Friday, January 4

Resolution Help - Setting a Homemaking Schedule

It is still December as I am writing this, just about a week before Christmas Day. I'm cozied up on my favorite chair in the living room next to the wood stove which is lovingly cranking out some generous heat (it's 14 degrees outside) with a pot of veggie/barley soup simmering away on top.
What a great opportunity to get ahead on some posts this afternoon while the little ones are resting or reading!
For those of you unfamiliar with this blog and our family, Sean and I have been married for nine years and we are expecting our fifth child in May! I am very excited as I've always hoped for a big family. Not a naturally organized thinker, I fall more under the artistic thinker type, and so finding a way to comfortably run our home while educating our children at home has been a challenge. I think I've finally got it down!

First, I set a daily schedule for the weekdays. I have my daily schedules in a pretty notebook inside clear page protectors. The schedules change with the seasons and the seasons of life (new baby, ect.) and this way it is easy to slip one out and the updated one in.
I've found that some homemakers are hesitant to make a schedule but think nothing of having one when they work a job outside the home. My home is my job and I think it is more efficient to run it this way.
My schedules are very loose, allowing plenty of time for creativity and walks or whatever comes up. I don't make them out by hour or minute, instead making a loose list of everything that I would like to see accomplished on that particular day in the best order for them to be done.
Scheduling housework and spreading it out over the week prevents pileups and that dreaded feeling of a messy house when unexpected guests are at the door. My house definitely always looks lived in but hopefully with this routine it will never look truly dirty.

I divide my days into strategic categories.
Errand Day: Does your favorite grocery store set out sale items or get in fresh fish on a certain day? Make this your errand day. Part of the point of being a stay at home mom is to stay at home. Try combining grocery shopping, library trips and extracurricular activities all into one day.
Deep Clean Day: For me, this is Mondays. Tuesday morning our garbage is picked up and by doing things like cleaning out the fridge on Mondays, we don't have to let the extra yuck sit around too long. I usually have a list of deep clean day activities and work through them as I'm able. Some weeks all of the list will get completed, some weeks one item will be accomplished.
Laundry Day: Lets face it, every day is laundry day in our home! On this day though I make more detergent if its needed and wash and dry all the sheets in the house. Dirty blankets, throw rugs, ect. can also been washed on Laundry Day.
Office Day: Catch up on e-mails, write a letter to your Grandma, pay bills, make appointments by phone and tidy your computer area on office day. This is the day when you will make out or update your weekly menu (see future post) and make a grocery list. Obviously, schedule Mondays as office Day if you normally grocery shop on Tuesdays.
Free Day: Fridays are my free day. No, I don't sit back and sip lattes ( I wish!) and watch Lost re-runs. It is my catch up day before the weekend when we'll be busy doing family activities. Extra laundry, vacuuming, and any other little things that missed getting done during the week can be done of your free day.

Even though one day may be Office Day, I'll mark down things like vacuum living room, de-clutter one area, or something of the sort. This way the entire house is pretty much kept up with a little bit done each day.
Make use of stickie notes in your schedule. Need to make sure something extra gets done on Wednesday? I write it on a bright stickie note and attach it to Wednesday's page, tossing it after the activity is done.
Look for more tips on making a daily schedule online. Make it beautiful and make it useful and it will be easy to make it a habit.


Diane said...

Hannah, I enjoy using a drying rack instead of the dryer for my wet clothes. (I'm frugal) I have another option for your readers; do one load of laundry each day using the drying rack and then on "laundry day" catch up on extra loads with the dryer. This also gives a small task to younger children of hanging the clothes.

Me said...

Love your suggestions, Diane. We also use a clothes drying rack placed by the woodstove at night and I hang jeans, towels and other heavy weight items over the upstairs banister to air dry before throwing them into the dryer for a few minutes to soften and fluff.

K Quinn said...

Great post. I hope you don't mind I linked to it on my site =>

Christen said...

Hi, I bumped into your site as I was googling ideas on homemaking schedules and found documentation of your home renovation pretty interesting. What kind of camera do you use?

Clair said...

Great post, I am a newlywed and trying to figure out how to better serve my husband. The schedule is a must!