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WOTHM: Do you have a routine?

4146 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  bent
Ever since I switched from working in the banking industry, the husband switching to seconds, and adding the Moo Cow to the family, I have been feeling really overwhelmed. At the bank, due to working at least one Saturday a month, I always had at least one half day off during the week and I'd use that day to deep clean the house, run errands, etc. Now I feel like I am just constantly playing catch-up.

Do you have a routine or a set list of tasks that you complete each night? Any tips or advice?
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I'm on maternity leave now, but I definitely have a routine while working.

Your kids are still little, so it may be quite different, but this is what works for me.

When I get home from work, while the kids are doing their homework, I empty out their lunchboxes and go through their school papers. I prep dinner during this time, so that when it's cooking time, I can just pop it in the oven or on the stove. That is if I haven't used the crockpot, which I try to do more often than not.

Then, after that is done, I do a quick sweep of the house for anything that needs to be put away. Believe it or not, Patrick, who is 7, loves the Swiffer and so, he'll pop on a cloth and do all the hardwood floors, pretending he's a janitor or a cowboy riding a horse, or whatever else he comes up with. Does he do a perfect job? No. Does it help? You bet.

In the morning, before I go to work, I toss in a load of laundry, so that when I get home, I can switch it to the dryer and I take it out after the kids go to bed and fold it while watching something on tv.

Any errands that need to be taken care of, I do on my way home from work. I hate to have to go out again, and I don't want to spend my entire weekend running around like a crazy person.

As for the rest of the cleaning, I do it here and there when I have a chance. I've learned not to drive myself crazy with perfection. Clean enough is clean enough.
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I started Your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home when my oldest son was 5 yrs old. You MUST start with baby steps or you will get overwhelmed. When my 2nd baby boy came along I was so thankful to have some routines in place to keep me on track. It really does feel like playing catch up all of the time w/little ones around.

Here is my morning routine (10 yrs of doing this):

Make bed
Get dressed "to the shoes"
dishes (reload dishwasher)
reboot laundry (throw a load in)
What's for dinner?
Check calendar

It may not seem like much but it sets the tone for the rest of the day and I always get more done this way.

My Weekly Home Blessing (sometimes it takes me two days):

Vacuum (one rug)
wipe off fingerprints

* I clean the bathroom while I am bathing my youngest child

After you get used to doing this you can add Zones. Flylady concentrates on one zone per week and gives you "missions" or chores to do each day to deep clean that area.

You can also add an evening routine whenever you feel ready.

Lay out clothes
straighten up kitchen counters
pack lunches

I hope this helps. It keeps me pretty much on track. And when I do fall off the wagon, it isn't so hard to catch up.

**I did all of my housework with my baby in a sling**** What a sweet memory.
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it is a tough balance! like amy, clean enough is clean enough! cant make yourself nuts! pickup and straighten a room a day? just a thought. nobody wants to spend all wknd doing errands. i do not work out of the home, so i do my errands during the day during the week, so i cant help there! when i did work PT outside the home, i did errands on my way home.
I never had time to run errands on the way home as I could just barely make it to day-care before the cut-off time for pickup. I used to do whatever I could during lunch, but I didn't work near any grocery or department stores - I'd do things like go to the pharmacy, gift shopping, banking, etc. I also did any sort of planning, list-making, etc. during lunch. Groceries had to wait for the weekend.

I put laundry in the washer in the mornings, and then in the dryer when I got home. That was about the extent of my cleaning during the week.

I know most other people were cleaning a little here and there all week; wiping out the sink while they were in the bathroom, tidying up in the evening, making their beds in the morning... I never did, every Saturday I got up and cleaned the house. I just couldn't do the evening cleaning, I am exhausted at the end of the day and once I sit down for supper it's all I can do to just stand up again, I have nothing left in the tank for cleaning.
i get up- i go to work - i do a FT day of work ( visit wise ) before 2pm i pick up kids from school -i run carpools- start dinner- run more carpools -help with homework if needed finish up paperwork for work anc collapse into bed .

cleaning wise- i tend to do alot monday afternoon to get the house back organized after the weekend - but that can change with the weather - how busy i was that day if i worked the weekend etc -how my fibro is acting .

somewhere between child # 5 and my fibro diagnosis i kind of stopped keeping set routines as i felt i was just setting myself up to feel like i was failing when i couldnt keep up with what i wanted to do on certain days.
Another Flylady fan here, although after 7 years I still don't have routines written down (don't tell!).

My biggest hints:

The load of laundry a day thing really works. Sometimes I will start one in the morning and go home and lunch and move it to the dryer, sometimes I just do one load after dinner.

Make sure that the dishes are taken care of before going to bed.

After that, I go through phases of packing lunches the night before, making cleaning routines, having DH help - but it's always changing and evolving.

