There are a few things that we always do each day/week to make our home life run smoother no matter what our schedules look like! In today’s blog, I’m diving into tips that not only make our home life run smoother but also free up my head space, allow me to make progress on personal goals, and use my time intentionally!
If I don’t plan with intention, life gets the best of me. But if I take steps to actively lean into making the most out of my time, I always end the day feeling good and look back on the week with joy and a grateful heart!
It’s also easier to find white space in your schedule to pour into quality time with your family and/or do things that fill your cup up when you have a grasp on your responsibilities. When we didnt have these rhythms in place, it felt like every free moment I had was filled with chores. But by actively repeating these steps each day and keeping myself in check with what I want to get done throughout the week, it inevitably feels like I have more free time to fill with the things that bring me joy.
Tip: Remember that you are serving yourself and your family well when you have routines in place to help your home life flow. Also remember to make it work for your family! Each family is different, so figure out what suites your life/schedules best! For example- on nights that Brad is home, whoever cooks dinner gets to play with Henley while the other cleans up from dinner. It’s a simple routine, and yet SO effective in serving our family well!
Now lets dive in to a few tips/thoughts/rhythms that have helped me stay on top of my responsibilities and put what matters first.
Protect your time together. Above all else, we protect the time we do have together because thats whats best for our family. I realized very quickly after having Henley that we would all feel out of sync if we were saying yes to everyone and not intentionally putting ur family unit first. Sometimes I feel guilty when we say no to a visit or dinner invite, but when we say no its because we know deep down that our family unit needs that time together to reconnect.
One load every day. This is a tip that I learned from Emily Ley and it will change your life. Just one load a day at minimum. That’s all it takes to stay on top of it. I load the washing machine in the morning, put it in the dryer by the afternoon, and then fold/put away at night! Give it a try! I swear it works when you stick to it!
Meal plan/shop once a week. We used to run to the grocery store 5-7 times a week because we failed to plan for meals appropiately. These days I write out every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for the entire week, compose a list of whats needed for those meals along with other items we need to restock on our shelves, and then we shop ONE time. It has made such a difference to be prepared for meals rather than throwing something together at the last minute. It also saves us time and money not running back and forth from the grocery store multiple times!!
Tip: I recently started planning out an entire month of meals at a time. The first of each month, I use the monthly view in my planner to write out one dinner idea for each day. It is a game changer, y’all! And it helps to see the month as a whole so that we can mix in a good variety of dishes instead of eating the same things every week! Remember- You don’t have to overthink this or make it complicated!! I go through my Pinterest boards and start pulling cards from my recipe box and just start writing in my planner!
Clean once a week. Rather than cleaning a little here and there throughout the entire week, I clean our home from top to bottom once a week. We’ll wipe down the kitchen counters at the end of the day and run the vacuum as needed, but everything else is reserved for that one cleaning day. We also do a quick clean up every night in which we take five minutes to pick up anything out of place (toys, cups, cloths, books, etc) and put it back where it belongs. We don’t have lots of clutter and every item has a “home”, so this clean up is always a breeze.
Tip: Again, we don’t have a lot of clutter (step one) and everything has a HOME (step two). When every item in your home has a purpose and a place, clean up becomes 100 times easier/faster and you can stop shuffling “stuff” from place to place each day. Nightly clean ups then become more of a 5 minute maintenance routine because you’ve already done the work of designating a place for everything!
Use your time wisely. I used to say I “didn’t have time to do the things I wanted to do” then I realized I was spending what time I did have on Instagram and tv shows. If you also feel like you don’t have enough time to do the things you want to do or that your household responsibilities are piling up on you, pay close attention to where you are investing your time and choose to be wise with the time that you do have.
Make your goals easier to access. If we want to get something done, we need to be proactive about making it happen!! Want to workout? Schedule it into your week ahead of time. Sign up for the class or block off the time you’ll be exercising! Want to eat better? Keep those fruits and veggies prepped, ready, and easy to access in the fridge. Want to read your bible? Leave it on a table next to your go to seating area for easy access… Then Get creative. No time to read? Get audible so you can listen to books in the car. No time to lean into education? Listen to podcasts while you clean the house. No time for a big exercise commitment? Find a 10 minute program to squeeze in at a moments notice.
A few other thoughts that make our days flow and thrive:
Coffee – My mornings are happier with a warm cup of coffee the moment my feet hit the floor. This only happens when the coffee pot is cleaned and prepped the night before. Program it to brew before you wake up, and “Voila”! Its like a special treat thats waiting for you when you rise!
Lunches – Make lunches the night before. Less things to do in the morning means less rush! Which brings me to my next point…..
Meal planning – as stated above, meals are written out in advance so I never have to commit brain space to “what will I make”. Simply look at the list on the fridge and start cooking!
Dishes – We run the dish washer at night after dinner and put clean dishes away in the morning while Henley eats breakfast. Since the dishwasher is empty, we can load it with dirty dishes throughout the day after meals/snacks so that the sink never piles up!
Outfits – Lay cloths out for yourself and your kids the night before. Again, one less decision that needs to be made in the morning!
Stay on Top of Your Day – Take 5 minutes on Sunday to look at the week ahead and 30 seconds each night to look at the following day. Staying on top of your day and time is key to never feeling overrun by it!
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Those are a few of the things that we do each day/week so that I always feel like I am making the most out of my time and putting effort into the things that matter. I hope that you can find some nuggets of helpful wisdom in the tips above and put them into play in your own life. I’ll see you back tomorrow as we dive into Part 4 and a look at my personal weekly/daily schedule ! Hugs!