(20:114) ربِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً

Friday, January 1, 2010

Getting Rid of the Chaos

Since the beginning of December, I have been slowly clearing out some clutter - especially homeschool stuff. The inspiration comes from setting up the workboxes. Since I can now use materials that we never seemed to have time for in the past, I need to weed out the junk and get to the good stuff.

I also realize the need to stop jumping in and trying to get involved in too many projects - you should see the pile of worksheets that I have accumulated over the last three years!

Anyway, that got me thinking about the rest of the home. It seems that I am always cleaning the same kinds of messes around here, toys on the floor, crayons, socks, etc. I need to find better solutions so that they mostly don't end up on the floor in the first place.

My mom is a super neat person and I always thought that once I got away from home, I wouldn't have to worry about cleaning all the time because it came naturally to us, but try as I might, I cannot even compete with hers. LOL my husband affectionately calls it "the museum look."

I've been reading through the Flylady site and learning how to better organize a household. I'm trying to rid myself of what she calls "CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome." My husband and children are social creatures so you never know when I'll get a visitor.

She says the first thing to do is "shine your sink" so that's what I did.

See? Shiny.
Our dishwasher died about three months ago and now I am reluctantly stuck at the sink everyday. Rather than continue to feel annoyed, I'm just trying to stick to a routine and InshaALLAH, after a while, it will feel like second nature.

How do you all find the time to manage the household? Do you have a menu planned for the week? For the month? Do you keep a binder? Here's another question - do you organize or keep a binder or something else for your own personal Islamic studies? Do you have a daily routine for studying your deen? All of these are things that I need to work on, InshaALLAH.

And now, to tackle the rest of that counter, lol.


Umm Tafari said...

As salaam alaikum,

Insha Allah, I agree that simplying is a great idea. At this point in our lives, I try not to buy or accept anything that we don't truly need. More stuff=more chaos!

As far as comparing your housekeeping to your mother's, did she homeschool or have a large family? I used to compare myself to my mother as well then I realized that she didn't have six children at home all day and even had a maid once a week, masha Allah.

I am not saying, don't organize or clean, but our first priorities should be meeting the children's basic needs and their education. Sure our house can look like a museum (a children's museum, lol).

As with everything else, we do the best we can and don't sweat the small stuff. When you really think about it (this is advice to myself first), a couple of socks on the first is small stuff!

Your children are still young Nakia. This is only a short phase in your life and better we know it the walls be clear off crayon.

Insha Allah, I am going to send you a story that I want to share with you.

Nakia said...

Wa 'alaikum as salaam Sis,

You're right, my mom only had two of us and we were seven years apart, so the demand is nowhere near the same.

I don't expect an immaculate house but I want to get the kids on the right track and away from extreme messiness.

We recently set up a playroom for the kids and it is always trashed. So trashed that the kids don't want to play there, SubhanALLAH. That means we need to get better organized, InshaALLAH and give them better options for storing their toys, I think.

I do get what you're saying though and I know that I can be uptight about it, lol.

Take care,
wa salaam,

Umm Tafari said...

As salaam alaikum,

My siblings and I had a playroom growing up with shelves for storing the toys. We also had a toy box, but the big toys went on the shelves.

Some people use a laundry basket as a temporary place to store stuff after picking it up from the floor such as socks, small toys, clothes, etc. That might be a quick fix if you have unexpected company to get it up fast and out of sight insha Allah.

Just a few suggestions and practical advice.

Muslim Family said...

Asallamu alaikum sister,

For us we try to make sure everything has its place. We use lots of plastic shoe box containers (from dollar tree or walmart) and label everything. We have a rule that we only get out one thing at a time. So if Jannah is coloring, she cannot get out playdoh until all coloring materials are put back. We keep all of the boxes stacked on a bookshelf. They are clear so even those who can't read yet, know what is in each box. Rather than have lots of clutter and buying more and more things we try to think about if we truly need something or if we have something else already that we can use. Now my home is not immaculate by any means but because I want my home to be welcoming to my daughter and family and anyone who may stop by. For example she has a rug and toy crate in the living room, my husband has his own drawer in the kitchen for his misc. items and Jannah has her own shelf with her snack bowls, cups with lids, etc. It seems to help us out a lot. The only notebooks we keep are to organize manuals and receipts for items like laptop, coffee maker, etc so we can keep manuals and warrenty info all available if needed. As for Islamic studies, I have several notebooks. One is for notes I take after watching lectures or attending khutbas. Another is for special duas or hadith I want to learn and another for studying Arabic. I wish you the best with your organizing and hope something I have said will be beneficial for you and your family inshaAllah.

