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Let me just begin by saying, I HATE spending all day cleaning the entire house. I’d rather spend everyday, doing something, and not fighting with my family on Saturdays and running around like a mad woman trying to get every last thing done on my list. Initially, this was why Fly Lady appealed so much to me. It’s a system based upon “baby stepping” to get jobs done, and you don’t spend every week deep cleaning the entire house. For those unfamiliar with this system, basically, you divide your house into zones, and each week you work to deep clean that one area. The rest of the house gets a quick once over (one hour max), once a week. Here’s where I altered the system: The Living Room, which falls during the last week of the month, always had the least amount of time to spend cleaning it. I hated that- why would you not spend a whole week in the room where the family spends most of their time?
Here are my Zones:
- Week 1: The Entrance and Dining Room
- Week 2: Kitchen
- Week 3: Bathrooms and Kids’ Rooms
- Week 4: Master Bedroom and Hall
- Week 5: Living Areas
Each zone gets a full week devoted to it, rather than breaking up a week with two different zones. This works well because it gives me more time to get it done (which means everything will get done), and I can actually spend my time doing it well. It’s not included on my list, but I clean the laundry room on an as needed basis. I’m down there (ideally) every day, so I pick up, wipe down, and take stock all the time. When it comes to cleaning out the dryer, I usually do that while I’m vacuuming the playroom, since they’re both in the basement.
Click here for my Daily, Weekly, Monthly Cleaning List.
Now for the once-a-week-once-over:
- Sort through magazines and newspapers (Recycle what we’re done with)
- Change bedding
- Empty all trash
- Vacuum floors (Just centers of the rooms- don’t move furniture)
- Mop kitchen and bathroom
- Wipe down mirrors and doors
- Dust furniture
- Organize pantry, clean out refrigerator
After I finish this, I usually sit down with the budget and bills, and also put together my grocery list based upon what we need for the next week’s meals. I try to plan my meals two weeks in advance, so if it’s time to start thinking about the next block of weeks, I do that too.
There you have it. Does it keep the house spotless? Not usually- there’s a lot of people living here. Does it keep it manageable and easier to maintain? Absolutely!
Image by rezamarvashti
Here’s what we’ll be eating this week:
- Monday 9/14: Baked Chicken with Tomatoes (from the garden), onions and garlic
- Tuesday 9/15: Burgers on the Grill
- Wednesday 9/16: Lemon Pepper Pork Chops
- Thursday 9/17: Tuna Melts (Chance’s Favorite) and Salad with veggies from the garden (Not Chance’s Favorite)
- Friday 9/18: Pizza-or-Breakfast for Dinner
Image by algo
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf’s a flower.
- Albert Camus
Image by mquest foto
Today, I want you to brew a pot of coffee, get your favorite mug out, find a book you haven’t read yet, and read.
Forget the laundry you have to do, or floors that need swept. Find an hour of your day when you don’t have to think about anything, whether it is when babies are napping or right before the bus drops your kids off from school.
There is nothing more luxurious.
- A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
- Dubliners by James Joyce
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
Image by Osvaldo_Zoom
It’s 7:00 a.m.. The children are crawling into the cereal boxes, the dog piddled on the floor and your husband is yelling at you from the shower to get him a towel. You just rolled out of bed and slammed your foot down on a Lego fort, there is someone yelling up the stairs about missing homework, and a little one is crying at your feet about a purple shirt that disappeared from the laundry pile.
For many Moms’ this is just the start of another day, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
Mornings, and days for that matter, don’t have to be a mad dash to get the next thing done. With the proper preparation, and (shh!) organization, everyday can be seamless.
This can all be accomplished through daily routines.
It’s 7:00 a.m.. The children are dressed because they laid out their clothes the night before, and they are eating a yummy breakfast of pancakes and eggs. The dog is laying by his food bowl with a full tummy, and your husband is pulling on a shirt that has been ironed. You are completely dressed and ready (no more walking to the bus stop with kiddos in a robe and slippers and feeling ashamed because the other moms’ have lipstick on). Backpacks and lunches are packed and ready to go by the door, and you are sitting at the kitchen table, with a cup of coffee, and laughing with your children.
