished, although there is deep satisfaction while blaring music and scrubbing your tub.

Well, now that I'm at home, I'm all about keeping this place spic and span. I have a summer break and no excuses. I don't have to leave all of the deep cleaning to Saturdays. Woohoo.

Here's how this timer plan works best for me. It keeps me busy and changes it up just as you are about to give up from boredom or distraction (hmm... I'm in the kitchen. Let's just take a look at this cookbook... In the bedroom... that reminds me of something I wanted to get at Hobby Lobby... Cleaning windows... I really need to go to Wal-Mart and get some hanging flowers...).

1. Do the hard things first.
2. Set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes each. Do one room or area at a time.
3. No breaks until you've done 3 or 4 rotations.
4. Don't forget to throw in some laundry or take out chicken to thaw or whatnot before you get started on your rooms.
5. When the timer dings, finish what you're doing (drying a plate?), but then go on to a different room. I don't start the timer until I have all my supplies out first.
6. Reward yourself with a Dr. Pepper and reading rotation. :)
7. Another idea: Have a stationary/letter writing rotation, where you stop and write letters to friends (or e-mail) for 10 minutes. You know, those letters you've been putting off for way too long.

I need systems for cleaning. This worked well for me on school nights, too. So, you only have 30 minutes before your husband gets home and you both go to Bible study or something. Clean 3 rooms at 10 minutes each. Do it again when you get home. You'll be surprised. Keep the music on. :) Try to take JOY in your work. What if you were homeless? Think of Scripture. Get a wonderful song in your head. Pray.

Redeem the time. Get to cleaning. I'm preaching to myself here.

BEEP... Gotta jet.

Check the Book Blog. Lots of new posts, and I hope to post my first one later this evening...


Jay Scott said...

i usually waited till the night before a test to clean... for some reason, that's when i noticed my apartment had gotten dirty

gerlthouse said...

Don't forget to put your Nikes. Can't clean the house without shoes on. And no...flip-flops don't count, right Jamie?

Oh, and a hazard about timers. Evidently Starbucks uses the exact same timer that use at my house. As a result, I cannot relax and enjoy my coffee at Starbucks because I constantly hear their timer going off. Just when I get over the feeling that I need to get up and run check something, it goes off again. (This does not mean that I get to go to Starbucks often)

Jamie Butts said...

That's funny, Jay! How are you doing now that you don't have any tests and your own home?

You got it, Mrs. Gerlt. Tennis shoes are vital. Although... I broke the rule today. I had flip-flops on, but it's not the same. Tennis shoes=I'm ready to work!

You need a new timer. :) Or get it to go and find a quiet timer-less place to sip your java.

sarahdodson said...

Good ideas here, Jamie! I'm the WORST about getting sidetracked once I start a household duty:) I have lots of "hot spots" that I simply need to DO - set my timer and do it! Thanks for the encouragement. sounds like you have a good system worked out.

(that's one thing I just don't get about Flylady (she's great, by the way)- the shoe thing. If a person wants to wear flip flops, so be it! ??? I guess she says it's about safety and the frame of mind it puts you in. Oh well. Just don't get it...)

Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog, Jamie, and thanks so much for your prayers for us. I THOUGHT this week would be my last one running, but I'm done. for now. I just want to be careful. So, I'm walking my race:)

Love you! You are one special gal. Enjoy being home for the summer!

Kari Plevan said...

Never tried this Jamie, maybe I'll have to give it a try. I don't think my problem so much is getting sidetracked as it is just starting. Once I start scrubbing the tub or sweeping the floor, I just can't stop...it has to get done! That's kind of how I work :)

Also....mmmm....not so sure about the tennis shoes. I think I'd feel like I had to go outside and go for a walk or a run or something. I'll stick to barefeet and the occassional flip flops :)

See ya tomorrow!

Chris & Sarah Peek said...

Yay for fun cleaning ideas! Our apartment size is about to double and so is the space I have to keep tidy! I've found that if I put a sermon on while cleaning I only take breaks to look up a verse or write down something particularly convicting...it's great for me because I like to have my hands busy all the time, but then I don't go into "mindless mode."

Looking forward to actually meeting you in a few weeks! Sarah

Holly said...

This post made me really happy. I laughed out loud for some reason, and I've still got that goofy smile on my face. Maybe it's because someone else got as excited about homemaking and cleaning as me and I can relate. :) I like this post. :)