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4 Simple Homemaking Routines

by | Aug 31, 2008 | Domesticity

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4 Simple Homemaking Routines

In my endeavor to live life more fully and authentically, I’m always evaluating things I want to incorporate into my life and what things I DON’T want. I want to have a beautiful and organized home, but there are other things in life that are important to me too. So, how do I balance it all? I keep it simple.

When I was a younger mom, I was forever making up lists and methods to keep track of everything from organization to daily routines to holiday gift giving. The problem was, once I would get the systems all set up, I wouldn’t use them. Not very helpful! The reason for that was I made it more complicated than it needed to be. As my family grew and my responsibilities in the world compounded, I didn’t have time to maintain a lengthy and detailed system.

Over the years I’ve found a few simple homemaking routines that work for me, and I’m sticking to them. I can add other things, of course, but these are the tried and true basics for me.

1. Morning routines. I have found that having a regular morning routine works best for me. This involves at the very least: some quiet time, making the bed, taking a shower, putting on very simple makeup and getting dressed right down to my shoes. I find if I start out the day with those few things, I am ready for anything.

2. Clean sinks. I learned the Flylady system back when my son was born. I was taking care of him, my two grade school girls and during the day, I was watching my nephew who was born five weeks before my son. All that and working part-time. With four kids and a tiny house, I ran into frustration over having too much to handle. Flylady to the rescue! She broke it down for me and I listened. Clean and shiny sinks, always. Morning routines. Shoes. I could do that.

3. Cleaning frenzies. Since the beginning of our marriage, my hubby and I have utilized cleaning frenzies to give our home a quick clean up. A cleaning frenzy might last ten minutes or even up to a half hour. But everyone participates. We run around picking things up, putting things back, and generally tidying things up. Sometimes we focus on one room, sometimes it is a whole house frenzy. It works like a charm to make a big impact in a short period of time.

4. Nightly kitchen clean up. Every night, almost without fail, we clean the kitchen. We put away dishes, load the final dishwasher load of the day, wipe off counters, and polish up the sink. There is nothing like waking up to a clean kitchen to make your day feel less overwhelming.

What are your tried and true daily homemaking routines? Are they routines yet or are you still figuring out what works? What are the things you feel you must do everyday to keep on top of things?

photo: Coastal Living Tria Glovan

Stay tuned for Nesting Week!

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47 Comments

  1. Ruth

    I am So for the cleaning frenzy! We do that before bathtime and when visitors are coming over and whenver I get the “this place is a pig-sty!!” urge to clean up. It works really well – especially when the kids are involved!

    The morning routine, I agree, is SO important as the rest of the day falls into place if this works. My personal pitfall can be if I get on the computer before the routines finished! One blog leads to another, and another then…it’s lunchtime!

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading other peoples comments too!

    Reply
  2. Bonnie Matton

    I agree with all your points. We have done the same thing in our home. As our kids were growing up, I use to call the cleaning frenzy..transfer time. Everyone get up and put your stuff back where it belongs…ready.set.go! It was great and accomplished so much in a short amount of time. I have been enjoying your posts for a few months and then just realized you are a contributor on Blissfully Domestic. I just submitted my first article yesterday. I am on the Home and Garden channel~I assume you are too! Small cyber world! :-) Bonnie

    Bonnie Mattons last blog post..Great Flick

    Reply
  3. Penny

    Every morning before my shower, I make the bed…I cook, so my husband does the dishes – everynight. Laundry is sorted as it is taken off each night. We have three hampers. One for whites, darks and pastels.
    Hugs,
    Penny

    Reply
  4. Bobbie

    I love a routine! Your routines sound a great deal like my routines. I have started a morning quiet time of bible study and prayer that is really working for me- doing it at the same time, in the same spot. I too have found that flylady shine your sink works really well for me as well as the nightime routine of dishes in dishwasher, wipe down counters. etc… It has kept my kitchen clean! I am trying to incorporate her other ideas that I have not been able to yet- but I am pretty happy that I have the kitchen routine down!

    Bobbies last blog post..Here we go again…

    Reply
  5. Layla Palmer

    Since I am using Apple as my accent color in my kitchen, I was CAPTIVATED by the photo at the beginning of this post….thanks for the inspiration!

    :-)
    Layla
    The Lettered Cottage

    Layla Palmers last blog post..Lettered Olive – Sneak Peek

    Reply
  6. lucinda

    That corny shiney sink trick of flyladys sure does work. I’ve used it for years. I always get up before my family a throw in a load of laundry. I’ve tried doing a little bit as I go during the week so the weekend isn’t spent doing housework.

    Reply
  7. kari & kijsa

    Thank you for all your prayers and blessings!
    Have a wonderful Labor Day,
    kari & kijsa

    kari & kijsas last blog post..Sunday Grace

    Reply
  8. janet

    I always make the bed the minute I get out of it. Makes me feel good to start the day with the bed all made. And I always make sure the kitchen is clean before I go to bed.
    Janet

    janets last blog post..WEEKEND WALK-BY

    Reply
  9. Jan

    I love the flylady. She has been a blessing to so many women. I think your ideas are very wise and useful. I love that kitchen picture too. Always nice to visit you.

