finding normal, Homemaking

Finding Normal Week 3: Routines

good-morningsunshine

The struggle is real. Waking up early, going to bed late, being tired all the time. Even when you try your best to get to bed at a decent hour there is just so much to do and so little time to do it in or hey maybe you just want to watch an extra episode of Netflix. Whatever the reason it doesn’t make dragging yourself out of bed in the morning any easier. This week we are going to talk about routines. And the first and probably most important is to get in a waking and sleeping routine. I am a night owl. I get so much more done at two in the morning than I do at nine. Unfortunately, working away from home tells me that staying up till two is no longer a real option anymore.  Another reason I stay up late is simply because I just don’t like going to bed. I mean why do I need to sleep anyway it’s such a waste of time! Yeah reality, you have to sleep whether you want to or not. Getting in the routine of an actual “bed time” will greatly improve your quality of life and your overall attitude. Now everyone is different. If you don’t have a day job then staying up late won’t really be an issue. However, most people, even those who despise mornings know that waking up early leads to a more productive day. Starting your day off right is the key. In order to do that we are going to back track to the night before and start with bed time routines because when everything is in order the previous day then you’ll have a much more relaxing morning.

Bed Time Routines

Everyone has their own bedtimes. Some go to bed at 9PM and some go to bed at 2AM. No matter which group you fall into the key is to make sure you’re going to bed at the same time every night. Now fun fact! If you go to bed before midnight (even just 11:30pm) and you wake up at 4AM you will feel more rested and relaxed, then if you go to bed at 2AM and wake up at noon. Now don’t ask me what it is called but there actually is a science behind this and I have tested it multiple times and it is (for me anyway) a proven fact. I don’t know how it works but somehow the hours before 12AM count as more hours. Weird I know! So if you are a smart cookie you’ll try to get to bed before midnight. Having a set bed time doesn’t mean you have to fall asleep at exactly that time. It means you need to be in bed, relaxed and comfortable ready to go to sleep. Now a big important thing about bed time routines is to do as much as you can before bed so you’re not stressed in the morning. Find the things that stress you out in the morning and try to get them done the night before. Here are some examples:

Showering-If you have to much to do to get ready for work then shower before bed instead of in the morning. It will save you some time and you won’t have to spend an extra half hour blow drying and fixing your hair.

Find your stuff- I lose my shoes ALL the time. I lose my keys, I lose my wallet, I lose my phone. I am usually running around looking for all these things while counting the seconds as I run late for work. FIND YOUR STUFF! The night before just take the extra time to find everything. Make sure your wallet is in your purse, you have BOTH shoes and your keys are where they belong so you can just calmly gather everything in the morning and not wonder what you are forgetting.

Pick out your outfit- Somehow when I wake up on time I still end up being late because I “have nothing to wear.” Picking out your outfit or picking at least two options can be helpful to having a relaxing morning to getting out the door.

These are just a few examples but the idea is to get things ready for tomorrow so you can have a more relaxed day. Set the coffee pot up so you just have to push a button, have the dishwasher already loaded so you just have to push a button. You get the idea lol. Nightly routines of tidying up, and getting prepped for the next day is a huge part of having a successful and productive morning.

Morning Routines

So now your mornings should be a little less stressful, but you still need to implement a routine. Starting your morning with Bible reading and devotions is always important for a happy day! It is very important to do family Bible study but having personal devotions is incredibly important. I value my time each day with God to calm my spirit and prepare me for the day ahead. Always make sure you’re finding time to spend in the Word. If you can’t find time in the morning, spend time on your lunch break. It doesn’t have to be an in depth study every time. The point is to make time even if you just read a short passage. Having a set time to wake up is vital to a good morning routine and the kicker is you need to keep to that even on the weekends (you can sleep in a little but don’t go over 2 extra hours). The reason is because it gets your body into a routine. It will make you wake up less tired and grumpy in the morning because your body is used to it. I am soooo not a morning person but I have found when I am consistent with my waking up I feel better. I may be a little tired but I don’t feel like a crabby frustrated human as much. If you can try to wake up and do some exercise. Get your blood flowing and energy going! Make a cup of coffee and relax. I personally feel like an important aspect of a good day is to have a relaxing morning! Point is set a routine for your mornings so things just run smoothly and you don’t feel like you’re running around like a chicken with her head cut off.

The most important part about routines is to NOT live by them. Setting routines is important, keeping them is good, living by them is stressful! The point of a schedule and a routine is to help you structure your day. Not to give you a flawless plan that when something doesn’t happen at exactly a certain time the whole day falls apart. Always keep in mind that life is life. Be flexible! Try to keep the plan but don’t make it so necessary the very thing that is supposed to help you just stresses you out. If you don’t get the laundry done by 7 that’s okay! Do it now. Finish it. The point of a routine is to make your life less stressful. If you are more stressed…you’re doing it wrong.

A big part of setting routines is making a to do list. This can be as vague or as detailed as you want it to be! Here are two examples

Vague

Wake up

Daily Devotionals

Exercise

Make Breakfast

Start laundry

Tidy up

Detailed

5:00AM- Wake up and start the coffee pot, a load of laundry, and put the dishes in the dishwasher away if you saved it till morning.

5:30AM-Daily Devotional

6:00AM- Exercise (we will have a series on setting an exercise routine soon)

6:30AM- Toss the laundry in the dryer and start it. Shower and get ready for the day. Wake up SugarBear.

