Monday, 12 November 2007

Home Organisation Series: Morning Chores

Today is Monday, which means that today is laundry day. I have a massive amount of laundry to do as we have just returned from a camping trip. Fortunately, the day is warm and sunny, so several loads should be achieved easily (we dry all our washing outside).

I find that knowing what I need to do each day is an enormous help and a great stress-reliever.

Today I would like to talk about morning chores and routines. We all have routines whether we regard them as routines or not. For example, one person's routine might be:

8 am: Get up, race around to dress, yelling at everyone else to hurry up.
8.15 am: Dash out the door with a snack bar in one hand for breakfast.
8.20 am: Catch the bus just as it is departing. Realise that you will need to buy your lunch again because there was no time to make it.

Another morning routine might be:

Get up.
Yell at children to get ready for school because everyone has slept in as usual.
Hand out lunch money.
Breathe a sigh of relief as everyone else leaves, make some coffee and sit in front of the computer for a couple of hours in your pyjamas catching up on overnight blog additions.

I know that there are days when life seems out of control, or days when a late night or illness causes us to sleep in, but it is these occasions precisely that routines are there to help. Routines can also help us to save money, because plans are in place to make lunches at home, or pay bills on a set day, for example.

Flylady has excellent suggestions on how to set up routines. She suggests beginning by getting up each morning and dressing to your 'shoes, hair and face'. Do have a look at her website for further information.

In order to think about setting up an effective routine, start by writing down what currently happens each morning at your house.

Next, think about what tasks need to happen each morning.

Write a list of essential tasks and post it somewhere obvious, such as on the fridge.

If necessary, set your alarm a little earlier to help you get it all done.

Don't forget, delegate if you live with others.

Keep the tasks as simple as possible to make getting started easier, and think about what you and other family members might do the night before, to ease the morning rush. Examples might be to set the breakfast table, pack school bags or iron clothing.

Our morning routine goes as follows (though not in this specific order):

  • get up and dressed
  • make beds (the children theoretically do their own)
  • breakfast (table is set the night before)
  • empty dishwasher (Miss 10 does this)
  • feed the fish and let the chickens out to free-range (another kid-job)
  • make lunches (most of the children prepare their own)
  • clean up the kitchen
  • wipe over downstairs bathroom if necessary
  • start washing machine
  • hang washing on the line
  • sweep/vacuum downstairs where and if necessary

Every morning I also check my diary and write a list of anything I need to remember to do that day.

My next Home Organisation post will be on make-and-take lunches.


Lis said...

I loosely follow flylady and find if I "get dressed to shoes, hair and face", first thing so much more gets done :)

Nunnie's Attic said...

I like having my routine. I know that's why I get up with my husband at 4:30 in the morning. My oldest son doesn't have to be up until 6. And theoretically, he's almost 15. He is quite capable of setting his alarm and waking his younger brother up before he leaves for school. But of course I get them up. And I could sleep in until it's time to wake him up. But, once my husband leaves for work, I am able to enjoy a couple cups of coffee and a little peace and quiet before the busyness of the day begins.


T*mmy said...

I'm a very routine orreinted person...I get very upset outside of my!
Great post!

Lisa said...

Kate, isn't it amazing how universal the "yelling at children to hurry up and get ready because we've all slept in again", routine is!!! Most of us are in routines whether we know it or not, but there are definitely some aspects of these that aren't as productive as they could be! (reference previous comment on yelling)

phoeberae said...

love it... I write things in my diary frequently but when writing the next entry don't think to look to see what is coming up that was written previously.

phoeberae said...

... also should get up, finish tidying the house, do the dishes, hang out the washing, repaint my nails, iron some clothes and clean my bathroom instead of watching an old movie and catching up on blogs... sigh

Megan said...

Hi, I've just caught up with your blog. Happy Birthday by the way!

My friend and I have been investigating the skills and knowledge of our forebears. We are subjecting our families to old ways and old skills to see whether we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

I've started a Monday washday routine and now almost never use the dryer.

Would love to hear your views, or your tips!