    Jans last blog post..Instruments

    Reply
  10. Irene

    Trully useful and it makes sense.
    Loading dishawashers and having the laundry out of the way makes me feel like a proper housewife, in charge of my household: clean clothes-clean dishes.
    I also feel ahead of my tasks when I have plants watered and balcony tiles clean. I know I have my resting nook waiting for me!

    Reply
  11. Rachael

    For me its beds made, laundry up to date and always, always a clean and clear kitchen bench, otherwise I feel out of control! I am off to see what the flylady is all about! Rachaelxo

    Rachaels last blog post..Cairns, Australia – Day Five

    Reply
  12. Liz

    All great ideas there! Oh for a dishwasher, we’re about to re-model to incorporate one into the kitchen. Then I’m adopting that!

    I must admit I have make beds, it makes the bedrooms look tidy. I also have school uniform out the night before and school bags packed and by the front door – saves so much time in the morning not hunting for things.

    Lizs last blog post..Back to School

    Reply
  13. The Pleasures of Homemaking

    Making sure the kitchen is all cleaned up before we go to bed is a must! Also, we set the coffee and breakfast things the night before. The less we have to do in the a.m. rush the better!

    Manuela

    The Pleasures of Homemakings last blog post..Oops Paint

    Reply
  14. sarah

    I always have to have the kitchen clean. I feel like if the kitchen is clean then the rest of my house is spotless. Thanks for the flylady link.

    sarahs last blog post..Change is good….

    Reply
  15. teresa

    I’m with you on number 1- I live by that rule. {plus I would so scare people If I didn’t put some make-up on. =o
    I have several OCD’s when it comes to cleaning my home.

    Fabulous photo- thanks for sharing-
    Have a great day-

    Reply
  16. meg duerksen

    i just took a break from my cleaning frenzy…i am still sweating.
    i agree with everything you said.
    but i don’t like to do any of that either. :)

    but it must be done. a mentor mom used to say to me “you’re the mom now. if you don’t do it…who will?” it rings in my ears all the time.
    now back to my baseboards.

    meg duerksens last blog post..lazy sunday

    Reply
  17. At Home Redesigns

    Great ideas.

    We sometimes set the kitchen timer for 10 ro 15 minutes after dinner and do a quick cleanup. It is amazing how much you can get done when everyone pitches in and moves as fast as they can, even for a short time!

    And my 5-year-old loves to do it. The timer makes it sort of a game.

    Mary

    At Home Redesignss last blog post..How do you decorate for autumn?

    Reply
  18. Beverly

    My kitchen and bathrooms have to be “clean” before I go to bed at night. I also take a quick walk through the house to put things where they belong.

    I clean my kitchen as I cook. It works great for me because all that is left to do after the meal is put away leftovers and put the dishes in the dishwasher.

    Reply
  19. Nicole

    I,too, use morning routines, lace-up shoes, and the clean sink method a la FlyLady. I also find that if I’ve made my bed, I feel better about my home, but I don’t always manage to do it. To manage my household cleaning needs, I schedule two cleaning frenzies a day. One takes place in the morning – I try to always schedule a 15 minute time slot to attack one room or a hot spot before I take the kids to school in the morning. Also I try to incorporate a 15 minute cleaning frenzy later in the day, after the kids are done with homework but before they go out to play. The kids frenzy in their rooms and I pick a room or hot spot to go after. Another thing I do is I enforce that the kids MUST clean up after themselves around the house, even if it means they don’t get to go out and play. I refuse to be their maid and I make sure they are learning good habits. It’s very difficult (sometimes it would just be easier to pick their things up myself) but someday I hope it will pay off.

    Reply
  20. Madelyn

    I agree with all of your points. I love that picture too! What a fantastic image, it makes me want to revamp my kitchen! Fabulous Post!

    Reply
  21. Lorrie

    Morning routines are important for me, too. Getting myself ready and then my bedroom enables me to leave that part of the house knowing that it’s tidy and welcoming for me at the end of the day.
    Keeping a clean kitchen is another ritual – it’s always clean when I go to bed at night, like you say, that makes for an easier morning.
    When our children were small, I always had a “cleanup” time just before dinner. All the toys had to be put away in their places, out of the living/dining room.
    Lorrie

    Lorries last blog post..just a hint

    Reply
  22. Ramona Owen

    Flylady rocks! That clean kitchen sink thing really, really works! You know what else works? Your blog! Inspiration…after visiting your site I am filled with inspiration for hours and hours and then some. I will be joining in on your Fall Nesting Week tomorrow…I can’t wait. Enjoy the final hours of summer vacation.

    Smiles ~ Ramona

    Ramona Owens last blog post..What’s A Girl To~Do?

    Reply
  23. Claire

    I am a firm believer in cleaning frenzies – referred to as cleaning fits in my house.

