This article was contributed by our good friend Kenna from The Flip Hubb.
Well, it's official. Summer is coming to a close whether we’re crying about it or cheering for it. Although the sunsets are sticking around and the warm days will last a few weeks longer, the kids have loaded up their backpacks. Parents everywhere are all set and ready to get their lives back on track. Or is that just me?!
I feel like the beginning of a new school year is synonymous with a reset and new year altogether. If you have been here a while you know there are few things I love more than a fresh canvas, a new year, a Monday, or any kind of fresh start.
If you get stuck in a rut when the pressure of the newness tends to set in—no fear, I am here. For a long time this kind of thing stressed me out, and now I can honestly say that nothing helps me (or my family) thrive the way that a solid routine combined with a fresh start.
I am making it simple, because I truly believe that is the key. So let's dive on in—here are my 5 ways to set up that routine and maintain a clean house all along the way. Ready? Let's go.
1. First and arguably the most important: a daily schedule.
The mornings in our home set the tone for the whole day. The best way that I have learned to navigate and make the best of this is with a block schedule! This allows for flexibility and structure without the pressure of strict timelines.
My block schedule is generally arranged like this:
5:30am–7:30am: Gym, daily prayer and scripture study, shower and get ready, meditate, eat breakfast, dinner prep.
7:30am–9:30am: Kids up and ready for the day, breakfast, school drop off, and chores for the littles still at home (don’t worry—we will dive into the chores and cleanliness routine too!)
9:30am–12:30pm: WORK for mom
12:30pm–2:30pm: Lunch, naps and quiet time
2:30pm–5:00pm: Play time, school pickup, chores after school, dinner as a family
5:00pm–7:30pm: Family time, extracurricular activities
7:30pm–10:00pm: Bedtime routines, parents “free time”, fill out blocks/plan for tomorrow.
Rest, rinse and repeat!
Obviously the kids routine is in there as well, school times and our once-a-week sitter will kind of change things up as the day goes. This is the nice part about a block schedule, it’s flexible.
Did you know that there are studies on the importance of a routine and predictability for kids?!
This is something I am really trying to learn more about and implement.
THE MOST CRUCIAL PART: make sure you are writing down your blocks and what needs to be done the night before. Not only does getting it all out on paper help you remember but it also gets it out of your brain and will help you relax and sleep better!
2: Set “Chore Days”
The kids have their set chore charts. Occasionally we will rotate what each child does each week. The biggest takeaway with this is that when the kids are young they are simply learning how to do the work. So yes, as a parent it is going to also include you helping on the chores. Not only are you teaching them but you are reinforcing the fact that they can do hard things themselves once they have been taught!
For the big things around the house, we have set dates or times that things are done.
For example, laundry is always done on Mondays. Justin spearheads the laundry and he starts it in the morning and by that evening we are having a folding party. Putting the clothes away is part of the kids’ chores.
Another example is that after tidying up the kitchen each night, I use my favorite vacuum/mop to clean the floors. This is done each night so that we can wake up to a clean space that is ready for a new day. There are few things worse than waking up to sticky, dirty, stinky dishes in the sink.
3: Weekly Sunday Meetings
This has been a game changer for my marriage, my business, AND my overall wellbeing. Call me dramatic, but it's the truth. Each Sunday Justin and I have our weekly meeting after the kids are in bed.
This is where we go over what we have going on in the coming week, what projects we are working on, what due dates I have for work, any appointments or assignments we may have and everything in-between.
We also go over our finances, business status and goals, and ultimately just get on the same page.
This has been HUGE for us. It gets us both on the same page knowing when the other is busy or might need an extra hand. It also helps us be more aware of one another, connecting on what might be a stressor and determining ways we can figure things out together.
4: Clutter Baskets
This is a fun one I learned from a friend just this last year. We live in a three level house with the laundry on the bottom floor, bathrooms in the middle, and bedrooms spread throughout. This can make it tricky when keeping things tidy and not wanting to go up and down the stairs 300 times per day (although, I will say I almost always get all of my steps in for the day just from that!). The solution has been personal boxes. Each child has their own little basket that stays on the middle level. Throughout the day as clutter is left around (in a perfect world there wouldn’t be clutter, but this is real life), it gets put in their basket.
On the kids' chore charts each day they are responsible for putting away their “clutter basket” items that have accumulated.
5: Clean Air + Not just surfaces!
My youngest son and I both struggle with allergies year round. We live in the mountains but also near farm fields. Regardless of that, there is so much GUNK in the air. We’ve cleaned and decluttered and the last thing we want is to be breathing in dirty air! One of my favorite things we have incorporated into our home is the Molekule Air Pro.
Molekule air purifiers don’t only collect, they destroy pollutants like bacteria, mold, viruses, chemicals, and more. We’ve got countless other habits we are creating to aid in the cleanliness and organization of our home and life, but we truly can’t clean everything. The PECO-HEPA Tri-Power filter offers not one, but three layers of protection for the air you breathe. Molekule’s own researched & developed PECO technology destroys allergens, pet dander, dust mites, bacteria, and viruses. The HEPA layer captures pet hair, dust, smoke particulate matter, and other large particles. And finally, a layer of carbon fights pet odors and toxic gasses. The PECO-HEPA Tri-Power filter is the only filtration system offering this unique combination of air purifying technology.
With the convenience (and let’s be real, the aesthetics of the Molekule) I don’t have to stress about the allergens and germs in the air. It has made my life significantly more stress free and let’s me breathe easy, ya know? Pun absolutely intended.
Look, I know the new school year and adjustment from summer to fall can be well, and adjustment. I hope these 5 ideas help you as much as they have helped me.