1. Wake up early. I know this one stinks, but it is the best way to get a jump on your day. Otherwise, the day seems to be in control rather than you controlling the day.
2. Waking up early starts with going to bed earlier. I know that you like the time after the kids have gone to bed for yourself, or for working on projects, or even for trying to catch up on housework. The fact is, shutting down and turning in earlier will make for a better morning and you will likely be more productive. This may not be accurate for the true night owls out there, but I urge you to give it a try.
3. Evening preparations. Make sure everything that is needed to leave the house in the morning is prepped and where it should be. Teach your children this habit as soon as you possibly can, it can make your life easier.
4. Institute meal-planning. Whether you have every meal for the week planned out, or you have 6 dinners to pick from each day, find a way to make meal planning work for you. I love Pinterest for ideas for meals! Look at your meal plan the evening before and see if you need to do any prep like take something out of the freezer, or prepare the crock pot.
5. Do one complete load of laundry a day. From start to finish. Build a habit of grabbing everyone’s clothes after bathtime and tossing in wash. and then toss in dryer before bed. Or in the morning when you get up. Take 5-10 minutes to fold and put away that load (or have your kids do it!) One load a day may or may not be enough for your family, but doing at least one load every day will help you stay on top of the pile.
6. Do your best to get your dishes done in the evening before going to bed. I know this can be hard sometimes, but think how much better it feels in the morning to come down to a clean sink. Build this habit and you will appreciate it. Again, if your kids are old enough to do the dishes or at least help, then let them! See: My strategy for getting the dishes done
7. Take 5 minutes and buzz through the bathrooms with a damp cloth. Straighten, wipe, and keep a toilet brush handy for swishing the toilet. Take any dirty towels and clothes to laundry room. Some days use a paper towel with windex to shine things up, including the mirror.
8. A place for everything and everything in its place. We have heard this our whole lives and it is true, it makes life a lot easier. One problem is that we have accumulated too much stuff so that we have a difficult time keeping things in their places. Work on clearing clutter and designating homes for regularly used items. And teach your children this as well. I know well how discouraging it can be to walk into a room and multiple things are sitting out. On the reverse, think how calming it is to walk into a room where everything is tidy and orderly. (notice I didn’t say spotless) See: How to magically make your house cleaner
9. Have a bedtime routine that includes putting away toys, books, dishes, trash, etc and picking out clothes for tomorrow. Having this routine in place will help your kids learn responsibility and know what is expected of them. We are their mom, not their maid.
10. Do not say YES immediately to new requests. Come up with a response, such as “Let me check my calendar and get back with you.” Or if you know you need to say NO, get it over with. And don’t feel like you have to explain why. A simple, “Due to other obligations, I won’t be able to ________”. See: You know you say YES too much if…
Okay, before you go feeling like a total failure, and wondering how will I ever be able to do all these things, listen to me.
Pick 1 or 2 things to start working on today.
Do them consistently and teach your family to do the same. Once they become habit, add 2 more things. Keep at it slowly and you will be surprised at how doing these little things will help relieve some of your stress, and lighten that burden that moms always seem to be carrying on their shoulders.
Ron Huxley: I am not a clean freak but I love these simple tips for keeping ahead of the chaos. The trick is that you have to do this everyday or it will overtake you.