Life’s Essentials: Keeping a Routine

As a SAHM, its up to me to structure my day. As much as I love a list and filling my calender, I have to work really hard to not get in a rut. I find that I can let hours pass in the morning playing with the girls, attempting to do laundry or cleaning up the kitchen from the night before. By the time I’ve gotten us together enough to get out of the house, its time for lunch and naps! (for reals my life revolves around nap schedules right now!)

Now that our fall schedule is back in place, I’m trying to get myself into a routine to help our mornings run smoother and to help me feel successful at the end of the day! Whether you’re a CEO of a household or a CEO of a company – everyone wants to feel satisfied with their day, right?  Although the girls are just toddlers, we do have at least one out of the house class or activity everyday so that really helps motivate me to stick with some ground rules! These are some things that I know help our family be more calm and ready for the day and just help keep us all happy and organized!

Disclaimer: this is truly like one big pep talk to myself. By no means do I have it all figured out and this is just a way for me to organize my ideas for myself and feel accountable!

Preparation | “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head with that one. It is so simple, but it is the hardest thing for me to do. Procrastination has been the name of my game for years! Why would I pack our drinks/snacks/lunches the night before when I can do it in the morning when I’m rushing around with two kids at my feet?! Because. I want to feel ready for the day, and not frazzled first thing in the morning.

One load a day | Laundry is a task that I really don’t mind doing, but it can definitely turn into a lofty chore if it let it! Our hamper, the girls’ hampers, sheets, towels…I know everyone has to wash their clothes but why does it feel like we have enough laundry to cover the entire neighborhood for the week?! I’ve found that spending an entire day in the laundry room isn’t fun for me or the kids. So putting in a load in the morning that I can switch over at some point in the day and be done with by nap time is an easy way to eliminate the dread of tackling Mt. Everest once or twice a week!

Set an alarm |  Sleep is a hot commodity around here.  With a 2.5 and a 1 year old in the house, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of “mombie” for the past few years. We have finally gotten into a good bedtime routine with the girls so that we get an hour or two to ourselves before we go to bed, but I’m still waking up once or twice at night with the little sis.  Even so, having 30-60 minutes to myself before the crazies wake up is a great way to start the day! Hot coffee, I can get ready if I want, empty the dishwasher in peace, or just relax on my phone or computer to blog. Do I still snooze?  Yes. But ultimately I try to remember how good I feel once I’ve had some time to myself first thing.

Keep a clean sink | Do you know how long it takes to put one coffee cup, one plate, and a couple of utensils in the dishwasher? Like 45 seconds. Do you know how long it takes to put an entire day’s worth of dishes in the dishwasher plus clean up from dinner?! It feels like an hour! Throughout the day I find it really easy to just set things in the sink and move on to the next thing. But you know what the bummer is? My mom isn’t coming behind me to wash them all! I am the mom…what?! At the end of the day after dinner, its better for all of us and our bedtime routine if dinner clean up is just that and not from the entire day!

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It has a place | We have a few areas of the house that can easily be considered a drop zone. Did I grab the mail? Set it by the phone. Did I just come in from running errands? Drop everything on the island. Do I have clean laundry? Leave it on the laundry room counter. This may be my worst habit. The kitchen can tend to become the ‘catch all’ area and soon feels like a cluttered disaster that seems like I can’t keep clean. By having a place for everything, it eliminates the clutter. By taking just a few minutes to put things away in their proper place I don’t feel like I have to overhaul the entire house to get it clean. I was watching InstaStories and Kate from The Small Things Blog (k8_smallthings) mentioned that she keeps her house within 10 minutes of clean. So at any point – for example if some company were to say they’re coming – you could get your house picked up within 10 minutes. Such a good rule.

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(In a dream world my kitchen would look like this all the time. It was short lived!)

These are some things I strive for but still have to work on each day.  When I take the time to prepare for my day I feel like the days run smoother and I enjoy my time with the girls more. Do you have any go-to tips for feeling prepped and ready for your day? I’d love to know!

xoxo

Whitney

Head over to Confessions of Parenting to find all sorts of home and family posts that linked up for the first #WanderingWednesday!

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Office Closet with elfa

Something about an organized space is so calming. I truly think that when I’m in a clear space, I have a clear mind. Chaos and clutter makes my whole life feel crazy – and let me tell you – between being home with kids all day and always feeling like I’m rushing, the living room and kitchen clutter is enough around here! (You’ll get a glimpse of that crazy show any day you watch my stories on Instagram!) The office is somewhere that I can control without worrying that the kids will destroy it – for now. Slowly but surely the progress is happening and the latest is in the closet.

The most difficult area for me has been the shelves of gift wrap/craft supplies! From piles of unorganized bags and tissue paper to boxes of ribbon and bows, these shelves were a hot mess! And don’t get me started on cards! I will prepare early and buy cards for the occasions coming up in the next months and then loose them and have to buy them again – so frustrating! Let me show you the area I’m talking about.

 

This area would cause anyone to have a meltdown, right?! So I searched and searched for a solution.  Even with a walk in closet in this room, it wasn’t big enough for the crazy beautiful work stations or big drawers for gift wrap, tissue paper, and ribbon rods that I saw on Pinterest. BUT I did find the option for gift wrap storage within the elfa solutions line at The Container Store. I had the best time exploring this organizational heaven without kids one afternoon and came home with an over the door rack that really helped me display my supplies with easy accessibility so I can see what I have and be able to use it! I linked it here and its ON SALE now! In the store I mixed and matched a bit with the help of an organizing expert, which you can also do on the website!

I assembled it all myself while the girls were napping, super easy! I love that I’m utilizing a space that normally would be wasted! I did some purging of bags that looked used and ribbons that were basically empty but I kept anyway and was left with the items that I cannot wait to use! Ready for the after?!

Though I haven’t found the ‘perfect’ way to store tissue paper or the never ending supply of gift bags we’ve acquired, the elfa system from The Container store has seriously upped the gift wrap storage game! My bags, boxes and tissue are at least all separated and visible now that I purged some and my cards all have a home in that box so I can look for them BEFORE I go buy more at the store!

Loving this area of the office! Now on to the desk and paperwork situations!

xoxo

Whitney