With school back in session and everyone back to regular routines, here are tips to make your life easier at home throughout the busy week!
· Prepare for school routines by creating a family calendar that includes meal plans and grocery lists.
· Consider setting a specific day for grocery shopping and for meal prep cooking
· Make and freeze soup starters for a quicker meal on week nights
· Prepare ground beef or grilled chicken on a slow weekend day so that you can easily throw together a meal using the cooked meat during the week
· Make a calendar of meals and snacks to print for the fridge so that everyone knows what to expect and what to help themselves to if they’re hungry!
· Make daily transitions, from home to school and school to activities and activities to home easier by having snacks and drinks prepared for the car, for sports bags and for any carpool groups.
· Encourage responsibility and contribution by using chore charts for each family member so that everyone is helping to make the home run smoothly. Have the chart in a central location so that everyone sees it and is reminded to check off their tasks each day. Even the smallest family members can help in little ways!
· Set specific tasks for each room of the house and each day of the week so that cleaning isn’t overwhelming over time, for example, see below. Start from top to bottom and left to right in each room to make sure nothing is missed!
§ Wash dishes
§ Take out trash
§ One load of laundry as needed (cleaned and put away)
§ Wipe counters/tables
§ Quick pick up of loose items
o Mondays: Living Room
§ Dust and polish
§ Straighten shelves
§ Organize entry and front closets
o Tuesdays: Kitchen
§ Clean sinks, counters and stove
§ Sweep and mop
§ Straighten/wipe cabinets
§ Straighten pantry
§ Wipe appliances, inside and out
o Wednesdays: Bathrooms
§ Clean sinks and mirrors
§ Clean bathtub and shower
§ Sweep and Mop
§ Clean Windows and Blinds
§ Organize shelves and closets
§ Wipe off washing machine and dryer in the laundry room/area
o Thursdays: Bedrooms
§ Wash bedding each week
§ Make beds
§ Straighten closets and dresser drawers
§ Clean under beds
§ Dust window blinds
o Fridays: Office, Halls, Playroom
§ Straighten surfaces and toy bins
§ Remove any trash
o Saturdays: Outside work
§ Straighten garage
§ Mow lawn and weed landscaping
§ Sweep porches
o Sunday: Rest!
· Plan a deep cleaning weekend once a quarter to include the whole family in the weekly cleaning tasks as well as organizing and deep cleaning the home from any excess clutter and to wash and sanitize areas and items that don’t get cleaned each week. (Washing curtains, steam cleaning rugs, wiping down the walls, etc.)
The key to smooth mornings before school is to prep the night before!
· Lay out everyone’s clothes, shoes and accessories so that kids can dress themselves efficiently and quickly
· Wash any items needed (sports uniforms, special uniform attire, etc.) so that you don’t have a laundry emergency in the morning. (Although high efficiency appliances can handle it with a morning quick wash and dry in case you forget!)
· Make lunches and have snacks prepped for each child with a water bottle with ice
· Prepare carpool line healthy snacks (basically the appetizers before dinner)
Happy Smooth Sailing to School!