Over the past few years, in trying to achieve order in my home, I have talked to numerous experienced homemakers, read homemaking blogs and books, and sought out relevant resources to help me acquire any and every homemaking hack to help my home run as efficiently as possible. When my home is running efficiently, I am happy, and my family is happy. I also have more time to devote to other things that I care about, and I am dealing with less stress and less chaos. Although I am still very new at all of this, I would like to share what daily disciplines I have already implemented that have helped me the most in achieving my homemaking goals. (I can’t take credit for these ideas, but I can attest that all of them are effective.)
1.) Wash, dry, fold, and put away a load of laundry before you start another load.
We’ve all done it. We wash and dry our laundry, and then another load and another, and the clean clothes pile up into a mountain. Or, we start folding laundry and put the piles on our bed, but we have to stop in the middle. And then at bedtime, we have to move the unfinished piles of clean laundry so that we can lay down and go to sleep! Or the worst—when the baskets of clean laundry sit unfolded for so long that we have to rewash them!
This practice of being diligent to fold and put away one load of laundry before we start washing another load is huge in keeping your laundry under control. Yes, it may seem more efficient to have one load in the washer while another is in the dryer and keep it going this way, but if you struggle to fold and put away laundry every day and keep the clean laundry basket empty, this may be a habit that you can try to establish. It is so much easier and takes so much less time to just fold and put away one load at a time than to fold and put away a few days’ worth of laundry!
2.) Plan your meals one week ahead of time.
The practice of meal planning is absolutely necessary for your family’s health, your budget, and your sanity. I use the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook to plan my meals. One thing that I have done in the past is to save my old meal plans and rotate them every four weeks, and to save the shopping list that I made for each plan. This has saved me a lot of time, and I know that the recipes were good because we had already tried them all. You will be able to eat so much healthier if you plan your meals ahead of time and then eat leftovers for lunch the next day, especially because you will not have to eat out as much. This will also save you a fortune.
3.) Make your breakfasts on the weekend for the following week.
As a working mom, I would often get rushed in the mornings and I would not have time to make and eat breakfast. This is a terrible habit. What helped me to always make sure that I started my day with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast was to make my breakfast on the weekend and then put the individual servings in Ziploc baggies in the refrigerator. I would alternate between meals that I could cook in a 9”x13” glass casserole dish, like Oatmeal Bake and Breakfast Casserole. Each day, I would pull out a baggie and heat up my breakfast in the microwave. Most of the time, I’d pull it out of the microwave and eat it on the go.
4.) Keep a daily cleaning schedule and set a timer each night to clean.
Before I started doing this, I felt like all I did was clean. Then when I had kids, I felt like all I did was clean, and yet it was never clean. (Anyone else feel this way? J) I don’t particularly like to clean, and I find the whole process overwhelming. But setting a timer really did help me to get a lot done in a short amount of time, even if it was only 15 minutes. Doing a little every day is so much more effective than trying to have one big cleaning spree. Also, it helps to focus on different areas at a time, i.e., living room on Monday, bathrooms on Tuesday, etc. FlyLady has the best resources for this.
5.) Plan a freezer cooking day.
This can take a lot of planning and you will need to block out at least half of a day, but if you want to save the time every day that you would normally spend cooking dinner, then this discipline is for you. However, there are also so many different freezer cooking plans online that you can download that just tell you exactly what to do. I have done this before and I love it. It is a good idea especially for moms who are getting close to having a baby. There is such a feeling of relief knowing that your freezer is stocked full of meals for your family that you just have to pull out, thaw, and cook.
I hope you find this list helpful. What essential daily disciplines can you add to this list? Would you please add your most useful disciplines in the comments? Also, have you subscribed to Start Homemaking? Scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your e-mail address and click subscribe. Thank you for visiting!