Month after month I've developed a simple routine that has changed my life completely: at the end of each month I plan for the next one. I know things can change as days go by, but having lived a complete disorganised life in the past, I can say that it's good for the family and the house maintenance to have a plan and stick to it as much as possible. And when I say "plan", I mean three main areas: budget, meal plan, and cleaning.
Here I am, everybody is sleeping and I'm enjoying those few moments alone. I've just finished budgeting for January, which has been quite of a mess, after the Christmas gifts, and all those extra expenses I always forget to set money aside for. When I finish this post, I'm going to organise January's meal plan, as I want to buy everything I need to start cooking and freezing meals for the next month.
# Budget: set aside money for the main categories: mortgage, taxes, insurances, etc. There are lots of apps you can use to plan your expenses, but I prefer to use an excel template because I've always done it this way and I find it easy to deal with. Probably you'll have to do this with your husband; in my case, I'm in charge of the finances (my hubby hates it!).
# Meal plan: super important!!!! you can do this weekly; lots of bloggers publish their weekly meal plan and you can get ideas from them: www.gracefullittlehoneybee.com has several weekly menus.
Personally, I do it every month because working outside the home I don't have much time and, besides, I don't like cooking...
I cook (some dishes like lentils chick,peas, pasta,etc. can be cooked and preserved in the freezer) and prepare meals at the beginning of each month; for some other dishes I prefer to put all the ingredients in a freezer bag, freeze them, take them the night before and cook them in the slow- cooker, which I think is a must in a kitchen, especially if you work outside the home. It has a timer and has meals ready whenever you need; this way I don't have to be worried about cooking.
To save time and energy, I use the same meal plan for three months, but I check it every month as there are always meals the kids didn't like and I usually have to make changes. After three months, I plan a complete different one.
# House chores: Well, to be true, I only review my 10-day plan, and my morning and night routines, as this system works very well; however, sometimes I can't follow it because of my work, and I have to organise it in a different way; for example, I usually wipe down bathrooms before going to bed, but I already know that January is a really busy month at school (we have lots of meetings, and papers to assign and correct), this basically means I'll have a lot to do once the kids are in bed, and I know I'll be too tired to wipe down the bathrooms before going to bed. I'll have to change it in my planner and do it in the morning, when I'll probably feel much better.
And this is it! My three key tasks to do at the end of each month. Why don't you try this month? write your plan for January and stick to it (just planning isn't enough, you have to put into action what's on paper); then, let me know! you'll see your life changes for the better.
I hope I might help you, and if you want to comment something or talk about your routines, please do it!!!!