Our New Routine

I’ve confessed to you before that I am not the most organized person at this stage in life. Some days it feels like I’m spinning my wheels to no avail.

So…prior to the new year I decided I needed to make a change! I used this form (daily docket) to create a routine for the day. On the days that I have stuck to it, it has been revolutionary! I actually have an allotted time to empty the dishwasher each day. Hooray! I’m sure it will need to be tweaked as we go along, but for now this new routine has been very helpful.

I’m sharing this with you not so much for your benefit as to keep me accountable! If I tell you I’m doing this, well by golly, I better keep it up!

Daily Routine

Before Breakfast:
Get dressed*
Get boy’s dressed
Check e-mail
Make beds

While Boys Eat Breakfast:
Empty the dishwasher

After Breakfast:
“Center” activities with boys:  puzzles, blocks, etc.**
Start prep work for dinner while boys play independently
Individual playtime with Little Brother before his nap
Individual activity time with Big Brother (while LB sleeps)
Personal Bible Study
Outing (some days)

After Lunch:
Pick up toys
Put boys down for naps
Daily cleaning (see below)
Blog time
Finish Bible Study

Before Dinner:
Finish dinner prep
Clean up toys

After Dinner:
Run dishwasher (whether it is full or not)***
Wipe down countertops and appliances
Exercise (30 Day Shred which I am officially starting today)
Quality time with Prince Charming

*I am NOT a morning person. I envy people who get up early and work out, do their Bible study, etc. I have tried, but I guess I don’t have enough self-discipline. When I was teaching, I got up at 7:30 and had to be at work by 8:00…good thing we only lived 5 minutes away! I just CAN’T seem to get motivated in the mornings. I would LOVE to get myself up and dressed (at least) BEFORE the boys wake up, but some days it is harder than others. That’s my goal though!

**I have put all of the puzzles and blocks out of the reach of the boys. The reason for this is because they don’t really play with them, they just dump them out! So…I have an allotted time where I can play with them using these fun toys.

***You might think it is wasteful to run the dishwasher even when it’s not empty. It is. However, unloading the dishwasher is one of  my most loathed tasks. If I have an allotted time to empty it (during the boys’ breakfast), this makes it much less of hassle than trying to unload it in the middle of something else. This has been the single greatest implementation so far!  And it is almost ALWAYS full by the end of the evening.

Daily Cleaning

When we moved into this house in April, I was overwhelmed. And then Prince Charming was burned and I was even more overwhelmed. So I paid a dear friend who has known me since I was born to clean our house once a month. I’m kind of ashamed to admit that because it makes me feel inept as a wife/mother/housekeeper who can’t keep it all together. But the $85 I spent once a month was worth it for a short while.

My sweet friend just had double knee replacement surgery and will be out for a while. I figured this was the perfect opportunity to get myself together and figure out the best way to clean.

The nice thing about this schedule is that I have given myself a small task each day that shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes. And if for some reason something comes up and I can’t complete the task that day, I know I’ll get to it the next week.

Vacuum main floor and mop

Wash boys’ laundry and bedding
Vacuum upstairs

Clean the 2 upstairs bathrooms

Clean downstairs half-bath
Vacuum basement


Menu plan and grocery shop

Reorganize office and paperwork

I then use the cleaning list here (bottom of page) for the cleaning items that should be done once a month or a few times a year (washing windows, vacuuming under beds, etc).

Big Brother’s Chores

We are still using the FisherKids Responsibility Station that I reviewed a few months ago. It has been wonderful! Big Brother’s daily chores are to (1) pick up his toys before naptime and bedtime and (2) help make his bed each weekday morning. He receives a quarter each day for completing these tasks and can put it in one of 3 coin bags:  Save It, Spend It, or Give It.


It’s going to be an absolutely crazy spring! Prince Charming and I have signed up for Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and I am participating in 2 bible studies–Bible Study Fellowship and Beth Moore’s Esther Study at our church. I’m hoping this new routine will help me balance it all!

And because I’m trying to prioritize and make room for everything, I just thought I would let you know that you can expect about 3 new posts each week in addition to “Show-and-Share Saturday” and “A Lesson Learned” on Sunday. Since I started this blog back in July, I have averaged 1.3 posts each day! I honestly can’t keep up that pace and still keep my priorities in line.

