TO MAKE: Household Management System

Some people think that having a binder dedicated to the running of the household is a useful tool to have. I would normally agree, except that in my house, if it’s paper (or walls), it gets drawn on. And while these 4, 6, 8 and 9-year-old beautiful abstract flowers are nice to have, it makes keeping organized impossible!

So, we bought a white board thinking this would solve the problem. That white board is still sitting in my closet and we’ve lived here for three years with the goal of putting it up… In two different ways we’ve tried filing cabinets. I have a rolling drawer one, which is now completely broken and I have a little desktop one that just kinda gets shoved full of papers and then forgotten about.

This is one of those situations that really has me stuck on my goal of creating routine. To create a routine, I need to have a household management system in place. To get a household management system in place, I need some type of routine. It’s a total catch-22/vicious cirlce type of situation. Where do you start? What was first – the chicken or the egg?!?!?

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world – well first of all, I would have a job, the kids would be homeschooled and have after-school activities to go to, there’d be a vehicle and a driver’s license, we’d live somewhere else in the world, etc. However, we’ll just use today’s world as an example of how a home management system might work or how I’d like it to work…

First, there’d be a station at the most commonly used door. I’ve seen many variations on this space, but mostly, I’d want:

  • A garbage can for junk mail
  • A mat for shoes to be placed on
  • Hooks for coats and backpacks
  • A table with a bowl for keys and change
  • A mirror
  • A place to put important mail and school stuff that has to be looked at every single day and organized!!

Then, we’d need to figure out some way to keep track of all the things we have to keep track of. Like when certain “days” are at school, when bills are due, when birthdays are and when we should start planning for them… I’ve attempted a variety of different mediums for date tracking (online calendars, wall/fridge calendars, apps, etc.) and none have ever stuck.

Really, I just need to pick a method and then become consistent with it. Do you notice the common theme here? Consistency – I need to be become more consistent in EVERYTHING!!!

I hope to spend the next month really trying to figure out how to make a routine and home management system that will work for us, so that when school starts (especially being that all 4 will be in school and then I’ll be able to think about going back to work soon), we have something in place that will help us keep track of everything. Because I do not need another repeat of the disaster that was last year or the years prior…

Does anyone out there feel like they have an organized life, a consistent routine? Do you think it’s easy to maintain or do you sometimes struggle too?

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TO DO: Create and Follow a Routine

One of the greatest problems I’ve faced over my lifetime is sticking to any type of routine. For the most part, I’ve managed okay with the lack of routine, although there are times when I seriously question how okay I’m actually managing.

It’s long been a goal of mine to create a manageable routine and follow it enough that I feel the effects of it, as I’ve been told magical stories about circadian rhythms and been instructed on the benefits of habit.

I often hit a variety of stumbling blocks, which stand in the way of ever sticking to routines. First off is the kids. Kids are very unpredictable and you have to have some flexibility when working with routines. I also have four of them, plus a man that often acts a little bit like a kid, so there are five people to consider when making routines.

Then there’s the fact that I’m a stay-at-home mom. The only reason I have to get up in the morning is to get the kids off to school. I am also a procrastinator and a perfectionist, one of the most horrible mix of qualities I’ve ever encountered.

Finally, when I envision my ideal routine, it includes steady waking and sleeping hours. However, that doesn’t always work out since The Boyfriend often works varying hours and we go to sleep together. It also gets in the way because I sometimes suffer from insomnia, although not nearly as bad now as it used to be.

In a Perfect World…

If we lived in a perfect world my routine would consist of an early morning wake up and workout. During the morning hours, I would clean my house from top to bottom including a load of laundry every single day. During the afternoon, I would focus on all my online work, spending no more than 4 hours on it.

Once the kids returned home from school, I’d love to spend more time with them. At the moment, this time feels rushed and uncontrolled. We hurry to make and eat dinner, we sometimes forget to check for homework and by the time the kids go to bed, stress levels are through the roof for everyone.

I’d like for this time to have dedicated space for homework, then making dinner together as a family and eating it as such, and a nighttime routine that helps the kids relax and unwind as well as prepare for the day ahead.

Finally, I’d like to have a bedtime routine for myself. Ideally it would include at least an hour of reading, time enough for snuggling and a regular falling asleep time.

Over time, you’ll see updates on this post as I attempt to reach my goal, so stay tuned!