As a young mom, I needed a simple system to keep my home neat and tidy with delicious meals on the table and time to spare. What was I doing wrong? The answers to that question I shared in my book, Total Home Makeover: A 20 Day Plan to Renew Your Space & Spirit. This is the mini version (one article per month in Molly Green's "Keeping HOME").
Your Total Home Makeover begins with pro-active daily and weekly routines (access previous steps and vintage-inspired free printables at totalhomemakeover.com). Your Total Home Makeover will now continue with Step 4: Deskwork, Laundry, and Errands.
Desk work, laundry, and errands are tasks that need to be completed once a week. For weekly tasks, I assign one task per day such as: Tuesday, desk work; Thursday, laundry; and Friday, errands.
The goals of desk work are to pay bills, balance the budget, and catch up on correspondence. Before sitting down to complete desk work, first print the free desk work tracker here and gather the following information:
Finally, place this tracker in a household binder or fridge file for easy access.
When its desk work time, grab your desk work tracker and start by paying bills that are due. To save on time and cost, you can choose to pay bills online and/or set up automatic bill pay noting payment method on your tracker. Next, balance your budget by tracking expenses. Currently, my favorite free budget application is everydollar.com. Finally, write and send birthday, anniversary, and thank you cards. Desk work is complete.
When it comes to laundry, I recommend doing one load a day to keep the pile up away. However, I need to include laundry in my weekly chore list as well. Start by gathering all dirty laundry in the house including bed linens and towels. Sort dirty laundry into piles: towels, bed linens, colors, and whites. Wash towels and bed linens first according to care labels. Next, make all the beds with the fresh linens. You might even sprinkle a little lavender powder on the sheets. Finally, wash, dry, iron (if necessary), and put away all clean clothing. Putting away the clothes is a very important step to a tidy home, and children can help with this. Hang clothes instead of folding to save even more time.
For savings in gas money and time, reserve one day a week, such as Thursday or Friday, for running all errands. Start by jotting down a list on a post-it note of all the places you need to go in driving order so you don't backtrack such as: post office, bank, library, dry cleaners, grocery store, and farmer's market. Gather materials you'll need to take along such as mail, banking, books for the library, clothes to be dry cleaned, and your grocery list. Have you ever completely forgotten to get something while running errands (like me)? That's why I pop the post-it note on my steering wheel ... to stay focused while driving!
I'll be back next month with more steps for you to take toward your Total Home Makeover!
Author and speaker Renee Metzler lives in Texas with her husband, two daughters, and pets. She holds a degree in Secondary Education, English, from Bloomsburg University and mentors women with a simple system to manage, organize, and decorate at Totalhomemakeover.com.