Monday, April 26, 2010

Back on the Wagon

Here is the third and final bloglet by guest blogger and Bootcamper Adrienne: Thanks so much, Adrienne, for sharing your thoughts on Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers with us all!

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When I say I've been Bootcamping for almost two years, I mean that I have been following it in some form or another for two years. It's not been two years of perfection, but rather a learning process of making this method a part of the fabric of my life.

With that, there have been many times getting on the wagon and falling off and then climbing back on and then jostled off... rinse, dry, and repeat. "Falling off" has taken many forms... emergency c-section, moving across the country, plain old laziness. Each time I neglected my house to the point of a clean house being a distant dream and memory, I had to make a choice and an effort to get back into the routines I knew worked. Allow me to share some of what I've learned:

1. It took you days, weeks, months (and maybe even years) to get to messy state you're in now. Don't expect to get back into a well-oiled machine in one day or week or month.

2. Just because you can't do it all in one day that doesn't mean you shouldn't start with the one day you can control and change: TODAY!

3. Pick the job that is bugging you the most and fix it. It's tempting to start with something easy, but then, if you're like me, you'll be constantly taunted and discouraged by that dirty, stinky elephant in the middle of your house. Tackle the most difficult task first and then you'll be able to enjoy doing the smaller jobs! Oh, and remember, if you tackle it well, then maintain it faithfully, you won't have to deal with it like that again next week! ;)

4. Remember why you're doing this... yes, you're tired of being embarrassed to have company over and yes, your hubby is sick of the mess! Ultimately, however, you want to get back to enjoying your home and your family. So pick a job, do it, then go play with your kids for a bit, then pick another job, do it, then have a cup of coffee.

5. Go to bed happy that you have accomplished something, anything today. We're all busy moms and there is more to life than a clean house. A clean house is a means to an end. Don't let it rule you... YOU rule the house!

So get back on that wagon and come along for the ride. We have a lot of fun!

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Not sure how to get on the wagon in the first place? Consider picking up a copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers --Use the promo code FREEMAIL305 and receive free shipping (up to $3.99) when you order the book. This offer is good through 5/1/10.

Now pick a tough task....and get to work!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, Sweetie! That's the theme of today's post from guest blogger Adrienne. Enjoy reading, and feel free to leave a comment!

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One of my worst failings is that I try to be perfect in every regard. I'm not sure where I got that idea given the title of my favorite book. While that may have been a nice line in one of my favorite movies, it hasn't worked so well in my housekeeping. In fact, it's really backfired on me!

For example, it sounds nice to have a cleaning bucket that I carry from room to room. And in fact, in our last apartment, it was necessary, just to save the space. Now that our apartment is twice as big and my two kids are twice as busy, it's just not practical anymore! I decided to put one of each necessary cleaning item in each bathroom, and I bought a second mop and broom for the upstairs. It's so much faster not having to run upstairs and down for those forgotten items, and it's much easier to be motivated to "just do it" when I have a free minute with everything right there.

Heidi talks about wiping down bathrooms every day with just a Clorox wipe. When it was just my husband and I and one baby, it was a little bit over-kill, so I got in the habit of doing an extra good scrubbing once a week as opposed to the daily wipes with a monthly scrub down. It worked... until I had two small children with another on the way. Guess what I'm doing now?!

My point is, there is nothing wrong using time-saving shortcuts to clean your house. We don't get any extra jewels in our mommy crown for being the perfect Suzy Homemaker and doing things the way our grandmothers had to. So do yourself a favor and find ways to make your job easier. You'll be glad you did and you'll be happier with having a cleaner home to enjoy living in! Now stop thinking about it, and just do it... the simple way!





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Now get to work!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Compare and Contrast: A Guest Post

I'm so pleased to post a few bloglets this week written by Adrienne from Pittsburgh. She's a real live Bootcamper who follows the Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers system and was generous enough to share her answer to the single most common question I receive: "How is Bootcamp different from ________?" I hope you enjoy her posts! Are you a Bootcamper who has tried another cleaning strategy and can answer this question as well? We love comments and we'd love to hear from you!

