Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cutting Corners During the School Week

A few things that work for us:

1.  I wash, fold and hang one load of laundry a day. Colors and whites go in together on cold water.  This saves time, energy and money.

Laundry rarely gets backed up and when it does, I'm reminded how much easier it is to stay on schedule.

2.  I clean my house thoroughly once a week, but tidy every night.  This mean - all toys put up, dishes done, laundry put away, etc.  We live outdoors here as much as we do in, so patios are tidied as well.

3.  I delegate many duties.  Kids take out trash, make beds, straighten rooms, water plants and more.  We all do our part to keep this house running.

4.  I prepare meals ahead of time.  Casseroles, crock pot dinners, and all prep work can be done during the day with kids at school.  Then, they often help me assemble everything before the meal.

For example, last night I made honey shrimp with candied walnuts and fried rice.  Rice and candied walnuts were made during the day.  Saved time and stress later in the evening.

5.  I make lunches and pack snacks as soon as the kids come in from school.  While they take their 30 minute break and enjoy their afternoon snack, I get homework organized and lunches made.  No scrambling in the morning to prepare.

6.  I lay clothes out the night before.  Mornings are stressful enough.  Being prepared helps this family run smoothly.  This doesn't mean Lainey and I won't end up crying over what she'll wear before we leave the house, but I'm trying!

7.  I limit activities.  Our kids play 1-2 sports a year and usually only one.  This allows us to focus on school and also gives us the freedom to enjoy the beach, mountains, Disneyland and zoo. Our family works better when we're not tied to so many commitments.

I see so many families with activities every night of the week and they always seem to be so stressed.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Tricks of your own?


Dee Stephens said...

I laundry almost every night too. I don't understand these people that leave it all for the weekend? It doesn't bother me that much.
* We got a maid when Shelby was born and it's by far the best money we spend all month. That way we don't have to spend our weekends cleaning.
* We tidy at night as well along with pack lunches, make coffee, and lay out clothes.

The only thing I'm just now getting into a rythm with is meal planning.

Vincent Family said...

Sounds like a well oiled machine (I mean family). :)

I would say that we follow a lot of the same steps you do with the exception of me delegating. I am too much of a control freak but it is something I am working on. Any suggestions on how to breakout chores for the kids? Do you have a super cool/effective chore chart or reward system?

starnes family said...

Thank you! Here is a link to the chore chart I use:

Pretty basic. But, I am strict about it. Kids get 2 reminders a week and if I have to remind them again, they don't get allowance.

Unknown said...

Sounds awesome. I used to do chores at night and it was awesome. Even with a toddler, it worked. Right now though, work and study requirements have trumped everything. I love your routine! I am getting back into one next week. Remind me never to study for anything again!

When do u fit in work and your blog? D you hold off until chores are complete?

starnes family said...

I work and blog in the morning when kids are in school. Usually after chores. I often make calls in my car.....without kids.

The baby years throw so much off. These things are much easier now with 'big' kids. But, now with big kids comes lots of homework and sports, etc. It balances out.

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

I do at least one load of laundry a day. We do pick up every day. We do not lay out clothes because the kids wear uniform which really limits your choices - blue or khaki bottoms, red or blue polo shirt. I make lunches in the morning while the kids are getting dressed, but they don't all take cold every day.

Jodee said...

You and I are so much alike! I do one or two loads of laundry every day and I delegate alot more too. In addition, our kids are only allowed to do one extracurricular activity at a time. In fact, they have CCD on Wednesday and nothing else during the week. I really think less is more!

starnes family said...

I miss Wednesday night CCD! We had that in Colorado. Sunday mornings here.

Jo said...

You seem to have it working well. We only have 1 sport each but that leaves only Thursday and Saturday nights free. I think the kills me is the laundry .... I wash during the week but the ironing piles up and waits for Sunday afternoons.

Jboo said...

Great plan -- I need to do more of the tidying up every night! We limit activities too even though we only have 1 child at home. None of us likes to be running around every night!

Emmy said...

Oh I like when you make lunches, I think I would actually do it then, I usually do it the morning of but some mornings I regret it.
I need to do better at doing one load a day as otherswise I do a ton and then I never really get it put away it just all piles up on MY dresser! Ugh

Kristen said...

I have no tricks... I am a hot mess 24/7, but at least I acknowledge this and try to be better. I set goals. Currently, I am trying to yell less and remember Quinn is not even 2 and when she does stuff that drives me nuts, she's not doing it to drive me nuts. In fact, she's being a perfect normal kid. I can't project my stress and my wish for some sort of schedule on to her. Not fair. So I work on that.
I probably need to start getting up at around 4:30 in the morning so I have some time to myself to get stuff done (prepare dinners, laundry, etc) but when it comes down to it, I would rather sleep. Hence why I continue to operate on hot mess mode... but you'll have that.

Monica said...

This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing.

Becca Jane said...

Great post! With only one kid in school, I'm just starting to learn these things. It's tough to keep things running smoothly when I still have the girls home with me most of the day.

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