Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A VitaMix, and a New Homemaking Schedule

Hello!  Long time no blog.  :)  

In case you haven't noticed, I've been rather absent from blogging lately.  Too many things to actually do, and not enough time to write about it.  :)  But I have some news to share, so I thought I'd post about it!  Our local health food store (Charlene's), was having a draw for a new VitaMix TurboBlend 4500.  Each week for the past few weeks, I've been diligently filling out a ballot every time I went in.  When I was in on Saturday, I joked with the staff that I was glad to see my VitaMix was still there, and informed them all that I would be winning it!  They all laughed and went about their work.  The ballot box was stuffed as full as could be, but I still intensely felt that I might win.  I even told my husband, who told me not to get my hopes up!  Well, this morning I got a phone call, and they were as shocked as I was that I actually won!!  The power of positive thinking pays off.  :)  Oh, and I'm sure there was a little, tiny bit of luck involved, too.  In any case, I'll be going in in the next couple of days to have my picture taken with the blender (fun!), and to take it home and test it out!  I can hardly wait.  I've been watching VitaMix videos on YouTube all day today.  That thing is a beast!!  Anyway, I never win anything (EVER!), so to win something that I've actually wanted for ages was practically a miracle.  I plan to Freecycle our current blender and bless someone else, since I have been so blessed to win this one.  

In other news (okay, maybe not so news-worthy for some of you), I've decided to switch up my homemaking schedule a bit.  I've blogged about my Weekly Schedule before.  I've been using this method for a few years now, and frankly, had been getting bored with it!  Plus, the trouble with focussing on a different room each day is that a lot of bigger projects get ignored (like cleaning out the pantry, or switching out outgrown clothing, because usually those jobs take more than one day).  I felt like I was cleaning things that were already clean, and ignoring things that actually needed my attention.  So I decided to give FlyLady another try.  Basically, you divide your house into 5 different "zones" (which I was already doing with my weekly schedule), only instead of doing a different zone each day, you focus on one zone for a whole week.  You do all of your decluttering/detail cleaning during that week (just 15 minutes/day!), and then the next week you move onto the next zone.  And once a week you do what's called her Weekly Home Blessing, which is basically a 1-hour, quick-clean of your whole house.  I'm a little scared of this part, because it's very doubtful that I'd actually be able to clean my house in an hour.  Even quickly.  But so many people swear by her methods, that I'm willing to give it a shot.  Any other FlyLady followers out there?  :)  She also follows a basic weekly plan, which I've adjusted to fit my own needs.  The way I was doing it before, I had great intentions of getting everything done that needed doing, but never quite got there.  My poor husband would sometimes realize in a panic at 8:20 am (when he's supposed to be at work at 8:30!) that he had nothing to wear, because all of his clothes were hanging on the ironing board, still wrinkled.  My mending pile has been toppling over for months, because I've just never gotten around to it.  I have great intentions of working on my food binder, and my household notebook, but can't quite figure out where to fit that in.  I have exactly ZERO pictures printed of my last two children.  Ahem.  Obviously what I was doing wasn't working.  My house was sorta clean, but there's so much more to homemaking than just cleaning!  So I decided to try a method that women had followed for probably a hundred years.  A chore for each day.  It was such a prevalent system that tea towels were even embroidered with each day's task.  It went something like this:

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Market on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday

It's so simple, it's almost brilliant.  No more trying to accomplish 50 different tasks in one day.  Just the daily stuff daily, and then each day has its own weekly task.  Except I don't want a wash day.  I think I'd rather die than wash 6 or 7 loads of laundry in one day.  Not to mention there's no way I could hang all that laundry on the clothes line.  I can usually fit exactly one load of laundry on my clothes line, so I'll stick to my one-load-per-day philosophy here.  I assign a different type of laundry to each day, and by the end of the week it all gets done.  That's been working well, so I'm not changing that!  Oh, and we go to the Market on Saturday, for two reasons:  One, it's the only day it's open, and two:  it's the only day I have a vehicle.  And since baking day should logically follow Market Day, I'll continue to do my baking on Sundays.  It's what I've always done, and it's pretty ingrained in my weekly routine.  Iron on Tuesday, Mend on Wednesday, and Clean on Friday will work just fine.  And I was thinking that instead of Wash Day, I should have an Office Day, or a Desk Day.  A day to tackle all those little projects that I never quite get to.  Like typing up my regular recipes and putting them in my food binder, updating my household notebook, working on photo albums, all that kind of stuff.  I'm thinking Monday would be a good day to do that, as I usually dread Mondays, so this would give me something fun to look forward to.  :)  My goal is to have the day's chore completed by noon, which leaves us the afternoon to do whatever the heck we want.  We'll see how this fits in with homeschooling, but for now I'm loving the simplicity of it.  Anyone else have a weekly rhythm they want to share?  I always love hearing what works for everyone else!  


