Updated on September 17, 2022
How to Create Routines and Schedules. Tips on creating a routine for your home including morning, evening, and cleaning schedules.
I promise we will actually get down to the nitty-gritty of organizing our spaces very soon, but I have a few more basic tips to pass along to you.
This post has been brewing since I started with Project Organize, but I have been struggling so much that it seemed hypocritical of me to suggest what to do when I am not doing it myself. I thought there was no time like the present, and I would jump right in with you to get myself back on track. I know what I need to do, so now it is time to just do it!
How to Create Routines and Schedules
Creating routines and schedules is essential to long-term success. I know not everyone works well with set schedules, but for the most part, I think the order that ensues from having a plan in place is worth it to most of us, including our children.
So, first, let’s break down the two words that are our focus for this post.
routine: a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.
schedule: a plan for carrying out a process or procedure, giving lists of intended events and times.
So what does this mean for us? Basically, our schedules are the planned times that things need to be done. And our routines are all the things we regularly do, be it on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.
If you have been around this blog for a while, you know that I suffer from depression, off and on. Having routines and schedules set up is crucial for my productivity. And honestly, depression or not, having these in place as a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom is critical for everyone’s happiness.
Have you ever been going about your day and then 2:00 in the afternoon hits and you think, “what did I accomplish today?” (Yes. Me, too!)
I will tell you how I go about setting up my routines. These tips will be geared towards work-at-home or stay-at-home moms, but the principles can apply to everyone.
Setting up Routines
Start by creating a morning and afternoon/evening routine.
My morning routine includes everything up through my daughter’s nap. My evening routine includes everything from after her nap until I go to bed.
List Set Appointments and Scheduled Events
To figure out a routine that will work for you, start by listing off all the things in your day that have set times attached to them. For me, this includes – when I have to get my son on the bus, meal, and snack times, when my son comes home from school, and bedtime.
I also try to have set times for doing my blog work (mainly nap time and after the kids go to bed). For you, this could also include recurring appointments, after-school activities, or sports.
List All Daily Activities
Now that you have figured out the items that have to be done at a certain time, you can focus on all the other things that you would like to do.
This could include exercise, household chores, undistracted time to play with the kids, time to cook, etc. Many of these things can happen at any time during the day.
Start filling in when you would like for them to happen. You can attach a time to them, or just a general area of the day.
When you are first figuring out a routine, it will take some time to get into a rhythm. And don’t expect every day to go as planned, especially if you have kids with their own needs and timeline for things.
Having a general idea of when you plan to clean for the day or read books with your kids will definitely help make things run more smoothly. Also, I find that my kids thrive on routine. They like to know what will happen next in our day.
I will share my specific routines with you but realize this is what works for me, with my schedule, the fact that I have one child in school and one at home with me, and that I am also trying to fit in working from home.
Sample Morning Routine
Make breakfast (and make school lunch)
Son to the bus stop (7:00 am)
Feed pets and clean the catbox
Check emails/social media
Make the bed, start a load of laundry, empty and/or load the dishwasher
Play with daughter
Get ready/shower and run errands
Snack time (9:30 am)
Learning/preschool activity or play outside
Put laundry in the dryer
Lunch and clean up
Daughter watches a show/quiet time and I follow up on emails
Daughter’s nap time
Start another load of laundry, fold, and put away the first load
Daily household chores
Blog and work on projects
Sample Afternoon/Evening Routine
2nd load of laundry in the dryer
Daughter is up from nap/snack time
Son home from school/snack (3:15 pm)
Feed dog (4:00 pm)
Cook dinner while son does homework
Dinner (~5:00 pm)
Dishes, wipe counters, sweep the kitchen
Play outside/go for a walk/active play
Nightly pick up/kid’s chores
Bath/shower time for kids (6:30 pm)
Kids in bed
Fold and put away 2nd load of laundry
Time with husband
Read and go to bed
This is what works for me and my family during our current stage of life. I shared this so you can get an idea of what you could include in your morning routine. Slip this into your home management binder, on your command center, or stick it up on the fridge with a magnet.
Setting Up a Cleaning Schedule
Now that you have a general idea of what you will be doing and when it is time to nail down the specifics for cleaning.
It doesn’t matter what schedule you choose, but you do choose to clean your spaces on a regular basis.
Every home has items that need to be cleaned daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annually, whether we want to or not. How will you keep track?
The first option is to clean one room at a time from top to bottom. Each day assign one or two rooms to be cleaned. By the end of the week, every room will be clean.
Free Printable: Room-by-room Cleaning Checklist
Task Focused Cleaning
Another effective way to clean your house is to focus on one task or type of cleaning job per day.
For example, one day you vacuum, another day you mop, another day is for dusting, etc.
Free Printable: Task-Focused Cleaning Checklist
I printed both out and placed them in a plastic page protector in my home management binder.
I use a wet-erase marker to mark off the jobs as I do them. At the start of the new week, I wipe it clean with a damp cloth and start over. Some weeks working on one task at a time is easier than cleaning room by room. This system allows me to be flexible.
Pick One Day to Clean
Before children, I was able to clean my entire house from top to bottom in one morning. This doesn’t work for me in my stage of life, but that might still work for you! Put on some fun music, get the entire family involved, and get your house cleaned up on a Friday evening or Saturday morning to enjoy a clean home all weekend.
If you like an app or a detailed printable list telling you exactly what to do each day, then I recommend Motivated Moms. There is both an app and a printable version to choose from.
Use code: CLEAN3 to save $3 on the first year of membership.
Basically, you have to choose a cleaning routine that works for YOU!
If you don’t think either of my checklists will work for you, simply Google: “printable cleaning checklist” and you will find many great options. You can even hand-write something yourself!
Whatever routine you choose, give it a week up to one month to decide if you like it and think you can stick with it. If not, find something else and try something new until you find a routine that sticks!
For the rest of the week, we are going to be working on setting up some tasks that I think most everyone could benefit from doing daily. I need to get back on track and will be doing them with you.
Tag #projectorganize on social media so we can all encourage each other!
Checklist for today:
- Find a cleaning routine you want to try. Print or hand write it out for each day’s chores.
Each day this week we will be building on this checklist until we have a good system in place for getting our homes in tip-top shape! Tomorrow’s task will be to start doing one load of laundry per day.
Do you have a routine or schedule in place?
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