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How is Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers different from other programs?

Before Heidi shared Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers with the world, I was a lousy housekeeper. But I was not so far gone that I didn't want to do better. I tried hard to do better. Really, I did. (Please don't laugh, my dear IRL friends!) I have tried many programs, and here is how they compare.

Motivated Moms -- The cool thing about Motivated Moms is that you get a set of six or so tasks to complete on a given day. If you follow through with it on a daily basis, you will keep a clean house. You're supposed to be able to skip days here and there without affecting the efficacy of the program. The hard part for me was the lack of regularity in how the tasks were broken up and how often they were repeated. In short, it was hard to plan my schedule further out and before long I was skipping days and weeks because it was just too hard to keep up!

Flylady -- This program is nice and structured, down to day and time. If you are willing and able to make a complete re-vamp of your life, it's possible to be successful and many are. This was out of my ability set so I ended up with a beautiful list of routines (and an e-mail box full of reminders) and my house was still a disaster!

Managers of Their Homes -- Great for telling you how to schedule your life, but if you don't know how to clean on a good routine and schedule, you have a neatly-scheduled messy house. :)

Sidetracked Home Executives -- I loved the book and the lists in the back were helpful to show me just how far behind I really was, but like Flylady, I ended up with a nice stack of beautiful cards, but no real game plan for success.

Then, along came Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers. It was like a breath of fresh air! Finally, I understood why I needed to iron my clothes after I washed them and why it was a good idea to make your bed first thing in the morning! Yet, Heidi does a wonderful job of keeping the explanations short and the instructions simple. In other words, I was motivated to get going instead of sitting and dreaming about how one day, in the distant future, I'd have the perfect house. Finally I didn't have to make a notebook or a stack of cards to succeed, in fact in the pre-published form, there was no info on the binder, just the skeleton of the chapters -- and my house was clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! From day one, I was able to begin forming new habits that were the foundation of a new way of thinking and a new way of living my life as a homemaker. No longer was I a slave to the mess. I was the boss of the place and it felt good!

Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers is not everyone. If you get bored with routines, Motivated Moms is the way to go for you. If you like to have everything laid out for you before you start, Flylady or Sidetracked Home Executives  is for you. If you already know how to clean, maybe you just can go directly to Managers of Their Homes. If, however, you need a middle of the road approach with a little of everything, can I recommend Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers? I think you'll be as pleased as I've been!

Happy Cleaning!

Adrienne


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Thanks, Adrienne!
Check back again soon for more insight from Bootcampers - or better yet, FOLLOW the blog through Google Friend  Connect or subscribe to our RSS (on the left sidebar). Now get to work!


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Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Shipping!

Times are financially tight for most everyone these days, and another homemaking book doesn't always soar to the top of the list of "needs". But if you were considering purchasing your own copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers, now is the time!

Use the promo code FREEMAIL305 and receive free shipping (up to $3.99) when you order the book. This offer is only good through 5/1/10, so act quickly!

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Are you Dressed?

I recently came across the "Get Dressed" Challenge  from Sarah Mae over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee, and my first thought (after peeking out my front window and thinking "I hope people aren't walking around naked out there!) was to hang my head in momentary shame. I acknowledge that sometimes I am frumpy. There, I said it. Knowing is half the battle.

I am always encouraging you Bootcampers to work hard, clean hard, make the best use of your time, and to infuse beauty into your homes everywhere, as these things glorify God. But what about ME? Does my personal appearance glorify God? No, I'm not implying that one must be a size 4 with fancy shoes and a new coat of paint to please Him. I'm very simple when it comes to looks. But simple can still be a blessing to those around you. Foregoing the comb, soap or toothbrush is not simple. It's simply lazy.

I happen to be in that awkward "losing weight and nothing fits" phase, and it shows. It's hard not to be frumpy when your clothes don't fit well. But I know I'm not honoring my husband when I dress frumpily. How can I fix it? What's my plan?

