I cannot tell you how many times I have been asked how we manage our time. First of all, let me tell you, it is a work in progress. If you came over to my house at this very instant, you would find: dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, children in their pajamas…and it is 9:09AM. I am FAR from perfect and June Cleaver could kick my butt any day of the week. This fact drives me crazy! Seriously, I lay awake a night trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve tried just about every suggestion, website, etc. to get our house in a fine-tuned working order. As it stands, our house is at a constant state of controlled chaos. So, if you are like me, here are some things that we have tried and some helpful hints.
I am a list maker. My lists have lists. Their lists have lists. The problem, I forget to look at the lists. Seriously. I get so buys that the lists quickly go out the window. If you are nodding your head in agreement, you and I are kindred spirits. We started off this year with a set schedule of when to get up, when to shower, when to do schoolwork, etc. It wasn’t working. What I found was that I was allowing TOO much time for each catagory (schoolwork, housework). The kids were loosing their focus and it dragged on forever. A 10-minute tasks turned into 2 1/2 hours. This does not bode well with productivity. So, this is what we’ve been doing and it has been working wonderfully:
We still have a set list of things that we need to accomplish during the day, but only meal times are written in stone. There is now a list of daily tasks that takes the place of the minute-by-minute schedule. This gives the kids (and myself, are you kidding) flexibility to switch things up and do things they actually feel like doing at the moment and come back to those they are less enthused about.
So, what is the 30-15 Rotation? It stands for 30-minute and 15-minute increments.
- 30-minutes ASL drilling/lessons with kids
- 15-minutes reading/responding to emails
- 30-minutes reading with our 4-year-old
- 15-minutes washing dishes
- 30-minutes outside recess with kids
- 15-minutes folding laundry
- 30-minutes helping our 10-year-old with schoolwork
- 15-minutes checking Facebook
We eat every 3 hours:
- 6AM – Breakfast (5AM – 6:30AM prep, cooking, eating & clean-up)
- 9AM – Snack (8:30AM – 9:30AM prep, eating & clean-up)
- Noon – Lunch (11AM – 1PM prep, cooking, eating & clean-up)
- 3PM – Snack (2:45PM – 3:30PM prep, eating & clean-up)
- 6PM – Lunch (4PM – 7PM prep, cooking, eating & clean-up)
Our goal is to never eat past 7PM. The little ones are encouraged not to drink after 7PM either in hopes of eliminating accidents. In case you are wondering, yes, we do use a kitchen timer to keep things moving. The kids are now trained to reset the timer for the appropriate increments. They know if we just spent 30-minutes on schoolwork, they now have 15-minutes to complete a chore, take a shower, or whatever floats their boat. When the timer goes off, it is time to get back to business with the next task.
Things that we have either tried, modified or currently use:
Cozi.com – Organize your entire families schedule. Multiple people can log in and set/change appointments. You can keep a journal and issue out newsletters. Email calendars to grandparents so they can keep up to date on what is happening with sports events, babysitting, etc. Best part – It’s FREE!
FlyLady.net – If you are one of those people who just don’t have the time to sit down and make a cleaning schedule or find it helpful to have someone to tell you what to clean each day, the FlyLady is your gal! This site has a multitude of resources. What I love about this site is there are recipes posted for homemade cleaners to go along with each list of daily tasks, SCORE!
MomsBudget.com – This is by far one of my FAVE sites! Free printable for organizing every aspect of your home. Recipes, freezer cooking tips, homemade cleaners, shampoos, etc. If you are searching for ways to pinch your pennies, here is your one stop shop!
Dave Ramsey – OK, you are thinking, what does Dave Ramsey have to do with controlling the chaos in my house? Hear me out. Financial chaos is one of the BIGGEST reasons for divorce in our country, no lie. Finding financial peace is a big step in overall household organization. Finances, after all, is the grease that keeps a household running. True? Secondly, Dave Ramsey has a wonderful program for the kids too. Our kiddos are currently doing Financial Peace Jr. and have learned a great deal about managing their finances. Our kiddos do not receive an allowance, instead they earn a commission. Each person in our household has 24 tasks to complete each day before 8PM. Of those 24 tasks, the kids receive commission for 12 of them on a daily basis. Managing the household as a family unit, fosters responsibility, unity, and drives home the importance that everyone is accountable in a family. I’ll talk more about this later.
Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman – you can buy it here on Amazon.com
The Duggars: 20 and Counting – you can buy it here on Amazon.com
A Love That Multiplies: An Up-Close View of How They Make it Work – you can buy it here on Amazon.com
WHAT IS THE BEST TIP YOU HAVE FOR KEEPING YOUR HOUSEHOLD ORGANIZED AND FUNCTIONAL?