Well, I’m off to vacuum and mop my floors…it is Monday, after all! :)

 What about you? What have you found helpful in creating organized routines?


  1. I'm with you on designating certain chores for certain days. Mondays are laundry, wednesdays clean the kitchen, etc. I wish I could set up a good routine for my day, but somehow with 3 under 3 it's a chore just making sure we all eat 3 meals :)

  2. I'm inspired to be better organized. As a preschool teacher with 4 small kids (the oldest is in JK) – I really need order in my life but find it's hard to come by. I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your activities and thoughts. Hope things have settled since the accident.

  3. You have been blogging like crazy! Three posts a week, plus the weekend ones, is plenty and will also give you enough time for showing new themes, etc. I notice that you shower at night, which would save more time in the morning. I have to shower in the morning (have been doing so since age 19), and I too find that the day goes much better when I shower and dress before my little one gets up. I like to work out in the morning, though. Your schedule is a good goal to attain! I've written down a few different schedules since I've become a mom, and I've found that they don't work for me. I'll need to find another way to keep track of my weekly goals! I wish you luck keeping it up!!

  4. Sounds very similar to FlyLady. But FlyLady is all about doing what works for you. It's just a way to get started. Annoying to get the emails every day (if you sign up for her email list, I recommend the daily digest). But her book is great (Sink Reflections) as it's all in one place. There's also an app I got for my iPhone that has helped me IMMENSELY!!! Home Routines. Worth every penny of the $5 it cost.

  5. Great post! Congratulations on starting FPU, you won't be disappointed. I'm gearing up to teach it for the third time in February. What a blessing it is!

  6. This sounds very similar to what I aim for… however, I have a really hard time putting my LO down for her first nap, to get that alone time with DS. I end up having him watch TV while I try to do it, and sometimes she doesn't go down or takes me 30 mins to get her down :( Any tips?

  7. Thank you for posting this. Maybe I should just run that dishwasher at night no matter what too. Unloading the dishwasher is a least favorite for me. I often don't do it because our youngest is always coming over to "help" aka throwing the utensils on the floor. I guess doing it while she is strapped in her high chair would be a better option ;) My goal is to become organized, but is a slow process for me. And GOOD LUCK with the 30 Day Shred! I have it, and have done it once. I started it when my baby was not a great sleeper yet and had a hard time finding the right uninterrupted time to do it! Maybe if I say right now I will do it tonight…I will ;)

  8. This post made me laugh! I just did the same thing, and our daily routines look eerily similar! I've been 'tweaking' it for the past couple of weeks, since we hardly ever have a day that looks the same (with preschool and other activities), but it has really helped me too! And James and I have combined our workout and quality time together (during the week), we workout together after the kids are in bed instead of watching t.v., and you know what, I've really enjoyed it! It's nice b/c we keep each other accountable! Good luck with the schedule, and thanks for the great ideas!

  9. Sounds like you have a great plan going. I wanted to throw in just a bit about the house cleaning thing. I clean houses for people one day a week and hear so many people say the same thing about feeling inept/lazy. Honestly, I feel like it's one of the best gifts you can give yourself. No one else can teach your children or love on your children like you do. No one else can really come in and pay your bills or exercise for you (as much as I wish!!) etc etc etc.. BUT someone CAN come in a take a load off of you in the house cleaning area. I think it takes a certain amount of humble-ness (is that a word?) to allow that to happen. When I am cleaning someone's house I don't ever think how lazy of them I just find myself wishing someone would clean MY house :) So… enjoy that gift you had for awhile and realize too that you were helping your friend have some extra money. Also, how is your husband doing? I know it's such a long healing process! My husband was burned a month before our son was born and I was still changing bandages on his back when we came home from the hospital. Such a scary scary thing! So glad God was watching over him that day!

