I love homemaking.
I enjoy most of the tasks surrounding my home; I enjoy cooking and baking, I love cleaning and making my house smell nice.
I just enjoy being home.
My home is my most favorite place on earth to be.
One thing I’ve noticed about my home is that there are two things that contribute to the atmosphere that influences how my day runs and how my family responds:
- My attitude
- How orderly and organized my home is
I put attitude first on purpose, because truly my attitude sets the overall tone in the home.
If I am anxious or cranky it fills my home with insecurity and unrest. When I allow the peace of God to rule in my heart and fill me with joy, it fills my home with stability and happiness.
But having an organized home greatly contributes to that sense of stability and joy, as well.
Making sure my home runs with a consistent routine with scheduled times for cleaning, meal preparation, school work, and my own online work.
When I just “go with the flow”, nothing is done well and the kids don’t feel as connected with me.
Here’s the thing, I must have a routine since my husband works 3 rotating shifts, my oldest son’s school runs on 2 rotating shifts, and my youngest son goes to Kindergarten at an odd time 2 days a week.
My home is like a set of gears, everyone going at different times and speeds, and I’m the hub – I need to make sure it all runs smoothly and everyone leaves on time.
I guess you could call me the Executive of my home – that is what I feel like most days.
While surely some women would resent so much responsibility on their shoulders, I love it! I love being here, at the hub of the family activity, and knowing that it is my responsibility to make sure it all runs smoothly.
We’ve been on winter break, but now it’s time to get my homemaking back in order, the schedules running smoothly, and my home humming with precision.
7 Quick Tips To Make Your Home Run More Smoothly This Year
1. Have your quiet time first thing in the morning
Remember the quote by Martin Luther on prayer? This is where that really comes in to play. My heart needs to be ready for the day.
I have so many hats to wear in one day. I have 4 different schedules going on any given day, and I need to keep them all straight: so my husband has all he needs for work, my children are picked up from school, my family is feed and clothed, and my clients needs are met.
Its a lot of responsibility, and if my heart gets ruffled, if my emotions are out of control, and if my thoughts begin drifting to negativity, it can all go downhill rather quickly.
There is no better start to my day than my date with the Lord. Without that I get tunnel vision and my focus becomes more on me and less on the needs of the people God has called me to serve.
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2. Do the mental tasks before kids wake
Whether it’s preparing for a Bible study I’m leading or writing a blog post, I have found that doing my mental tasks right after my devotions is the best time.
My thoughts are fresh, I am not interrupted with a million questions as to “Why Grandma and Grandpa don’t have any children”, or requests to help build a Lego set.
3. Stick to routine
Some do well with a schedule, we have found a routine works best for us. There are so many variables in our day. Some days we have speech therapy. My husband has odd days off during the week. Literally anything can happen to completely turn our day on end.
However, if we have a basic routine we follow, we’re not committed to time slots. We can be flexible.
This routine has helped to give stability to our home. But there are certain things that are set in stone: Lunch time (our main meal of the day) and bed time.
It is rare that these get moved, and there must be a good reason for them to be moved.
It does sometimes mean that we don’t attend certain activities, but it’s important enough for us to have consistency in these two areas – especially bed time. And we don’t have any issues with our kids going to bed on time or staying in bed once they get there.
4. Make a chart or list for each day
I know there is a craze with planners, I’ve never found them to work well for me.
I have a simple spread sheet I’ve made: one for the routine that we follow when my son is in morning school and another for the routine when he is in afternoon school.
On this spreadsheet I put down literally everything that needs to be done in our day: including taking vitamins, making beds, and brushing teeth.
Each week I print this out, I write in what our meals will be and any additional work I need to do for clients, and then each day I cross off the tasks as I do them.
This is the method I’ve done for years and it works so well for us.
There are two things I’ve found essential to my list:
- Highlighting the most important tasks so they get done first.
- Planning my meals ahead of time.
I try to do my grocery shopping and meal prep on the weekends so that I have less to worry about during the week.
Another thing I have tried is Loop Scheduling.
5. Don’t get sucked in by social media
This is huge, you guys. Huge!
There are five things I do to keep from getting sucked in by social media:
- I have the Kill My Feed Chrome extension enabled. This keeps you from seeing your Facebook feed at all. I only disable the extension on the weekends after my client work is done.
- I use the “Ignore Messages” feature on Messenger. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but I get so many messages each day that I find I must put everyone but clients and family on ignore and then check my filtered messages once a week to answer them.
- I have all notifications on my phone and tablet turned off. There is no dinging and no numbers next to the apps. This doesn’t tempt me to be constantly looking at my phone or tablet. Plus, it keeps my anxiety levels low, since having numbers next to my apps is a major stressor for my type-A personality.
- I don’t check my phone first thing in the morning. I turn my alarm off, put my phone on my desk and walk into the kitchen where I make my coffee and pray.
- I set times of the day when I can check into my Facebook groups. I cannot be available to my family – the ones I’m called to serve first – and be available to the rest of the world at the same time. So, I’ve put that expectation to rest.
6. Give yourself breaks
No one can run from morning to night without a break, and trying will not only wear you out, it will cause stress in your body.
My husband has taught me the value of this.
When he’s home, he will say, “Make us some tea and let’s sit and talk”. Our kids love this, because it usually means they get screen time while mom and dad have their time to chat about everything and nothing.
We sit at the table, kick our legs up on the empty chairs and just talk. It is very relaxing and a very necessary connection between the two of us. I really do look forward to those little breaks in my day.
7. Give yourself permission not to be perfect
Can I tell you a secret?
It doesn’t always go the way I plan. Some days it just all falls apart, and I fall apart, and the whole thing is just messy.
Some days the kids have too much screen time.
Sometimes I’m cranky in spite of my best intentions.
Some weeks the house has enough crumbs on the floor to feed an entire 3rd-world nation.
Some times my husband has to go riffling through the overflowing ironing basket to find a shirt he almost forgot he had.
Some days I’m rushing about frantic and anxious and looking forward to my kids going to bed.
There are days when it wont be perfect: you wont be perfect, your husband wont be happy with you, your kids will be wild and crazy, and your house will look like it should be condemned.
You know what?
Give yourself permission to be okay with it for now.
It wont always be like this. After this storm blows over, peace will come and things will fall right back into place again.
If you give yourself permission to be messy once in a while, it will make the messy times far easier than if during the storm you grow anxious and stressed because of the messiness.
Most times these storms can’t be helped and the messy part of life is not in our control. So, if you can’t control it, all you can do is roll with it and be flexible until its over.
How about you?
What are you doing to help your home run more smoothly this year?