I am sharing excerpts from my e-workbook, Spring Cleaning for the Heart and Home available in the P31 Bookstore.
Creating a Soothing, Steady Rhythm
As you begin to work through your list and make progress on the different areas of your home, you will need to create a rhythm to your day. You will need to find a routine that works for you and your family.
Your routine should carry you through each day. If you are gone all day, pick up where you left off when you get home. Your routine will help you reach your personal goals for your family and household.
Over time, you may find you need to adjust your routines as the dynamics of your household change. That is okay! Life is always changing. We need to be flexible enough to “go with the flow” and take time every few months to evaluate how things are going. Some things, however, will pretty much stay the same as the years pass by.
How Long Does it Take?
By starting a load of laundry first thing in the morning, I can do two loads in the morning. This enables me to stay on top of the laundry. Folding takes about 5 minutes for a full load if you do it immediately and about 5 minutes to put away. If you have a smaller family, you might only need to do one load a day (or less).
One of my goals for this year was to cook a hot breakfast each morning for my family. I can cook most breakfasts in 30 minutes or less (including meals with homemade biscuits or muffins). Our morning worship generally lasts about 10 minutes with songs, a devotion, and prayer.
Tidying up the kitchen is a snap if I started with a clean kitchen. I wash mixing bowls while the food cooks. Cleaning the kitchen after an average meal should take no more than 30 minutes. Making the bed takes about 5 minutes. Wiping down the bathroom should take about 5 minutes. And of course the 15 minute clean-up takes 15 minutes! I like to set the timer so the kids know that it is a quick clean-up and pain free.
If you stay at home all day, it is important to structure your children enough that you do not allow them to destroy the house and all of your hard work. Training is imperative! Do your best to eat at around the same time each day. This in and of itself lends a comforting routine to your day. Do not allow your children to get out a toy without putting away the one they were just playing with. Teach them how to be neat. Explain to them why this practice is helpful. Teach them to be wise while they are still young!
Plan ahead for your meals. If you are gone all day, try using your crock-pot. Plan your menus each week and post them on the refrigerator door for everyone to see. Don’t stress out at meal time.
I personally like to plan all three meals, seven days plus what I will be baking each week. I spend most of my time at home. Homeschooling five kids means feeding them at home three times a day. I want the food I prepare to be nourishing as well as pleasing to the palette.
Evenings at home should be peaceful and happy. I know – it is easier said than done. If you are struggling with chaotic evenings, I want you to figure out why? What is it that is causing the chaos?
- What can you do to change this situation?
- What would you like to see happen in the evenings at home?
Evenings will be less chaotic if you have a routine to your day, a set time for chores and a set time for play. By putting your family and home first – that means before everything else – you will find the right balance between work, play, and outside activities.