I struggle with maintaining a good routine. Sometimes the “homeschool mom” routine throws me so far off my game I’m lucky to accomplish a cup of coffee much less anything relatively productive other than homeschool itself. These are a few of the habits I’ve adopted since the beginning of the school year that are really getting me back into my mojo and keeping my home (and my mind) a semi sane place to be! I hope these help you take back your days like they did for me!
“Other people” can have clean houses, perfectly manicured children, and a balanced budget, all at the same time. They don’t lay awake at night thinking of the things they wish they would have gotten accomplished the day before, and how now they will never get enough done the next day. I always have a good plan but never enough time to implement it. At least that’s how it feels! It got me wondering how on earth “other people” do it. It must be complicated…. and I’m so not in the market for that.
Now since there are 7 days in a week we can do this piece by piece. Taking one step at a time is always easier for me than swallowing a thing whole. 7 days, 7 ways. Awesome. Each day for the next week, add a habit. By the end of the week, we’ll be doing all seven of them. These are so easy and will have such a positive affect that once you get going it will be easier to keep doing them than to quit.
7 Ways to take back your Days
1. Shine Your Sink
If you’ve ever heard of fly lady you’ve probably heard of this. It helps me immensely to quick do this before I head to bed. When I can wake in the morning to a clean sink, I can do anything…. even make breakfast. So right before turning out the lights, I make sure all the dishes are in the dishwasher and let it work for me overnight, and then I give the sink a scrub. If you don’t have a dishwasher just get those dishes done and make sure that sink is empty and sparkly.
Then come morning I unload dishwasher as the kids are eating breakfast! Breakfast dishes go straight back in.
2. Do a Load of Laundry
Laundry is a beast in our house with my husband and myself, along with a teenager and 2 younger ones. It’s just never ending. Every night before I go to bed I throw a load of laundry into the washer. Throw it in the dryer in the morning. I have 5 baskets and when the dryer is done I pull it out and fold it into the basket for where it goes. I have a basket for the master bedroom, each of the children’s bedrooms, main floor, and upstairs bathroom. Now everything is ready to be delivered to it’s room. I put away the little ones’, hubby’s, and my laundry. My teenager does the rest.
3. Keep your Entry Neat
If you keep this area of your house picked up, not only will people knocking on your door believe your house is clean, and you won’t feel that kick of anxiety when someone knocks on the door. Just take a minute when you’re locking up at night and put away anything that needs putting away. If you do this every day, it shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. If someone has left more than a few minutes worth of mess, it’s their job for the week!
4. List It and Leave It
Try to get all of those thoughts out on paper before you hit the sack. Take 5 minutes of personal time to write a list for the following day. Look at your calendar, put down any appointments. What needs to be accomplished, what would you like to accomplish. Label these with an A for the musts a B for the wants. I keep my list with times so that I can make sure I’m not stretching myself too thin. That can cause major stress.
This notebook goes with me everywhere, even by my bed. If I can get it out of my head I don’t need to worry about forgetting and I can move on to other things. It also has pages for post ideas, grocery lists, and just about anything else that pops into my head that day. Between that and my planner I don’t have worries about not getting things done.
My older daughters tell me this can be done on my phone so I don’t have to lug my notebook and planner around. I can’t wrap my head around that but if it works better for you that would be an option as well.
5. Find Encouragement
Now this can be something as simple as making sure to put abig pink check mark beside the things you mark off on your to-do list from the night before to something like finding a buddy to crow about your accomplishments with. Online mom communities and friends, texts for support, or coffee with someone who just “gets it” are also great for support. So for this step I encourage you to find a way to make yourself feel good about the steps you are accomplishing.
6. Meal Plan
I did a post Meal Planning on a Frugal Budget that goes through how I do my meal planning. But this is important no matter what level of meal planning works for you. Whether it’s just jotting down what you want for supper every night and making sure the ingredients or available, or something a bit more detailed. This will alleviate that end of the day stress and scramble. I think that one of the most important things about meal planning is planning with your calendar right there. That will really help to figure out what kind of meal needs planning. If you have time open in the morning but a busy afternoon you may want to throw something in the crock pot. If you are gone from morning to night you might want ingredients for something that can be made in 15-20 minutes total.
7. Get RID of Things
Every day. Seriously, do this every day until the things around you cease to be a burden and a space drain. I mean THINGS, not just garbage. Put them in the grocery bags, put the grocery bags in your trunk. Drop them off next time you’re near a thrift store. Or you can make a little cash. Snap a quick picture and list them on your local facebook yard sale site or Craigslist. I have been setting things I come across in a bin in my storage room and listing them and it has brought in some nice cash. And it was all just things that weren’t worth the space they were taking or clothing that my children had outgrown. I’d purchased an exercise bike with full intention of using it but instead it was just a jungle gym for my kiddos…. that went out the door for more than I paid for it!
You can do it! It sounds like a lot but each thing should only take moments and will take less and less time the more they become habit! Don’t beat yourself up if it takes more than a week for all of these to become real habits for you. Do the best you can, and just keep going.
What are your best habits for keeping your home running smoothly?
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