Even with all the conveniences of modern life, life feels much more complicated than we imagine it must have been in times past.
Our families expect us to be organized, live in perfect homes, be available to drive everyone everywhere, and provide delicious, home-cooked meals every day.
All of that, plus have a full-time job!
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help make home management easier. Some of these will take more time than others, but once you implement them, you’ll find that they can make your life much easier.
1. Take stock of where you are
Begin by writing down everything you do in the course of a day. If your days vary wildly, do this for a week. You’ll surprise yourself at just how much you get done, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
Next, look closely at your list and either reduce or eliminate everything that is not essential (e.g. over the course of a day you may spend more than an hour on social media – even if it’s “only” ten minutes at a time (who are we kidding?)
2. Start with your “must-do” routine
This is the bare bones, everything you need to do every day to keep everyone clean, dressed, fed and safe – including yourself.
You can write this list in a home management binder, on a list that you tack to the refrigerator, or in a fancy app on your phone, but the point is, this is the basic minimum you must do every day to manage your home.
3. Organically, create your home management schedule
Whether or not you realize it, you already have a routine. You discovered that routine in step one when you took a look at what you’re doing now.
Begin with that list and break it down into the time of day that you do those tasks, putting them into separate lists (morning, afternoon and evening).
Congratulations, this is the bare bones of your home management schedule. You’re already doing this stuff, so if it’s serving you well, then keep doing it. Otherwise, chuck it and replace with something else.
Next, note those things that you’re doing irregularly. These will make up your “weekly” or “monthly” tasks. If you’re saying to yourself “but everything I’m doing is irregular, that’s why I need a schedule”, don’t worry, just work with what you’ve got and build your schedule slowly over time.
Keep in mind, it takes time to build up good home management habits, so make it easier on yourself by adding only a few things (or shifting things around) a little at a time.
You’ll reduce stress on yourself and be more likely to maintain your forward momentum because your tasks have become a habit.
Finally, ask for help. There’s no shame in getting everyone in the family to pitch in and help, especially the kids. But…a word of advice? Wait until you’re secure with your home management schedule before trying to onboard anybody else.
Who needs that added stress?