Monday, March 3, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Motivated Moms

Motivated is not generally a term I would use to describe myself, especially when it comes to completing those every day tasks like dishes, laundry, and scrubbing toilets.   That is exactly why I asked to review Motivated Moms.  My house, like my life, is often in disarray and I needed some extra incentive to get things done.  When I read about my opportunity to review the Motivated Moms Ebooks I jumped at the chance!  Actually I was a bit less enthusiastic, but I knew I needed it for my own good.

The Motivated Moms Ebook is a printable chore planning system for us mothers to use but of course it is useful for anyone running their own home, even if you are not yet a mom.  It comes in sixteen different formats which covers daily or weekly lists so there is one to suit just about every need.  I chose the 2014 Motivated Moms Chore Planner with Scheduled Bible Reading in Black and White.  You can also get it in color and without the bible reading plan but since I try to follow a plan every year I thought it would be good have it combined.  They also have apps for IPhone/IPad/IPod and Android.  I have a Windows phone so chose the Ebook option instead.  Besides, I think I like having that printed page physically in front of me.

The Motivated Moms chore planning system is an excellent tool to enable you to keep your home clean and organized and still find time for yourself.  I have struggled with keeping a clean house my entire life.  I never really acquired good organizational or housekeeping skills and to me I always dreaded the work.  Over the years I have improved both my attitude and my efforts, but there was always this daunting list of things that needed to be done.  Spring cleaning would be put off until the fall and even then I could never get to it all.  Not once, through all those years did I ever think to organize chores in this way.

Of course I personally would not have thought this list through as thoroughly as they have.  If you keep this routine throughout your week you will never have to spend an entire day deep cleaning again!  My house has never looked this neat and clean for this long.  I would always do good for awhile, but then fall behind.  This system really allows you to stay on top of things! 

So here is how it works.  To save ink and paper I chose a weekly planner so I would only have to print one week at a time instead of get a new list each day.  I also chose black and white to save on my color ink.  A sample planner page looks like this.

As you can see, the bar on the left is a list of daily chores.  Now some of them do not actually have to be done daily but every day you need to at least check on them.  Laundry, for instance is one that while I don't do it every day, I am more mindful of keeping up with it now that I am reminded daily to do so.  I also love that it has things like "feed pets" on there.  We have a fish and after we moved him to my daughter's room there were times I almost forgot him! It also has a place to add your own daily chores.  I pencil in my blog posts, review tasks, and other things I need to work on more than once a week.  At the bottom you will find the daily bible reading for each day.  Since I was already following my own plan, I would check it off but in its place write down what verses I actually did read.

The list on the right hand side was your weekly tasks divided into the days of the week.  One thing I really loved about having this as a weekly planner was that I could look ahead at what needed to be done and adjust the chores to meet my own schedule.  If I knew I had appointments on Thursday and would hardly be home, I would try to do those tasks on another day.  I never physically moved them, I would just check them off when I completed them.  So while I tried to follow it as written, I mostly just made sure at the end of the week most of the tasks were done.  Here is how one of my weeks looked at the end.

I will admit that this was a good week.  I have some lists where more boxes are left unchecked.  That actually is a down side to the plan.  I am a check list person.  I love having guides like that to help me remember tasks, but I am also a perfectionist and it bothers me when boxes are left undone.  While that is a great motivator it can also be a discouragement.  You have to be sure to allow yourself some flexibility.  I figure that even if I have some boxes left undone, I am still getting way more work done than I ever did before. There is only one thing on my list that I have never yet done and that is pamper myself!  I think I need to work on that now that I have more free time!

It is really cool the way they cycle tasks through.  If you miss a chore one week, it is sure to pop again and sooner rather than later.  I love it.  All those spring cleaning tasks are now scattered throughout your year.  Clean that closet one week and another week work on a box of clutter.  Things like ceiling fans and light fixtures get done as well, but not on the same day or even in the same week.  Instead of cleaning them all at once, you do them room by room doing a different room each week.  You even do your refrigerator one shelf at a time! That sure beats spending an entire day doing all those tedious tasks!

I underlined a few that I thought were great to add too.  Planning birthday gifts a month head of time, wash your porch rug, order your credit report and my favorite, clip your child's nails!  So many things that I would not think about, at least until they were long over due, are now at your finger tips just when you need them to be.

Now I know some moms will print the entire book and put it in a binder and maybe that is what you are supposed to do.  I, however, liked having this one page sitting on my desk in front of me so that I would not forget to check it.  There it sat, as a constant reminder that I had things to do.  This way really worked best for me.  So instead of printing the entire book, every Saturday I would print off next week's task list.  I then add any chores that didn't get done the week before as well as my personal weekly tasks. Otherwise I forget about them until they show up again.

Now, while this is called Motivated Moms don't get it in your head that this is only for mom.  While this shows us what needs to be done, there is no rule that says only mom must do them!  I delegated these chores to my daughter and sometimes even my husband. Sharing chores among the family makes them get done more quickly and efficiently.  Sometimes Gess would do one thing and I would do another and sometimes we would tackle them together.  I checked the items off the list no matter who did the work!

The best part is the Motivated Moms Ebooks sell for $8.00 a piece.  That is a small price to pay to help get your house in order!  Granted, you and your family still have to do the physical work but it is well worth the price to help organize it in a way that gets everything done with the least amount of stress possible!  I absolutely love this planner and will be sure to get one year after year!  In fact, since my daughter has special needs I hope to teach her to use this tool when she grows up.  I think it will be a great help to her independence. To learn more about Motivated Moms visit their website or see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought about their other Ebooks and Apps by clicking on the banner below.

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