Megan: Do you remember at the end of the December when I posted about the weekly household planner I’d be using for 2013?  Well, we’re a month into 2013 now, and I thought I’d report how it was going.

Y’all.  It’s AWESOME.  I was worried I’d be all enthusiastic for the first two weeks, and then slowly abandon it like all the schedules I’ve tried before, but that hasn’t been the case.  The genius of the whole thing is that the first two weeks are really the hardest.  I mean, I don’t live in a hovel or anything, but the first two weeks had me doing chores around the house that had gone undone for a while (or years – oven-cleaning, I’m looking at you).  A few of them took a while (again, OVEN-CLEANING) but when they showed up on the schedule again later in the month, they only took a couple of minutes because it was just maintenance at that point, not a complete undo-years-of-filth nightmare.

My house has, literally, never been cleaner.  I spend anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes doing the chores listed each day (usually closer to 20), and I never feel overwhelmed. My home feels company-ready all the time.  Example: we’re having a party this weekend and I have no extra cleaning planned.  Everything looks perfectly presentable right now, and I love that.

It sounds kind of crazy to say it, but the planner has really revolutionized how I feel about my home and my house-keeping.  And I’m enough of a fan that I even forced Jenny to get on board.   And Jenny, how did your first month go?

Jenny:  Amazing!  Like you said, at first, tough.  But now, easy breezy (Beautiful Cover Girl!  You know you were singing it, too.)  Meg’s right, that oven cleaning was pretty brutal.  I believe I used about 12 cups of baking soda and a gallon of vinegar that first week, but it ended up pretty clean.  Granted, every time the kids walked in the house all I heard was, “Eewww!”  or “It smells like pickles in here!”  But now a few weeks in, my smoke detector kitchen timer doesn’t go off every time as frequently when I bake.

Oddly enough, I kind of look forward to the cleaning most days.  I’ve come to approach it with a zen-like mentality.  It is such a small number of tasks each day that it never feels overwhelming.  It also seems when I start to create order in my home, it begins to spill over into other areas of my life.  Mentally, I feel more centered and relaxed.  There is something so nice about coming home to a clean house every day instead of spending what feels like the entire weekend doing it.  And let’s not even mention the 400 loads of laundry to boot.

My favorite tasks so far:  cleaning the refrigerator (yep, baking soda and vinegar again) and de-cluttering drawers.  Both made such huge differences in my kitchen.  Plus, checkity check check, I got to mark them off my list!

And this weekend, Seth and I will be doing his Valentines.  12. Whole.  Days.  Early.  I totally would have put that off until the last minute.  But thanks to “The Book”…

One more item checked off my list!