By Katie Bennett, Contributing Writer.
The responsibility of running a home can overwhelm me at times. Especially now that I have three little children in the house, the work and mess of it are unending.
I’ve given up on perfection and pride, because there is none of those to be had in my home in this season. A home isn’t worth that level of devotion anyway. Rather, when I’m doing the work of it, I strive for a better overall average quality of living.
Because let’s be honest, that floor I just swept is going to be crumbing again within the next few hours. That glass I cleaned will be hand-printed again by the end of the day. By the time I finish a weekly laundry haul (a two-day process), all the hampers are halfway filled back up.
There is no arriving, but I have still managed to eek out some semblance of balance within my home. To this end, habit has been my greatest resource and friend.
There are quite a few habits that I implement with relative consistency, but here are four that I believe make a quick difference in the equation.
4 Habits for a Well-Balanced Home
Immediate Paper Processing
I recently accepted the challenge to get rid of 500 items from my home in 14 days. It sounds kind of crazy, but after completing only the first day of the challenge, I’m already 100 things lighter!
Day 1 was paper clutter. While I was able to find enough paper clutter to keep up with the challenge, I also realized that I do a pretty good job of processing paper as it comes into the house, which prevents it from piling up.
For me this means all papers hit the dining room table when we enter the home. These are cleared as soon as I can get to them. They go one of three places. Either they are immediately recycled (I don’t keep much), filed away (I will create a new file immediately if needed to keep them from piling up), or placed in our paper sorter if they require attention or action.
Using this systematic approach takes only minutes per day, but saves the chaos and stress caused by mountains of papers in the home.
Systematic Meal Planning
This is I habit that’s new to me, but it’s making a difference! My goal is to sit down at my computer once a week (usually Sunday), and create a plan. I use an online meal planning service to plan out my meals for the week using a drag and drop tool. I then print out automatically generated recipes and shopping lists and write my menu on our kitchen chalkboard.
If I do this consistently, my home runs so much better throughout the week. It is well worth the effort up front!
Morning Bed Making
Each morning when I get up, I make a point to make my bed when I get dressed. I finish by opening the curtains and putting all dirty clothes in the hamper. I follow this routine for each of my kids’ rooms.
I can’t begin to tell you how much good it does me to know that all the bedrooms are made up before we even start our day. It creates a sense of order and balance that truly make life better.
Disciplined Dish Washing
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the visual and literal burden created by unwashed dishes. We do nothing but create more work when we leave them for later. I have had to train myself to the habit of immediate dish-washing. This was not my natural inclination because I’m tired after prepping, cooking and feeding dinner to my family. I want to rest!
However, through consistency and discipline, I have re-trained my body. As a result, I now have the stamina to wash the dishes immediately and then rest afterwards. This is a much better plan for running a home well!