I very well remember the days of floating through life at my own pace. I could wake up whenever, exercise whenever, entertain past 8 pm. Stroll into the kitchen at five o’clock to aimlessly decide what my husband and I were in the mood for that night. Life, and especially the domestic upkeep of my home, was on my terms. I thought my mother-in-law was c.r.a.z.y because she did laundry EVERY DAY… while we were more of the “why do laundry when there’s still one more pair of clean underwear” school of thought.
Well, when the kids arrived there was no room in the inn for my lackadaisical approach to getting out the door, serving meals or cleaning a sufficient number of underwear. I had to figure it out.
It was in the thick of our figuring it out, that a wise woman shared with me how developing a simple “Morning Routine” was helpful in coordinating her large family. She told me that having a morning routine helped her home-life function in an organized fashion while using very little mental energy.
Mindless organization? Simple ways to steer this ship? SIGN ME UP.
She suggested that if I could start thinking of a few simple rhythms to incorporate into my days, that these habits would soon become ingrained rituals. And these rituals would become second nature and would help my home run at least at a bare minimum, without me having to think. Because, let’s be honest, keeping people alive and thinking at the same time is so hard, isn’t it?
So to put an end to the drudgery of waking up and stumbling through my day, I found myself soaking up any and all tips and tricks I could find on how to set up a solid morning routine. There were some really helpful thoughts on Inspired To Action, LifeHacker and My Morning Routine. Yes, this is totally my personality and may not even come close to working for you, FREEDOM!! But, I needed a routine to help simplify and streamline our household tasks.
How To Set Up A Morning Routine:
I began making notes of what the pain points were in our home:
Dishes in the sink really get on Joel’s nerves.
The continual clutter feels like really loud static in my brain.
The laundry seems out of control 24/7, and by the way, where have all the school uniforms gone?
Speaking of school, we are incessantly late.
Also, who is packing lunches and making these children supper? Oh, that’d be me.
Once I wrote out the pain points, I could begin framing up some simple tactics to help alleviate the stress. And from that The Daily 5 was birthed. Five simple tasks that I would aim to complete each day to keep my household viable.
To Domestically Stay Afloat, I Must Daily:
- Do a load of dishes
- Do a load of laundry
- Set out supper
- Make beds
- Wipe down surfaces
This list is magical. Quite profound, really. Except for the fact that it’s not. But if it can help some other young mom from walking around like a zombie then it’s worth spending a nap time outlining it here. And really, 9 times out of 10 we all just need someone to hold our hand, tell us that it’s all going to be okay and then to remind us of what we already know.
So why these five simple, mundane tasks? Well because…
A Load A Day Keeps The Crazy Away– In my house, there are always more dishes and dirty clothes a comin’, so I try to begin the day with an empty sink and hamper and embrace the momentum it creates.
Setting Out Supper Saves Your Sanity– Each morning, while I still have a drop of energy, I check my Plan to Eat meal planner and pull out all the ingredients so that they are sitting on the counter giving me a sideways glare that says “WE HAVE A PLAN, WOMAN, and no, no you may not eat a 6-count CFA Kids’ Meal for dinner tonight.”
Making The Beds Makes Things A Little More Beautiful- Even if there are Legos and Barbie shoes all over the floor, I can walk past the bedrooms and feel some semblance of order if at least the beds are made. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Kids Are Sticky, You Better Wipe Away All That Icky- We host a lot of people in our home and I am always trying to stay on top of the level of gunk that a lively family produces. Starting the day by grabbing a tub of antibacterial wipes and making sure all the surfaces are wiped down makes a huge difference and is a nice Daily 5 finishing touch. Lighting a candle when I’m through doesn’t hurt either!
After about 18 months of practicing these rhythms (and posting them like a crazy person all over our home), the tasks have become as normal and thoughtless as brushing my teeth!! Meaning, they happen at least 2.5 times a week!! :) Major progress. Miles away from perfection (just ask anyone who knows me in real life) but def progress.
Now that I’ve seen the difference a morning routine can make I’ve tried to start thinking through rhythms and routines to bring order out of the chaos that is the rest of life and work.Let’s just say my kids are all about flipping through and accomplishing “their cards” to get ready in the mornings…or maybe they’re just all about the screen time that they earn after they jump through the hoops, regardless, these habits have brought boatloads of Type A order to life and have allowed for more fun in our days.
What about you? What’s your “Daily 5”? DO you have a morning routine or other habits that work for you? Does this kind of thing jive with your personality? How do you find freedom and order in your home life?