In fact, one of my biggest goals for 2017 is to implement small daily systems that make a huge difference around my house.
I didn't realize how much routines helped my daily life until they were gone. I used to do one load of laundry each morning, and didn't realize how great it was until the twins were born and I stopped. Dirty clothes were piling up everywhere, I could never find time to fold the clean ones, and we were starting loads at 11:30 p.m. that needed to be clean and pressed for my husband's presentation at 7:30 the next morning.
So I'm going back to basics and implementing systems at home. These are little things that streamline my workflow as a mom. (My business school husband is always telling me about workflow and supply chain and how to optimize our time by streamlining our at-home processes. It's so great. He helped with some of these!)
All these little routines add up to a happier, more efficient, low-stress day. Instead of panicking when I realize it's 6:45 p.m. and I have no clue what's for dinner, I'm creating a system of planning family meals and shopping ahead. Instead of sending my husband to the store for baby wipes or toilet paper at midnight, I'm creating a system to stock up on the essentials so I always have them on hand.
And to think, it only took me 27 years to not run out of toilet paper in the middle of the night.
1. HOUSEHOLD CHORES
There are about a million cleaning systems and chore charts for adults out there. Try out a few and find one that works for your family. Some people love the 15-minute charts that guide you in a few chores each day. Some people deep clean one room per day and move through the house in the course of a week.
We're still finding the perfect system for us, but we do a few small things that make a big difference. We always start the dishwasher before bed, even if it's not all the way full, because we love having clean dishes and an empty sink in the morning. We also do a 10-minute clean up before scriptures and bed with the kids, because it makes me so much happier relaxing at night without fighting Peppa Pig for couch space.
2. STOCK UP ON ESSENTIALS
Once every three months, we go on a MAJOR shopping spree for all household items. We get cleaning supplies such as window cleaner, laundry detergent and dish soap. We get toilet paper and paper towels. We get non-perishable foods in bulk that we know we'll eat. We get baby formula and wipes and TONS of diapers. It's a multiple-cart, large-bill shopping trip. But then we love the next three months of never rationing the toilet paper or trekking to the store for dish soap at 10 p.m.
Pro tip: Sam's Club is now offering a 2 Month's Supply of Huggies® Little Movers Diapers. And I do mean two months. The box is gigantic, but it's totally worth wielding a large box for a minute or two to see stacks of clean diapers filling the twins' entire closet - and extra money in my bank account too. Sam's Club also offers free shipping on select baby items, awesome subscription options, and club pick-up. See more advantages of owning a membership here, and find your nearest Sam's Club here!
3. COORDINATE YOUR FAMILY'S SCHEDULE
This is a new thing we've started, and I've been amazed how much it's helped. Once a week (on Sunday nights) we sit down and schedule out our week. What nights does Sam work late? When will I do our weekly grocery shopping? Do the kids have special appointments or parties or doctors visits this week? When are we going to get this big project done?
It really only takes about 10 minutes, but avoids lots of frustration when we inadvertently block out time for two things at once, usually on Saturday mornings when we both assume the other person has nothing going on.
4. STREAMLINE MEAL PLANNING AND GROCERIES
Sometimes I dread meal planning, but I make myself do it every week and I'm always so glad. Spend time writing out a menu (we do weekly, but I'm in awe of the people who do monthly menus and lists). Find the combination of new recipes, old recipes, and easy schmeasy meals that work for you and your family. Make a grocery list and schedule a time to go.
Pro tip: If stores in your area offer free grocery delivery or pick-up, DO IT RIGHT THIS SECOND. It saves so much time and effort! (A little birdie told me Sam's Club offers this service too for its members.)
What would you add?
Daily routines that help your household run smoothly?