Let’s start with my Morning Routine:
- Wake-up (Sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m.)
- Get coffee and get ready for the day (shower, dress)
- Read or write until 7:00 a.m.
- Wake up boys and make breakfast while the oldest is getting ready and making his bed
- Make bed after husband rolls out
- Wipe down bathrooms after everyone is out of them
- Load dishwasher and wipe down kitchen
- Throw in a load of laundry (If I don’t have to be anywhere). I try to do a load a day, more about that later.
- Spend an hour or two on chores or Zone Cleaning (Adapted from Flylady)
- What day is it? (See below…I’ll do this in the morning if I won’t have time in the afternoon)
- Play with the kids
- Start dinner and unload dishwasher
- Help the oldest with his homework
- Throw in a load of laundry if I couldn’t earlier
- Finish up any chores that need to get done -or- work on any organization projects -or- quickly pick up the house
- Open and put away mail
- What day is it? This is straight from Flylady. I assign certain tasks for each day of the week:
Sunday: R &R
Monday: Clean out purse
Tuesday: Clean out car
Wednesday: Bills, Budget, Organizing paperwork
and taking out the trash
Thursday: Quick clean the house (Again, like the
Weekly Home Blessing Hour for Flylady. More
on that later)
Friday: Clean out pantry and refrigerator, Meal
Planning (If I haven’t already done it), and
Saturday: Grocery Shopping and other errands
Clean up the dinner disaster: load dishwasher, hit counters and table, spot clean floors
Lay out fresh kitchen towels, get tomorrow’s coffee ready to go
Get boys ready for bed: Bath, lay out their clothes, story
Pack lunch and backpack, and put my the door. Make sure I have everything I need, and that the diaper bag is packed.
Start tomorrow’s To-Do list (I use Simple Mom’s Daily Docket) and look at calendar. Pull anything out of freezer I need for the next day’s dinner
Pick up living spaces
Write or read or hang out with the Hubby
Lay out tomorrow’s clothes and go to bed at a decent time
The key to doing your routines is to make sure that you do them in order so that they become a habit, and that they happen at the same time everyday. Here’s a quick disclaimer: I do work outside of the home full-time, so there are some days that the afternoon routine changes, or I only make dinner. BUT, the morning and evening routines never change because I think they are so important for keeping everything in balance and under control (Oh, I might not do a load of laundry in the morning- like I said before- but it will get done at some point during the day).
What are your daily routines like? Anything that I don’t do that you couldn’t do without?
Next up: Weekly Routines (Including Zone Cleaning)
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Isn’t it funny how your children are better scheduled than you are? Breakfast, lunch, playdates, dinner, homework, bath and bed happen the same time every day, yet, you can’t find time to shower, let alone eat. When you have a baby, you spend hours agonizing over how they will spend their time awake. You make sure that they eat at least every three hours, they nap in between that, and they spend at least thirty minutes a day on their tummies. Later, you schedule in time for learning, playing, and learning while playing.
Why don’t you have a set routine?
Why do you hear about them so much?
Having a set routine is extremely important. Time is precious, and if you know what you are supposed to be doing next, you aren’t wasting it. This, in the end, will give you more time to devote to your children, and, dare I say it?, other interests. This will also teach your children important lessons about time management, productivity, and following through. And, if they see you doing it, there might be less of a fight when they have to complete their routine. It’s hard to motivate a kid to take a shower, brush their teeth, and get dressed when you haven’t done it yourself yet.
I have adapted my system partially from Flylady (Although, I don’t follow that system entirely…), and from what works for me and my home. Over the next few days, I’ll be going over my daily and weekly routines, a routine for getting your house ready for Autumn and Winter. Hopefully this will help you develop your own routines and system. At the end of the series, I will spend some time talking about my Home Management Binder/Control Journal/Whatever you want to call it and how it has helped me to implement my routines, as well as keep everything together that is important for my family and the management of my household.