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As a mom, you wear many hats. You do laundry, balance the checkbook, chauffer, wash the dishes, cook dinner, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and more! You name it and you probably have done it on a regular basis. How can you balance all of these things without going crazy? While I don’t believe in “being balanced”, I do believe you can put some things on auto pilot to get some of your time back so you can do the things you really love, like spending time with your family. Daily routines and habits help you do this.
You have to make approximately 35,000 decisions a day. Creating daily routines and habits gives your brain a break from having to work as hard. You spend much less brain power doing repitious things. Take tying your shoe for example. You can probably do this without looking. As you were learning how to do it, it took you several minutes to tie your shoes. As you get into the habit of tying your shoes every day, it gets easier and easier and you don’t even have to think about it while you are doing it.
Here are 5 quick routines you can get into the habit of doing that will help you be more productive, less stressed, and rock your day.
1. Pick-up around the house
Picking-up around the house can be a full-time job. Enlist the help of your family with this one. Your house should be picked up at least once daily. I allow my children to make a mess in their room every day, but before dinner (or right afterwards) their room has to be picked up and their toys put away.
There is psychology behind a clean and clutter free space leading to a clearer mind. When you have stuff everywhere you can look, you feel frazzled and stressed. It takes up a lot of mental energy. According to Indiana University research, people with clean homes are less depressed and more restful.
Here are some tips to help you keep your house picked up:
- Make your children clean up after themselves.
- Don’t allow toys outside of the playroom or your kids’ bedrooms.
- Only allow 2 toys outside of the play area at a time.
- Have a one-touch rule. You can’t touch something without putting it back in its proper place.
- When you figure out a certain spot in the house is getting messier, figure out why and fix it. See what’s wrong and implement changes. I like putting things near where it is being used. (Ex: printer ink near the printer, coffee in the cabinet above the coffee pot, etc.). A lot of times, when something stays dirty or messy is because it takes more effort than someone is willing to put in to put it away, so move it closer to where you are using it. Like in the coffee example. If someone keeps leaving the coffee out because it goes in the pantry which is across the kitchen from the coffee pot, move it. Make it easier on people to use the system.
Doing the dishes and keeping the dirty ones out of the sink makes the whole kitchen feel clean. How many times have you gone into the kitchen to cook and seen a sink full of dishes and decided to order takeout instead? It would require more effort or energy than you have to give. It would take 20 minutes to clean the kitchen and double than that to cook. Not to mention cleaning up afterwards.
Have a rule that clean dishes aren’t allowed to just sit in the dishwasher. You have to put them up as soon as they’re clean. Then whoever has a dish can just load it straight into the dishwasher and it never touches the sink.
Success tips for dishes:
- Declutter your dishes. If you have 50 cups in your cabinet, they will probably get used every single week. Go buy color coded cups and each person gets two or three cups in their assigned color and that’s it. That will be two-three days of cups per person. That is plenty!
- Get rid of dishes that aren’t dishwasher safe. Who wants to handwash?
If you don’t have a dishwasher, you can buy a portable dishwasher for cheap.
- Use paper plates and utensils to avoid getting dishes dirty.
The average American family does 7 loads of laundry a week! That is a lot of laundry. You need to stay on top of your laundry and have a laundry system in place if you don’t want to continuously have a laundry mountain. There are so many different ways to do your laundry routine.
The most important is creating your own laundry routine. That way you know it will work. If you keep using done for you laundry routines you find on Pinterest, you will fail. You have to create your own. There is no such thing as a one size fits all laundry routine. You have to create one that matches your current season of life and your family’s laundry needs. You can figure out how many times a week you need to do laundry, how to sort your laundry, and how to stay on top of it.
4. Make your bed
There is a ton of science behind making your bed every day. Making your bed can make your whole room feel cleaner and less cluttered. Even if you didn’t put up your shoes right away or you have a small pile of laundry in the floor, your room will feel clean.
Making your bed increases productivity, encourages you to be neat and tidy, improves your mood, helps you sleep better, and makes your whole room just look and feel better. It only takes around 1 minute or less to do and makes a huge impact.
5. Have a bedtime routine for your children
Having a bedtime routine for your children has so many benefits. It helps improve their mood, help them sleep better, helps with concentration, healthier child, less resistance to bedtime, and a more restful night’s sleep for you.
Doing these daily routines will help you so much with the running of your house. You will be making less decisions each day and spend less time thinking. You can create habits around these routines. These routines will offer a big bang for your buck and help you feel calmer and more relaxed every day. You can have a lot of resistance when starting something new, but routines are worth their weight in gold.
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