The Christmas decorations are put away and the holiday season has come to an end. After weeks of gathering with family and friends, decorating, shopping, cooking (don’t forget eating!), and working to create special family moments, it’s time to return to a consistent daily routine. And you may want that routine to be easier and more organized in 2018.
Getting organized can seem like an overwhelming task, especially following an exhausting season of being always on-the-go and in-demand. From the beginning of time organization has been important. God planned and created the whole world in seven days in a highly organized way.
Day 1: Light as day and dark as night. (Genesis 1:1-5) Day 2: The sky and the sea. (Genesis 1:6-8) Day 3: The land and vegetation. (Genesis 1:9-13) Day 4: The stars, sun, and moon. (Genesis 1:14-19) Day 5: Sea creatures and birds. (Genesis 1:20-23) Day 6: Animals and humans. (Genesis 1:24-31) And planned into the process… Day 7: Rest. (Genesis 2:1-3)
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God stopped working on everything that he had been creating. – Genesis 2:3
With that kind of inspiration, let’s get started on how to plan one week of organization to help your daily routine in 2018 be easier and more organized!
Write It Down
Keep a small notebook with you to provide the resource and opportunity to write down and remember things that occur to you as the day progresses. A memo app is a convenient resource, as well. By keeping a notebook that holds all the things you want to remember you can record an inspiring quote and note the names of important people you have met as well as their specific information. You can also create a to-do list that will be revised daily. If you are not a list maker, that’s alright. Jot notes to yourself. If you intend to be organized, it is important to keep a list of upcoming events, to-dos, a shopping list, and random thoughts for you to reference as needed.
After reviewing the schedule you wrote down, you are ready to prepare for the week. When will you be working out? Will you have an important meeting? What kid’s activities are planned? Are you having dinner with friends? Are you working late one evening or getting off one afternoon? Consider the answer to these questions and all of the details that each day will have for you and your family.
For yourself, plan the clothes and shoes needed for each day based on your activities for the whole day. Make sure each item is clean and ready to wear. Do the same for your children or assist them with this task. (You don’t want to do all this planning to come to the moment for them to get dressed and they’re wearing the wrong season clothes or they’re searching for clean socks and pants at the last minute.)
Meals for the week can be a daunting task if you’ve waited until you come home from work to decide what to cook. The evening routine often becomes chaotic and rushed, so before the week begins, review your schedule. What evenings do you have plans away from the home? Do those plans include dinner for the whole family or a part of the family? Know which evenings you need to prepare meals and make a menu for each. As you create a menu, list the ingredients needed for each recipe. Be sure to check off the ingredients you already have in your pantry and now you have a grocery list for this week. Remember to use this same process for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for the week. Pre-pack as many lunch/snack items as you can so they’ll be ready to easily put together each morning.
First, enlist the help of the family! Each day wipe down counters and sinks, empty and load the dishwasher, do one load of laundry, and have everyone spend 15 minutes doing a quick pick up and put away. A few chores can be completed each day to keep the house clean. (We’re not talking a deep clean…just a regular weekly cleaning.) For example:
Monday: Bedroom – change sheets, dust, tidy up; laundry – sheets
Tuesday: Bathroom – clean fixtures, mirror, and floors; laundry – towels, washcloths, dishcloths
Wednesday: Kitchen – wipe down cabinets and appliances, clean out the refrigerator, clean sink and drain; laundry – darks
Thursday: Living room – dust, sweep/vacuum all floors in the home you have not already done; laundry – colors
Friday: Finish laundry
Weekend: Outside chores
Create a plan that fits in best with your family’s schedule.
Often in the business of keeping life going smoothly, time (especially quality time) with our kids or spouse seems to suffer. To avoid this, think about times natural openings in your schedule and capitalize on them.
Meal time. Eating together naturally lends itself as time to talk about the day or how the week seems to be going for your family members. Remember, no cell phones.
Travel time. Time in the care going to school, ball practice, or dance/gymnastics is a great time for informal conversations. The lack of eye contact may encourage your child to talk more.
Tucking children in bed. Using the privacy of your child’s room gives the opportunity for more personal conversations and nighttime prayers.
Getting up in the morning. Sharing prayer and encouraging words with your family can set the best kind of tone for the day.
Establish a time to be still and quiet. Take advantage of the decrease in stress you are experiencing now that the week is planned and organized. Just as God modeled for us, you’ll need to schedule this, many times. Rather than having nothing planned, you may need to plan nothing. However often you can make this happen, remember that it’s important to rest.
As you start your first organized week of 2018, take it step by step. As the weeks pass, you will develop a rhythm and find more ways to run an organized home.
And the Lord answered me, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets; that the one who reads it may run.” – Habakuk 2:2