Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Planning to succeed; freedom from the curse of schedules

My little William, who is four, was recently asked to help his brothers to tidy the sitting room.  His reply made us all laugh: I think I'll draw a plan first, Mum.  It was a clever delaying tactic but it did make me think;  do we plan to succeed in our housekeeping?  We plan to succeed in other areas of life; we plan for exams, family celebrations, finances and holidays,... but do we have a plan to achieve a clean and tidy house???  I must admit that I don't.  I have tried Flylady, and made my own schedule of jobs to keep things on a rolling programme of improvement, as you will have seen in an earlier blog post.   I even have a Facebook group dedicated to organising and decluttering my house.  The problem is that when I make a plan I find it very difficult to stick to.  I guess it's human nature; we go on a diet but find it impossible to resist cakes; subscribe to a gym only to find ourselves lazing on the sofa.  But maybe it's more than that; maybe we overface ourselves.

If you make a schedule that is ongoing and therefore seemingly infinite, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  If, however, you make it your goal to achieve one small improvement every day, and try to keep a track of what you have done and what you might do next,  I find that much more realistic and workable.

My garden was a terrible mess after the winter, and after my post-natal depression kept me indoors so much last year.  It was so bad that I didn't even take any photographs before I started the improvements.  Finally I decided that enough was enough.  Something had to be done.  I started on a weekend and dedicated a whole day to clearing mess from the floor, and pruning the Medusa like tendrils of my climbing plants.  It made a huge different and we had a barbeque to celebrate.  Next, I dug over and weeded the flowerbeds.  Then I spent an afternoon planting up some fruit bushes I bought from Home bargains very inexpensively.  And this morning I swept the patio and filled five garden bags with leaves and rubbish (yes, it really was that bad).  It looks SOOOO much better.  In my head I have a list of the other things that need doing:

1.  Wash and declutter the garden toys.  Think about suitable longterm storage.
2.  Get rid of the compost bin and replant the area where it has been; deal with the brambles that have       grown  up in that area.
3.  More planting.

I don't know which I'll do first; I don't want to be slavish about it.  But that plan is there, in my head, waiting to be executed.  I was thinking of writing it down in a notebook - a kind of ongoing plan of action.  I might try it, BUT if those words on the page begin to condemn me and overwhelm me I shall stop immediately.  Those of us who are schedule phobic can, I believe, plan to succeed without the lengthy and ongoing to do list.  It just takes a little bit of creativity to discover what works for you.

Happy cleaning, organising, decluttering, making life happy and sparkly and bright.

Love Jo x

This is the compost area that needs clearing.

The patio area is lovely now but I do need to paint that wall.

The rubbish I collected this morning.

A wider view of the garden.

The toy area that needs attention.

I took down some of the decking rails to make the garden appear more spacious; it really works.

Petunia plugs!!

1 comment:

Phil Child said...

Just in case anyone was wondering, I was working on the front of the house while Jo was digging and weeding! Some weeds were taken up and the path swept along with the lower part of the wall (...I know, sounds random...) prior to treating with fungicide, ready to painted or treated with water-block. I feel a blog post coming on...