The biggest thing for me was when DH shifted schedules, and now he get DS up in the morning and ready for school. Having someone else do that for me is a real life saver, since no one in my house is a morning person.

And for running errands - this may not be possible with your job, but I have a whole hour for lunch, and I usually either go home (I live 10 minutes away) or run errands like making it to the bank, drug store, etc.
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I don't have kids, just ran a business 1 hr away...but here's an idea or two. Put a scrubbie in your soap dish under the bar soap in your bathroom. You can get used to running your soapy hands around the bowl, swiping with the scrubbie to get anything nasty and rinse your hands/the bowl, and the bowl's clean. If you have time try putting a chamois in your bathroom, when the mirrors are steamy from your bath, wipe 'em off with that, it cleans them and gets rid of the moisture.

Try going thru your recipes and draw a line between prep you can do beforehand and what has to be done just before serving. For example, mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. If you're like Amy you can do that in the evening; I was never that organized. I did it early in the morning, I got up 1/2 hour earlier to set up dinner, do ironing, etc.

What helped me the most wasn't flylady, it was breaking the jobs I needed to do into small pieces and figuring which pieces I could do. Some of these, like the bathroom stuff I've done for years, some of them I mostly don't do any more, but have. Use the time you've got, you'd be amazed at how much you can get done in the 1 min your coffee is warming up in the micro, or...?

I hope something in here is helpful!

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Some time ago, I started keeping a daily "to do" list and crossing off each thing as it got done. (I keep it on the computer, in my FV blog and restart it every day.) Not only does that keep me on track as a reminder of what still needs doing, but over time, as the routine things got added, subtracted, etc, I started to find the pattern that worked for me. I move things around on the list to fit into what part of the day I am most likely to get them done. It took a while, but my list now almost reads like a schedule from AM to PM, and I usually get at least 90% of it completed.

Every morning, I look at the list, edit it for things that need to be done that aren't routine (or deleting things that I did the day before that weren't), and then start crossing things off. :)
Routines are so hard for me. I just can't seem to keep them going for more than a week or so.
I have very simple routines -

roll out of bed, make the bed
get showered, wake up James, get dressed, make coffee, out the door.
One day a week I run errands on my lunch hour - get gas, stop at the bank, go to Walmart, pet store, etc, sometimes I hit the grocery store.
end of day, pick up James and head home
I eat dinner (which was made on the weekend) while he either plays or starts to do homework
I empty dish drain and then I wash new dishes and put in dish drain, wipe down the counters, etc.
Help James with homework, read a book or two, good night James.

After he is in bed I get my lunch set up for the next day, packed and in the fridge, set up coffee so it just has to be turned on in the morning.
I straighten up the kitchen, living room etc.

This is my Monday - Friday routine very simple, very basic.

Saturday morning as soon as I get up I start coffee and start the laundry. I sweep & vacuum the entire house, clean the bathroom and basically move on. In the summer, I add in cutting the grass, hedges etc. I also try to cook a couple of meals on the weekend, this varies as to what day dependent on what plans we have. I pack meals in individual servings so I can just grab them at night when I'm setting up my lunch and just throw in the microwave for my dinner. (this also cuts downs on dirty dishes that need to be washed and put away during the week)

I find that picking up after yourself and your family every day helps keep things at a respectable "mess" level.

I don't freak out about house work. If I have company coming I tend to do more of a deep clean but other than that its sweep, swish & swipe and move on.

being a single mom and being out of the house for 12plus hours a day, I just don't have the time to spend on house work. I've made peace with that a few years ago.

LOL...the way I look at it, if DCF showed up, what would they see?
They would see the house of a single working mom, who loves her son and all of his basic needs are met and somewhat exceeded.
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Thank you so much for sharing!

I've started making a daily to do list again. Originally my daily to do list also had my oddball to do list included in it, then I would start feeling overwhelmed because it seemed so huge. I started a daily list as well as an oddball list of things to do. That has been helpful. I have a few things I want to do each day, but I am also including one additional task.

Thanks ladies!
Oh gosh yes, I'm a very routine person. Even the routes I walk around the house are purposeful. I also have a basic morning list (used to be on paper, now on iPad) that I check before leaving to make sure I did it all. Usually I attach a time to each event to help me stay on task.

Its extremely detailed because I will forget even something daily such as taking my prescriptions if I am not careful and focused.

Now that I've picked up a part time job its become even more extremely detailed because I have less time.

Here's the morning:

5:30 a.m. Wake up, take pills, shower, dressed, let dogs out (turning on computer as I walk by) start microwave for coffee on way to bathroom to blow dry hair. Blow dry hair, freshen up stuff, grab coffee on way back to let dogs back in. Sit at computer for 15 min until 6 a.m., turn off computer feed dogs. While dogs are eating, do morning dishes. Let dogs out, throw lunch in backpack for work, gather up techy toys, straighten up table, sofa covers, let dogs back in. Kennel up dogs, lights off, lights for small animals on, shoes on, head out to car and if trash day take trash to alley on my way out.

