I am a terrible housekeeper.
Did you know that about me? It’s true. I am pretty good at purging and decluttering these days, but cleaning? Not so much.
There’s only one way my house stays clean.
Honestly, setting up systems in our home have made a world of difference for me. With a plan in place, I’ve got a couple of things to do each day, which keeps everything from building up on me.
(Although sometimes that still happens and we have to use the whole weekend to catch up on laundry. Like we did last weekend. Real life, people. Real life.)
Systems are a sanity-saver, plain and simple. They take just a few hours to set up, and then instead of working from scratch every time, you’re just maintaining! We use systems to help lots of areas of life go more smoothly, not just cleaning. So today, let’s talk about what we do and why it works!
Our Calendar System
I use a paper planner for my own daily plan, but for our family calendar, we use two things: iCal (or google calendar) and a weekly whiteboard.
Jon and I share a synced calendar on our iPhones, computer (me), and tablet (Jon). We’ve got a few different categories for things, so it’s all color-coded (which makes my planning heart happy!), but the most important thing is that we can both see everything on there.
Our shared calendar is kind of the set in stone schedule. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening. So I always know if Jon has to stay after work for a meeting, and he always knows when I’ve got Bible study and he will need to be home with the kids.
This is what works best for us. We update the calendar immediately when something is planned, and really, whoever gets to the calendar first, gets the event. “Sorry honey, you can’t go play golf with the guys tomorrow, I’m having breakfast with the girls, see?” (Actually, neither of those things ever happens because TWO KIDS, but you get the idea.)
I also have a weekly calendar on a whiteboard on our fridge. You can see my tutorial on how to make the whiteboard here. It’s got all the plans for this week, plus dinners AND a space for our memory verse. I try not to be on my phone all the time, so having this weekly calendar at a glance is really helpful.
Our Cleaning System
I actually write our cleaning schedule on the weekly calendar, so it’s in plain view all the time! I simply assign one task to each day, and find sometime to do it throughout the day. You can see it up close here:
I write one task in purple (purple is for home stuff on all of my planners!) on each day of the week. I don’t assign a chore to Sundays, or to days we’ll be out of town. But for the most part, each chore stays on it’s regular day. I’m always tidying bedrooms on Mondays, I’m cleaning bathrooms on Wednesday, etc.
I also try to throw in one load of laundry every day, but I’ll talk more about this tomorrow when we go into our morning routines!
This is what works for us. When I was growing up, we’d clean every Saturday morning, and we couldn’t do anything till the house was clean. That’s a great plan too, but Saturday is one of the only days we get together as a family, so we like to do something fun on those days! So I try to maintain the house throughout the rest of the week.
Our Home Management System
A home management notebook is something I learned about a few years ago, and OH MAN was it a sanity saver! It’s one easy place where I keep everything I need – from emergency information, to notes for the babysitter, to an inventory of freezer meals that I’ve got in our freezer at any point in time.
I highly recommend setting up a Home Management Notebook for your own home! It’s so easy, and you’ll be thankful that you did. You can grab everything you need to create your own right here (I’ve done all the legwork for you!).
Why Do Systems Matter?
Honestly, I didn’t really have a need for systems before I had kids. I had enough time and energy to get the things done that I needed to get done. (Also I had one room in a shared townhouse to take care of, not a whole house!)
But with kids and a husband and a house and meals and…and…and… there’s just a lot to do! So, setting up systems saves me time & energy. When I wake up, I don’t have to figure out a plan for that day, because I already know what I need to get done! I can stay one step ahead of the house stuff (when all is going smoothly), and when things do get out of hand, it just takes a few extra hours to get everything back on plan, instead of a few extra days! Then, I’m able to spend the time I do have on the people who need it the most.
I know that with school starting again, whether your kids are schooling at home or away, the things we’ve got on our plates are starting to add up. We just don’t have a lot of time, and it’s easy to feel like you’re always catching up! Setting up systems for keeping our schedule and our home tidy have helped build a foundation for our family that gives us more peace and flexibility!
What systems do you have set up in your home? Do you think this strategy would help calm your chaos?
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