I must confess that I have let the house rule me in recent months.
I have let things slide. Routines have given way to chaos. Papers have collected on every available surface. Homework has remained untouched.
Part of the rationale for accepting my redundancy lay in having someone at home to try to wrestle control back.
Nathan and I recognised years ago that our ideal future involved having at least one of us at home full-time. Both of us working gave us financial security but didn’t give us the time we needed to enjoy being a family. Hence the inevitable loss of control we are experiencing right now.
One of my first priorities upon leaving work was to embark on a plan to take back control. While I have enjoyed taking it easy over the last week I have also been working on ways to launch a coup – it’s time to show my house and home who’s boss!
1. Have a spring-clean
Lucky it’s spring-time – my house is definitely overdue a spring-clean! The best way to get on top of things is to literally get to the bottom of them first. Make a fresh start. Clear the clutter. Move your furniture around. Show the house that you own it
So far we have tackled the shed, the hallway and Matilda’s room. There is a lot of the house to go but I know I will feel more empowered, motivated and on top of things once the hard work is out of the way. That’s my job for this week, anyway…wish me luck 🙂
2. Set regular and achievable goals
I love having a to-do list and ticking my tasks off as I go. But I love having the time to undertake these tasks even more. Now I’m at home I want to make the most of the hours at my disposal. So I am developing a series of goals so I can achieve total and permanent dominance over my home.
I’m concentrating on daily, weekly and monthly goals. Daily goals could be keeping on top of the washing, dishwashing, tidying and homework situation. Weekly goals could be gardening, changing sheets, washing the cars and making sure all bills are paid. Monthly goals could include budgeting, maintenance tasks around the home and reviewing the effectiveness of routines.
In the end the goals should represent whatever will assist you in keeping on top of everything that comes with managing a household.
3. Develop daily routines
Over the years we have prepared many, many beautiful routines but tend to rarely stick to them for any length of time. The irony being that our kids really do respond well to certainty and to visual prompts. So we are bringing back the routine. Now with added chores for the kids!
I find mornings particularly stressful so I’m pinning my hopes on the new morning routine bringing a little order to the usual chaos. I’m also hopeful that the afternoon/evening routine will help me reintroduce the concept of homework to Gilbert who is particularly adverse to it. I just need to be firm and stick to it now…
4. Allocate chores
Delegation has never been my forte and I admit that I do the lions share of housework. Partly because I am a perfectionist, partly as I’m a control freak and partly because I’m not good at asking for help. So putting together a list of chores for everyone AND getting them to actually do them will be as difficult for me to adapt to as it will be for them.
But for the sake of the house and my health and sanity it has to be done. I just have to ensure I keep the chores I don’t find so bad and allocate out those that I can’t stand! But seriously there are many other benefits to sharing the load – most particularly the kids learning responsibility, independence and accountability. Plus the general life skills they will acquire that will help them in their own lives one day.
5. Outsource tasks where possible
We currently outsource the lawn mowing and interior cleaning each fortnight which has really helped the house not get into too dire a state over the last few months. However we can’t afford to continue with both nor can we justify the expense so I will be taking back responsibility for the cleaning while we’ll still outsource the lawn mowing for now.
As Nathan has discussed before, outsourcing can be a fantastic investment when used wisely. We consider that having a little more free time on the weekends justifies the cost but of course this needs to be balanced with the state of your budget and finances. It’s definitely worth considering if you are struggling with keeping on top of things.
So that’s my masterplan for taking back control of my house. Have you mounted a similar coup to take back control? What are your tips?