This part of our “Simplifying 2017” series was the part I’ve been most excited to write. I firmly believe that traditions, routines, habits, and systems make people feel safe, secure, and like they belong to something within a home. I think repetition like this makes us feel steady. And when we feel steady, we feel peaceful. My mom and dad worked a lot of these things into our family when my brother and I were growing up – particularly around household chores and holiday traditions. And these are the two areas I’ve found myself focusing on within my home. My kids thrive on structure and love to know what’s next, what’s expected, and what to look forward to. These routines don’t have to be complicated, but being consistent with them will really change the game for your efficiency and, I believe, for the ways you love your family too.
SIMPLIFYING YOUR ROUTINES
- Create simple traditions: On Sundays, we eat cinnamon rolls. I buy them by the can at the grocery store and pop them in the oven a few minutes before everyone wakes up. The smell inevitably draws Brady down the stairs. And then twins start pointing at the oven saying, “Bite! bite!” as soon as they come into the room. It’s super easy and seems somewhat insignificant but Brady KNOWS we have cinnamon rolls on Sundays. He starts talking about them on Saturday afternoon. There’s something about the fact that he knows it’s going to happen that makes him feel happy, loved, taken care of.
- Establish routines for household chores: Laundry. Do I need to say more? Gracious. Sometimes I feel like it’s going to drown me. I’ve gone through phases where I’ll wake up a few minutes early every day, pop a load in, and get it folded and put away before anyone wakes up. Those days are great. But in some seasons, that doesn’t happen. Instead, I chose Wednesdays and Sundays as our laundry tackling days. Bryan knows that once the kids go to bed, it’s folding time (I move it and get it processed through during the day and dump it on our guest room bed). Together, we watch TV and fold laundry, then put it all away. Because I know laundry will get taken care of on Wednesdays and Sundays, I don’t worry about the piling up that happens during the other days of the week.
- Decide who does what: Eight years ago, when Bryan and I were newlyweds, we took some advice from my Mom (who did this with our family of four when I was a kid) and wrote every single household chore down on post-it notes. We spread them out on a poster board and started choosing. I took the ones I knew I could accomplish (and some I even enjoyed doing) and Bryan did the same. Eight years later, he STILL takes the trash out to the street and folds the majority of the laundry and I still empty the dishwasher and plan the meals.
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Simplifying 2017 series, and don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Part 4, along with lots of fun giveaways, discounts, tips and more as we head into the new year. And, if you haven’t picked up your Simplified Planner yet, now’s the time! Orders over $100 get FREE domestic shipping until January 2 (and Happy Stripe is almost sold out)! Get yours before they’re gone! AND my book, Grace, Not Perfection, is on sale on Amazon for under $10 (for a limited time)!! The e-book is just $3.99! Check it out here.
Today we’ve teamed up with our friends over at Minted to give away a $150 gift card (we ADORE their custom art prints!), along with a copy of The Life-Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, Make it Happen by Lara Casey, Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley, and a monogrammed Simplified Planner bundle.