I love it when my household runs smoothly, don’t you?
Full disclosure: Even though I enjoy exploring ways to maintain order in my home, I’m a self-proclaimed paper hoarder and piler. This might explain why my husband is constantly rolling his eyes at the piles of clothes (clean and dirty) located in our bedroom (and the laundry room…and the bathroom) and piles of paper and other random treasures which can be found on our household desk.
With teens in the house, this is a simple case of “do as I ask and not as I do.” I am hopeful that I will grow up someday, but I am certain my husband isn’t holding his breath while he waits. Luckily, he humors me when I announce, “I am bringing back my Household Notebook and we will do ALLLLLLLLL the things!”
The Household Notebook
My husband isn’t familiar with how great this notebook is; after all, this is the first time he’s hearing about it. I used it with great success in earlier years, long before he and I met and fell in love and became ‘hubband and wiff.’
During the early 2000s, I took notes from Cynthia Ewer and her glorious Household Notebook community at OrganizedHome.Com: Clean House, Cut Clutter and Get Organized at Home! As a stay-at-home mom with a newborn baby, I was eager to be the homemaker because, outside of my longing to be a teacher, that life was everything I had dreamed of as a little girl. I wanted my home to be open to friends and family to stop by anytime and, through her ideas and community, Cynthia helped me to be a better wife and homemaker during that time.
Somewhere along the way, I lost the desire to do all that.
The ups and downs of married life – and, subsequently, single-mom life – devoured any desires I had formerly, to make my house a home.
Instead, my home was a disaster.
I struggled to motivate myself to complete chores as simple as doing the dishes and vacuuming my carpets. My pets and kids took over my home so much that my sister-in-law made comments about it.
Do you feel like that now? Are you struggling to keep your family (or yourself) on track with your chores and household expectations? I can help!
I’m a full-time student and freelancer with a husband and our blended family. Here’s a snippet of my household notebook and personal schedule, and where I’m starting with my family TODAY.
MORNING ROUTINE: KIDS
Rise and shine. Wake up on time and make your bed. Get dressed, all the way to shoes.
Bathroom: go potty, wash face, brush/floss teeth, fix hair/face, and tidy up bathroom.
Kitchen: Eat breakfast. Help Mom feed the critters. Put your lunch bag in your backpack.
Think about yourself. Get your coat/jacket/mittens/scarf on. Get your electronic devices from Mom + Dad. Grab your backpack and head out on time!
YOU CAN DO IT!
MORNING ROUTINE: ADULTS
Rise and shine. Make your bed.
Bathroom: go potty, shower, fix hair/face, and tidy up bathroom.
Laundry: Take a load straight to the washer.
Kitchen: Make coffee and start breakfast. Feed the critters and your family.
Think about your day. Take kids to school. Check your calendar for appointments and make your list of what you are going to do today. Check menu planner and thaw something for dinner, if needed. Reboot the laundry (put it in the dryer). Hit the hotspots.
Think about yourself. Sit down and eat breakfast (if you haven’t already). Do morning meditations. 15 minutes of
“free” computer time. Get to work on those school assignments!
YOU CAN DO IT!
When schoolwork is done, reward yourself with 15 minutes of “free” computer time. Get to work on making that blog a success!
YOU CAN DO IT!
AFTERNOON + BEFORE BED ROUTINE: KIDS
Focus on yourself – afternoon edition. Have a snack at the kitchen table while you share assignments with a
parent. Get started on your homework. You may take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes (à la Pomodoro Technique).
Kitchen. Help with dinner/set table. Rinse off your plate and utensil and put it in the dishwasher.
Think about tomorrow before you go to bed. Make lunches. Ready your backpack.
Clean up the house before you go to bed. Tidy your room. Do your chore. (We have a chore list and rotate monthly with our kids: kitchen, trash/bath/pets, and floors.)
Focus on yourself – evening edition. Cool down time: get yourself ready for bed, brush and floss your teeth, take vitamins/meds, put on jammies, have a small glass of water with your snack at the kitchen table. Read for 30 minutes in bed and then lights out!
AFTERNOON + BEFORE BED ROUTINE: ADULTS
Clean up the house before you go to bed.
Living room: pick up and put away things (magazines, dishes, clothes, shoes).
Kitchen: clean it up, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, and run the dishwasher (dinner dishes).
Dining room/entrance: clear hot spots. Review your checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
Think about tomorrow before you go to bed. Check your calendar and/or planner for appointments. Start a To-Do List for tomorrow.
Think about: what can I do tonight that will make tomorrow morning easier – make lunches, etc. Gather up items you do not want to forget and place them in a spot by the front door. Make sure you can see them before you walk out. Make sure children have their things gathered up and put away.
Start breakfast: set table and plan what you are having (make a mental note). If you intend to use the crockpot for tomorrow’s dinner, get some of the things ready – this way, all you have to do is throw it together. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow.
Focus on yourself before going to bed. Cool down time: get yourself read for bed, brush and floss your teeth, take vitamins and other meds, put on jammies, have a glass of water. Reflect on today’s accomplishments: work on your journal, read for fun/to each other, listen to music and relax. Lights out at a decent time.
Overwhelmed yet? Take a breath.
While this is set out nicely, we do not meet the expectations 100% of the time. In fact, I’d be completely overjoyed if we maintained some semblance of a routine with regard to our routines. If it included no back-talk and no pity parties, I’d love that even more.
Side note: if you’re exhausted from battling it out with your teens and their attitudes, I can help you focus on what’s important when you’re in the tough moments of parenting.
You have to start somewhere and someday, friend – why not right here and right now? Share your thoughts on the idea of routines in the comments below; whether you are a stay-at-home mom or otherwise, I’d love to hear from you!
Ready for more? Check out How I Simplified My Entire Life (In Two Weeks), by Catherine Burket.
At FindingWeProject.com, Desiree Townsend uses her real life stories as a mom to inspire families with teenagers to build strong family ties. Despite being a self-proclaimed paper hoarder, she enjoys exploring ways to maintain order in her home. People see her as the girl next door, the friend. She believes in: being kind, working hard, developing solid values, staying down-to-earth, being accessible. She also believes in a well-used Household Notebook. Desiree’s voice is friendly, humble, honest and (mostly) practical. She strives to create real connections and friendships with her audience by sharing “normal” parts of her family’s life with you, and she’s sincerely interested in hearing from you! You can find Desiree at Facebook or Instagram.