Our house is not perfect, even with one stay-at-home parent (me). We do our best, but at the end of the day, there’s still usually some food getting old in the fridge. The trash needs emptying. We double-book our schedules, which, as a result, can cause a little chaos. It’s a flawed system, but we make it work.
Life is getting easier, though, due to incorporating some simple new habits into our routine. Mostly on my end. If you’ve been around here long enough, you probably know that I’m not the most organized. But a few simple changes are making a big difference.
Curious about these changes? Here are five habits for a more efficient home:
1. A notepad for necessary items from the grocery store. This is ridiculously basic, but something we didn’t start until a few months ago. And it’s a game changer! We have a Target Dollar Spot notepad hanging on the fridge, and as we notice items we’re running low on, we add them to the list. I take the list with me to the store, and we end up with everything conveniently stocked in the kitchen.
2. The one-minute rule. I got this from the Happiness Project, but my husband already follows this rule of thumb. The rule is this: if a task takes one minute or less to do, do it right away. Think emptying a trash can, hanging up a jacket, putting scissors back in the drawer. Instead of all these jobs adding up and taking a lot of time later, we try to get them done right away.
3. A cleaning schedule. Another new thing is setting a day of each day of the week for a certain cleaning job. So, Mondays are for cleaning the kitchen, Tuesdays for the living and dining rooms, Wednesdays for the bathrooms, Thursdays for bedrooms, and Fridays for laundry. This system keeps me from being haphazard about cleaning and helps me to get nearly everything done. Plus, when people come over, I’m not scrambling to clean a room I haven’t touched in weeks.
4. Schedule coordinating. James and I are now sitting down once a week to talk schedules. Again, ridiculously basic, right? But it’s one of those things you know you should do, but you don’t get how much until you actually do it. It keeps us from double-booking, usually, so family plans, childcare, and details go more smoothly.
5. One in, three out. Okay, this is one I’m still in the process about. It is James’s goal to minimize by getting rid of three things for each one we bring into the house. While we haven’t been too particular about this, we have gotten rid of a lot of things this year, either by trashing or donating. I like buying, but I almost equally like purging!
Again, some of these are silly-basic. But in marriage, as in most things, you learn as you go. And then with having kids, even more so. The early-in-marriage routines tend to need updating once kids are on the scene.
What do you think? Do you do any of these things? Are they helpful for you and your household? What other tips do you have?