    Claires last blog post..Mixture

    Reply
  24. Trina McNeilly

    Great post…. gets me thinking. I have to have a clean kitchen, it makes all the difference. My oldest just started kindergarten and getting up and going early is very new to me, so I’m trying to work out some routine that works for us. I just have an urge to get everything in order before I leave in the morning and I’m finding that isn’t quite possible before 7:45 a.m. – ha! I’m trying to just go with the flow a little mess here and there.. Have a great week!
    xx Trina

    Trina McNeillys last blog post..High & Low

    Reply
  25. pam

    I agree, I always get up way before the kids have to get him, I find if I’m up and dress and ready for the day it makes mornings better.

    pams last blog post..All in a days work

    Reply
  26. Rita Finn

    I have terra cotta scent rings that I put on the lamps around the house with essential oils in them. That’s my last stroke after a big cleaning so it not only looks nice, it smells heavenly!

    Rita Finns last blog post..T. Rex

    Reply
  27. Andrea

    I completely agree with the morning routine thing – if I’ve unstacked the dishwasher, made the bed, had a shower and got dressed, I feel like I can face anything the day has to offer. And with aplomb! :)

    I LOVE the new site, Melissa – so pretty :)

    Andreas last blog post..Another update

    Reply
  28. A-M

    Oh a woman after my own heart… A SINK GIRL…. I so have to have clean sinks… hubby just does not get it…… and yes the kitchen has to be perfect for a perfect new day. We do the cleaning frenzy too. Routines are great and the little ones love them… as they achieve goals once they’ve completed them. I even have a weekly ‘Effort Award’ for my boys. It’s just a computer generated certificate but they love adding them to their ‘Effort Award’ Folders. Daddy is always coming up with some crazy new artwork to mix it up a bit! A-M xx

    A-Ms last blog post..Still Just Dirt and Stuff

    Reply
  29. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    As always, I love your tips. These are great ones too. House keeping is not my favorite thing about being an adult, but it has to be done. Having a full sink of dirty dishes is the worst, so I try to always keep it empty:)

    Melissa Lewis – Off The Walls last blog post..Every Woman Needs Her Luxuries

    Reply
  30. kristacolvin

    hi melissa! this is what my AMNW segment was on + i’ve got a simple worksheet to download so you can create your own routines…it’s on http://www.theshebang.com under Shebang 101 project 1!

    Reply
  31. Alyssa

    I sooo am at the stage where I make lists and schedules and they never work. I think I’ll try your strategy. It sure sounds much more doable.

    Alyssas last blog post..This is My Prayer

    Reply
  32. Joy

    Thanks so much for this post!! I stumbled across it while blog-surfing and it was just the right amount of encouragement. You see, I’m a newlywed eagerly expecting her first child having just moved into a new home – all things considered… it’s a bit much. I found your tips really helpful and easy things to keep in mind to make my new life a little less overwhelming! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    Reply
  33. Joy

    sorry… there was a typo in the website url I posted from…
    Thanks again!! :)

    Joys last blog post..{a notable nursery}

    Reply
  34. Debbie

    I have my morning routine which is coffee, quiet time, and then exercise. I always make my bed and clean out the kitchen sink. I read Fly Lady too. When things get out of hand, my husband plays fast music and we have a race to see how much we can get done before the song ends.

    Reply
  35. Penny

    I completely agree with the morning routine and I start with a cup of coffee and my quite time before the morning starts. I also like to play music when I’m cleanning and I even more enjoy it when I’m by myself I get so much more done…no interuptions.. Everyone have a great week and thank you Melissa for the post you so inspire me to get up and get going.

    Pennys last blog post..The Beautiful People’s Beauty Book

    Reply
  36. Tammy

    I love the above mentioned tips.

    My favorite is the “basket clean-up”. I go through the house and gather everything that goes upstairs into a basket. I then send the kids up with the basket to unload.

    Quick and easy and less overwhelming on everyone when the chores are split in half!
    ~Tammy

    Tammys inspiring blog post..The Difference A Day Makes

    Reply
  37. Sandwiched

    Fabulous ideas, and a great inspiration to get back to basics. Maybe I’ll even pull out my Flylady control journal!

    Sandwicheds inspiring blog post..The One-Year Mark: Part One

    Reply
  38. Rona

    I try to do a quick kitchen cleaning before I retire to bed. On my days off I do as much housecleaning as I can.

    Once a month, I have a housekeeper come in to do the deep cleaning. It worth every penny.

    Ronas inspiring blog post..Target.com – Free Shipping When You Spend $50

    Reply
  39. Amanda

    We always do a mini-cleanup right after dinner. This is mainly to have my son (13 mos.) start learning to clean up his toys and books for the day. After he is in bed, we do a bigger pickup for 10-30 minutes, throughout the rest of the house.
    All during the day, when I am walking from one room to the next, I scan for any items that need to go to that room and take them with me. This takes no time at all and really helps control the clutter. It’s been one of the best habits I’ve developed for keeping up.

    Amandas inspiring blog post..Good-bye Microwave

    Reply

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