Let me start off by saying I really dislike a schedule. I am more of a free spirit. I would much rather take the day as it comes. Oh sure, I have a work schedule I have to abide by and somehow I am ok with that. But my off time, I want to be mine and free from watching the clock. I want to read a book, watch a movie, take a walk, blog or whatever. Maybe run off on a spur of the moment day trip. Or maybe something as simple as making a new recipe. So much exploring to do and so little time. Sounds like fun right?
It is until I start getting ready for bed that night. I get to thinking, “What did I do today? Where did all my time go? Gosh I forgot to clean the house. Well there’s always tomorrow.” ( yeah right its more like-wash rinse repeat)
Yes I admit it, I get distracted. My house and grocery budget suffer the worst. Cleaning house is ok but I’d rather not do it thank you. My grocery budget suffers because of the lack of planning. Meal planning is one of the best tools to use while sticking to tight budget.
I’ve researched this topic quite a bit since I seem to have problems with the concept of planning and time management. Most say “We all have the same amount of time in the day. The same 24 hours.” I disagree. Yes, we all have a God-given 24 hours in a day. The difference is some have less time at home. I’m not saying that stay at home people have it easier. Far from it. I know. I use to be a stay at home mom. It is easier to ‘fit it’ house work or errands when you don’t work outside the home. On the flip side, I’ve worked for years at 50 to 70 hours per week (not including commute time). Time at home and fun time took a back seat to my job.
So how do I keep sane, get the house cleaned and let my free spirit be happy? Let me share my household management team: my Household Binder and my Menu Binder.
My household planning book has changed over the years. For years (probably 10 or 12) now I’ve had an on again off again love for FlyLady and her household control journal. She has laid simple ground rules for those of us who get sidetracked with house cleaning. I love how she breaks the house into zones. While I was a stay at home mommy, it worked great for me. With that being said, I have a hard time working and using Flylady. I become overwhelmed. By the time I get home in the evenings, I have only a few hours to clean, cook and squeeze in some fun time. I have taken some of her tips (and others) and made a very simple household planner. In my household planning book I have cleaning lists broken down daily, weekly and monthly. This keeps me on track and I can visually see progress as I mark things off the lists. I also include budget planning and a few other pages in this book. Everything can be accessed at a glance. This keeps my life simple.
I have a separate binder for meal planning. In this binder I store recipes I’ve clipped or printed and menu planning pages. Everything is in sheet protectors to keep them from getting spattered (I’m a messy cook and proud of it lol) Once a week I put together a menu based on the weekly ad from my favorite store. I also have a back up plan for busy weeks. I’ve created a 4 week menu with shopping list. I gathered some of our favorite meals, worked them into 4 weeks of menus and added a complete grocery list of every item needed to prepare each meal. I can easily print one-off, mark out anything I already have on hand and head for the store. This is an easy and simple way to plan menus.
I will be posting on each of my binders and the planning pages I use.
If you like this article you may want to check out 5 Simple and Stress Free Steps to a Clean Bathroom
So, how do you keep your house running smooth? Do you menu plan? I would love to hear your ideas on planning and scheduling time.