My days, even when I am at home, are very structured, as I thrive on routine. I've perfected a pretty good system which works for me, of being really productive in the mornings, and then being able to enjoy the afternoons. I assumed when I had a baby that I'd have to resign myself to having a messy house but it hasn't been the case, and I've been able to do a few things each day to keep the house clean and tidy, and to keep my sanity!
1. Put on at least 1 load of washing every day
... from start to finish! This means not only putting it in the machine and turning it on, but hanging it out and putting it away! The putting away part has been a challenge, but I try and bring the washing in off the line and put it straight away, it feels much better when it's done!
I don't have a particular laundry routine, I just do 1 load a day, either towels, sheets, my clothes, Miss M's clothes, Brendan's clothes and a load of whites. This enables you to keep on top of the washing each week, and not cause unnecessary stress!
2. Wash up straight after breakfast, and then straight after tea.
Doing it straight away means you can relax. I like to have a clean sink after breakfast is done, and then again before I go to bed, so I wake up to a clean kitchen. I try not to wash up more than twice a day, and I wash all trays, tupperware, containers, knives and baby items, and the rest goes in our dishwasher. We only put our dishwasher on twice, maybe 3 times a week, depending on how much cooking and baking I do.
3. Do a quick pick up of toys (and relocate anything that isn't where it should be to it's correct spot).
When Miss M goes down for her first sleep of the day, I do a quick 15 minute tidy up of her toys and just anything around the house that isn't where it should be. I use this small blue Kmart basket ($9) for the toys she is currently playing with in the loungeroom, and it's very easy to just chuck them back in. She also likes to get into the books in her bookcase, the bibs in a basket next to the high chair and the TV remotes! I do another quick pick up once she's in bed of an evening as well. Clutter causes me stress, so I try to stay on top of it!
4. Tidy the kitchen, and do a quick sweep (and spot mop if needed).
A clean and tidy kitchen and living room is bliss for me! Clearing the sink, wiping down the benches, and keeping my island bench clean is a must, and really doesn't take long if you keep on top of it. I do this after breakfast wash-up, and then again after dinner. A clean floor is safer for babies too.
5. Make your bed every day.
Making my bed makes my whole room feel cleaner, and I just love the look of a freshly made bed. I've read that it's important to let your bed air after you've slept in it, and so I usually leave it until after I've showered and have breakfast in the morning.
6. Open the blinds (and the windows in summer).
This makes my house feel fresh and bright, and I do it as soon as I get up in the morning.
7. Plan my day for tomorrow.
Each evening I look through the calendar on my phone and double-check what I've got on. If I work the next day, I like to have my lunch and recess packed. If I have to get up early, I lay my clothes out ready to go. It's just a simple thing that saves a lot of rushing the next day.
8. Be active.
In my previous blog post on making exercise a habit (click here), I talk about how good exercise is for you physically, mentally and emotionally. I love getting outside for a walk each day, and just clearing my head in the fresh air.
9. Have a cuppa and take a break.
It is so important to be able to relax, and 're-group' each day, especially in our hectic lives! One way I love to do this is to wait until Miss M is asleep, and then I boil the jug and sit in the sunroom, without any distractions and just enjoy my coffee or tea.