I love order more than everyone else in my family, but life is busy and messy. Even so, I’m always trying to implement habits and routines that help bring the chaos of five people living together under one roof to some kind of structure.
Create Positive Morning Routines
Oh, this may be the hardest habit to create here. A couple of the extreme extroverts love the mornings. They sing and play and pester those of us who aren’t as chipper in the morning. My work-before-play is also in full force each morning.
Even so, creating a positive morning routine for the whole family is definitely a must when you want to enjoy your time together and set yourselves up for the day ahead. We cross paths in the kitchen as we’re eating breakfast and packing lunches or snacks for the day. One kid doesn’t come out of her room until she’s ready to leave. The youngest has to be kept on task the most.
But one thing that has been good for all of us is reading a devotion together once we’re in the minivan together on the way to school. We worked our way through “Roar Like a Lion” by Levi Lusko recently and it helped us individually and collectively so much as it prompted conversations about home and school life. (Here’s a review I wrote about “Roar Like a Lion.”)
Put events on a calendar
Using a noticeboard in the family home is definitely something that you should think about doing if you want to make sure that your whole family stays on track. It takes a little bit of the chaos and confusion out of the equation if you know when upcoming events and appointments are. Right now, my kindergartner likes to mark off the days on the wall calendar we have hanging in our kitchen. It helps give her some perspective on days.
A shared Google Calendar has greatly improved the communication between Greg and me. I can see his work calendar and add things he needs to know about to our family calendar. He can choose whether to see my own personal appointments and commitments. It’s definitely been a good way to keep us on the same scheduling page.
Make meal plans
I like to meal plan, and I like to ask my husband and kids for their ideas while I’m making that plan. Sometimes they have really good food inspiration! Planning meals makes our afternoons flow a little easier. Often, I plan a few different meals with the freedom to swamp which day I use them. If I know I’m going to have to leave for an evening meeting or prep dinner quickly after soccer practice, I may plan a Crock Pot meal.
Clean out regularly
Clutter stresses me out. Often I have a pile of items to donate going. I’ll toss in clothes the kids have outgrown or items we no longer need. You can sell Barbies and other old toys that are no longer used by your older kids as you get rid of clothes that are now too small.
Give belongings homes
“Each thing has a home” and “Like items go together” are things I’m often telling my kids. Books go with books. Clothes with clothes. Toiletries in the bathroom. Shoes in the closet. Jackets on the coat rack. For a long time, we stored wintry accessories in a catch-all storage closet, but then I realized making them more accessible in the drawers in our foyer meant people would be quicker to put away their hats and gloves.
The world is messy, so having a structured home is efficient and brings peace. Routines help bring about that order in ways that work for your family.