However, not to let you down when you were depending on me (ho ho ho) I'm just going to give you some of my top tips for a final surge of organising that shouldn't drain that crucial energy you will be needing in the next week or so. Take a few of them on board and see what works for you, you may have some better ideas yourself.
Do you know what Tiny Time is?
Tiny Time is the tiny snippets of time we all have sprinkled throughout the day in which so much could be achieved but rarely is. I bet you can name at least ten examples but first I want you to stop reading this and look at your watch if it has a second hand on it. Watch that little arm ticking around for 30 seconds.
Now...that took longer than you thought, didn't it?
That's roughly about the time it takes to warm up something small in the microwave. Boiling a kettle takes even longer, as does waiting for someone to come downstairs when you call them (which, if it's your child, could be a pretty long time!). Waiting for a computer to turn on or a page to print. During the advertisements on television...the list goes on.
What do we usually do during these tiny moments?
Now think...how long does it take to load a washing machine? Less than one minute.
Sorting laundry, writing a shopping list, clearing off a table, checking the post, planning dinner, changing a bin bag.
Perhaps use those moments to evaluate your day so far, renew your resolutions or maybe even say a little prayer and start again.
These are all things that can easily be fitted into tiny time with great effectiveness at no loss to you. That time would otherwise have been wasted while you stared at the microwave or got frustrated with your child and the jobs would still have had to be done another time.
This is a very good habit you can train in your children, especially during tv shows when you might be just as happy that they miss the ads anyway.
Try it next time:
" Quick...ADS...Everyone!! Out into the kitchen and do ten (or 20) things each!!! Quick!!"
Depending how many children you have, or even just yourself, that's a lot of things that wouldn't have been done otherwise. In my case, if Dad and I join in, that's 70 THINGS!!! And nobody misses a single minute of their programme.
Let The Chemicals Do Their Job
(or Never Scrub Again)
Do you know that cleaning chemicals work by dissolving and softening various kinds of 'dirt'. This is obvious when you hear it yet you often see people using cleaning products by spraying wherever they want to clean and then immediately scrubbing the surface. In that case the surface gets clean but the chemical hasn't done it, it may as well have been plain water that was used. It's your elbow grease that has done the work. So why pay for something and then do it's job ?
The chemicals need a little time to work so next time you're cleaning a cooker top or your bathroom sink, or anywhere actually...
SPRAY and WALK AWAY.
(Hey I just made that up :-) )
Go back a few minutes later (during which you have put on a wash and emptied the bins)
Now...WIPE with plain water and watch the grease or soap build up or grime just flow away, saving your energy, which can be put to better and more fun use elsewhere.
Hands Up Who Has Wasted Their Hands
Look down and count your hands. I'm guessing you have two.
Now Watch This:
Most of us use just one of these amazing tools while we're going about our day to day activities. We clean off with one hand, apply cleaner with the same hand, rinse it off with the same hand again and finally buff with...guess what? Yes, the same hand again. All the while the other hand, this unique tool which no scientist has been able to replicate, is lying limply by our side.
I don't need to go into a big dissertation on this, just use both your hands...wipe down with one hand, buff with the other...twice the work done in half the time.
You Don't Need To Clean It If It's Not THERE!
Have a look at this picture I just found on Google Images
I don't think it's unfair to say this is a typical teenager's room, or even the typical room of plenty of adults.
Put yourself into your child's mind when you banish them to their room until it's in order. Look at this room...it'd be a soul destroying task trying to put it in order. There's too much stuff in it and it'd be hard to even know where to start even with the best of intentions. What happens is the teen (or you) picks up something, it has no home so it can't be put away, it's put down again. Another object...same story. Before a few minutes the teen (or you) is disheartened and abandons the task in favour of some form of procrastination.
The only way around this cycle is to get rid of the things that are clogging up your rooms and your life.
I'll blog another time about the clutter problem but nobody will ever convince me that they are happier with a load of stuff everywhere that they can't put away, tidy, or even use because they don't know what's actually there, than they would be with only the things they love, use or need. How can something you don't love, use, or even find make you happy.
I'm not talking about having a minimalist house with no adornment. I have always loved the Brambly Hedge books. Look at this illustration, I think Poppy knows what's in this room and where it is.
To make your life easier, your housework much, much faster, you are going to have to de-clutter. Leave it till after Christmas and take it as a New Year project but today just do this:
Take a black bag and put 27 things into it.
(you can find 27 things...look in your rummage drawer, your undies drawer, children's room)
DON'T say, "Such & Such might like this, or So & So might take that".
Now tie the top and THROW it in the bin.
That is 27 things gone out of your life FOREVER.
You will never need to think of them, clean them or tidy them ever again.
Now do the same thing tomorrow.