Maintaining a household can seem like a daunting task, but with a little planning and a positive outlook, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you’re a working parent or stay at home parent, household management will help you run your home like a well-oiled machine.
There isn’t any magical way to weave everything together, but there are a few tips that any parent can keep in mind when attempting to figure out what works for their family. It will usually involve a bit of trial and error that will all be worth it in the end.
Focus on these four areas to improve your household management: Cleaning, Preparing Meals, Delegating Tasks, and Establishing Routines.
The best thing to do is to break everything down into smaller pieces. Start by making a list of what needs to be done. Write out what needs to be cleaned daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonally. From there, plan out what days each task will get tackled. For example, Mondays can be cleaning bathrooms, Saturday can be changing linens, and the last Friday of the month can be reserved for cleaning baseboards.
It’s always easier to know what you’re going to cook or to have some meals prepped and ready to go. Making meals ahead of time in a slow cooker or using an instant pot are both great time savers. So is freezing meals ahead of time and some meals that keep well are lasagna and casseroles. One fun idea for choosing meals for the week is having everyone in the family write some of their favorites on pieces of paper and put in a jar. Each week 7 meals are picked from the jar and assigned days for prepping and cooking. No guessing or fussing!
Remember when it comes to managing your home, no one can do everything alone. It’s important to delegate certain tasks to children and spouses/partners. This will not only ease the weight of trying to be a superhero, but also teaches responsibility to children and teens. For example, younger children can perform tasks like walking pets, picking up things laying around like toys or shoes, taking out trash, loading/unloading the laundry, or loading/unloading the dishwasher.
If children are old enough to handle the task, then they are old enough to help. They may be too young to fold bed sheets, but there’s nothing stopping them from folding towels or matching socks. Older kids can help with prepping or even preparing meals. Sometimes we don’t realize how helpful it is for the veggies to be chopped ahead of time or for the meals to at least be in process by the time we make it to the kitchen. Delegating tasks to others doesn’t have to seem like punishment for them or mean a lack of ability on your part. Everyone is living together in the home; therefore, everyone should have a hand in helping it function properly.
Another great way to help your home run more smoothly is by creating routines. Keeping your family on a schedule or routine is one of the greatest helps you can ever have, especially if your family is always on the go with extracurricular activities. Routines help develop structure for yourself as well as your family. When solid routines are in order, things don’t feel so chaotic and all over the place. The kids know where they should be and what they should be doing; parents find themselves not yelling as much or feeling less frazzled. With routines it’s less likely that certain things don’t pile up on you. It’s so easy to say “I’ll do it later or tomorrow.” Next thing you know, you’ve said “I’ll do it later” 15 times and now that tiny mole hill is a huge mountain.
Running your home is important, but don’t forget that having a happy family means more than anything. Set those routines, delegate those tasks, make those lists, and don’t forget that your kids are only kids for a certain amount of time. In between all the cleaning and meals, remember to cherish your time together.
BY URSULA BRANTLEY