by JoBeth Hooker
“Let everything be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14:40)
Getting down to the brass tacks of organization begins with you. If you are going to organize your life and your home successfully, it has to start with you. Your mental outlook to this whole thing is vital. This is no time for whining, complaining, making excuses, or “I’ll-never-do-it” talk.
The first thing you have to realize is your job is important. You are not just a housewife, you are a “home executive.” (The devil has made the word “housewife” seem distasteful.) You are the queen of your roost. Your home is your domain, your territory, your area of control. The home is the backbone of the nation. Making it a happy and comfortable place to live is an art and science which involves learning how to do many things. It requires skill and the ability to solve problems. To run a home is work.
The work of running a home can be divided into two types:
Thus you become a home executive— a vital person and have a position of which to be proud. Enjoy! Strive to excel! You are somebody! And don’t forget it!
Appearance is the first step toward having a positive atttitude in running your home. If you feel good about yourself, you will feel in control of your surroundings. Start your day by doing the following:
- Get up before anyone else. Give yourself some time. Take a shower. Fix your hair. Put on your makeup. Dress for the day including shoes even if it’s just wearing slippers. Having a tape player in the bathroom and listening to lively Scripture songs is an excellent way to get your mind focused on good things for your day. If the music would be too loud, pray down money for a Walkman and wear a headset. You can wear it while you exercise, take a brisk walk, or shave your legs. It’s a wonderful companion to motivate you and get you moving.
- After you are dressed, allow yourself time to sit with a glass of juice in hand and read your Bible and pray. If the weather and housing arrangements permit, sit outside. Morning air is invigorating and refreshing.
- After some quiet time, get out a pen and paper and write down a list of things you must do that day. I use 3 x 5 cards and keep them handy. List what you must do in order of priority. Establish an approximate time frame for each item. This is your list of accomplishments. Checking off each item as you accomplish each task gives you a tremendous feeling of success. A successful day will show all the items checked off.
I have tried different methods of organizing my time over the years, but I have found that what works best for me simply involves a calendar and those 3 x 5 cards. For a period of time, I also kept a file box of weekly activities to make sure I stayed on track with household cleaning. Memorization of my schedule has now replaced the file box I used.
Let me explain how I use a calendar and 3 x 5 cards. The calendar is my “brain.” On it I write all the activities that come into my life—doctors’ and dentists’ appoint-ments, birthdays, holidays and special events. I include whatever my children are involved in as well as the things in which my husband is involved. I keep the calendar in a place I frequent often—my kitchen. I put it where I can see it by the phone.
I like to use the monthly planning style calendar which has spaces large enough to write several events on it and still be legible. I refer to my calendar every day, so as I plan my accomplishment list I can also include any special “happening” that occurs and the things I need to do to be ready for it.
Now, in conjunction with that, I also do certain tasks on certain days and make my accomplishment list accordingly. Where possible, I also try to schedule calendar events in conjunction with those days. That saves me time and unnecessary schedule rearrangement. The following list is a fairly normal routine pattern for me. However, sometimes I switch the days to accommodate the needs of my “Top 3 Priorities” when necessary. (See September, 1996, issue.)
Monday: Heavy Cleaning and Wash Day. I do not schedule errands or visits with friends on this day. I plan to stay home. My accomplishment list will include everything I intend to clean and wash that day. I often race the clock to see how much I can get done in a given amount of time. It is fun for me to see if I can beat a previous time. If I do exceptionally well, I sometimes treat myself to an enjoyment like reading a good story at the end of my work day.
Tuesday: Play Day. This is the day I set aside time to galavant. It may be shopping at a thrift store, visiting the mall, going to a garage sale, chatting with a friend, or having lunch with my hubby. My accomplishment list will have the basics listed—make beds, wash breakfast dishes, straighten the house, etc. Then I list my activities for the day. My play day usually ends by 1:00 p.m. After that time, I plan to sew and iron.
Wednesday: Desk Day. This is the day I take care of any necessary paperwork and phone calling. This includes letter writing, doing the bills, writing an article, working on my husband’s book, making my grocery list, planning my menus, in-depth Sunday school lesson preparation, etc. Phone calls that can wait until this day are also made then. I still do the basic straightening prior to this. I generally try to wash and dry two loads of clothing, too.
Thursday: “Go-Fer” Day. This is the day I go grocery shopping and run all necessary errands. My list often includes things like: bank, post office, cleaners, library, etc.
Friday: Half-Clean Day/Family Play Day. I reclean the house as needed during the morning and early afternoon. From about 2:00 p.m. or 3:00 p.m. on, the time is dedicated to family fun. In the summertime, Friday morning is also for lawn and garden care.
Saturday: Ministry Day. The entire day is reserved for church work and soul winning.
Sunday: The Lord’s Day. I rest!
The point of having a set day to do certain tasks is to put you in control and not out-of-control. Organization requires a system, and the system begins with gaining control of your time. Now, decide on what days you will do what, set up a calendar of events, and start your lists. Don’t procrastinate! There is no better time than now to get started.❂