If you have a lot of excess, you might need to let go of two things for each new thing. Letting go is sometimes hard for children. They have favorite clothes and toys. Just keep encouraging them to let go of things that are worn out or outgrown. Set the example by letting go of things you no longer need.
We teach our children from books, but we also teach them through living life. Having a balance between book learning and real-life learning will help your children be ready for adulthood. My goal has always been to ignite a love of learning in my children and give them the tools to find the answers they need. Even as adults, we are still learning.
Of course, when I had babies and toddlers in the house, I did not get up that much earlier that they did. In those years, I tried to get up 15 minutes before they did. This gave me time to go to the bathroom and have a cup of coffee.
Most of us have had the experience of barely being able to go to the bathroom alone once we have children, and it’s nice to not have little ones banging on the bathroom door or sticking their hands under the door. Now, I do have to go to bed at a decent hour if I want to get up before the children get up. If I am staying up until midnight, it is harder to get up before the children get up.
Exercise DVD’s and online videos are awesome for early morning workouts. Having a treadmill or elliptical machine in the basement or garage also makes a great way to work out before the children are out of bed. After I exercise, I get my shower and start a load of laundry. Then, it’s time to wake the children up and start their breakfast. Then we are all ready to start school after their morning routine and breakfast time.
By starting the night before with laying out clothes and putting things needed near the front door, you can have a smoother exit from the house. You will also want to get up before your children, but you might only get up 30 minutes to an hour before them to get your morning routine accomplished before you get them out of bed.
Over the years I have talked to a lot of women about home organization, and how hard it is for them to maintain a clean home. When we start talking about outside activities, we discover that it is difficult to keep home cleaning routines in place when the schedule is so busy.
Lots of outside activities equals less time at home. If activities keep you out of the house several days a week, it is hard to get the laundry done from start to finish on a regular basis. Piles of laundry start forming, and if it is not getting folded and put away, you will likely find clean laundry in the midst of the dirty laundry.
A basic cleaning schedule is also hard to maintain. You will have to be creative with the time that you do have at home to keep the laundry done and keep the house clean. You will have to use a teamwork approach. Everyone needs to pitch in and help. A huge help in keeping your home clean is to ask each person to pick up behind themselves.
If you have too much stuff, you need to declutter. If you have a place for everything, it is easy to put everything away. If you have perpetual piles of stuff to deal with, spend 5 minutes a day purging. Keep a box in your car at all times with items to donate. When you have a few minutes to declutter, take the items to give away to your car immediately. That will get it out of your house.
If you schedule is so busy that it stresses you out daily, consider dropping some things from your schedule. I have limited outside activities for the past two years, and my stress level is so much lower. My children are happier, too. They have enjoyed the slower pace to pursue things they enjoy, and they have been able to do that from home. The goal to have a clean home and less busy schedule is the peace that it will bring your family.
I am not perfect. My house is not perfect. My kids are not perfect.
My goal is for us to make forward progress each day. Some days we stumble and fall. Then we get back up and try again.
If you have problems getting motivated to bless your house because you don’t have time or energy or want to do it perfect, I want you to tell yourself, “Good enough is good enough.”
By this I mean, if you do a quick dust of your house, that it is good enough. You don’t have to move every single thing to dust every week. Dust around your decorative items. Once a month, you can do a detail dusting and move the decorative items around.
You can use this same philosophy with vacuuming the house and sweeping. Hit the high traffic areas once a week. Once a month, do a detailed vacuuming job. That’s when you move furniture and get underneath your furniture.
Once a week, do a quick mop unless you have small children. Then you might need to do a quick mop daily, if they are in the floor a lot.
How about the bathroom? You can do a daily wipe down of the shower/tub, sinks and counter, and clean the toilet in less than 2 minutes. I have timed myself. I do this every single morning after my shower. That means no more deep cleaning my bathroom.
Everything I have talked about above boils down to setting up routines and making small steps forward. The goal is to just do them, so there is time to have fun and enjoy life! Once you get into these habits, you can do them in minutes a day or in a minutes each week. It’s all in your perspective. Banish those negative thoughts.
Over the years, I have learned to pinpoint those routines that we do daily that are necessary to life, such as eating and drinking. Then, there are other routines that are important, such as a daily bath and brushing your teeth twice a day. After that, there are lots of routines that will improve your quality of life and bring peace into your life.
The routines are our guide, but there are times and situations when you revert to the most important routines and the extra little routines you enjoy might go to the wayside for a bit. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in your routines that you are a slave to them.
Mine are, as follows:
- Set up the coffee pot and set the timer.
- Look at the calendar, so I know what I am doing the next day.
- Check the weather.
- Lay out my clothes.
- Make sure my sink is shiny.
- Check the menu plan for dinner the next day and move frozen meat to the refrigerator to start thawing.
- Lay out anything I might need if I am leaving the house early.
- Wash my face.
- Brush my teeth.
- Go to bed.
It would be very similar if I have a job to go to every morning. My morning routine starts before I wake the boys up. This means I get up very early in the morning, but I prefer it that way.
My morning routine looks like this:
- Get up.
- Make Bed.
- Bathroom stuff.
- Eat breakfast.
- Quiet time.
- Check the calendar.
- Shower and get dressed.
- Clean bathroom.
- Start a load of laundry.
- Lay meat for dinner out to thaw.
- Feed the boys.
- Start school with the boys.
They also get dressed and brush their teeth and make their beds. It really moves along like clockwork. I have taught them these routines since they were young. I rewarded them for becoming independent and helping around the house. While they are doing school, I generally do little things around the kitchen and laundry room that keeps me close for help with their schoolwork.
I do have designated teaching times with them, too. We all know just to do the next thing on our lists, whether it is schoolwork for them or house stuff for me. I have certain tasks around the house that I do on certain days of the week. Each person has a designated laundry day for clothing and bedding.
I finish up laundry, and I do any cleaning or decluttering that I did not finish in the morning. I often run the dishwasher in the afternoon, so it is ready to fill up again after dinner. I do one or two loads of laundry per day. The boys help with this task. It’s harder to make a list for my afternoon routine since it is so varied from day to day. The main constants are preparing food and laundry.
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