There's no sleeping in allowed. hahahaa!

Most of my prepping is done the night before, such as laying clothes out, packing my lunch to the fridge so its easy to grab in the morning, things like that.

Between job shifts I feed the small animals, check mail, spend time with dogs and teen if she's home. Find something to eat, if I don't already know what I'm having but so far I've been good about cooking or at least thinking ahead, I have a 2 hr break between jobs. I could clean but I feel its more important to be available to my dogs and teen.

Most of my actual house cleaning has to be on my days off which is 4 p.m. Friday through 7 a.m. Sunday and then again after 11 a.m on Sunday until Monday morning.

I think its really important to just keep UP. Don't put off those dishes because you're tired (or in my case, want just 5 more minutes on the computer) because it will sneak up on you like a ninja cat.
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Everyone has great advice, one tip that will really help you out the most is, when you have one full day off, go through everything you own and get rid of everything you do not need! Donate it or take it to the dump, leave it on the curb ect. Decluttering and getting rid of excess stuff is the easiest way to start keeping the house clean. Do kids really need 100 toys, are half their clothes in their closets too small? I had clothes from like 6 years ago and finally realized id never fit in them and donated them all. I felt so much better. A full day purge really feels good! I'm really thinking of becoming a minimalist just for this reason of keeping the house
each night: dishes, pu living area and room (each is responsible for their own), laundry (if a load was done), wipe down bathroom (i keep a towel to wipe down the shower- and a bottle of joy dish soap to swish around the toilet), cull 12 'items' (works out 4 thngs per person in my house as do 8) once a week. keep laundry baskets in each person's room for dirty laundry once it's filled wash/dry/fold/return to be put up.
lay out tormorrow's outfit/accessories, fix tomorrows lunch if possible, check calendar for bills due.
morning routine: wake, get kids up for school, dd has to walk buddy every morning, start school (ds is home taught), check errand list and pass along something to dh. lay out items for b'fast(m-f usually cereal, oatmeal, muffins, s-s waffles, gravy biscuits, pancakes-or cereal), lunch, dinner. off to work-

delegate - age based chores even dh has a list of things to do.
I too follow the Fly- just love her to pieces. it took me a while to understand that her guidelines were just that;) since I love lists also (love prepping visually- take photos then go make list from things needed doing)-this helped me when I reorganzied my kitchen.
I made a master list for each room (and for a while it was taped to the light switch-so anyone working in that room could ck something off), my children are now 14/12 and they can earn money or game time. for a while back in the day, toys ran rampant then I wised up- they both had/have one 'bin' that fits under the bed. any and all toys must fit in that -they don't have large items anymore, we take turns sweeping, mopping (although ds is showing more interest at this point than dd about learning "well your going to die sometimes mama and I need to know how to do it.') cleaning bath, vacuuming.
give your dh/so a list of errands to do on the way to work.

oh just saw the date on your OP... and you asked about specific tasks - what ever dh didn't do with the list you left him for when he woke up. going on the premise that he works 3-11 time frame he could when he gets off work reboot the laundry (if your doing load a day) can fold a load while he's decompressing from the days work..., if he wakes at 8am or 9am then he can do misc errands- paying bills, shopping (even if he whines and begs no to he can) vacuum, cooking he could put a meal in a slow cooker so you don't have to worry about that before he goes off to work... thus saving you some time/effort. make kids (how old?) keep their toys up- when mine were little I would hold their toys for ransom *if they left them laying about.... usually had to help me fold clothes, put away clothes, dust at their level/reach. then they could 'free' their toy. every six mths we would 'donate' the toys they were tired of- and bring out a new set out of their closet/bin. same with clothes only at 3mth intervals for everyone in the house... my nightly list is this: cooking meal (kids clean up if they don't help), wiping down stovetop/counter, a load of laundry(one load per person, towels are done on the day ds's laundry as he has the least amt of clothes, bedding is done along with mine as I have the next fewest clothes- dd she gets a day all to herself for her 'street' clothes and her uniforms) I line dry or hang on the over the door hanger- we iron as needed but neither show interest in learning so febreeze wrinkle release is used when dd forgets to set out her outfit for school.
again depending on the age of your children you could make them a 'journal' with pics of age appropriate tasks... sticker rewards (a wks of all stickers gets to have icecream, or donating toys earns 2 stickers)... make games for them to 'beat' mama- who can sort socks, fold washclothes, dust the room (my two loved this game i'd set the music to play for 5 mins we each had our 'cloth' and we dust danced around the room. sadly, I am no longer allowed to dance seems since they are older it bothers them) since if I can't dance I can't dust- ;),
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