Monday, December 07, 2009

Happy Monday

I often get asked some variation of, "how do you do it?" I've been trying to figure out exactly how it happens when Aba gave me the perfect example. Last night he what we were planning to do today since rain was expected and the girls were antsy. So I told him what was on our agenda every Monday and the few extras because today is the first Monday of the month.

You see, routines are how I do it. Monday is actually the day most full of specific tasks and basically sets up the week. I've learned that how smoothly Monday runs predicts how smoothly the rest of the week. Here is the general routine of Monday.

1. Hit the Hot Spots I used to spend Monday decluttering an area but after last month's house-wide declutter, I started spending a little time on Monday just tidying the areas I had already cleaned. After a weekend of activity, there are often little piles growing throughout the house. (Newspaper on the table, shoes by the door, knitting beside the sofa, etc.) Depending on the weekend this usually takes me 30-45 minutes.

2. Make my Menus I don't do my shopping yet, but I tend not to follow my menus to the T so I need to go through the supplies left and re-plan what we'll eat until shopping day. This takes 10-15 minutes.

3. Flip through my filing I use the RAFT system and have a small 3-drawer filing thingy and file things throughout the week there. On Mondays I flip through the "Act" drawer and see what needs to be done before bill day. I also purge my "Read" drawer. This takes 10-15 minutes.

4. Check the calendar I take a peek at the week's goings-on and see where I can add things. We usually do things out-of the house on Tuesday and then errands on Thursday. Wednesday I go shopping in the evening and Sunday is a family day. I'll also make sure Aba is updated about anything affecting him. This takes 5-10 minutes.

Those four items takes 90 minutes at the outside and makes the week so much nicer and more enjoyable. I add a couple things to the first Monday of the month. These don't take a lot of hands-on time, but there is a big lag time.

1. Wash the blankets I wash all of our blankets on an as-needed basis, but on the first Monday they all get washed regardless.

2. Steam clean Zeus' cage I should probably stem it every week when I change the litter, but I don't. I do it on the first Monday. It really freaks him out and takes him a while to relax after. It also makes a huge mess on the floor. So I only do it monthly.

3. Descale air washers and coffee pots We use two Venta Air Washers, have a hot water kettle, a pump pot and a Keurig. They all get a nice vinegar soak on the first Monday.

4. Plan the month I take a peek at the calendar and fill in any blank spots, birthdays, Shabbat times and Rosh Chodesh.

We also have a housekeeper who comes on Mondays and she does the major cleaning.

So there you have it. The secret to my life is 2-3 hours of work on Monday and the first Monday of the month. It also means we spend the majority of Monday in the house which is a nice downtime from Shabbat and Sunday outings, Tuesday outings, Wednesday work and Thursday outings. Monday is more of a play time and relaxing time.

In fact, as I type this the girls are playing in fake snow and watching Imagination Movers. Later we'll make some salt dough Hanukkah decorations and wrapping paper.