Your sister in Islam,


Nakia said...

As salaamu 'alaikum Sister Ayesha, good to hear from you!

May ALLAH make things easy for you and your family (AMEEN).

I was just telling my husband that we need a shelf with some plastic shoe boxes on it - I saw a picture of someone's playroom on www.flickr.com and there were clear containers so that the children could see what was on the shelves but not get to everything all at once.

For some reason, I've been so focused on the needs of the children that I forgot about myself! It sounds like it may be best for me to have separate sections for lectures/Arabic/duas and hadith too. I have accumulated two huge binders with worksheets from my Arabic studies and have several different notebooks for everything else but I've never organized it until now.

JazakILLAH Khairin for your help, drop by any time, InshaALLAH.

Take care,
wa salaam,

Nakia said...

As salaamu 'alaikum Umm Tafari,

May ALLAH make things easy for you and your family AMEEN.

Yes, the playroom is something new that we are trying for a while, InshaALLAH.

I think those are all excellent ideas for me to incorporate into the room. I have just the laundry basket for that purpose and I really have to get some shelves in there. The toy box is there but the bulky things certainly need a place too.

I try not to buy too many toys - we get books and clothes mostly because they have enough toys, AlhamduLILLAH.

JazakILLAH Khairin for your ideas - I should have posted this a long time ago, lol.

Take care,
wa salaam,

Umm Khadijah said...

Assalamu alaykum ukhti,

I myself am trying to get things organised round here, I've re-started with fly lady a few times now, so I'm still what they call a 'fly baby' hehe

I try to keep on top of the place each day, mainly picking up as I go, but insisting that the children do their bit aswell, especially as most of the mess is theirs!
I do a quick clean up at the end of the day, dishes/sink/ brush floor etc... and that stops it from becoming too overwhelming, insha Allaah.

I recently started getting into menu planning, I printed loads of new recipes from online, and put them in a binder. It does really help to plan in advance whats going to be for lunch/dinner each day, and it definitely saves on making so many trips to the supermarket, not to mention takeaways when you haven't got a clue what to make.

These are all things I'm continually trying to keep on top of, I know if I slip, the whole place is upside down, but at the same time I try not to stress too much about it, and try to keep the kids education as my first priority.

Sarah Plain And Short said...

As salam aleikom

Wow those are all good tips. Currently I am just making do with what I can because we are sharing an apartment with my mom, and my son's room is the living room, i call it the bachelor pad. He has his toys in a toy box, books are inside the coffee table (or on the floor if he's faster than me!),I keep some neat activities like bubbles and balloons in the hall closet so when i want to do something different with him I pull those out.

Flylady is very good. My mom started using flylady a few yrs ago and she has really changed! MashAllah. Now she has her own notebook to organize her week, calendars to organize work and personal life. She seems less stressed with this system.
Im a bit different in that I learned a lot of chores and cleaning routines from my dad and my mother in law. MIL has a good system as well, she was the first person I saw who cleans their sink everyday (and this was before I heard of flylady, MIL doesnt know about flylady).

I think my weak spot is just doing the cleaning. Most days I am not motivated to wash those dishes, pick up the socks, etc...lool.

Nakia said...

As salaamu 'alaikum Umm Khadijah and Sarah

May ALLAH make things easy for you AMEEN.

I think that it certainly makes me less stressed to incorporate some type of cleaning regimen. It gives me time to focus on the kids and things don't get out of hand.

I probably won't do everything every day but InshaALLAH I just get less lazy about it!

Take care Dear Sisters,
wa salaam,

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a FlyBaby and have found myself restartiing again and again. One thing that I have held on to was shining the sink before bed and maintaining our routines. It has helped an enormous amount to not get bogged down even if I wasn't doing everything that was prescribed. I have however, reorganized myself, insha'Allah and hope to be able to follow her assignments well this time:) May Allah make your path an easy one!! Ameen

Nakia said...

Wa 'alaikum as salaam,

Keeping the sink shiny is the key to an easy morning! It means that I don't have to wash the dishes so that I can feed everybody.

May ALLAH make things easy for you too AMEEN.

Take care,
wa salaam,