Friday, August 17, 2012

# Organization

Friday Special- Simple Life Tips

I try and lead a simple life but I also admit I use lots of things to help make my life simple and well I am hoping easy (though that is never the case). I have been seeing lots of great ideas out there on other blogs as well as Pinterest in creating ways to make ones life easier and more simple, so it got me to thinking about what I do in my life in order to make my household run smoothly.

I live in a clean house, laundry is mostly done every day, meals are made (mostly three per day), and I usually have time to craft. I have been asked many times how I do it all. Some of it is just my personality and some of it is that I am one of those highly organized and efficient people. My Mom always says I do things so fast but I do get the job done when I am doing it. Granted I might miss something along the way but honestly that doesn't happen that often.

These tips today are ones I have found make it easier to get the house in order and let us do the things we enjoy doing. This works well for us but i know that it won't work for everyone like it is does for us. It also was something that has evolved over time and isn't something I would tell people to instantly start all of it but do suggest trying them and seeing how they work for us.

Being home all day I was worried at first I would get bored but that is far from the truth. I also worried that I would watch lots of television which is not something I do at all (just look at our DVR which is full of all the things I haven't watched). I did decide in the beginning to have some sort of plan for my day and I have gone as far of actually charting it out. For me it works for while but I have my schedule down so much at this point, it isn't something I use every day.

I also try and keep a clean house and I find when the house is in order, we all seem to feel in order.

Every single day (there are occasionally days this doesn't happen):

-Everyone's bed is made daily. I don't have a set time but I like to usually have them all done by 10 am. I do make the six year old make her bed every day and I work with the two year old as well in making the bed. I also make sure they pick up their rooms every day. I feel that it should be the kids job to help around the house. They tend to feel better pride int themselves when they know they did it plus they also work at not making such huge messes in the first place when they know they have to clean it up.

- I do daily loads of laundry (I even did this when I worked full time). I usually put a load in the morning, switch out around lunch, and than again late afternoon. I have found this really helps to keep the laundry in check. I hate laundry but folding one basket  every day instead of having a mammoth folding session one day a week is so much easier.

- We start the day early meaning we are all usually up (even in the summer) by 7:30 am and are done with breakfast by 8 ish. We also try and shower by 9 am as well so if we need to go out for the day we are ready. I find this to be the best time to get things done. I know it isn't for everyone but studies have shown early risers are more productive.  This is an earlier schedule once school is in session.

-  I clean a little bit every day. I usually sweep and vacuum the house every day. I also do the dishwasher and wipe down the counters. I find this makes my life easier when I do the big cleaning days once a week. This goes along with making the beds and laundry. I spend about 15-30 minutes a day doing all of these things which in the end cuts down the overall big cleaning time (I usually get the house cleaned top to bottom in about 2 hours each week). I also wipe down the bathroom shower and the sinks.


- I do big cleaning where I wipe up the floors, wipe down sinks, toilets and whatever else needs to get down. I also might do a simple wipe down mid week as well. I like the house to smell clean and I hate to smell the pets which I work hard at keeping on top of that Two dogs and one cat plus my thick head of hair leaves lots of hair around the house. I actually have a checklist I created for this (we will talk later about that).

- I plan my meals so than I can plan my groceries. I have found when I plan, I spend less and get the right things. I also created a menu board where I right down the meals so when it comes to dinner time, I don't worry about it. It also helps to pull things out of the freezer to thaw out (I have been guilty of forgetting and than frantically defrosting or changing meal plans). I also love the site Relish Relish for meal planning

- I plan my week out so I know what are down days (ones where we are home) and days where we have things on our schedule. I don't over schedule us at all. I feel that if we were all running around all the time, we would be way less productive. I know those days I run from the moment I am up to the moment I drop are not my best days. I admit I plan for those days in advance. Just the other day we did all of our shopping, errands and such. We all crashed early that night because it took a toll on us. This also includes my blogging as well. I have certain days where I do certain things for the blog. I work really hard at not cramming it all in at one time though I have been guilty of it.


- Have a Family center in the house- that place where bills go, information, and anything else that might affect the family. I created a Family Management Binder. I keep all of our bills, calendars, grocery lists, and act in there. It is all in one access for us.  I have found this to be a wonderful thing to have. Everyone knows to go there if they have a question on schedules or if we need something from the grocery store.

-I also once a month pick an area to tackle like a closet that is upside down (usually the kids) or cabinets. I admit I need to be better in downsizing stuff. I go in spurts and will do it and than I avoid it.

Overall I try hard to not complicate our lives. I limit how much we are scheduled, I work at keeping a steady schedule in the household but also one where the kids can enjoy themselves. We work at keeping our television watching lower but that doesn't always happen.

I hope that this gives you some insight into me as well as why my house runs the way it does. I notice with structure all around we all seem to function better. The kids know what is coming most of the time, they have the freedom to have fun and I get to as well!!!

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