Good Wednesday morning friends! I’m excited today to share part 2 of this little 3 part blogging series this week. If you missed it, Monday I shared a little ‘Introduction’ to this grouping and some changes I’m making in the new year. Today I’m looking forward to sharing some things that I do to help me stay organized and on top of things in our home. I’ll be talking about things like: having a cleaning schedule and meal plan, making a master grocery list and some habits that, if you don’t already have, you should! I am FAR from having it all together or being an expert at this thing called life, but I have found some things that help me keep my sanity and keep our home running smoothly!
The very first thing you MUST do, is buy a planner! I’m not fancy when it comes to things, I don’t print everything out and put it in a pretty binder with a fancy cover page…while that’s super cute and a lot of fun, its just not me. A planner where I can write everything down that I need works just fine!! I found this one at Tjmaxx for $7.99 and its PERFECT! The front has each month laid out and then as you go through each month is laid out once again by weeks. It provides space for each day to write notes and has a To-do list and note section on the side! Perfect for keeping me organized! Once you find or create a planner you love, I suggest going through and writing down all of the important dates for the year. Doctor/dental appointments, birthdays/anniversaries, special events and such. Now is the perfect time to make those yearly check up appointments as well!! Once you have your appointments made and filled in lets talk about a cleaning schedule…
Here is my cleaning schedule for each week:
- Monday: Laundry/Vacuum/Wash Dishes/Kitchen wipe down. This allows me to tackle the laundry that has built up from the weekend, sweep up the dirt brought in and you will notice that ‘dishes/kitchen wipe down’ are on each day.
- Tuesday: Dust furniture/Dishes/Kitchen wipe down.
- Wednesday: Sweep/vacuum carpets & rugs/mop (bi-weekly)/Dishes/Kitchen wipe down. I sweep the floors every week, mid-week instead of just vacuuming through. I also mop the floors every two weeks.
- Thursday: Bathrooms/Dishes/Kitchen wipe down. Bathrooms get cleaned top to bottom. Tub, sink, toilet, mirror, soaps filled and toilet paper restocked.
- Friday: Bed sheets/regular laundry/vacuum/Dishes/Kitchen wipe down. I wash our bedsheets every Friday so they are fresh for the weekend. I also do all of the laundry so there wont be any to do over the weekend. (or in hopes that there wont be any to do)
- Saturday & Sunday: Relax, have fun and enjoy family! 🙂 I purposely schedule all of my cleaning to be finished by Friday so that my weekends are open for more important things. Although I do still keep up with the dishes and kitchen!!
I also make a list of monthly cleaning tasks that need done like, wash windows, clean appliances, wash down cabinets (kitchen & bath), wash baseboards/doors/walls, disinfect trashcans…these are just some examples. You can tweak the list to fit your home but, by making a monthly list this will help you stay on top of those jobs that easily get put off or forgotten!! I have my monthly list written out and when I have free time during the week I try to pick a task off the list to complete. I also have a seasonal list which includes things like clean/organize pantry, clean throw pillows/blankets, wash windows/window treatments, clean/purge closet and store seasonal clothing, wash comforters/duvets and clean/organize fridge (throw out expired foods). Again you can create this list to fit your home and you may also want to sit down with your spouse to create a seasonal list for the outside of your home to keep it just as neat and tidy!!
Another way I try to stay organized is by having a meal plan for each month and a master grocery list. Once you have the dates in your planner and your cleaning schedule written out you’ll then want to write down all of your families favorite meals. I usually come up with 16 meals that we can rotate through and I like to add in one or two NEW recipes to try each month. In the back of your planner, or wherever your ‘notes’ section is, make a list of meals you know your family loves. You’ll then refer back to your current week and start filling in each day with a meal. I rotate our meal plan every two weeks. This makes it easy and helps me stick to our master grocery list. We also account for ‘take out night’ which falls every two weeks on payday week! Doing this allows us to enjoy a take-out pizza or burrito and still stick to our budget! Once you have your meals listed you can work on your master grocery list. I suggest doing this on the computer. This will allow you to print a hard copy each time you make your shopping trip. I do one BIG grocery run once a month. Then I only need to pick up perishables in between! Again this will help tremendously with budget and organization. No more frantically thrown together meals at 6pm! Another great thing to try and do is to purposely plan easy meals or crockpot meals on the weekends or nights during the week when you know you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking!!
Ok now to share my ‘habits’ with you. Its taken a little time to make these habits stick but I promise once you do you’ll thank yourself!
- Wake up early: This one may have been the hardest one for me but I can finally say its my most enjoyed habit! I wake up 2-3 (4:30am-5am) hours before my girls wake up. This gives me much needed mommy time! I have time to help my husband get his things ready for work and to do whatever it is I want to do uninterrupted for a few hours. Workout, read, work on a DIY, read my Bible, enjoy coffee in complete silence, blog…I mean really, whatever I want. It gives me time to wake up, do something I enjoy and be ready for the girls when they roll out of bed!
- Make your bed as soon as your feet hit the floor: This is a great habit to form because not only does it help you to complete a task right away but if you don’t see your room the rest of the day, its already tidy because the bed has been made! A made bed and good coffee is the best way to start the day! 🙂
- Nap time clean up: Each day before the girls take a nap or have quite time we clean up. All of the toys are packed away and we make sure their chores are done. This not only helps keep the house tidy but allows me to have another hour or two that I can focus on cleaning or whatever the task needing done may be instead of going through the house cleaning up all of the messes while the girls sleep.
- Daddy clean up: My husband never gets home at the exact same time every day but when he calls to say he is on his way, I know we have 30 min before he hits the door. Once I hang up the phone I announce ‘daddy’s on his way!’ and we begin our daddy clean up routine. Toys are put away, I do a quick walk through of the house gathering things that are not in their proper place and put them away, pillows are fluffed, dishes from lunch are put away and by this time we usually gather by the door just in time for him to open it. Why do we do this?? Out of all of the habits I’ve ever tried to stick with, I have to say this is number one…does it happen every single day? No, there are days that something happens and we don’t get it done but those days are far and few between. We practice this habit because when my husband gets home I want him to enter a peaceful home, not chaos. I want him to know that we are so glad to have him home and I want him to feel comfortable and relaxed as soon as he hits the door. Not stressed out by the pile of toys he has to push out of the way to walk through the door.
- Night time clean up: After dinner I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen while my husband gets our youngest daughter ready for bed (the older two only need prompting). Doing this each night provides a clean kitchen for me to wake up to. Which helps to make my morning run smoother. I don’t wake up to a sink full of dishes needing washed and dirty counters to wipe down.
I think that just about covers all the things I do to help stay organized and keep our home running the way we like it. These aren’t crazy miracle secrets and like I said, I am NO expert! I’m still learning every single day, but I have found things that keep our home and family happy. Our days and nights run smoother, there’s less stress and chaos. I hope that I’ve shared something here today that inspires you or helps you get a little more organized in your everyday life. I don’t do anything off the wall crazy, I just write a lot of stuff down. 😉 I find that having these lists and schedules help keep me on track and I find that I actually have more free time! If you have any questions about something I mentioned today please feel free to leave them in the comments section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
~Happy Reading Friends