Your house needs cleaning, your spouse needs attention, your kids need training, and everyone needs to eat. Your schedule consists of changing diapers, chasing a toddler, volunteer commitments, and much more. Mom responsibilities accumulate fast. And I for one, have a difficult time keeping it all organized in my head. So, knowing how to use house cleaning schedules and meal planning is a lifesaver.
Cooking and cleaning are necessary, but honestly, moms like you and, don’t want to spend much time thinking about meal planning and cleaning. We want every available second with our little one because time just goes too fast.
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For years, I grocery shopped every Friday evening. I would spend Thursday evenings preparing coupons, writing a grocery list and developing an order in which to shop the next day.
When we moved outside of town I had to re-think my weekly shopping trips. Each week I was driving 30 minutes into town to get to the area of stores I preferred. Then I’d drive store to store to find deals. Finally driving home 3 hours later.
Monthly Meal Planning
The closest grocery store to our home (that I don’t even like) is 20 minutes away. That may not sound far, but when you have to drop what you’re doing and take 4 kids, as sweet as they may be, into the grocery store, it’s taxing and time-consuming. Running to the grocery store to pick something up was annoying. I’m convinced this is why staying home and shopping online is becoming so popular. Hello Amazon!
I have used a monthly meal plan for years. I have a super-cute printable monthly meal plan calendar that I created and laminated. And, I use an ultra-fine dry erase marker to write what we will eat every day of the month. When the month is over, I erase it and start again.
Looking into the month to come allows you to get a handle on hectic nights ahead of time. Monthly meal planning gives me the power to look at our busy Wednesday evenings and say, “we will be having leftovers every Wednesday night, for the foreseeable future!”
Monthly Shopping Doesn’t Take Much Longer
Ya, it takes a long time. However, it doesn’t take much longer to get all I need for a whole month than it does to get what I need for a week. The obvious difference is, I only have to do it once. Monthly shopping goes well with monthly meal planning. It’s one big day of shopping, in order to not have to think about it again for a whole month!
Produce obviously can’t last a month, so while we are in town for other things, it’s much easier to swing in a store (for just a few minutes) and pick up a few things, knowing that the majority of things I need are already at home.
I get complimented a lot on how clean my house is. Want to know my secret? OK, come close, I have to whisper so no one else knows just how simple this really is…. You ready? I don’t have a lot of stuff.
My kitchen counter top doesn’t display appliances and gadgets. Those things have a home in the cupboard. My office desk doesn’t have a paper stack. My shelves hold a few of my favorite things and nothing more. Finally, whatever we don’t use regularly, we get rid of!
As much as I’d like to take credit for our minimalist approach to keeping a clean home, it’s my husband who has slowly molded me over the years. He has no use for things that aren’t regularly used, while I like to hold on to things. It’s really no wonder that embracing his way of thinking has been beneficial, he’s a pretty smart guy!
While we keep stuff to a minimum around here, there are still 6 of us. Truth be told, I am not the great multi-tasker most women are. My brain is more of the, “do one thing and do it as close to perfect as you can get” type.
Enter the cleaning schedule.
There are thousands of printable cleaning schedules online. Many of them are beautifully designed. Many of them are also unrealistic. What I like most about my cleaning schedule is that it is doable. And if you miss a task or even a whole day, it will be there next week, still on the list, reminding you it needs to be done.
Some tasks must be done every day, others once a week, some every month and a handful, once or twice a year. Frequency varies on your lifestyle and geographical location. The trick is prioritizing and setting yourself up for success, so the list helps you instead of haunts you.
How to Use House Cleaning Schedules and Meal Planning – The Most Important Piece of the Puzzle
I would feel like a fraud if I didn’t share this with you right now. It’s no secret after visiting this blog, that raising well behaved kids and child training is my area of expertise. So while I’m certain there’s another blog out there that could do a better job of showing you how to juggle everything all on your own, that’s not what I want for you.
So, I’m going to share my sparkly clean house secret, in case you haven’t figured it out yet. I don’t do it all myself!
Training my children how to use cleaning schedules and meal planning is something I do regularly. My children are a major factor in how our home stays so inviting. We are a team. We work together. My kids, of which there are 4, do a lot. Many of the things you’ll see on a printable cleaning list are done by them on a daily or weekly basis.
Final thoughts on meal planning and cleaning schedules
You can read here about all the amazing things your little one is capable of. Child training plus home organization equals a great family team!
After you’ve printed your tools, laminate them so you can use them over and over with a dry erase marker. Get the affordable laminator I have, here.
“A house full of teenagers, a working mom, a disabled dad, and frankly we just all gave up on the house. It was always a mess and it depressed me! I followed your advice. We are one week into it and I am happy to report I have a clean house!! No one has complained about the shared work and maintaining is easier. Thank you for making something so simple but so life changing!!
~ Stacey, TN (mother of 3 teenagers)