Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Motivated Moms {Schoolhouse Review}

I'm sure we all go through phases where we feel like our house is not clean, not presentable, not under control.  Or is that just me?  I feel like my home is never where I want it to be.  I seem to lack the motivation and organization to get things running smoothly, so when I was given the opportunity review Motivated Moms, I knew it couldn't hurt me, and at best, it could really improve things.

Motivated Moms Review

Motivated Moms is a chore planning system designed for the busy mom.  It is currently offered as both an e-book and an app.  Now you may know that I'm not a checklist kind of person, and when I speak of homeschooling I speak of how I detest them, so naturally I was really curious as to how it would work for someone like me.  Given the choice, I felt like the eBook would be a more realistic option over the app, knowing my preference for tangible and my habit of ignoring apps on my phone.  I need the hard copy staring me in the face every day, so I chose the 2014 Motivated Moms Chore Planner with Scheduled Bible Reading ($8) for myself.  There are several layouts and styles, but I liked the weekly layout so I could see everything at a glance.

How I Use It
I printed the whole book, hole punched it, and put it into a 3-ring binder.  Simple, but effective enough for me.

Motivated Moms Review

Each morning after breakfast I start going through the daily chores.  Daily Chores are the necessary things that need to be done every single day to to keep your household functioning like dishes, laundry, taking out the trash, and similar chores.  There wasn't much on the daily chore list that I didn't already try to do everyday anyway, so this is the easy part of my day.  I do as much as I possibly can before I need to move on to other things like homeschooling or general parenting needs.

Later in the day when I get another burst of energy and the kids are content during masterly inactivity, I go back to my chore planner and check out the day's specific tasks.  Tasks are the less frequent chores like dusting or cleaning the toilets.  The types of chores you put off as long as possible, if you're like me.  Tasks are also random things like working on the baby book or checking the AC filters.  Wouldn't you know the HVAC guy was in our house the first week AC filters showed up, so he did it for me!  He also informed me that we need to change them more frequently with an indoor dog.  Good to know. 

These tasks are spread out throughout the house and typically there's one "heavier" task and a few lighter ones.  Heavier tasks might be mopping or decluttering a specific area, anything that takes me more than a few minutes.  Also, if it requires that I declutter something in order to do the task, I definitely consider it a heavier task.  We have a lot of clutter, and Motivated Moms really is motivating me to go through and purge it all.  I first tackle that one task that's going to take me the longest, because if nothing else, I can spread the lighter tasks out the next day or two if I want, or save them for the next time they show up.  I don't want to double up on the big tasks, so I get it out of the way.  If there's something I would consider a HUGE task, I just start spreading it out through the week, or push it to Saturday which only has one or two tiny tasks.

I really like that it is easy to edit without changing the integrity of the system.  There are several different types of e-book planners, but I chose my chore planner specifically because I could see the whole week on one page.  There are blank spaces so I can write in personal things if necessary.

Motivated Moms Review

If there's a day I know we won't be home, I'll start pulling an extra task or two up early in the week and just mark it off.  I almost always clean the bathroom mirror the same do I do the toilets, because I'm already in there and it only takes an extra minute.  If I miss a day because the power goes out or there's a virus making rounds, I'll either spread some of the tasks out the rest of the week, or just shrug and carry on, knowing they'll show up again.

Another way I have adapted is to replace items on the list that don't apply to me, with tasks in my home that are specific to me.  I don't have an attic/basement, so I pick another clutter spot to work on when that shows up.  I don't have a desk either, because flat surfaces tend to collect clutter in our house, so I got rid of it.  When it was time to clean/organize the desk, I decided to tackle our main homeschool bookshelf instead.

This shelf is in a very visible area, and unfortunately it got very cluttered, and it was one of those "I really need to clean that" areas that always got put on the back burner.  I might have tidied it, but never really focused on it.

Motivated Moms Review

Since there was a specific time for this shelf on my radar now, there was really no excuse.  Now the boys can find the scissors or crayons without help, I know where my books are and Eleanor even has her own cubby hole, to hopefully distract her from pulling books down!  Now the real task is to keep it this way!

Final Thoughts
When I started this review, I was overwhelmed with household chores.  I knew what needed to be done each day, but I couldn't muster the ability to prioritize or find the motivation to get everything done in a reasonable amount of time without wearing myself out.  I can wash clothes and dishes with the best of them, but looking at a room as a whole made me panic.  I knew my problem long before this review--I would start a big project and get sidetracked by another chore, so I'd never come back and finish the first big project.

That's the beauty of Motivated Moms.  I've tried to make my own checklists, but that was time consuming and they always got discarded.  Motivated Moms is more manageable for me, because it breaks every room into smaller chunks and spreads them out evenly.   I like the feeling of checking off the small things as I go, I don't feel confined to one room for very long, and most tasks are short enough that I can finish in just a few minutes. While my house is not where I want it yet, this chore planner really has me on top of clutter control, and there is a huge difference in the way I do things, and the way I feel about it at the end of the day!  My husband has remarked at the difference in my household management when I follow the checklists, and we can both see improvements we need to make as we go along.  I really like this system, and plan to continue using it long-term, but maybe next year I'll try the app! 

To find out more about Motivated Moms, check them out on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to read the rest of the crew reviews!

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  1. I love checklists, lists, and planners. This sounds like a dream come true for me.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, from someone who doesn't like checklists and still thrives with this program, I highly recommend it!