Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Prize Came in the Mail

Do you remember this post about my toy organizational woes? This is the book I won for participating in that Swap and Hop. I was so excited to get my prize in the mail yesterday.
I love winning things. : ) So far I haven't had any luck with the bloggy giveaway carnival, but I'm hoping that one of the thousands of giveaways I entered might still have hope of winning. : ) I'd love to hear if any of you won something last week during the carnival.

This morning, I read the first chapter of this book, and it is already marked up with pen and highlighter. I have been so behind and overwhelmed lately in my housework. I keep the front room tidy in case people stop by, but I am always so worried someone might need to venture beyond the safety zone and see what a mess our house has become. I think it has a lot to do with my pregnancy and lack of energy, but it also has to do with time wasting and a lack of routine. I'm really hoping this book will be a help. It already has me thinking in a new way.
Here's some quotes that stuck out to me from the first chapter:
"Schedules can be a guide or your GPS, but they should not be your boss. Sometimes they do more harm than good, especially for the mom who feels defeated if she gets even slightly off schedule."
"Being a mom with absolutely no routine isn't effective either. You're constantly sidetracked by the phone and the Internet, and at the end of the day you may have connected with a lot of people but you haven't gotten any work done. No, a more balanced approach is to find your own flexible routine that allows for worthwhile interruptions."
Guilty! I swing from rigid schedules that leave no room for people or interruptions to no routine at all, thinking I can just figure it out as I go through the day. I really need this balance.
"It will help to train the little people in our lives to help us, not just because we want to see them work, but because it frees the whole family to enjoy life more."
This is where I could use advice. Anyone have advice on how they train their kids to help more without battles and meltdowns? My girls are sweethearts, but they get as overwhelmed as I do and sending them upstairs to 'clean up that disaster' doesn't work. I need to do a better job of training them and being consistent.
"We're aiming to (1) find the rhythm that is ours- a flexible routine that allows for interruptions from God and ministry to others, and (2) seek to set the bar where it works for our families and lifestyles."
I'm motivated and excited. I needed to do a shift in my motivation for wanting to be organized- not to be perfect or have a spotless, enviable house all the time, but to have a lifestyle where I can always be available for the people I love and the things God has planned for the day.
"Sometimes others see what we cannot. Are there relatives or friends in your life who seem to have these areas under control? Don't be shy or feel you are a failure if you ask for their advice. We are meant to live in connection with one another."
OK....organized friends (and husband) the comments section is open for tips from you pros. : )


Alyce said...

Hi Becky..
I am not a pro..so far from it. I have two girls as well..and when you mentioned "melt downs and battles"..My radar went off. OH..we have those weekly..We're getting better, that is the only reason I didn't say we have them daily.
As far as cleaning up. Do you keep a laundry basket for each one, w/ their names on it? They can get a sharpie or magic marker and write their own names on it and decorate it, then go around the house (first floor) and put all their belongings in it. Or..you could do this, then they take it up and put it away. My 7 year old likes to play music while she cleans. That makes it fun. They also just need help and guidance from us when it gets too overwhelming.
Now..guess I should get back to my housework! Keep us posted on the book..sounds good already..I might need a copy..

Katy said...

I'm no pro that's for sure, but what helps me is to pick a few things every day that I need to do once a week like bathrooms and floors. As far as the kids, it seems like if we pick everything up at the end of the day it never gets too bad, not that that always happens, but when it does it seems way less overwhelming for everyone! The one thing that is getting so crazy around here (and about to get worse :) ) is laundry, if I don't get two loads a day then it just gets backed up and I have to spend a whole day on it. I hear every child you add to your house doubles your laundry, CRAZY!

Emma said...

I'm definately not an organized person, but my house seems to stay tidy. Partly because 1.) I only have one child at the moment and she's not yet capable of making the messes older kids can make, and 2.)I just do a little every day. I make sure that I do at least one load of Laundry a day, that means washing, drying and folding (the folding is the part I usually procrastinate on, I don't have a dishwasher, so I can't hide dirty dishes, so it seems like I'm constantly at the sink, and like Katy said, I try to do something I need to do once a week every day. My weekends are taken up with church and visiting family, so usually by Monday it's an entirely new messy house to deal with! But so far it hasn't been too overwhelming.

Jamie said...

I won a gift. cert. from Happy Panda so far. Hopefully I'll win some more goodies;)

Jamie said...

Oh yeah, right now I'm not as organized as usual w/getting ready for our move...but once I get settled I hope to get back in my groove...then the baby will come and throw things for a loop!!! LOL

Becky Avella said...

I know what you mean, Jamie. I think that is why I am wanting to get things more organized right now before the baby comes.

I'm actually really excited about all I was able to get done today. I think starting the day with this new book was just the motivation I needed.

Anonymous said...

Don't ask me, after 35 years I'm still trying to get my house clean. All the kids are gone, it's just me and Dad, I have one extra day a week, and my house seems worse than ever. I'm always thinking that SOMEDAY I will start "Fly Lady". Love, Mom