I have a newborn and a (almost) two year old, which means our house can get pretty chaotic. I try to stick to a routine everyday to make sure our household runs smooth; Mostly so I don't rip my hair out and drink a bottle of wine a night. I also love to have down time with my husband, so making sure everything is done for the day/night means more quality time alone without kids or chores.
Here's a peek into my everyday routine!
I wake up in the morning, around 6:30am and my husband gets our 22 month old (Lyric) ready for school and heads out the door. I stay back and feed the baby then make some coffee. From the time I'm done feeding him I have about 1hr 30mins until he eats again, so I put him in his swing and set a timer on my phone for an hour. This is my designated time to clean the house for the day, so it's done and I don't have to worry about it later. Having a timer set helps me so much, especially in the distraction department because I have in my mind "I NEED to get this done before the timer goes off" and it helps get goals accomplished so much faster! If I have Lyric home, I get him breakfast and while he's eating is when I would do my fast cleaning, maybe even cutting it short to 30 minutes versus the hour.
Heres what I clean in that hour: 7am-8am
Living Room - pick everything up and straighten up toys/ blankets & pillows
Dining room- wipe down the table and clear the cups or plates from the night before
Kitchen- clean & sterilize bottles, unload dishwasher, load dishwasher, clean counter tops, clean coffee bar
Lowens Room- pick up dirty clothes and throw it in the washer/ straighten up
Lyrics Room- pick up toys, dirty clothes and diapers
Guest Bathroom- hang towels, clean counter top & put clothes in washer
ONE HOUR CLEAN- UP CHART
Next, I prepare for the evening/ next day. Preparing for the evening and next day is SO important in our house. We pretty much have the same routine everyday so it's easy for me to anticipate what the next day brings.
Heres what I do:
I lay out Lyric's clothes for the night (after bath) with lotion and the shirt he will be wearing the next day. He goes to bed after the bath so the shirt doesn't get dirty. Then I lay out shorts and a diaper for the next day (for school). My husband gets him ready at 6:30am so this is one last thing he has to think about or do. He tells me all the time how much he appreciates it!
Next, I Prep dinner during nap time or whatever down time that I have. Sometimes I'll just do a quick prep by cutting veggies and preparing the meat, or I'll cook the meal and store it in the fridge for an easy dinner heat up. I love doing this because the evenings are normally really busy for us. That's when the baby needs to eat and so does Lyric (and he is everything but patient). So having this prepared and ready to go right when my husband gets home has been really nice.
Preparing the baby's bottles is next on my to-do list. I recently switched to a combination of formula and breastmilk so I get the bottles sterilized and laid out for the night and morning feedings. It's so much easier having it ready to go versus pouring the water and putting the pieces together in the middle of the night.
Last thing I do is start a load of laundry. I do a load just about every day... maybe I can get by with every other day. We have a relatively small house, so instead of going around collecting laundry baskets from every room, we normally just leave the washer top open and put clothes in as we go through the day. For example: If Lyric takes a bath, we just automatically take his clothes to the washer instead of to his room. It makes one less step for me. Once the washer is full, I start the load. I don't normally separate by colors, but if I do, I'll leave whites in a pile on the laundry room floor and do those ones my pile gets large enough.
I meal plan throughout the week as I stumble upon healthy recipes and I write it down in my phones notes. On Friday's I place an order for our groceries to be delivered Saturday morning. I do it the next day so incase I forget anything I have 24hrs to think and add to the list. Once it arrives on Saturday I spend Sundays making stuff that doesn't need to be "fresh". For instance, I make chicken patties because those can be stored in the fridge well. If it's something that needs to be baked for crispiness I'll do that the day of with my dinner prep.
I do this same routine everyday whether I have Lyric home from school or not. I wish I could sit on the couch all day but unfortunately our house would be so crazy and my husband and I would probably have a mental breakdown. Doing this everyday takes 2 hours out of my day, but makes the world of a difference when it comes to running a smooth household. It keeps my husband and I sane, and at the end of the evening when both kids are in bed, we can relax and enjoy each other company because everything is already done for the next day. I'm speaking from a stay at home mom perspective because I honestly have no idea what I would do if I had to go to work on top of all this. haha.
I do my deep cleaning randomly by giving myself one "project" every month so I don't get whelmed by a bunch of deep cleaning. Keeping the house tidy has been my saving grace with that as well. As long as I stay organized during the week I don't really have a lot to do on the weekends.
I hope this helps my stay at home mamas get some stuff done in the little time we have! I know it can be hard caring for kids, the house work, yourself and husband. But by setting aside as hour or two out of your day to clean up and reset will make the world of a difference.