Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Theme Word

Seriously, 2015?  I was kinda stunned when I typed that title . . .it seems like just yesterday everyone was freaking out because we were going from 1999 to 2000!  Fifteen years later  . . .here we are!

For the past several years I have picked a theme word for the year and have tried to focus on that word throughout the year.  I will fully admit that last year . . . I don't even remember what my word was nor did I even try to focus on much of anything.  I'm regrouping for this year and have been thinking for about two months on what I want my word to be  . . .what I really wanted to focus on in my life, my family and my home.  I've decided to go back to my "roots" . . .well my cleaning roots at least . . .and my theme word is:

That's right.  I've followed the concepts of the Flylady on and off for years but over the last few years I've gotten away from it.  I was talking to Darryl recently about that fact and looked back over the last 6 years to figure out why.  Very simply.  Kids.  Once I stayed home after Nate was born, it was still easy to "Fly" because both boys took naps at the same time for at least 2 hours a day which gave me plenty of time to get "my" stuff done.  Then I started babysitting and Josh stopped napping . .. then Nate stopped napping . . .than the Munchkin stopped napping as much.  It wasn't long before the "free" time I had was taken up with 3 and than 4 little kids.  I've finally reached a point where the youngest still takes a good 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon, one is in preschool and my two are very independent which means I actually have some time to do things I want to do during the day.  I feel like that gives me more freedom to "Fly" once again.  

The whole idea of "Flying" is to have a routine set up to keep your home clean and running smoothly with just bursts of 15 minutes a day.  Throw in a morning, afternoon and evening routine and the home really does run like clockwork.  So this is where I plan to focus my "Flying" energy over the coming year. 

Our Home
I work on loving my home.  I hear comments about my house being too small or my kids having toys "everywhere" or that I don't need more "stuff" if I happen to say I want something which sometimes makes it easy to be discontented and let other peoples views get in the way.  Really, we have a pretty nice home and I"m very grateful for what we do have and work hard to make sure it is clean, comfortable and as uncluttered as possible.  So with that in mind - here is where I'll be focusing thorughout this year. 
1) Decluttering and "Deep" Organization.  I've worked on this over the past several years and am really at the finally process.  
      A.  The basement - my nemesis.   First of all, the basement looks about 80% perfect.  I worked this past year to organize and clean everything.  Now that I am done with that I'm moving on to the "Second" part.  I will be starting in one corner and going through everything - there are so many little things stuck up in the ceiling - some things from the previous owners - that were just easier to leave than clean out.  While cleaning I will also take stock in spider spray (HA!) and spray the basement to help eliminate the spiders.  Don't get me wrong, a few are good or so they say but when I walk through spider webs sometimes to get to the washer, well, I think we have too many!  As I wrap up the total clean out and organization, I plan to finally replace the old curtains I took down years ago, and add a fresh coat of paint to the floor.  This is more to help with moisture than for looks and I won't have to do the whole floor - just the areas where the paint has chipped off through the years.  There is a "Third" to this plan and that is a few more pricey items - we had to rip out insulations several years ago due to mold and, because of that missing insulation, our house stays colder in the winter so I'd like to replace that as well as have a door put in the Laundry room that goes to the water softener - we cut the space years ago, need to have our electrician move a wire, and then get the door put in - that will also help keep the house warmer as well.  
     B.  The Downstairs play room/laundry room.  This is technically part of the basement but, well, separate.  In the playroom area, I just need to declutter some more.  Books, school supplies and well, stuff that gets stuffed there.  The boys do like to play there - especially with playdough - so I want it to be a workable space.  The laundry room just needs a normal cleaning and both areas need some touchup on the floor paint.  I would like to add some shelves to one laundry room wall for storage as well.  
    C.  The Upstairs.  Yes, it just gets its own letter.  I just need to once again go through every room and clean out every nook and cranny.  I tend to be a "stuffer" and things that I can't find a home for get stuffed in a corner :-)  There are some specifics for several of the rooms that will be determined by finances so I'm not going to list them here - I have my list, in order of importance, and will slowly chip away on that list. 
     D.  The Garage/Outside.  In the spring, the garage is a huge focus.  We didn't do our normal spring OR fall cleanout last year and it shows.  I'd like to incorporate a few organizational ideas to help keep things neater - especially with toys and bikes.  The outside - I'm already saving for mulch and plants so that I can accomplish what I want to get done in the spring.  Throw in the fact that my parents have already offered their services to help me get a better (but small) garden in this coming year.  

