Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rythmns and routines

I've had some growth spurts recently in organizing and managing the house. Some notes on what I've learned, in case I forget them sometime soon and need a refresher course...

PART ONE

When I don't have the time/energy to do a Big Clean of the house, three tasks clean up quite a bit of the chaos: Trash management, dish management, and laundry.

All the trash lying about gets collected. All the little trashes get dumped in the big one and brought out. The trash cans get hosed out with the diaper-sprayer. New bag liners. We're good to go.

Dishes from all over the house get collected and brought to the sink. Step 2 of that is putting them in the actual dishwasher, if there's enough time.

And finally, collecting anything that could possibly be washed: dirty clothes, dish rags, bath rugs, towels, sheets. Run a load.

I can do this in under 15 minutes, but it makes such a difference in the house!


PART TWO

Cooking. I love cooking, but I don't always love making dinner. Those are two very different entities. And on my busiest weeks of work, cooking just didn't happen. So my sweet, lovely, patient husband would come home and quietly make himself oatmeal. Dessert for him would be salsa and chips. I commend this man for not once complaining, but we all love family dinners when we sit down in front of a real meal that was planned...not thrown together.

Meal planning was always a hopeless failure, so I just set up specific theme nights. Steve makes buffalo burgers and fries for the kids on Mondays when I teach. He makes extra so we can use them for lunch. Tuesday is some type of fish and grain. I'm trying to use new recipes. Wednesday is some type of chicken. Thursday is pancakes and fruit salad, and we make extras so the kids can have pancakes in their Friday lunch. We puree up some veggies into the pancake batter, like sweet potatoes, so it's a complete meal. ;) Friday, the boys pick the meal for Family Movie Night. Saturday and Sunday have enough back-up that we don't need new food. That's where the old menu planning went awry, in part. Too much food.

PART THREE

I hate mornings. And when I left ANYTHING for the morning, our whole day went awry. We ran late or I needed to do too much nagging to get people in the car. Now, I'm doing every last step before bed. Lunches made. Clothes out. Bags packed. I wake up and throw on my clothes. Dress Simone quickly. And do my 15-minute clean-up while the boys dress themselves. Grab our stuff and get in the car. Minimal nagging. :)


PART FOUR

Miscellaneous Tidbits:

(1) Steve took over finances a few months ago. All the bill paying and coordinating money goes through him. I did enjoy the task, but it's been nice for my to-do list to have him take it over. Plus, I think he's better about the detail-work of it. And, he has time at work to complete things without 3 little munchkins afoot. That helps.

(2) Using my small increments of time. Waiting for the pasta water to boil? I can unload the dishwasher. The kids are playing in the other room and no one is crying? A quick sweep of the kitchen. I think I wasted more of the small units before, but a lot can be done in those chunks.

(3) Use every trip up or down the stairs. If a child calls me upstairs, I grab the dirty dish rags to bring to the laundry. If I'm beckoned downstairs to help find a shoe, I bring down something that should be in the kitchen. Again, I'm amazed by how much this helps.


That's all for now. :)

1 comment:

menu planning said...

i love this article thanks!