Monday, September 10, 2012

Keeping Up

As women, we juggle quite a bit on our plates, so having a system or method that works for us and our home is important so that we can keep up with all of our responsibilities.

Recently, I read two posts (here and here) about ways to help women manage their homes, and found it ironic that they both had similar ideas..... and what works in our home was also similar to what they were saying.

Here is my list of how we keep up with our home and schedule.

Wake up early. Yes, folks. I have finally gotten back to waking early. Ian is sleeping for longer spans of time, so it is way easier on me to wake up early now. By waking up before the rest of the family, I can have my devotions, get a mile in on the exercise bike, and get my cleaning items done for the day.

Plan. Plan. Plan. By planning ahead of time, I don't have to figure things out on the spot. And by spending a few minutes in the evening preparing for the following day, it actually saves more time in the long run.

My physical planning time is after the kids have gone to bed. I can go into the kitchen and prep the coffee pot, make Brian's lunch, take the meat for the following day's dinner out of the freezer and put it into the fridge, etc.

My paper planning time comes after that in the living room. Paper planning for me is getting lesson plans done for Addie's homeschooling (weekly), preparing the daily lessons (nightly), review my schedule/plan for the following day, meal plan (weekly), go over my Sunday school and Puggles lessons (weekly), etc.

For example, Sunday is our really busy morning. Saturday evening, I set out my clothes and the kids' clothes, iron whatever needs to be ironed for all of us, set out breakfast bowls or cereal bars, set up the coffee pot and put or mugs beside it, pack the diaper bag, and have my bag with my Sunday school lesson by the door. Sunday morning runs rather smoothly for us.

Mommy (aka. Me) keeps track of the calendar. In my Mommy book, I keep a monthly calendar where everything gets jotted down- appointments, field trips, events, family outings, church commitments, etc. That way I know if we have to say no to an invitation or if I can fit one more thing in our day. As a general rule, I try not to schedule more than one event or outing in one day on week days. Just my preference.

Clean one room and wash one load of laundry per day. I have a schedule of which room(s) gets cleaned and which load of laundry gets washed per day. Everything stays kept up.

If you take it out, you put it away before taking something else out. This is not just for the kids. By picking up after ourselves throughout the day, we don't get to the point where we are overwhelmed by a big mess to clean up at the end of the day.

If it stays out after you have gone to bed you lose it until Saturday. This is just for the kids. I have a box on our bookshelf that anything that is left out goes into. Believe me, very few things end up in the box.

Meal plan. I do my meal planning on a week by week basis. Looking at our main calendar helps me determine what meals would work on which days, which days would a crock pot meal make life easier, etc. It helps not to have to stand in the kitchen at 4:00 p.m. and try to figure out what we are having for dinner that night.

Have a daily routine. Children tend to thrive on schedules. Knowing what to expect makes life more secure for them. It helps us as adults as well. I like knowing what to expect in my day. I know

Do the dishes! I hate doing dishes. But I love an empty sink even more. Whether it means doing the dishes after every meal or keeping your dishwasher available for dishes, having an empty sink helps keep the kitchen feeling fresh and clean. I don't know why. It just does.

For me personally, this list gives me more time with my kids during the day and more relaxed time with my husband. I don't spend my whole day cleaning and picking up, and I don't spend my evening dreading all I have to do the following day.

Have a wonderfully smooth Monday!

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