jen's top 10: homemaking 101

 This year was insane. Lots of hats to juggle, lots of people to be.  For the majority of the year I had to simultaneously be the following: 20hr/week employee, full time chef, full time housekeeper, fully time laundry queen, full time mommy, full time wife, full time wonder woman and part time church worker, virtual family day planner, etc...  And all while handling the stress of the spouses unemployment. Oh but wait, I've always been wonder woman {she says sarcastically}.

No really. It was tough to balance so many different roles.  {Can I get a large mental breakdown on the side please? Wait a minute, make that a super size.}  I really don't know how woman who work 40 or more hours per week and have families do it all.  I'm guessing they can't. That's the only way I can figure it.

Any way, in order for our home to run more smoothly, this year I started doing several small things that have made a major difference. MAJOR I tell you. Here are my top 10:

10.Take care of my clothes as soon as I take them off. Hang them up or put in the correct laundry sorter. NO THROWING THEM ON THE CLOSET FLOOR. Or stuffing in random drawers. Just put them where they go.

9. Use pinchingyourpennies.com to find the best grocery deals.  I don't have to waste time at the store trying to figure out if it's a good deal or not.  Before I create my meal menus I check to see what's on sale, and if I can, plan my menus around that.  {This has gotten a little more difficult since moving to the wilderness since I can't plan my trips to the valley around grocery sales.}

8. Speaking of food, numero ocho is menu planning.  I plan 2 weeks worth of meals at a time.  No more wasting time at night trying to figure out what to have for dinner since I have 14 preplanned choices to choose from. I use the crockpot as often as possible, and frequently cook and freeze my meat in advance.

7. Run 1 load of laundry per day, Monday through Thursday.  I throw it in first thing in the morning, and by mid morning the clothes are folded and put away.  Laundry is the bane of my existence.  I loathe it entirely. I can't think of anything worse than having an entire day devoted to it.  Kill. me. now.  I've tried the "ignore it and it'll just go away" tactic, but as you can guess, that didn't quite work out. By doing it this way, the loads stay small and manageable.

6. Make homemade bread. This may sound like it takes more time than just buying it at the store and it probably does.  But this accomplishes a few things: a) If all else fails and my house is a disaster, at least there's homemade bread in the cupboard.  That makes me feel somewhat accomplished. b)The taste can't even compare to store bought bread, and c)I like to think it makes Deek and Reese feel extra loved to know I take the time to make them something so good from scratch..

5. Vacuum my kitchen every night.  With a shedding dog that lives in my kitchen and a toddler who throws every item of food she comes in contact with on the floor, it's essential.

4. Put my house to bed. After dinner is over we do a clean sweep of the house.  Put everything away - dishes, toys, coats, books, etc... By taking the 10 minutes a night to do this I save myself over an hour the next morning.  I hate, hate, hate cleaning yesterday's mess today.

 3. 1 house cleaning job per day, Monday through Thursday.  I rotate 4 different chores: bathrooms, dusting & oiling, vacuuming, and 1 other deep cleaning item.  Same idea as the laundry - I don't have to devote an entire dreaded day to cleaning.  My house is never perfectly clean at one time, but stays mostly clean most of the time.

2. Run the dishwasher every night after dinner and empty it right away. The next day, instead of putting dirty dishes in the sink, they go straight into the dishwasher.  If I use hand washables during the day I clean them as soon as I'm done using them.  Clutter attracts clutter and this couldn't be truer with dishes.  My dishes never stack up so I never have to spend huge amounts of time to tackle the mounting tower of them in the sink. It's the single greatest housekeeping tip I do.

1. Wake up every morning between 7 and 7:30am.  Reese wakes up between 8:30 and 9:00, so that gives me at least an hour to get ready for the day, scriptures, prayer, start on daily laundry etc...  I find the earlier I get up, the better my day goes.  If I sleep in until Reese wakes up, I feel as though the entire rest of the day I'm fighting to find time to throw on some jeans, let alone apply make up or scripture study.  Whenever I sleep in, by the end of the day I'm usually still in my sweats and nothing has gotten done. Waking up early is magic.

And there you have it.  It sounds like a lot, but honestly, if I stick to these 10 tips my home and family and body and mind are all in order. AKA peace in Jen's world.  Somehow I find myself with more free time than ever before.  And don't get me wrong, I am FAR from perfect when it comes to doing all this.  There are always holidays, sicknesses, 'vacationing from one's duties' weeks, etc.. My home has seen it's far share of disaster moments. I just know that when I do do these things I'm just a happier person and everything else falls into place. And who doesn't need them some of that?

Now if I could only get a handle on all of those papers floating around..


Shanna and Chris Purdie said...

I'm dying to try your homemade bread recipe.....you should post it!

Katie and Greg said...

I love all of these things. Although one weird difference is that I love laundry day! I love every Tuesday gettin' her started and gettin' her done before Parenthood that night. I'll run ten loads some weeks, but I just dig in and do it all day long. And I am so super satisfied with all our clothes nice, and tidy and cleaned and drawers filled. I seriously love it. Lucky me I guess. I feel the same way about Saturdays. I would much rather do all my household chores in one day and leave the rest of the week to random projecting. I love a clean house on Saturday night. Weird old me.

Andrea said...

Okay so I know this is random and a little after the fact, but I've really thought about this post quite a bit. Deven and I are expecting in August and in all liklihood I'll be able to stay home. I've really mulled over your suggestions which I think are fantastic. It wasn't a "I'm so perfect look at me" it was a- hey its hard, but we can all try and do things each day to make it better. Your blog is so cute- I've been a reader since you switched over. I hope you have a grand time on your trips and it'll be fun to hear about them.