I think I’ve gotten as close to a fine-tuned way of running my household as I can because you know chaos is unpredictable and we live there… But for the time being, we have it “figured out”. As the kids grow the flow of the household will also have to change. Which is fine… It’s fine we will cross the bridge when we get there. That being said. I want to share with you how we a family of six, run our household.
No one is going to want to hear this, but I wake up early by choice. Gross, I know. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I wouldn’t change that for almost anything. It sucked at first, but it gives me a chance to work out and shower or just sit in silence by myself. Enjoy a HOT cup of coffee yes, a hot coffee. Not something you hear often I know, but yes it can happen. Now, what is the point of me telling you I wake up early by choice? Well, it’s because I find that when I do start the day before anyone else in my house, the day for me goes much smoother. Which is the goal right?
So we woke up early now what? Enjoy the silence, my friend.
But no, seriously, do what you will with that time. It’s your time to enjoy and indulge in. (I invite you to read my blog post What The Hell Even Is Self-care for ideas on what to do with your new found you time) When it gets closer to the time that the rest of the house wakes up that’s when you have to start the household routine. When the routine starts you’ve already had a head start to the day and are awake so things can move smoothly. In my home, my kids wake up and eat breakfast at the same time every day (unless one of those little hams sleep in) but I know every day that around 6-6:30 am the baby will be up then soon to follow if not at the same time the two older girls will get up. Then around 7 am my sweet Bubs. By 7:30 am they know breakfast will be on the table and the two bigger ones should have gotten themselves dressed. Why? Because we have done the same thing every morning since my six-year-old was about 2 ½ years old. At this point, it’s just permanently in our routine. The rest of the day runs just like that as well, we do the same thing day in and day out no matter if it’s a weekend, weekday, holiday, so on and so forth. (Now if we can’t follow our routine for some reason like not being home or because we stayed somewhere for a night then we adjust.) Routine, at least in this home is crucial, not only do I know that we have a pre-set rhythm to the day, but the kids also know what to expect out of the day. They don’t have to wonder or ask when certain things are going to happen threw out the day. Things like crafts or playing outside of course they will ask when we are doing it. But mealtimes, bathtime, bedtime, and things that don’t change they know when to expect it. They have also come to learn that there are small changes in routine between weekdays and weekends which also makes the transition between the two much easier.
Now onto the other aspects of life. I will be very blunt when I say this. I am very particular with the way my home is kept, and I love to plan the hell out of my life, (if I can) so my family and I know what and when to expect things or find things. Applying this to my life as a mom and “homemaker” (is that word still used? I’m honestly not sure) but I digress. On my fridge is a very pretty cleaning schedule hanging in a plastic sleeve so I can check it off with a wipe board marker, as I go and at the end of the week, I wipe it away and do it again.
This is my lovely cleaning schedule/list. If this is something that sounds helpful to you, I encourage you to print it off and use it or make your own. Sometimes getting things set in the right way can make a huge impact on how the flow of your household goes. When we don’t have things in place, to make sure we aren’t trying to do too much, or not enough we can start to feel overwhelmed or discouraged as a mother or person in general. That’s the last thing we need, so if that sounds helpful, I advise you to try there’s no shame in trying something new to help you. If it works fantastic, if it doesn’t that’s okay too not everyone works the same way. I know that when I was first trying to figure out how to make the flow of my household better I was hesitant to hang something in view for anyone entering my home. What if they thought I wasn’t capable of doing these things and I needed a reminder? What if they questioned me as a mother? However, I decided it was worth a shot to stop falling into a cycle of doing way too much in one day and stressing other things weren’t being done enough or too often. (It turned out those who did see it thought it was a good idea.)
I would love to say that my need to plan and schedule stops there. It does not however, there are still things that I have found I can also plan to make day-to-day life easier. One of which is planning dinner for the entire week ahead of time. Something so small but so simple can make a HUGE difference. This gives you a chance to plan what you need to get from the grocery store, when, and what you need to take out the night before. If you want to cook things ahead of time. (I do this a lot because I know come 5 o’clock I want the things that take the longest to cook to already be done) It can also give you a chance to plan for a night you want to order out. This way you can pick what place before already being hungry and not being able to decide. If this is something you think may work for you here is the Dinner planner, I made for myself again please feel free to print it off, or just as above make your own. (This is also in a plastic sleeve hanging on my fridge, so I can write on it, wipe it off and use it again.)
Let’s call this a “bonus category” around my house I have baskets, boxes, and containers. They are basically in every room in the house, why? Because in most cases it makes clean up so much easier. The kids are also much better at putting things away when they know the spot they came from. Everything has a place, you need a hair tie? White tin on the blue stand in the living room, you need a bedsheet? What size? You will find it in one of the vacuum-sealed bags labelled according to size in the linen closest. I can easily put things away, and they can easily be found. (which makes for telling my husband where something he “can’t find” is much easier too) This also goes for my kitchen and no not just the drawer has this, this, and this in it. If you open my cupboards, you will see my beautiful sorted-out containers and bins full of snacks, ingredients, food you get my point. Now yes, this makes things look aesthetically pleasing BUT it also keeps my kitchen organized and a little less chaotic. I know what we need and am not over buying things. I’m more likely to grab things that would likely to pushed to the back and have a full view of Everything, not just the same “go-to” items. “What about all the stuff that doesn’t fit in the containers and bins?” My dear friend, I’ve got a not so pretty shelf in my basement where all that lives waiting for its turn. It also happens to be where I hide the snacks I don’t want my kids to see. For anyone curious I have attached the link to the bins, I use in my kitchen from amazon. ( PRAKI Airtight Food Storage Container Set – 24PCS, BPA Free – Kitchen Pantry Organization and Storage Containers, Plastic Kitchen Storage Containers Set for Cereal, Flour with Labels & Marker, Black : Amazon.ca: Home )
Now I’m not saying doing all these things will magically change your life. Or that you have to do them to have your house run smoothly because many houses don’t do any of these things, and function perfectly fine. I just find that these things are what works great for us. I am constantly learning and evolving as a person and mother and that means I need to find ways to make our day-to-day life better and easier. These just so happen to be the ones that have stuck for a long time and will probably continue to stick for the foreseeable future in our home. Maybe just maybe, they will work for your household too. I encourage you to branch out to new ways of making the flow of your home work better for you if that is what you think you need. But, remember don’t compare your house and its flow to someone else’s what works for one family may not work for another and we are all just out there trying to navigate through our own lives.
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