Simplify Your Life: Step 6 Set Up Routines

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This post is part of a multi-section post in honor of National Simplify Your Life week which is the first week of August. The original post wasn’t as short and simple as I had wanted it to be so I decided to break it down into a few shorter posts.

6. Set Up Routines

This goes without saying for us here and maybe I should have included it in Step 5 but I  felt it deserved its own post. Simple routines for morning, afternoon, and evenings have been the key to making life so much easier and simpler for us. Everyone knows what to expect and what is expected of them and when.

We also have a routine for bill paying, laundry, and our homeschool. The important to remember is that you probably don’t need all of these. Focus on what you need to accomplish and set up a routine. Work on that one routine to simplify it and make it as efficient as possible. This make take a little time but it is so worth it.

Having a hard time getting everyone out the door in the morning? Maybe you should make a routine for the night before. It could include everyone placing their bookbags, briefcases, bags, and things they need at the door or other designated location. Many times our lives are stressful and chaotic because we don’t put a lot of thought into our plans but routines can change that.

Check out Make Over Your Mornings LIVE for some great ideas!

You can read more about all of our routines here. Remember that you need to base your routines around your life and not based on other’s. Routines have been proven to help make people more successful! Check out these books here and here for more ideas!

You can also check out Make Over Your Evenings for more tips on evening routines.

Meal Planning

Part of your routines can include Meal Planning.

This is an absolute necessity in our house. Meal planning is really not as difficult as it may seem and it can be done in so many different ways. There are several posts and article written about meal planning that you can find by searching with Google. There are services and courses you can sign up for too.

You can also check for books on the topic at your local library. A couple of my favorite books are ‘Complete 30 days meal plan: Meal planning ideas including weight loss resources and weight loss recipes‘ and ‘Meal Planning on a Budget: Save Money on Groceries, Master Meal Prep, & Reduce Food Waste to Reach Financial Freedom’I also like this little meal planning pad I found on Amazon, it looks so simple!

Are you tired of spending too much on groceries? Check out Grocery University to learn everything you need to know about making the best of your grocery budget.

Not only can meal planning make your life simpler it can also save you money! You can read more about how we meal plan here and check out some of our previous meal plans here.

Click here to continue to Step 7.

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Afternoon Routines

Below is an example of my current afternoon routine. Please use this as a guideline to help you set up your own routines that work for you and your family.

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Once the kids are down for naps I will check the laundry, if it hasn’t been done already. I hate to find clothes that have been left in the washer and have soured.

Once the dishwasher finishes running, if I had a full load, I will open the door a bit to let the steam out and the dishes will usually dry rather quickly. I then put away everything that goes in the top cabinets and leave the other dishes for DD9 & DD8  to put away. If something hasn’t dried completely I will set it in the dish drainer. I refill the soap dispenser so it is ready for the next load.

This time is usually when I am busy working on things that I need to focus and concentrate on. I have a reminder to drink my water as I often get caught up in whatever project I am working on and forget.

The kids get up around 2:00 and have a snack. If the weather is nice they will normally go outside to play. If not, I will put them on an educational DVD like Signing Times to watch while they play inside. (DD14 had a lot of trouble communicating at first so we have been learning sign language to help him be able to communicate with others who can not understand him.)

While they are playing I will check the mail or send DD17 out to check it for me. I sort the mail as it comes in and immediately place the bills and items that need my attention in a certain slot on my desk and throw away any junk mail.

When we have a garden, usually raised beds in the summer, I turn on the sprinkler when we go out to check on the critters. We will gather the eggs while out and turn off the water when we come back in. I try to wash and put away the eggs when we come in so the littles aren’t tempted to play with them.

Supper gets started about 4:30 ish unless I already have something in the crock pot. They kids will play until it is almost ready and then start a quick pick up. If they have been outside they will also go do a quick wash up before eating. Then they will come to the kitchen to help pass out silverware and plates of food.

We normally at around 5:00 or 5:30.

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After dinner everyone starts to clean up. They put their dishes in the dishwasher, wipe the table and benches, and sweep the floors. We do the littles’ baths/showers on every other day, unless someone is really dirty, so they will take turns. Everyone else will get dressed in their PJS and then head to the play room to play quietly or read.

Ideally we do like to brush our teeth before bed but sometimes this doesn’t happen. When it gets close to bedtime I will have them start to do a quick pickup and then we will have a story, or right now we are doing our Advent Study, and then they will head to bed at 7:30. The two littlest ones will still try to sneak out of bed or insist that Momma needs someone to keep her safe. We just walk them back to their rooms and eventually they get tired enough they just stay.

Our afternoon routine is pretty simple and it helps us to keep on track and keep everyone happy.

Also see:

Getting Routines Started 101

Morning Routines

Evening Routines