I know the stereotypical creative works long, crazy hours in what seems to me mass chaos for the sake of his or her art, but I just don’t operate like that. I need some sort of order in my life so that I can even think about being creative. Maybe that means that I’m not a TRUE creative at heart… I don’t know. But, I do believe that all creative mamas out there must balance their creative passions with their housework. Myself included.
Let’s face it. Housework has to get done. The more it piles up, the more hopeless the situation seems to be. Your entire family probably depends on your ability to run your household and everyone suffers if you aren’t doing it well. There are so many things on our to-do list–meal planning, cooking, cleaning, laundry, running errands, paying bills, grocery shopping… The list goes on and on, and it can seem overwhelming.
I have one solution that worked for me–“Sidetracked Home Executives” by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. This book was a game changer for me several years ago, and I still use the system today, although my system is customized and updated. This book is a super short read, but it is packed with so much wisdom.
You obviously have to read the book to get the most out of their system, but the general idea is to create a rotating card system that keeps track of household duties so that you won’t get behind again. This book covers all aspects of homemaking and has wonderful suggestions for meal planning, organization, scheduling, holidays, and dressing like you intend to leave the house.
I do have to mention that earlier this year I got rid of my beloved file card box. I had had that thing for 10 years! But, I traded it in for something that works just as well, if not better, for me. I use the Tody app. With this app, the calendar, and contacts on my iPhone, I could replace my entire card file box, and the system still works great for me.
On that note, I do have to say that I wish the slob sisters had kept up their momentum and reinvented their card file system for the digital age. I would love to see an app from them. The book was first printed in 1981. While a lot of the book is still relevant, it could use a little updating. But that’s where your creativity comes in. Read the book and make the system into one that works just for you and your family.
Although I am Pam and Peggy’s number one fan, I will have to say that different systems work for different people. Theirs happens to be the one that clicked for me. Here are a few other suggestions if “Sidetracked Home Executives” doesn’t work for you:
- “Sink Reflections” by Marla Cilley (The Fly Lady)
- “The House that Cleans Itself” by Mindy Starns Clark
- Clean Mama
- “Confessions of an Organized Homemaker” by Deniece Schofield
And if none of these systems seem to work for you, you’re creative… make your own system. But the key is to stick with it. You didn’t get into your mess overnight, and you won’t get out of it that quickly either. Find a system that works for you and keep at it. It will get better and easier, and eventually you will have some guilt-free time to dedicate to your creative passion.
What blocks your creativity? Financial troubles? A messy house? Leave your comment below.