He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

07 August 2013

Becoming a Minimalist: Day 2

Today I figured I'd recommend something simple and fairly quick since the weather is gorgeous and I'm struggling for motivation to clean today.So here it is...

Establish a Morning Routine
I can only speak for myself but it takes a while for me to shake the grog off first thing in the morning but when I'm up, I am ready to take on the world!
... until about 2pm...
then it's back to grog. 
If I want to get something done, it really HAS to be in the morning otherwise there's a good chance it will sit for another day.
For me... an ideal day is ... and it depends on the amount of sleep I get... 
do a quick cardio workout (and I mean QUICK! Like... 10 minutes of HIIT) and get to cleaning. 
Unless it's a particularly lazy day, which happens around here from time to time... I send the older two to get dressed and then I get Bean and Baby J dressed and ready for the day. That means clean diapers, PJs are back in the drawers or in the dirty clothes basket, clothes for the day are on, and hair is done. 
When they're ready I send them all off to the living room to play or read while I spend a few minutes (again, 10-15 minutes tops) making beds, opening curtains and blinds, opening windows (if the weather permits), folding extra blankets, putting stuffed animals away, picking up any clutter in the bedrooms, getting dirty laundry that may have ended up on the floor the night before into the basket, getting the basket into the laundry room, and getting a load started in the washing machine. 
Oh! And I also empty the dishwasher and reload if necessary (which it almost always is in this house). 
Then I make breakfast and we are ready to take on the day. 
All told, this routine, up until I'm ready to make breakfast, takes anywhere from 20-45 minutes depending on whether I need a shower, how cooperative the kids are feeing, and how tired I was the night before (a.k.a. how messy I left the house when I went to bed the night before).
leads me to a second recommendation of 
Establishing an Evening Routine
For our family, the nighttime routine typically involves having the kids pick up their toys in the living room and put their games away before bed. (Whether or not they actually help with this depends on the type of night it has been. Sometimes on crazy days it's best to just send them to bed and do it myself.) 
Before I head to bed I make sure the dining room is cleaned up from dinner (table washed, floor vacuumed) and run the dishwasher (if it's ready).  

I think establishing some sort of routine is paramount to starting and ending my day well. 
Waking up to the  mess puts me off on a bad foot.  
Going to bed leaves something hanging over my head. 

*A little note about bed making. My eighth grade teacher (Miss Brown) told us a trick I haven't forgotten yet. When our class complained about our parents making us pick up our rooms she suggested doing one thing, if nothing else. "Make the bed." Her logic? The bed is the largest thing in the room and if it's messy, it makes everything else look messy. On the other hand, if it's made, it makes the whole room look much better. And she was right! If nothing else, I try to make the bed in the morning just to bring some instant peace into the room and my day. Also, who doesn't love folding back crisp sheets when it's time to curl up and, in my case, pass out?

 If you don't have a regular routine, I highly recommend at least giving it a try. The total time commitment is, on average, 35 minutes of my day and that's well worth the rest I get knowing at least a little something has been accomplished. 

Did you miss something in this series? Check HERE for more
pix found here

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