11.16.2012

streamlining our home


you know how it goes. too many things to do, not enough hours in the day. the age old problem that plagues us all. but i truly believe that when God made time, He made enough of it. it's more about obedience than balance when it comes to it. read an amazing post on that here. i believe we must use wisdom in regards to spending time which must include efficiency, ordered priorities, and grace upon grace. He gives it to us; we must give it to others. especially those in our own homes - they need that grace as much as we do, and even though they tend to make messes and put more bullet points on our to-do lists, we are required to show them grace and slow down to embrace them.

i enjoy learning from others about how they order their home. there are so many wise women who have gone before me and have a better handle on this life thing. so i've adapted some tips, meshed them into what works for us, and hopefully you might get some good ideas in the meantime. first, here's the rythym of our household right now:

my business is going well, better than it should be (can you say grace, again?!!), i'm a full-time mom (Hunter goes to preschool two mornings/week, but Sage is still with me during that time), and so figuring out how to watch and shepherd and love and serve my children all day everyday, along with loving and serving my sweet husband, coupled with working 20-30 hours/week while maintaining our home is nutso.  kelly sometimes has to work in the evenings; oftentimes things get shifted around; i have to be flexible (that f word is really a good one). during naptime each day, i edit photos. in the evenings i do housework, Bible reading, more photo work, blog stuff, and spend time with kelly.

1. the calendar: phone and paper. i have forever struggled over this one. i have a calendar on my phone that is synced to kelly's. that way we both have our calendars/schedules right in front of us. it's perfect. absolutely. but the trick has always been, how do i plan out my days? i've looked at the fancy planners that cost a lot and felt silly getting one when i have a calendar (for free!) on my phone. i finally found a solution. a $7.99 paper calendar pad from target . i keep our big tasks/meetings/appointments/photography session & wedding dates on my phone, but this daily calendar is for my daily to-do's. this way kelly doesn't have to be bothered by playdates or toilet cleaning day.

2. menu planning: crockpot chicken: make sunday for three chicken meals each week. i load the crockpot up with 8 chicken breasts or 12 tenderloins each sunday. then, throughout the week, we have three chicken meals (think enchiladas/tacos/burritos, soups, salads, pastas). i shred the chicken for most chicken nights. this chicken meal is also a go-to, for an easy dinner. so from that there's three or four meals each week. i plan to have leftovers one night. then we also have homemade pizza once/week. also, some sort of ground turkey meal is planned. oh, and i often pick out one quick healthy frozen meal from trader joe's to give myself a break. : ) that's my rough blueprint and it keeps our budget on track and my mind from screaming.

3. laundry twice/week only, ideally. sometimes the kids have a ridiculous amount of stains and things need attention asap, but i try really hard to only wash twice/week. i used to do a load/day, but that was wasteful for our family. with four people it's totally doable to wash wednesday and saturday. also, towels only need to be washed once/week. sheets? about once/month. don't think i'm gross. sometimes i stretch it to six weeks. or seven.

4. dishwasher: run each night.  i don't know how we possibly make so many dirty dishes each day but we do. i run the wash each night and unload in the morning while making breakfast.

5. errands on the weekdays. i do grocery shopping and errands on the days Hunter is in school because everyone knows that one child is much easier to manage while shopping. also, it leaves the weekend open for family (if i'm not working).

6. a little housecleaning each day. this one is hard for me, but when i follow through with it, i'm always relieved. clean for 20-30 minutes each day mon-thur. it spreads out the daunting task of cleaning an entire house to a little each day making things more manageable. i.e., mon: vacuuming, tue: bathrooms, wed: kitchen, thur: dusting.

7. rest. when i am rested, i am nicer, more gracious, and all around a more pleasant person. so this last bit is key. God blesses our homes as we serve, of course, but we have to refuel in order pour out.

also, on working out: i work out with the kids. i run with them or do a workout dvd while they play. they also sometimes try to do the work-out dvd with me and that is my favorite. this keeps working out doable for me, as i need naptime and evenings for other things.

and if all else fails, thank God for new mercies each morning. : )

ps. it's your turn to give me a tip. pretty please?

24 comments

  1. Oh, me Carissa, that wore me out, just reading it. But, sound like you are on the right track and I'm sure orchestrating it was no easy feat. I, for one, know without a doubt that a plan and organization makes for a smoother run life.

    Blessings my dear on your very busy and fun life!

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  2. you are so wise.
    i love your meal idea!
    for me, it's important to do a little each day with cleaning, like you said. i usually do one room fully a day and then i just have to pick up here and there.
    i hate laundry. there. i said it.
    it's NEVER done and i really had to have a serious talk with God about my laziness with it. i wasn't serving my family by not having it done, and i am STILL working on it, FOR SURE! washing the sheets? TOTALLY with you!
    sounds like you've got a great plan, sweetie!
    xoxo

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  3. I'm so glad to have found your website! I love your plan (and how it makes me feel like I'm not the only one who struggles!)I agree with the rest...this mama needs rest just like the kiddos do! It keeps me from dropping the kids on my husband's lap the minute he gets home from work. Thanks again for your post! Leron

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  4. no tips because I found yours SO helpful!! I've been feeling super overwhelmed lately with two kiddos and a pastor hubby who has to work odd hours and add therapies and such for Mareto... and now I'm tired again. haha I love what you shared and I even took notes! The shredded chicken thing is brilliant! We eat lots of chicken too so this is absolutely something I am going to start doing THIS Sunday! And I hear ya - shopping with one is WAYYYY easier! ;)

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  5. the chore list is my best friend and gives me so much freedom! (I listed out ALL the possible chores, then wrote them out over a four-week calendar). I limit laundry to two days a week as well- for us, Mondays and Thursdays! and, yes, menu planning-- I grocery shop each week for specific meals, then prepare throughout the week as our week unfolds. again, freedom. and not running to the grocery every two days! I love hearing how you are managing your home and making these things work!

