In the UK we have recently started our school summer holidays, in other parts of the world you are already beginning to talk about ‘back to school’!
How do you handle the summer holidays? Are you a stay at home mum and spend every waking hour entertaining the children? Do you work part time and have to arrange childcare with family or summer holiday clubs and then entertain the children when you are not working? Or are you working full time and drop your children off at summer club every day before work and pick them up every evening?
There really isn’t an ideal way to manage the summer holidays. Very often the grass is so much greener in someone else's summer. But we need to be able to manage what our own circumstances throw at us, and do it as best we can.
Those of you who know me and read my blog or follow me on Instagram will probably already know what I am going to say!!!!
Now is the time for your saviour, pared down routine list!
Your pared down - or basic - routine list is the bare minimum you need to do to function safely and with some level of success, little achievements on a daily basis.
My basic routine list includes making the bed and wiping down the bathroom. Both these actions I perform easily and daily and they mean I head downstairs knowing I have at least started the day on the right foot and will be grateful by the end of the day that I did them!
Recently I have added emptying/ filling the dishwasher to my basic routine but this is because I know it will take very little time and now I’ve done it for sometime routinely it is second nature.
Why do I recommend having this pared down routine list?
Because as someone who has found this blog, you are probably the sort of person who would much prefer spending what time you have with your children than tidying up and cleaning. Since we are generally either procrastinators or perfectionists or a mixture of the two it is not our nature to tidy up as we go along or stop to wipe down surfaces and do the washing up after every snack and meal. We are already moving on to the next adventure or appointment. Why? Because we ‘can’t do the job properly now - I’ll do it later’ or ‘ I’ll never clear this mess up, it's too much’.
If your basic routine in the morning includes loading / unloading the dishwasher and the same in the evening that is a major part of the day’s mess sorted. If you don’t have a dishwasher it may be easier for you to actually bite the bullet and wash up after your meals. If you can reuse crockery and cutlery from the draining board this cuts out the ‘drying and putting away’ job.
(you can tell I’ve been there, right?!)
It should go without saying that if you can recruit help - DO IT! But , as I know from experience this can be very hard for the perfectionist to do.
"I’ll do it then at least it is done right" , but then I don’t do it just yet because…. Insert your reason / excuse here.
We need to accept that a job does not have to be done to perfection. The table can be wiped down quickly, you can just hoover the bits you see, can you see out of your windows? - probably good for a while!
Do the basics and then spend time with your children, however much time that is. Get to know them, love and appreciate them as they grow and become excellent young people. Keep your home safe, let your children see that you are looking after them and their home but not at the expense of your relationship. We can do a big ‘reset’ when it is back to school. As long as you know what your basic routines are, which you can accomplish each day, there will be no nasty surprises!
Take a look at your day and see if you can pinpoint those times where you can actually make life easier for yourself. You need to accept there is some level of commitment and then just see how successful you can be! One step at a time is all it takes - BUT BEWARE! Remember our tendency to be perfectionists? DO NOT GET OBSESSED WITH PERFECTION - A JOB DONE AT 50% IS BETTER THAN NOT DONE AT ALL!
My opinion is that keeping on top of the dirty dishes, not letting them pile up until we have no clean ones left, was the best way to kickstart my basic routine. When I've done this task, sometimes I wipe down the surfaces but not always - but despite this I know I’ve done a good job which will make me feel a whole lot better the next time I come into the kitchen!
Take a piece of paper and write down the following:
As the website reopens I will be adding this sheet as a free download - for now all you need is a pen and paper!
You can comment below ↓↓ or look at the end of the blog for all the ways you can contact me privately. I love hearing from you with all your ideas and photos of the areas you are working on!!
You can contact me via my email firstname.lastname@example.org or using the chat bubble on my website, I would love to hear from you!
You can message me on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Linda-J-Harper-Professional-Declutterer-and-Organiser-107805011001601.
I am also on Pinterest and Instagram (where you can also message me) if you need some inspiration! https://www.pinterest.co.uk/adnilenaj1314/boards/
If you head to my Amazon link there are a selection of books to help you declutter, create goals and habits and journal. The Etsy link will take you to my fabulous Meal Planning System which includes Inventory Sheets, Meal Plan Sheet and Shopping Lists.