Routine is the name of the game over here lately. Before we begin with the routine though, there is something you need to know about me.
One tip to change the game
I hate clutter. Hate it. Clutter is the enemy. You don’t need more storage boxes. You don’t need more time. You need less stuff.
Throw. It. Away.
That’s my big cleaning hack for you for the week. Throw it all away. If you aren’t going to use it this month, you probably don’t need it. If it’s on the floor, and has been for a couple weeks, you don’t need it. If it’s gone through the wash three times, but has not been worn, you don’t need it.
Once you throw away the clutter, get into a routine.
The Morning Routine
In the mornings, I wake up around 5:30 to get some blog work done, and by the time 6:00 hits, I am turning on all the lights in the house and waking up all the kids. Technically, I could let them sleep a bit longer, but the truth is I like for them to be dressed, and at least in the process of eating breakfast before the sitter arrives.
I feed Peanut right about this time as well, and on a good day he’ll go back to nap, or hang out happy in his swing while I get ready. On a bad day, he won’t have this, and I either need to wear him, or have Bug cuddle with him on the couch.
Before I leave for work, I move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, and start a new load of wash. I set the clean clothes in a basket (or, um, on the bar). Ideally, I would fold them at this point, and sometimes I do, but at the very least, I keep the laundry moving.
In the morning I also have Bug unload the dishwasher, and we take out the trash if it’s needed. I try and give the downstairs a quick once over to make sure things are picked up, because I really want the sitters to be comfortable, and not trying to wade through a mess. If we were particularly slobby the night before, I may call it a ponytail day, and take more time to pick up the house, and less time for my hair and make-up.
While I am at Work
The kids have chores they do daily, and I think this makes all the difference in the world to keeping the house manageable. The sitters are awesome, and encourage the kids to get their work done (and, from the looks of my clean house, and the yummy smell when I get home, they chip in on the housework too).
-Clean the kid’s and downstairs bathrooms (I clean the master)
-Unload the dishwasher for the day
-Clear and wipe the dining table after meals
-Take out the trash as needed
-Wipe down the cupboards when they are messy
-Sweep under the table after meals
-Keep the upstairs hallway clean
-Keep the toys upstairs/put away toys downstairs
-Help with the kitchen cupboards
-Pick up shoes off the floor and put them away
-Pick up groceries at lunch if needed
-Call to check in with school (as much as possible)
Luckily, most nights when I get home from work, the house looks pretty good (seriously, best sitters ever).
Some chores I do in the evening:
-Start a load of wash (keep it moving, keep it moving!)
-Start the dishwasher, hand wash anything that doesn’t fit (so you can unload it in the morning and start fresh!)
-Sweep the kitchen and dining room floor as needed
-Wipe down the counter tops
What do I *not* do
Go ahead and judge, but I have a list of chores that I really don’t bother with during the week. I don’t make the beds (although it would be nice to come home to a clean room). Sometimes, my bedroom is a disaster (I try to lock the door so no one notices). There is a pile of papers on the bar top that will probably live there forever. There are finger prints all over the mirrors (my 80’s house has mirrors everywhere) and glass doors.
These things can totally wait for the weekends/four months from now.
The truth is, right now, we are still in survival mode. When you’re starting something new like this, the best thing to do is get a basic routine going. For me, I can survive if the laundry is done, the dishes are clean, and the floor is tidy. Those three things are my sanity savers. You may have different priorities, but once you pinpoint the basics, make a plan for them and get it done.
It’s okay if for a while, the only thing you do well is getting the dishes done each night. It takes time to get into a routine and make it a habit. We still struggle with this one on the weekends when we cook more and get lazy. We’re getting better over time though! I am hoping once all of this becomes easier for us, we can add more to our routine, like actually getting the laundry put away constantly, or having the beds made.
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