Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Getting into a routine & the Toothbrush Theory

I have been trying to get into some sort of routine since I moved in with hubby over 5 years ago. In my head the perfect routine sees me getting up at the same time every day, being organised, having a clean & tidy house, not rushing or losing things, meeting deadlines, not missing birthdays...in short, being a perfect wife, friend, woman and (soon to be) mum.

I have failed totally so far.

I am pretty organised in work an dam good at meeting deadlines. I do keep my house generally clean and tidy, but it's never effortless. I don't often miss birthdays, but tend to rush out last minute to grab a card. With the baby on the way (very very soon) there is a lot of talk of routine. Feeding, sleeping, washing, cleaning. And I am beginning to panic about how I am going to manage.

I am not the tidiest of people. I'm not in the habit of putting stuff away when I'm done with it - unless I know exactly where it needs to go and that it's not too far away! And this has been a bit of a break through for me.

With the imminent arrival we have been racing to make changes to the house so that its ready. This has included re-decorating the bathroom, the hall & stairs, the nursery and a new living room carpet. So It is diificult to keep on top of cleaning and tidying when you're constantly moving stuff around and making a mess. But when we finished the bathroom it looked so lovely that I made a pact to keep it clean and tidy. I make sure I wipe down the bath and shower when I've used it and give the whole place a scrub on a Sunday. This is just a little routine, but it's a start. So far I have stuck to it.

The other thing I did was to make sure that everything in the bathroom has a place, including the cleaning stuff I use, and that it is easy to get out and put back when I'm finished. A little thing I know, but I am amazed at the difference this has made for me. No longer do I put off cleaning because it's too much effort to go downstairs to get what I need. (I know it's a crap excuse, but it was generally enough for me to leave it a day or two!)

Just after I had started my new routine I came across this book in the library:

In short, the theory behind this book is that you never misplace or lose your toothbrush because you always use it in the same place, you know where it needs to go back to, and  it is easy to do. So why not do this to the rest of your house?

Simple, but genius! And was just the principle I was working on. I am still reading this book and working my way round the house sorting out and finding places for everything to live, but I feel like I am making progress. Finally! I feel like I could be as organised at home as I am at work. I could be one of those people who knows exactly where everything is, looks effortless all the time and doesn't spend all weekend catching up on cleaning the house.

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