  1. Yay! I would love a Vitamix! My current blender is really limping by! I need a new one, but don't just want to buy another cheap one. For as much use as mine gets, I really need to scrounge up the funds for a good one!
    I sorta kinda have a routine. Mondays are usually laundry. Any remaining loads, like sheets, towels, diapers, roll over to Tuesday. Tuesday is also market day. Wednesdays I am gone most of the day because my mom pays me to clean her house. Thursdays I "grandma sit" in the afternoon, so some little chores, like cleaning the bathroom, usually happen then. Fridays are my cleaning day, but they are also my fun days, which means if I am having people over I make sure I clean, but if not and something fun comes up, we do that. I have two dogs that shed like crazy, so I vacuum pretty much daily. The kitchen also gets cleaned a couple times a week, and I pick up around the house a couple times a day usually. It seems to work well for me. I tend to be an all or nothing person, so I try not to make too stringent of a schedule for myself. Otherwise, if I get a little off schedule then I tend to throw in the towel. Being super flexible and go with the flow tends to work well for me, except sometimes the cleaning done on Fridays (mopping, dusting, etc) gets thrown to the curb if fun stuff is going on. Saturdays and Sundays are always an adventure, so I don't plan on doing anything those days since I don't know what we will do when we wake up those days :)

  2. Awesome on the Vitamix!! I have a Blendtec we purchased three years ago.
    We created our own routines based off of Flylady and depending on our season of life depends on how strict we stay to it.

    One thing we struggled w/for some time was end of the day kitchen clean up and bath time for the boys. My husband didn't want me cleaning up right after dinner b/c he wanted us to have family time (there usually is a hour between end of dinner and bedtime routines)but after we put the boys to bed neither of us felt like cleaning up we wanted to rest and I hated waking up to it. So finally I came up w/the idea of alternating while one gets the kids ready for bed the other cleans up in the kitchen. This always ends at about the sametime and then whoever has the kitchen comes in and we do stories, poetry, and prayers together. It took almost 3 years to come up w/that. LoL. but we've been doing it for a lil over a year now and it's perfect for us.

    Your posts are so inspiring. I think I'm going to go work on my recipe binder when I put the boys down for quiet time. :)

  3. Bridgett,
    Do you find you still get lots of use out of your BlendTec? I'm using the VitaMix a TON right now but wondering if the novelty will eventually wear off. :) My kids may eventually grow tired of liquid food. lol.

    We do the same thing with the kitchen clean up/get ready for bed thing! Usually it's Bruce that cleans up the kitchen while I take the kids upstairs (one at a time or else it's madness), and then we usually both finish up around the same time. Then we do stories, and he lays down with the big kids while I lay down with the baby (since I'm the one with boobs. lol). It took us awhile to figure it out too, but it really works great!

    I'd love to hear more about your modified Flylady routines. :) I'm always curious how others make routines work for them. Do you do the Weekly Home Blessing, or do you split those chores up through the week? I'm sort of on the fence about that. What other parts do you use? Honestly, I find her whole system a little confusing. lol. I'm trying to make sense of it, but between Kelly's Missions, the 15 mins/day of decluttering, the zone cleaning, the room rescues, and the hot spots, I don't know what the heck I'm supposed to be doing half the time. lol.

    Did you end up working on your recipe binder?

