This month is all about our households and how they run and operate. We started by focusing on a key fact that everything in your house needs a “home”. If you want to be able to find things easily there has to be a place that you know is specifically for that thing. If the house is organised, and things have a place to return to, regular tidying can be a realistic task rather than an overwhelming drama.
Earlier in SYL we talked about planning and routines in general, now I want to focus on them in terms of your household management. There are many different ways you can implement effective systems and routines, but I want to emphasize that any systems need to be done consistently and work for you. You need to find your own ways that work and you can tweak as you go as systems and routines evolve over time and change and grow with you and your family.
Think of this week as starting to create a toolbox for your household.
We will cover cleaning next week and paper / information management the following week so for today we will focus on routines in other areas. Figure out what home routines you currently lack, but think could simplify your home, make life easier and suit your personality.
Below are some household routine ideas – I am in no way suggesting someone have all of these, they are just ideas to get you thinking. You may think 1 or 2 of these ideas could solve some of your current issues and aim to explore them further. For example if the evening meal is one of the most stressful parts of your day you could maybe finally give meal planning a go for a month. If you are forever running to the shops you might want to try a full pre-made list where you check off what you need as you go. I find these so helpful as looking them over often triggers me to quickly check on things like how much toilet paper we have in the house so I don’t find myself running out mid-week.
In the kitchen you can explore:
- meal planning
- pre-made grocery lists
- set up online grocery ordering / deliveries
- create a well stocked (and possibly inventoried) pantry and freezer
- having a weekly clean out of your fridge before you grocery shop
Looking at your time management and pre-planning you can:
- use a planner / diary to track appointments, kids routines and deadlines
- create and use checklists for anything you do regularly including: travel (from weekends away to camping trips), outings (ie list of what to stock in your nappy bag / daypack), gift giving (present stash, cards, important dates, reminders, etc), holiday cards and planning essentials, babysitter information, baby routine)
- book appointments in advance / bulk where possible including: pets’ vet visits and vaccinations, kids vaccination appointments, eye checkups, annual/quarterly things (pest inspections, blood work, gynecology checks, etc), reorder dates for things like contact lenses or prescriptions, follow ups with doctor
- prepare the night before for the next day for school/daycare/work /outings (packing food, laying out clothes, gathering things taking with you, checking schedule/diary, packing bags, etc)
For household planning and family communication:
- have a weekly review and planning day for yourself (look at diary, meal plan, set goals / MITs, plan self-care, etc)
- have a similar check in with your other half if you have one (weekly or monthly): coordinate your schedules, go over upcoming events on the calendar (work or personal), plan date nights / babysitting needs, decide any household “to-do”s you need the other to handle, long term planning
- family meetings – depending on kids ages you could have regular meetings to go over issues that anyone has, plan social things, handle allowances and chore assignments etc
The main point is to spend this week looking at what systems or routines you currently have.
- Are they working for you?
- Are there areas of household management that are stressful for you and could be tackled with a new or revamped routine?
- What do you do over and over again, but continually wing it and reinvent the wheel? Often setting up a regular system for something can ease your stress and save you so much time yet only takes minutes to create or set up.
Challenge this week: Examine your household’s routines (or lack thereof) in the areas above and find 1 or 2 systems or ideas that you will work on implementing and tweaking to suit your home. They need not be major, they just need to be relevant and helpful to your situation. Look into them further if need be and come up with your own plan or way to tailor this to your home.
If you have no/few systems and want to implement more than 1-2 add them in slowly in the future. We will be talking about habits in week 30, but the biggest mistake you can make is trying to build 5 or 10 new habits all at once.
Find your simple,
Link up posts for week 26 or any week of the simplify your life challenge here:
Image credit: Home sweet home print from etsy seller Katie Daisy