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  6. so know how you feel. it's hard. sometimes i think, i'm just going to quit taking pictures. it's difficult to work through those things because i know it takes away from my family but then i know i love scheduled time to be creative. the income is nice too. but i'm always thinking, is this all worth it? i'm obvs still thinking through all this... ha.

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  7. Your week sounds so similar to mine...but I don't have 30 hours of week on top of all that...that would be really hard! I am so glad you have found a routine to keep it together. I workout with them all the time too...or wake up at 5:30 to fit it in since it can be a little cold for the jogger these days.

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  8. All great tips....and some I already semi-incorporate into my planning. However, I am totally fixated on this chicken in the crockpot idea! How genius is that?!?! I must try that.

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  9. Managing time well... it's a gift that I've yet to attain, but learning. Beautifully written.

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  10. Love every single one of these ideas!

    I wish I had advice, but I don't know what else there is to say. You sound like you know a thing or two. ;)

    I am in a bit of a rut right now....Stuff is getting done but I'm dragging my feet. Don't drag your feet! There, that's my tip. So helpful, I know.

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  11. Glad that your finding a way to streamline to make it all work. Thats the key for sure, using your time wisely. The only little tip that I can think of is having one no-computer day. Mine is Sundays, it gives me a day to focus on family and worship with no distractions and it has been a huge blessing to a busy schedule. Hang in there girl! before you know it that crazy schedule will just be a way of life:)

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  12. You, and so many other bloggers I read, just simply amaze me. Your schedules are so full and yet you still get it all done. I can't even keep up with blogging much less housework and I am a stay-at-home mom! Ugh.

    Tips? You know I have had a lot over time, but one of my faves is to put extra trash bags underneath the new one. Saves some time on the days you are in a bit of a rush. Also, put a dryer sheet on top of those extras. Keeps it smelling fresh!

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  13. Great tips! I love all of yours!! I make coffee each night and set the timer, there is my tip, ha! :)

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  14. what a great post! I too have to divide my time between mothering, running a house, being a wife, & working from home... plus we homeschool...I try to do it all gracefully, but it's a lot to juggle! I do the same as you with meal planning & chore planning, but I need yo get better at dedicating time to rest & enjoy my family :)

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  15. Balancing everything can really be a struggle. I save time by just doing laundry once a week. I love your crockpot chicken idea. I'm going to have to use that one!
    One thing I do is coordinate the time I spend cleaning the house and spending time with my children. If they are in the tub, I clean the bathroom. If I am cleaning the kitchen, they sit at the kitchen table and color. We may not be playing, but we're spending time together. That way they don't get lost in the shuffle!

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  16. This is all SO good. I am encouraged! All of those are great ideas…
    i wish I could get by with laundry twice a week, but….don't think so. Great idea doing your workouts with the kids…and using the crockpot chicken--brilliant.
    I'm blessed that my oldest sons (13, 11,) can actually help with cleaning, so I am so glad i've trained them young!!
    ALOHA friend!

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  17. This is all SO good. I am encouraged! All of those are great ideas…
    i wish I could get by with laundry twice a week, but….don't think so. Great idea doing your workouts with the kids…and using the crockpot chicken--brilliant.
    I'm blessed that my oldest sons (13, 11,) can actually help with cleaning, so I am so glad i've trained them young!!
    ALOHA friend!

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  18. I am probably not the best person to be talking to about order, but I do use the cozi app. Someone recommended it to me when I posed a similar question on my blog. I don't think you would have much use for that since it mainly acts as a way to sync the family calendar and it sounds like you've got that covered.

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  19. These are great guidelines for an efficient home- thanks for sharing!

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  20. I feel like I'm drowning lately. Life is so busy. Busy time for all of us.

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  21. I am soooo amazed at the women I meet in blogs. I can't imagine having to work then come home and work again. I live in the Philippines and here we have help! I don't do cooking, cleaning, laundering, ironing, gardening...it's all done by my Saint Lucy. And that is the reason why I can paint when I get home and blog and do things with the family. My tip is come live in the Philippines! :^) Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  22. I love this. I do many of these things already, but got lots of new ideas. It's all about balance, and it's a hard one! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. You go momma! In a society where sometimes our budget doesnt allow for add'l help when we can do it ourselves, I applaud you (and me) for relying on God to give us the strength to press on.

    Oh, and I'm totally with you on the sheets!!!

    Have a wonderful thanksgiving,
    Patty (fanta4two.com)

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  24. I listen to other Mommies and Daddies who are in the same boat and try to ease their tension with comments that will make them giggle like,"Hey, let's stop right now and take a little mental cruise! Where do you wanna go right now this very minute? What do you want to drink? What do you want to eat? Okay, let's run away!"
    Laughter eases everything. Try to find something that will make you giggle!

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