5 Things I Do Every Day to Stay Sane

posted in: Family, Leading Lady, Simply Home | 0

Are you overwhelmed with everything in life? Are you stressed out because you have a million different things going on and several places you would like to be/need to be at the same time? Are you just trying to figure out some sort of routine with a toddler and newborn at home? I totally understand. My husband and I are busy busy busy!! He works full-time hours and then is doing ministry work 20 hours/week. Just running a home is a full-time job!! For the last year, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom to a now almost 3-year-old and a 1-year-old. The past several months I’ve been attempting to make the transition to life as a work-at-home mom. It takes a LOT of work.

If you are feeling stressed out and want just a little more order and peace in your life, I would encourage you to develop the habit of these few things every single day. They are simple and you could add just ONE new thing each week until you are doing them all on a consistent basis (try making a commitment to sticking with each habit for 3 weeks). It’s made such a huge difference in my life!

5 Things I Do

1. End the Day with a Clean Kitchen

When my kitchen is clean, it makes such a big difference – I feel like my whole house is clean! But when my kitchen is a wreck – even if all of the other rooms are clean – I feel stressed and like my whole house is messy.

I used to feel so bogged down by dishes in the sink and dirty kitchen floors. Click To Tweet

I used to feel so bogged down by dishes in the sink and dirty kitchen floors. I felt like the kitchen took forever to clean up and I was spending so much time cleaning when I really wanted to read or write. It seemed like the kitchen took an hour to clean, when every other room in the house can be cleaned in less than 10 minutes.

After Breakfast

But, at the end of January, I decided to just start making it a priority. After breakfast and after dinner are the two points in the day in which I spend time cleaning the kitchen. The first one I established was after breakfast. Morning time is when my little ones get along with each other the best, so I just decided to gate them in the living room, put a podcast on, and cleaned the kitchen. I quickly started looking forward to these times each day. And at first, I was spending a considerable amount of time cleaning (because sometimes I hadn’t cleaned up dishes the evening before). But as long as the boys were content and I was enjoying a podcast I didn’t mind.

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After Dinner

Since we have two boys – my husband puts the toddler to bed and I put the baby to bed. It doesn’t take me as long and my husband likes to spend time reading and playing with Ain. So, after I put Ebron to bed, I have around 15 minutes before my husband comes down the stairs. So, I take the time and rush around clean up as much as I can of the dirty dishes, pots, and pans. If I don’t get it all done, I will do it either right before bed or just do it in the morning. This has been working pretty well for the most part.

However, after taking Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Evenings course and thinking through what “ideal evening routine” I would want to have, I’ve decided to make a change. Right after dinner is over, I’m going to have the whole family help clear the table, put the food away and dishes in the dishwasher while I clean the pots and pans. Then, it will be done! Yes – so simple!! Yes, my family did this growing up, but we haven’t established it as a habit in our home yet.

My motivation – if I have kept up with dishes throughout the day, then the after dinner won’t take long. And, if we actually do the after dinner clean as a family, then I get 15 minutes all to myself after putting Ebron to bed!!! I will take this time to read a book, or make sure I have thought ahead to what needs to be done the next day.

This new routine and having a clean kitchen has lifted a huge stressor and makes me so happy!

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2. The Six List

Sarah Mae’s, in her book, the 31 Days to Clean, talks about the following story. A man by the name of Ivy Lee shared his secret time management technique to a manager of a steel company in the 1920’s. He didn’t charge the company anything up front for his secret, but instead asked that at the end of 90 days they would pay him whatever they thought fair. They paid him $25,000.

What’s the secret?

At the end of each day, write down the top six things, prioritized in order, that you need to accomplish the next day (no more than six!). Then, go through the list, completing the tasks in order, and crossing off each thing as you go.

That’s it. That’s the secret.

I would add – make sure each task is already broken down into manageable, bite-sized pieces. Instead of writing down “declutter the house,” write “declutter hall closet,” or even “declutter one bathroom drawer.”

My six list for today was:

  1. Menu plan
  2. Finish first principles Bible study
  3. Grocery shopping
  4. Update budget spreadsheet and email husband
  5. Write blog post
  6. Make breakfast sandwiches

Then, whatever you don’t finish, put on tomorrow’s list. If you get through everything, check your ongoing to-do list, or take a few minutes to brain dump! I use Google Keep to track of all my lists after brain dumping. I also use the Google Keep app to put a widget on my phone’s home screen for my six list. If you would prefer a cute printable – check out the printables Forever Organized created!

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3. Schedule “Me Time”

You could set aside time to refresh and refuel at any point during the day, but I like to have 2 times each day to refuel. And the most important one for me is starting my day with “me time,” before my little ones wake up. That way, I can really have an uninterrupted quiet time. I’m an introvert and need the silence and space to just think and recharge. I start my mornings by:

  1. Getting water (or tea) and sitting down at my desk.
  2. Work through my prayer journal (which I will share in a later post) – which also includes writing in my gratitude journal.
  3. Spend time working on my doula reading homework (or other project – writing, decluttering, etc).
What fills you up?

I also make sure I read 1-2 chapters a day from a book for pleasure. I usually set aside 15-30 minutes at naptime to read. This is what helps get me through the second part of the day.

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4. Do One Load of Laundry From Start to Finish

Last year when Erin from The Humbled Homemaker and her mentor Holly offered a free e-course on homemaking, I first heard about her 4-Step Laundry Routine – and was able to put it into practice. It’s easy, it’s doable, and it keeps laundry from getting so overwhelming. The big concept is complete a FULL cycle before putting another load in. So – yes fold AND put away the laundry pile before starting another load.

In the past I’ve been so guilty of running all the loads and then not putting away the clothes for days. Honestly, that still happens some. But most of the time it happens with just one load now – that better, right?

So, my basic routine is run a load through the washer and dryer at night after the kids are in bed. Then the next day, throughout the day, I will fold and put it away.

What has finally helped me conquer feeling overwhelmed is establishing morning and evening… Click To Tweet

5. Establish Morning and Evening Routines

The final step that has helped me conquer feeling overwhelmed is establishing morning and evening routines. I’ve tried to do it in the past, but this time, I’ve been more successful. My routines are realistic and I have backup routines mapped out. Working through the Make Over Your Mornings (Affiliate link) and Make Over Your Evenings (Affiliate link) courses have really helped me work out the kinks to my plan. Here is what my plan is right now:

Morning Routine

  • Getting water (or tea) and sitting down at my desk.
  • Work through my prayer journal (which I will share in a later post) – which also includes writing in my gratitude journal.
  • Spend time working on my doula reading homework (or other project – writing, decluttering, etc).
  • Fold the laundry and put away after the boys wake up.
  • After breakfast, clean up kitchen and then do a 15 minute workout in the kitchen while the boys play together.

Evening Routine

  • Right after dinner, load the dishwasher and wipe down all the counters. Pack Matt’s lunch.
  • After the kids are in bed, put a load of laundry in the washer and dryer.
  • Take 15 minutes to read and plan out the next day.
  • Lay out clothes for the next day.

See? It doesn’t have to take hours of time!

Just being a little more intentional with your morning and evening routines to make sure you accomplish these important daily tasks can not only help you feel more organized, it will keep your house cleaner, and probably help you feel a lot less stressed.

Want some practical help with setting up your day for success? Be sure to grab a copy of the brand-new online course, Make Over Your Evenings.

This 14-day online course includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects and is designed to help you revolutionize your productivity, streamline your routines, invest your time in things that truly matter, and find more joy and peace in the process.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Evenings Course is for you. Find out more about it here.

 

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