1 – I get up before my child. Sometimes it’s only five minutes, other days it’s an hour, but that quiet time before I go and get him from his room is so helpful. I brush my teeth, make the bed and just enjoy some peace and quiet before the wild rumpus gets going.
2 – I clean pretty much every day. My house is never 100% clean, but it’s also never 100% dirty. I vacuum several days a week, dust on other days, and do bathrooms on yet another day. I’ve found that this system keeps my home from ever looking grungy, and when I am cleaning I don’t have to think too hard about it because I’m not swiping away at 3 weeks worth of dust or a week’s worth of Cheerio and pretzel crumbs.
3 – I spend 20 minutes or so each night picking up and putting away clutter. People who know me wouldn’t guess it, but I’m a big clutterbug—I think that’s one of the occupational hazards of being a mom. I get interrupted in the middle of so many things and often I don’t get back to them until later in the day—sometimes after my son goes to bed. Taking the time to pick up out of place items and put them in their place is a great way to make sure the next day gets started on the right foot. I also pick up and organize my kid’s toys every night. Now, “organizing” those toys might mean picking them up off of the floor and tossing them into a bin, but his play area gets tidied up every single night. De-cluttering our home only takes 15-20 minutes, and I feel so much better once the clutter is gone.
4 – I do laundry 3-4 days a week, and often start it at night before I go to bed. I HATE folding laundry. It’s drudgery. To keep the drudgery from being so drudge-y, I do smaller and more frequent loads. I also will often start a load at night and move it to the dryer in the morning. Somehow that feels like housework that does itself.
5 – I buy all of my groceries on-line. This requires some planning. I usually outline what meals I’d like to make for the week and then purchase the ingredients I need for those recipes as well as pantry staples like flour, milk, etc. Here in Asheville, I use Harris Teeter. I sit down (often after my child has gone to bed and my husband and I are watching TV) and spend about 20 minutes filling up my on-line cart and then I schedule a time to pick up the groceries at the store. And get this—I don’t even have to get out of the car to pick them up!! I roll up to the drive through (with my son in the car) and they bring everything out to me. This has made my life 1,000 times easier. There’s no more impulse buys while wandering the aisles, and I never have to open something (and subsequently purchase it) for my little one to eat while we shop.
6 – I do a lot of things at night. This is includes packing lunches, showering and picking out my clothes for the next day. My son attends a morning program a few days a week that runs from 8am – 12pm. I’m required to send both a snack and a lunch for him. I’ve found that our mornings run much more smoothly if I can prepare and pack both his snack and lunch the night before. If I choose to shower at home instead of the gym, I always shower at night after my son goes to bed. I also pick out my outfit for the following day. Again, all of these things make my mornings run much more smoothly.
7 – I put almost everything in the dishwasher. I do a lot of things myself, and I love being a “homemaker”. However, I don’t want to spend time washing dishes. I really, truly suck at it and I don’t want to worry about whether or not I got all of the food off of a plate or a glass. So, just about every dish, cup or utensil goes into the dishwasher. I do hand wash our knives, pots and a few other things, but outside of that—IT GOES IN THE DISHWASHER! If something doesn’t survive the dishwasher, it wasn’t meant for our home. RIP. I also don’t bother emptying the counter dish rack until everything has air-dried on it’s own and I feel like doing it. HA.
8 – I still use a day planner. Even though I’m no longer scheduling work meetings or lots of appointments, having a paper calendar and a daily “to do” list is really helpful to me. Fewer things slip through the cracks.
9 – I skip any of these tasks as needed! 🙂 Sometimes it’s just not happening. While all of these things make my life easier, I also give myself permission to skip any of the above items. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s fun every once in a while.