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Linking up with Naomi, Faith, and Meghan this morning!

As evidenced by my recent absence, it’s been a seriously crazy last few weeks. I have a few teachers in the family so I know they work really hard and wind up taking a lot of work home with them, but somehow I wildly underestimated what the time commitment of this job would be. It probably doesn’t help that I only had one day to prep and set up my room so I’m figuring out lesson plans daily, and I’m still learning the teaching methods/curriculum used at my school (particularly for reading/writing). I’m going to try to be more active on the blog this week, but honestly there’s no guarantee until next week (my last day is Friday).

It’s a little crazy to me how much I’ve managed to do this week, even though I’m working full-time. I’ve had lots of help, but I’m still pretty proud of how I’ve been able to keep up with the kids at school and keep them on track, even with zero teaching credentials. The other third grade teacher and Google have been lifesavers! I’ve even been on YouTube to watch videos of how teachers approach certain lessons, particularly phonograms, and it’s been a huge help. #internetforthewin

I’ve also had some help around the house, and I’ve been working hard to get it really clean. There have been random stacks of papers and toys around my house for years, and it feels so great to actually have a clean space!

I can’t even remember the last time my living room was this clean, and we even moved the furniture around to make it a little more spacious for company.


The kitchen was also a huge accomplishment! I don’t think that bar top has been paper/clutter free since we moved in.

Everything is spotless and clean, I’m caught up on dishes, and I actually don’t mind being in the kitchen! It’s so much easier to keep the room clean than it was to get it this way, so I know I can maintain it 🙂


I’ve also hung a TON of laundry, which has been piling up for far too long. I’m great at getting it washed, but folded and hung is a wildly different story unfortunately. I’m not totally caught up on laundry, but I made a huge dent and even organized the hubby’s side of the closet!


I’ve also managed to stay (mostly) on track with my eating habits while working this much, which is really important to me. I’ve had some off days and ordered pizza once in a while, but the majority of the time I’ve been eating like this — seriously, aren’t roasted Brussels sprouts the best food in the world?!


I even found a meme that perfectly illustrates my children — that counts as an accomplishment, right?

While there’s still a ton of cleaning, sorting, and purging that needs to happen in my house, it still feels so good to have some rooms that are genuinely finished. The irony is that I couldn’t find the time to work on this stuff when I wasn’t working, but now that I am we knocked this out in 2-3 days!

So now that I’ve been an expert on productivity for almost a full week, I thought I’d share some tips for keeping things clean and organized even when life is nuts.

  • Get up early. For the record, I am NOT a morning person. I’ve always said that I’ll wash dishes, hang laundry, vacuum, or whatever else after the kids go to bed. At least for me, this never, ever happens. It’s the same as leaving a workout until right before bedtime, something always comes up and it doesn’t get done.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. My hubby works long hours, but he and some of our friends still pitched in and helped me. Especially when your kids are young and crazy, having help can make such a huge difference!
  • Suck it up. Not to be rude, but just do it. I stink at this — I’m fantastic at excuses, but those don’t make my house clean. Once I actually just threw on my big girl undies and just started doing stuff, the clutter disappeared remarkably quickly.
  • Get organized. Having an actual place for everything eliminates the crazy piles around the house that make me crazy.
  • Get rid of everything you don’t actually use. I’m terrible at this too, because I have a pathological need to keep everything that has any (even slightly) significant memory attached to it. I’m not saying keepsakes are bad, but they need to be reasonable and well-organized. This goes double for kids toys and clothes!
  • Purge toys and clothes before every birthday. We’re in the process of this right now. The reality is, friends and family will bring gifts to a birthday, and this can take an organized, clean room and basically disintegrate it in a matter of minutes. Clearing out beforehand makes space for new items and encouraged kids to donate things they don’t use on a regular basis.

What tips do you have for keeping clean when you’re busy?