1. I don't need to buy a new wardrobe. I need to purchase a few, simple quality pieces (on sale, preferably with free shipping!) to tide me over until the next 20 pounds come off. I am probably kidding myself if I say that I won't see this number on the scale again...we love babies and hope to have many more of them. So these clothes can be put away (soon, I hope!) and used again if I need them (or passed along to a friend!)

2. I can buy colors that are flattering, that make me happy, and that are easy to mix and match. I love wearing pink. I love wearing black. That should just about make up my wardrobe. But when I'm out and see something in a random print and it's on SUPER CLEARANCE, I'll think "It's so cheap. I'll try and make it work." Mostly, it works by taking up space in my closet. I need to PURGE what is stained, ripped, and doesn't look good (the wrong size, the wrong style, the wrong color, or the wrong fit) and replenish my wardrobe with items that meet my criteria. You don't have to shop at Macy's, ladies. It takes a little time, but even thrift stores can be wonderful places to find these items if you're patient. (Want some inspiration? Check out the Frugal Fashionista.)

3. I can wear an apron. I love aprons. Many ladies wear scroungy lounge wear around the home because they are afraid of ruining their clothes. That's understandable, but if you're home most of the time, then your family is seeing you in that scroungy lounge wear most of the time. Is it blessing them? Wear simple, classic clothes and when you cook or clean, cover yourself with a cute apron. There are so many apron sites, it's a little overwhelming. (I have a list of my faves on the sidebar!) Just as I require my children to wear school uniforms at home to simplify our lives, our laundry, and visually focus their minds on the task at home (school!), so we homemakers can put on our aprons and visually focus on the tasks at our hands: making our homes.

4. I can purpose to look fresh. I can stay showered, powdered, mouth-washed, and combed. I don't wear makeup most of the time- - If I wear it at home, my husband will ask me what on earth is on my face! But there is still so much I CAN do to make myself pretty and clean and a blessing. Eye crusties, dried drool and bad breath do nothing for attaining closeness with your hubby and children. They do nothing for showing the world that homemaking, homeschooling moms are the most blessed in the whole wide world! I must make an effort. I must NEVER cry "There's no time!" There is always time. Honestly...the whole process of "getting pretty" takes me five minutes, which is about as much time as I spend watching the coffee pot brew every morning before my brain wakes up.

5. Still in your pajama bottoms? Gnarled hair? Shiny skin? There's at least one thing you must make time for: A smile. All the smart clothes and coiffed do's and layers of mascara in the world won't make up for the classic "sour lemon face" that so many busy moms wear. Do you love your children? Your husband? Do you REALLY feel blessed to be at home? Then smile about it. It's the surest way to go from frumping to blessing in no time at all.


Don't think you have the time to "get dressed"? You know what I'm going to say: Pray about it. Create a plan. Put it in your schedule. Make it happen. Be a blessing to your family. It will affect your heart, too, in a glorious way.

Are you going to participate in the Sarah Mae's "Get Dressed" challenge? Tell us about it and make sure and sign up on her blog.




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Monday, April 5, 2010

April Showers

Happy Laundry Day, Bootcampers! I hope you are all busy washing, drying, ironing, mending and straightening your laundry areas today. Your clothes will thank you for it!

Not sure what "Laundry Day" entails? Use the promo code: SHOWERS at Lulu when you buy your copy of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers and get 10% off! Enjoy!

Hope you're enjoying the same glorious April weather we are!

Now get to work!

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

HE IS RISEN!

...and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations...

Romans 1:4-5

HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

Happy Easter, Bootcampers.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53


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Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools!

Happy April, Bootcampers! To celebrate this new month, I'm offering a ONE-DAY-ONLY coupon: 10% off your order of Bootcamp for Lousy Housekeepers at Lulu.com. Just enter the promo code: APRILFOOLS at checkout. This coupon is only good for TODAY, April 1, 2010.

Go get yourself a copy and get to work! No Foolin'!



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