I know how busy life gets and we all… ok, most us… feel like we need more time every now and then, right? Well, there are only 24 hours in a day and we can’t make more time no matter how hard we try so that means we just need to find ways to use our time more wisely.
First we need to get our priorities straight and make sure we are getting the things done that need to get done like feeding everyone and making sure they have clean clothes to wear. We should probably make sure we clean the house from time to time and if you homeschool you gotta have time for that too. Not to mention that there are so many other things like appointments, grocery shopping, and other obligations that happen everyday.
Sometimes it seems like there is no time left for the fun stuff but I promise that routines can help. I have written many a post about our routines here. Our routines help keep us running smoothly most of the time. The routines work when we follow them and sometimes we don’t but we quickly realize how much we need them. As soon as we get back on routine our lives get less chaotic.
I have included some pics and screenshots of our different routines and schedules below but please don’t think this is complicated. Ours are far more complicated than most as we have a lot of things going on here and I need these to keep myself and my household organized. Every family is different and every set of routines will be different What works for us may not work for you but feel free to use these as a guideline for setting up your own routines and/or schedules.
However our routines have changed over the years, months, and days. We have made some changes to our routines just this month that have helped in many ways. I am constantly looking at ways to tweak our routine by adding or removing things to them. We have many types of routines too but if you are just starting out then you should probably keep it simple. You probably have routines but may not realize it.
We have a morning routine that involves everyone getting up, making their beds, and having breakfast. My morning routine looks different than my kids’ routine because I am the adult. I know what needs to happen and I make sure they understand what needs to happen. By doing these same things everyday they learn their routine and it becomes natural for them. Do we forget things sometimes? Yes, we do. Some days I don’t look at my checklist and we forget. It doesn’t usually cause a lot of trouble as we catch it and correct whatever it was… like filling the water bottles or making tea. That doesn’t take too long to figure out that someone forgot to do those two things.
When we find something that isn’t getting done we add it to our routine checklist. Mr. joey is new to wearing glasses and he kept forgetting to put them on. As I check through my list every morning I can check to see if he has them on and remind him if has forgotten. We have very few days that he forgets now so maybe sometime in the future I can erase that from the list.
We also have a cleaning routine that we use for things that need to get done at least once a week:
There is another part to our cleaning routine that was once divided up daily but since we changed our routines around most od these are divided up between Mondays:
Then we have our school routine or schedule that we use. For that we mostly stick to our Loop Schedule. This has been the easiest way for us to make sure we ‘get it all in’ as we do our school work. We have also had a school routine in the past. This month we changed up our school routine a little bit too which has helped out in so many ways.
In addition to morning, afternoon, and evening routines we also have monthly routines that include things like:
And then we have some yearly things that include things like:
I have went through the year and marked down a few things that need to get done at certain increments through the year or during certain seasons. That way we can get a start on things and hopefully not end up with a mountain of tasks that seems so overwhelming. I even went so far as to think back on the last year and things that we wished had turned out differently. These have been added to our routines and To-Do lists so that they can hopefully be taken care of beforehand to make this year even smoother than last year.
I also keep a running To-Do List of things I need to accomplish. This is worked into my morning routine. I try to dedicate 15-20 minutes every morning to a task or two on my To-Do list. Then when I have a big project I will try to divide it into smaller tasks or block off a chunk of time to work on it. To-Do lists are great for everyone as it can keep you focused on what needs done and it can teach children to focus on managing their own set of To-Dos which will help them out later on in life.
Getting back to the To-Do List I have also added a couple of tasks on the large calendar too. As you can see below I still have a few to finish before the end of the month.
Our calendar plays a big part in our schedules as it can get crazy keeping track of everything. With this many kids there are lots of appointments and activities. Plus when you add in our square dancing and such our schedules can get overfilled really quickly. I have color coded our calendar to show, at a glance, when we have appointments, holidays, birthdays, and other important activities.
Each of the kiddos has their own ‘assigned color’ so I can tell who the appointments are for even when I’m not close enough to read it. I really love the fact that I can use the same colors on our Cozi Calendar too. Every week I have been taking a few minutes to check my calendar and planner and update any changes. Address labels work really well when you need to ‘mark our’ something and write something else in its place.
Hopefully these few changes to our routines and schedules will continue to help us find more time for fun stuff as we spend less time running around in a panic trying to get things done at the last minute. Things should definitely be a lot less stressful around here too.
What routines and schedules have helped you the most in your home? What are some things you have on your To-Do list that you plan to tackly today?