Living a simple and intentional life is all about creating more time, space and freedom for the things you WANT to do, instead of just the things you HAVE to do.
For many of us, one of the biggest burdens on our time and energy will be our homes. Not only do we have to manage the daily influx of clutter, but we also need to keep our homes clean and tidy.
Creating a Home that Supports You
There are two steps to creating a home that works FOR you rather than AGAINST you.
#1 Start by decluttering your stuff so you have only what you need, love and serve a purpose.
#2 Create some simple and intentional routines to keep on top of the housework and ensure your home is clean and tidy with minimal effort.
If you do these two things then your home will be a place that supports you for a fuller life, rather than one which holds you back and takes up your time and energy.
If you get established routines in place for all the main activities you need to do, and the things that you need to remember, then it avoids the last-minute panic and general running around like a headless chicken. Things are done before they need to be done, you can anticipate problems and deal with them. You can do things on a regular basis to maintain your home, 10 or 20 minutes here or there, rather than hours to keep your home running smoothly.
SOME EXAMPLES OF SIMPLE ROUTINES:
#1 Dishes – Wash them straight after you’ve used them rather than letting them pile up so you’ve got a mountain of washing up AND no clean plates.
#2 Tidying up – Tidy up the house throughout the day. Don’t just leave it until the evening when you’re tired and want to relax.
#3 Housework – Little and often so you can fit it in between other things and you don’t have to spend a whole day playing catch-up when you could be doing something more fun.
#4 Delegate – If you’re not the only one in the home then you’re not the only one who’ll be making a mess. Delegate some chores to others. Many hands make light work!
#5 Meal planning and grocery shopping – Avoid last-minute indecision on what to eat when you’re hungry and tired by planning and shopping on a regular basis. You’ll always have food in the house and know what’s on the menu for that day.
#6 Laundry & Ironing – Put a wash on every day (or whatever suits your household) and you’ll always have clean clothes without having to spend the whole day doing laundry. I do the laundry once a week as it’s only me, and iron the clothes before I put them away
#7 Make your bed – Makes your room neat and tidy for the day and inviting for when you’re ready to crash at night.
SETTING UP ROUTINES FOR YOUR HOME
Take a moment to brainstorm your answers to the following questions…
- What things do you have to get done every day?
- What things do you have to get done every week?
- What area(s) of your life cause(s) you the most stress and how could setting routines in place help with that?
- How do you feel when you’ve done something that needs to get done? Do you feel pleased with yourself, happy that you’ve ticked something off your To-Do list, that you’ve created more time for yourself/less stress/are more prepared/given yourself more spare time [delete as appropriate]? Remember this feeling because it will encourage you to develop routines that you actually stick to!
- How do you feel when you don’t get something done because you ran out of time/forgot about it/left it to do tomorrow? Did you feel annoyed with yourself/stressed and overwhelmed that you’re not on top of things/like you’re not in control [delete as appropriate]. Again, remember this feeling because you don’t want to feel like this again!
Routines can keep your home running smoothly without it being too time consuming or hard work. It will just be a case of maintenance rather than a full-on battle.
Your time will be freed up to spend doing things you WANT to do, rather than what you HAVE to do and you’ll feel much more on top of things even if you’ve had a bad day.
Be persistent with yourself and your family in developing the routines and they’ll eventually become second nature so you do them without thinking and you can use the time and mental space and energy it’s created to do other things.