Have you ever tried line dancing? Now, it’s been decades (literally) since I last went line dancing. But I will never forget the perfect harmony and motion of everyone else, and the constant stumbling of me. I didn’t know the moves and kept going the wrong direction at the wrong time. I’ve been told that once you get the hang of it, and learn the basic flow, it really starts to get easier. Organization is similar in that it’s all about finding a flow for your day, creating routines, forming new habits and getting into a “groove”.
This is another hard rule for me, but one I really need in my life. It’s sometimes hard for me to add structure to my days and weeks. The spontaneous girl in me wants to rebel! However, with a busy household, I find that it’s necessary to have consistency with certain aspects of our days and weeks.
My hubby’s schedule is different from week to week, so we’ve had to adapt. But overall we try to assign major tasks to certain days & daily tasks to certain times of the day. Keeping to this routine helps to ensure that things get done. There are two things that tend to plague our family — laundry and dishes!! So, we’ve used this “grooving” rule to help us get things done.
Here's what it looks like in our house:
- Mondays=Big Kids’ Laundry Day: My big boys do their own laundry, and do my 5 year old’s as well. They get paid $1 each to do his laundry in one day (wash, dry, fold & put away). If they take two days, then it’s $.50. If they take more than 3 days to finish their laundry or his, then they start owing me money. 🙂 This is the only job I pay for. We are currently teaching our “big-boy-in-training” to fold his own laundry — I’m thinking this will incentivize my older boys to learn how to help with the girls’ laundry.
- Tuesdays=Bed Sheets Washed (every other week): Everyone strips their beds, and we get the sheets all ready for our cleaning lady. Yes, I admit it, I’m in a season where I have a cleaning lady. She comes every other week and gives our house a good cleaning. But as you can guess, we have to work hard to keep it clean in between her visits. Somedays you can’t even tell she’s been here if we don’t work to stay on top of toys and dishes.
- Wednesdays= Girls’ Laundry: Right now I’m doing their laundry, but the goal is to train the boys to help.
- Thursdays=Towels & Trash: All hand & bath towels are washed and put back in place. Trash cans throughout the house emptied and all trash bins taken to the curb. This job often gets assigned as a consequence when needed. 🙂 Otherwise, the boys trade off with this job. &, yes, some times I just do it — but not because I needed a consequence. 🙂
- Fridays=Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping Day
- Saturdays=Parent Laundry Day: This is my day to get through my 2-3 loads that my hubby and I accumulated throughout the week. The spitting phase of babyhood has made for more laundry to wash.
- Sundays=Ideally this is our Sabbath Day, but sometimes it’s my catch up day.
This basic routine has saved me tons of time — and my sanity in many cases. I find that if I keep up with my laundry and do it weekly, then it’s easier for me to keep on top of it. Less to fold and put away. It is really simple to get very behind with laundry. I’ll talk more about our laundry routine in another post — but until I write about it, check out the Periscope I did on my laundry tips below!!
What’s made us most effective with our dish pile up is thinking through the best time to empty the dishwasher and making sure to run it accordingly. There will always be times when it’s full and has to be run, but we try to run it at night after dinner dishes are in. This way the dishwasher can be emptied in the morning with our morning chores. If mornings are too busy for you, then maybe start it after breakfast or lunch and have it ready to empty when kids get back from school or before dinner.
Our morning and evening routines are similar in that we try to do the same thing every morning and night. Some mornings the boys love to plop down on the couch with a book, especially when they are nearing the end of a good book. Tyrant mom that I am, I usually ask them to finish their morning jobs before reading. I know that sounds crazy. A love of reading is a good thing!! I’m okay with them reading. Of course, this is highly encouraged in our home. However, our whole day can be thrown off if we are waiting for someone to finish their morning routine. So, experience has taught me to encourage them to complete all their morning responsibilities, then plop and read. 🙂
Our morning routine is fairly basic: get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth & do hair, do their devotions (big boys have their own devotions & I do a small devo with my littles), and finally piano practice. We have to space out piano, so there is not a wait. My oldest usually goes last at the piano. This is also the time of day when they do any chores that need to get done like dishwasher, trash, or starting laundry. The goal is to get all morning jobs done by 9am when the baby goes down and school begins. There are lots of days that this has to get switched up a bit, but we try to stick with this.
When I find that I’m not getting to things, like phone calls, paper work, and even my own devotion time, I take a look at my days and see where I can schedule it. Then I focus on making it part of my normal routine. This helps me to get to things that would otherwise leave a pit in my stomach because they aren’t getting done. Recently, I noticed that piano practice was getting forgotten too much, or only being remembered at nap time (nap time & piano practice don’t go well together). So, we moved practice into our morning routine.
So, that's how we implement this rule. Just don’t forget that it never hurts to add a little shimmy to your steps as you go throughout your day! So, keep grooving, my friends!
Great Book Tips!!!
- One of my favorite books for home management is Large Family Logistics! Whether you have a few kids or a mess of them, this book is a must for any homemaker!! My copy is loaded with lots of stars and underlines. Unfortunately, this book's publisher went out of business, so copies are hard to find, but worth the search!
- Large Family Homeschooling is one of my new favorite recommendations. It's by my sweet friend, Amy Roberts. It's so comprehensive. She did a fabulous job!
- The Organized Homeschool Life by ever so organized friend, Dr. Melanie Wilson, is another book to be sure to pick up.
- A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family. It has lots of great, practical tips for any size household.
**Oh, and before you ask, the answer to the question in your head is, “No, we don’t pay our kids for chores.” This is our personal conviction. We are trying to get our kids to understand that hard work is a habit worth learning and learning it will pay off in the end. So, we only pay for help with younger siblings' laundry.
Stay tuned for Rule #4=Clear the Clutter!
Just joining in on this fun series?
You can click below to learn about the other great “rules” you missed out on.
Introduction to M.O.M.
Rule #1: Don't Forget Your First Priorities!
Rule #2: Baby Steps!
My Laundry Tips!
I did a Periscope with a few of my best laundry tips. I'm getting ready to re-record it for YouTube. I'll be posting it here! If you are interested in seeing that video, please be sure to follow me HERE on my blog or on my YouTube.