I feel like I have our basic school routine down but want to make it better.  I realized around Thanksgiving that I wasn't really thinking ahead to holidays or special events that the boys need to learn about.  As K-4 and K5 kids they don't need all the details but just a basic understanding.  As they get older, we'll add more details but in order for that to happen I have to plan ahead.  There are HUNDREDS of great resources out there in cyber space that I can access for free or next to free to supplement not only their daily work but also special studies as well. 

     A.  Next years curriculum - I wanted a little too long last year to get our curriculum and ran into difficulty getting some of our books.  I'd like to have our curriculum picked by April so I can budget for it and pick everything up by the end of June.  Nate is pretty much set already but I will have to get all of Josh's 1st grade curriculum.  I can "fly" by having the curriculum in hand by June so I can use July to play and do lesson plans.  That gives me August to truly prep everything so we can start strong. 
     B.  Monthly Studies - In order to "Fly" with extra things I have to plan a month in advance.  This includes special holiday things as well as science/social studies things.  Pinterest is perfect since I generally only look for 4-6 activities on a topic.  
     C.  Paper Organization - I'm behind the 8 ball on this one and have just shoved things into a drawer.  I need to figure out what to save and than put together the filing system for it.  

Daily Routines
Daily Routines, Weekly Routines and even Monthly routines are a huge part of "Flying".  I used to have them down to a tee but not any more!  I will be creating new ones that work for me and my current stage in life (ie.e with lots of little kids HA).  The Weekly Routine will include basic cleaning as well as time for me to work on my projects.  The Monthly routine will focus more on deep cleaning each room in the house over the course of 3 months (each room will be "deep cleaned" 4 times a year).  

Yes, "Flying" also applies to family.  Darryl and I have already talked about our weekends  We would like to take two weekends a month and do things as a family - specifically things away from the home.  For me, this is a great way to incorporate field trips verses doing them all during the week with all of the kids.  We are planning to purchase a membership to the Children's Museum and would like to use that frequently.  I have a whole list of "field" trips I want to do with the kids - then throw in other things like Monster Trucks and special exhibits I am sure we will find plenty to do!  

I'd also like to build traditions like family game night and movie night (if my kids will EVER like movies!!) 

1. Birthdays - Prepping and planning for our birthday celebrations is big on my list. I did actually start some things this past year but I waited too long and than didn't have the time or funds to do everything I wanted.  I want to "fly" and plan before the birthdays (especially the boys) desend upon us so that there is no pressure -just fun! 
2.  Christmas - Several years ago I "flew" during the Christmas season and it took all of the stress off.  Last year and this year, I felt slightly overwhelmed and under planned.  Shoot, we went to put up the tree and discovered that we had no lights.  Not that they didn't work but that I had thrown out the last few strands last year because I KNEW I would buy nice new lights this year except, well, I forgot.  So again, I want to plan and prep and be done before December begins.  Things like picking up 1 or 2 little fun things for our Christmas countdown each month instead of trying to buy it all two weeks before we start (or the day before YIKES!) OR making sure I remember to pick a day for putting up our own tree - we had to squeeze that in this year because, well, I forgot.  
3. Other Holidays - I love planning things for St Patrick's Day, Easter, and other holidays.  My goal is to just plan ahead - a month ahead - on all holidays so I can enjoy the days instead of feeling like I didn't do anything!  

1. Quiet Time/Devotions - I'm continuing on with some Bible study groups I've been in for a few years but I want to be more devoted to them and do some more learning on my own.  I also want to include writing journals to my boys during this time.  
2. Finances - I won't go into details because, well, money is a private matter, but I have some personal goals related to our finances, how we save, how we (I) spend, and how we can not feel the "crunch" on the lean months.  I'm the first one ot admit that I'm a spender . .I tend to think that I 'need' things and want I really NEED to do is wait before I spend! 
3. Physical - Again, for me, physical goals are more personal.  Whether it be exercise (which is not my strong point!), healthy eating, weight loss - it's all about discipline and taking small "bites" to accomplish a goal - a total Flylady concept!