  10. What you've done is what I keep telling myself to do. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is not a morning person. I am a night owl – through and through. I wish I was the other way around. I'm glad you are able to admit to not being a morning person. I still tell myself that I can be if I really want to, but that's usually at 2am when I'm full of beans and think I can do anything. Then when 7/8am rolls around, it's a different story. BUT, I have to do something. I have no routine other than getting out the door to mother and toddler groups a few mornings a week. The rest of the week is a bit of a free for all where I live day to day wondering each meal time what to cook, wondering why at the end of each day the same piles are sitting around the house from a week ago and laundry is still not put away from days ago, the plan to do reading/play/sticker books/painting etc with the kids have yet again not happened and so and so on. I know you know what I mean. But, I'm inspired to actually set out to finally make a routine like this. I'm glad to see that it's the simple things that are on it like "Clean up the breakfast dishes!" It's all these little things that build up with me. I'm sure it'll need tweaking, but it's gotta be better than the free for all my days have become. Thanks for sharing and being so honest.

  11. I do the one chore a day thing, too, and it really works well for me. I often let my older son (who is 2) help me if it's easy and safe for him, like dusting or vacuuming with his toy vacuum while I use the real one. We usually do this while my 6-month-old son is napping, or I will do a quick chore while they are both playing happily. It doesn't always work, so don't beat yourself up if you miss a day. There's always tomorrow. :)

  12. I've been working on my Home Management Journal and trying to get myself organized. My routine is similar to yours but it allows me much more flexibility!

  13. Wow, this was so helpful. I've been trying to get organized and find some sort of system but just didn't feel like I could relate to most out there. I am thinking yours is most doable for me. I will tweak it for my needs and give it a go!! Thanks!

  14. I have a 10 month old, a baby due in a month and I work from home. Sometimes the 10 month old sleeps through the night, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he takes long naps, sometimes he doesn't. In general we are busy and a schedule is impossible because the little one isn't completely sleeping through the night and the new one I'm sure won't be for a while. Because some days I'm so tired and other days I'm full of energy I make a list every night for the next day with my priorities. I make an A, B and C list. List A has to be done (scripture reading, family prayers, personal prayers), list B should be done (certain hours of work, laundry for that day, reading time with baby, write love letter once a week to husband, exercise, quality time with husband, dishes, vacuum, drop books off at library.. that sort of thing) and list C are long term or would be nice to do things (read a certain book, wash windows, brainstorm activities to do with the kids, write a letter to a relative.. you get the picture). This has worked so well for me because I don't feel bad that I don't have a schedule that is the same every day and I don't have to feel like I am a failure if I don't get up at 6:30 on the mornings where the baby has kept me up half the night. I can still see at the end of the day all that I have done and I usually get a lot accomplished because I can see what my priorities are and what needs done that day. When I have a spare moment I just look at my list and pick the thing which I have enough time to do at that moment.

  15. Thanks for this post, it's nice to remember we are all human ;) I really like the Daily Docket. I have made my own similar docs many times (I'm great at making them, not so great at following through on them ;)

  16. Oh my goodness!! You are so ME!!! =) I HATE unloading the dishwasher. And I seriously dislike housework at all! With four kids four and under, well, it's HARD to stay on top of stuff, especially laundry! I'm still trying to find a routine that works for us! Plus I'm starting Kindergarten today with my 4-year-old! Sometimes the house just has to be dirty!

  17. wow! i'm inspired!! i always feel like a waste my time! especially when my kids are napping! sometimes i'm productive, sometimes not! thanks for posting this!!!

  18. At our house, unloading the dishwasher is a family job. The almost 3 year old does the silverware (minus sharp knives) and my husband and I do the rest. Quick and works great. We get to talk while we work!

  19. I am a new reader and I just want to share with you that with God all things are possible. You CAN BE a morning person with His power. If you feel that God is calling you to change you can but only with His help. If you feel that you are changing for God and not just yourself it gives you that much more motivation! God works in amazing ways :-) He can "deliver" you from your "not being a morning person" (sounds super "chrisitan-y") don't use "this is just the way I am" as an excuse anymore! Is this too big for God? Also, if you give the first of your day to Him, he will bless the rest :-)

    And I am totally on board with Dave Ramsey. If this is the first time you are doing it get ready to be shook up a bit! I was a little resistant at first but we have implemented his principals and are almost debt free! woohoo!

    I really have enjoyed your blog. I have a 3 year old and a 7 month old. I use your blog to get fun ideas of educational activities I can do with my son. He and I have loved each one! Thank you so much for spending your precious spare time to put this out here!


  20. How is the 30 day shred going? Thinking about starting it, when do you do it? Also how do you like FPU? My three year can not wait to call in and yell WERE DEBT FREE!!!..

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