7:00AM- Breakfast for the humans and the dogs (don’t forget to put the dishes in the dish washer)

7:20/30AM- Feed the fish and leave for work

I am more of a detailed person so I always tend to lean that way. However, if the detail makes you feel to stressed if you get “behind schedule” then just be vague about it and use it as a guideline of things you need to do. The goal is for you to feel productive and accomplished not stressed and like a failure because you didn’t start something on time.

So now that we understand the importance of having routines for ourselves…let’s talk about routines for the house.

Routines for the House

First things first for creating home routines, divide and conquer. In other words, separate your house into sections. The sections are generally obvious but writing it down and making a plan is still very helpful

Sections

Kitchen

Living Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Laundry Room

Game Room

Guest Bedroom

Guest Bathroom

Now how many sections depends on your house. For us, we only have one bedroom so I wouldn’t need a section for the guest bedroom. If you have more than two rooms then you just add them and can work from there.

General Cleaning Routine

Okay so now we know our household “sections” but we aren’t going to get them all clean in one day…unless you have a really small house. So now you need to set up a general cleaning routine by daily, weekly, and monthly.  Example:

Daily

Make the beds

Clean the kitchen (keeping the dishes clean and put away/counters wiped down etc.)

Laundry Basket Tidy up

Hang up clothes (laundry and stuff that is just lying around)

At least on load of laundry (to completion: as in washed dried and put away)

 

Weekly

Vacuum/Sweep

Dust

Wash Sheets

Clean the toilets/wipe down the showers

Take the trash out

Go through the fridge and get rid of bad food (bring a rage so you can wipe down sticky bottles and spills while you’re there)

Monthly

Wash the windows (inside and out)

Deep clean the kitchen

Deep clean the bathroom

Get rid of spider webs in the top corners of the ceiling

Clean the fridge (Like take it shelf by shelf and actually clean the fridge)

Beat out the rugs

Wipe down the base boards

Clean behind the furniture.

As you can see we got more stuff the longer out we went. And that is the general idea. We want our daily chores to be simple and few so we aren’t spending hours a day cleaning and scrubbing and not enjoying life. Here is an example calendar plan to getting it all done.

 

Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
01 02 03 04 05 06
Vacuum

Dust

Clean the Toilets Wash Sheets

Go through fridge

Trash

 

07 08 09 10 11 12 13
Deep Clean the kitchen

Clean the fridge

Vacuum

Dust

Clean the Toilets Wash Sheets

Go through fridge

Trash

 

Wash the Windows

Get rid of spider webs

14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Vacuum

Dust

Clean the Toilets Wash Sheets

Go through fridge

Trash

 

Deep clean the bathroom
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Vacuum

Dust

Clean the Toilets Wash Sheets

Go through fridge

Trash

 

28 29 30 31
Wipe down base boards

Clean behind furniture

Vacuum

Dust

Clean the Toilets Wash Sheets

Go through fridge

Trash

 

         

 

That is just a generalized calendar for the month. You can move your weekly schedule around and mix up what you want to do or you can set it up so you have a set day every day that you accomplish the tasks. The point is to have an idea of when you are planning on doing your cleaning so you know what to plan for that day. And as you can see not every day is a cleaning day! I mean you will still have your daily cleaning but if you are keeping up with it then it shouldn’t take much time out of your day.

Routines and schedules are important but don’t feel like you have to live by them. If something comes up it is no big deal. Go on that spontaneous outing. Take time for yourself and just say I am not doing it today and move it to tomorrow (obviously this is not to be used every day lol). Life isn’t about schedules but having them can make your life much easier. Ask your husband or kids to help you out if you are feeling overwhelmed with it all. Most importantly know that it is okay! You are not a failure as a mom or a wife if you didn’t vacuum the house or finish the laundry. Spending time with your family is always so much more important. Never feel like you are not a good house wife just because your house isn’t June Cleaver ready 24/7. I know it is difficult sometimes to not feel that way because so many other ladies may seem to have it all together. But remember it doesn’t matter. Being a good wife/mother isn’t about the cleanliness of your home. It’s about the time spent with loved ones. The lessons taught and learned. The safety and love that the home provides. I get it your mother in law may be coming to town or maybe your OWN mother is the one who comes over and is all I can’t believe your house looks like this when all you have is a spoon in the sink. It can be difficult when you want to please the people you respect and are seeking validation from. Remember though that at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter if your sister has a cleaner house or your brother’s wife’s third uncle’s cousin’s sister is the world’s most organized person. Your house is not their house and though we all want to live in a clean home don’t let the opinions of others dictate your worth. You are valued and you are not a failure just because something is out of place. Never give up just because someone may be looking down on you. You’re valued and loved by the Most High King! So keep up the good work. Keep trying and know that no matter how many times you may have to start over it is okay.

I hope this week helped you discover a good routine and also encouraged you in your endeavors and knowledge that a clean house is something to work towards but not live for. No matter how organized or completely disheveled you may be it is okay and you can get a handle on everything as long as you never give up!

What are some areas that you struggle with when making routines? Do you prefer a check list or a detailed plan? Do you ever compare yourself to how well others can “keep it together?” Leave a comment below or email me at maryannapartlow@gmail.com.

Don’t forget to like my facebook page to keep up to date in your news feed and you can always follow me on twitter and Instagram! As always thank you so much for your support!

 

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