  4. So awesome about the VitaMix!! Mine is my absolute favorite appliance, and I've been using it about three times a day since I got it two years ago.
    Your housekeeping routine sounds great - and very organized! I've always been a not-so-great housekeeper, but I'm making great improvements. I've been on a massive de-cluttering binge for the last several weeks, and I've also sworn off thrift stores until our son outgrows all his clothes, which shouldn't be until the end of the year. Our rooms are looking emptier (I'm even starting to get rid of furniture - a desk last week, and a dresser this week) that we no longer need. I'm ruthlessly chucking stuff, and I've taken three full carloads of stuff to the thrift store since the beginning of May. I can already tell a difference in my cleaning routine. It's so much easier to clean without all the junk lying around, cluttering counters, crammed in closets... I love it, and I'm really motivated to keep getting rid of stuff, since the house seems to be keeping itself clean these days!

  5. Hey Frugal Babe,
    Yaay for all the decluttering! It's an ongoing battle here, too. It seems like I spend FAR too much time cleaning up messes (that the kids make), and I think if we had less STUFF, there wouldn't be so much to mess up in the first place. I feel like I'm constantly purging. Where does it all COME from anyway? It seems to multiply while we're sleeping. :)

  6. It really depends on if I'm buying wheat berries, and making green smoothies like I like for us to. Then I use it daily and it never lets me down. :) Once this baby joins us and is ready for solids I'll be using it tons for making baby food.

    W/Flylady what we do "load a day" for laundry, weekly blessing hour(modified to what we like to do weekly), errand day (recycling, grocery shopping, mail,etc.), and family day. Plus we keep a constant "donation" box that we donate bi-weekly to monthly depending, and I hit our two hotspots (computer desk and dining room table) once a day. When we are following it more strictly I include the morning and evening routine, and decluttering once a day and a few other things depending.

    We choose to do the weekly blessing hour together and it usually takes us 30 - 45min. I asked my husband to help me w/this until the kids were old enough to. I feel like I do stay at home to take care of the home and cleaning is a part of that but it involves much more. My husband said he felt the same so it works. I don't usually use the zone cleaning but when I do I choose between Kelly's missions and zone cleaning. I like Flylady's idea(s) but I do think it's a lot. Just start out slow concentrating on whatever you think your home needs first! I also know that if you click on table of contents on her homepage and go to the bottom there is a place for homeschoolers that might help. .... in fact I may check it out myself :)

    As for the recipe binder- I did work on it. First I weeded through the trash, bad, and duplicate recipes. Next I got dividers and labeled them: Staples & Helps; Love It!; Like It!; Try It!; Seasonal. Then I got page protectors and put all my recipes in there proper place. some page protectors r full of scrap paper recipes and cut outs. But now it's neat and organized and the next time I work on it I will be typing up all that isn't typed or is a scrap.

    Have you had a chance for any binder work or sewing? :)

  7. Congratulations on your new Vitamix.....buying one would be wonderful, winning one 100X better LOL!

    I like the simplicity of the old time system you mention, although I too could not do my laundry once a week........well, I could if I didn't sleep! There is no possible way I could do 15-20 loads on one day LOL! I look forward to getting to know you......maybe in person too, seeing how we live so close together!

  8. Love the Header pic of the Lupins. Reminds me of down East. We just picked a bunch for a wedding last weekend.
    Stopping by from Canadian Moms
    I'm a new follower. Hope you get a chance to swing by www.threejewelsinmycrown.blogspot.com and follow me as well. Have a great Father's Day weekend

  9. Bridgett,
    Do you have the dry container for grinding your wheat berries? I'm trying to decide if it's a worth-while purchase. I'd love to grind my own grains, for optimal freshness and nutrition.

    Awesome that your hubby helps with your WHB. :) I tried that once and it made him very, very cranky. lol. So now I just appreciate him for his yard work and the home maintenance stuff he does, and I take care of the cleaning. :)

    That's great that you worked on your binder! I didn't work on mine, but I did download a recipe app on my iPhone that lets you input recipes and sync them to your computer. I'm trying to decide if digital is the way to go for recipes. At least they'd all be in one place, and I'd always have them with me! I actually got quite a bit of mending done last week, probably got 5 or 6 items out of my pile. :) No actual sewing, though. I figure I should get the mending taken care of first, then I can have fun with the sewing. I have a couple of unfinished projects to complete, too!