Thursday, June 23, 2011

household management (2) organising your day and using lists

More ideas for household management, with thanks to Valori, Soph, Alison and Catriona.

  • Have a VERY simple morning routine e.g. get dressed, do beds, dishes, laundry. Once you've done that you'll feel more on top of things and ready to move to the next thing.

  • Prepare food in the morning (dinner, sandwiches, snacks) and clean up afterwards. That way you go from mess to neat rather than the other way around, and you have food on hand throughout the day. Slow cookers can be a great help with this.

  • Lists are great when you're feeling overwhelmed, when you can't think of what to do next, or when your day needs routine and structure. For example:
    • A rough, daily 'to do' list that you jot down in the morning, pray through, and work through.
    • A permanent everyday list to laminate and put on the fridge. Include tasks like cooking dinner, washing clothes, and cleaning up after meals (don't forget me-time and playing-with-kids time and kids' quiet time).
    • A list of what needs to be done when you're feeling overwhelmed by the mess. Put simple, achievable items on it e.g. 'make beds', 'put clothes in washing machine'. Tick items off one by one. Don't worry if you don't get it all done.
    • A list of those little jobs that you keep forgetting about (e.g. tidy that messy drawer, mend those pants, clean out the fridge) to look at next time you have a spare 5 minutes and can't think what to do.

    How do you organise your day? What's your favourite kind of list? Tell us here.

    You can follow this series here.

    image is by Aunty Cookie from flickr


    Meredith said...

    What's your favourite kind of list? Well, there's a red rag to a bull if ever I saw one!!

    Can I tell you about my book of lists? I can't function without a list. I've been like that forever. Which can mean that I have several lists on the go at any one time. Which can be dangerous if there are too many scraps of paper lying about the place.

    So in recent years I have taken to having a notebook on my kitchen bench. A5, spiral bound, $4 from the local supermarket, nothing fancy. And I write my lists in it.

    My TO DO list for the week. Which usually includes all the weekly preparation I need to do (Sunday School, Scripture lessons etc), people to email, people to ring, people to write to and then all the things that need my attention at some time during the week. If I am not making much progress and feeling overwhelmed then yes, I add "cook dinner" and then proudly put a line through it when it is done!

    And then if we are going on a holiday the packing list gets written in the book. There is also the list of possible holiday locations and other holiday planning.

    The list of things I need to take to school/church/an event.

    The list of books I'd like to read. On-going and added to frequently. Added to faster than items are struck off.

    The list of present ideas as inspiration comes to mind.

    The list of blog post ideas.

    And I just scratch things out as I go. It's pretty untidy but in between the scratchings out it makes for interesting reading when I get to the end of one notebook and have to start a new one.

    I also use this book to write down phone messages, prices from quotes, those bits of info you get off the phone or the internet... Basically everything that would otherwise go on a scrap of paper goes in that book.

    The result - no more scraps of paper. And it is the "no more scraps of paper" that increases my efficiency in the organising and outworking of my day.

    Lists a good. A whole book of them...glorious!!

    Julie said...

    I have 3 very small kids (just turned 3, almost 2 and 6 months). Everything in our house revolves around meals and sleeps!

    We have the simple morning routine (breakfast, unload dishwasher and breakfast clean-up, room play time while mummy showers, gets dressed and has a quiet time, kids get dressed, make beds, hang a load of washing). This happens the same way every weekday. After that, we rotate a different "job" for each day of the week (e.g. Monday - dust, Tuesday - floors, Wednesday - bathroom, Thursday - tidy/ declutter or ironing, Friday - floors again)

    We go out most mornings, even if just for a walk, but we have Bible study one day, play-group one day, usually a play-date with a friend another day...

    We are home by 12pm for lunch then rest/ sleep time for 2 hours. I try to do a bit of dinner prep while the kids have lunch. I have a short sleep/ lie down for about 20 mins, sometime in that 2 hours if baby allows it.

    After kids get up, we have afternoon tea, play outside (while I bring in and fold washing), short play time together, then TV time while I finish dinner off.

    I am blessed that my husband gets home by 5:30pm for dinner/ bath/ kid's Bible and prayer time and bed.

    I grocery shop quickly after church on Sunday mornings while my husband waits in the car with the kids (the bigger kids have a snack and books to look at to keep them occupied). I can do it pretty quickly with a list prepared. I just couldn't do weekly grocery shopping with all 3 kids in tow!

    Because I do these things in such a similar way every day/ week, I don't use a written list - it is almost second nature. I keep lists and a well-used calendar for odd jobs (e.g. return library books, pay bills).

    I totally concur with your first paragraph Jean - once you are showered and dressed, everyone is fed, and a load of washing is hung out, everything feels much more manageable!