For one who is used to having many systems and much order in place - I have let many of these things slide in recent weeks (before our trip). I am eager to get some of these systems revamped and some of them whipped back into shape.
And, like so many things - it is somewhat overwhelming to think of the enormity of this task. Being away from my house for a bit has allowed me to simplify my days and sort of step back and take a look at what needs to change in my home - what needs to be reinstated and what needs to go!
Some things I am planning to do away with:
* Shopping at multiple stores. I have realized how much time this sucks out of my days. And, by using coupons and watching sales - it really will not effect my grocery budget all that much. I plan to choose one grocery store to call my main store and shop there every other week. I used to do this and it worked great, then I got sort of pulled into running around to get the deals at multiple stores. It simply is not worth it to me in this season.
* Doing all the drug store deals. Again, I am going to choose one store (probably CVS, though it may rotate one week or another if there is something I can use at a different one) to go to each week and get the deals I can or what our family can use of give away.
* Outside commitments. When I return home, the only commitments I will have are taking Emily to ballet once a week, nursery once every eight weeks and taking cookies to the childrens shelter once a month. Right now, this is all I can manage. I need to be home and my family needs to be home - and we will be.
What will stay or be reinstated:
* Sunday afternoon/evening planning time. Every Sunday afternoon, I pull out the ads, plan my menu, sort of make a rough schedule for the week and definitely a plan for Monday. This has served us very well and I will continue to do this weekly.
* Cooking ahead for freezer. I used to have cookie dough in the freezer, cooked and diced chicken in the freezer, etc... I've let many of these things ago and they were a blessing to have - so I am eager to get back to this.
* Mother's helper: We have a teenage girl from church who comes over two Thursday mornings a month and helps me with the littles so I can get a few things done. I am there with her - but she usually is in another room where I can accomplish more. I've been sort of torn about this - I feel like I shouldn't need the help, wonder if I should have someone help with the chores rather than the playing since I am the mom, but in the end - this is what has helped me and worked for us, so I want to continue doing it.
* My cleaning schedule. I have a schedule for chores each week that rotates each day - and I've been extremely lax about cleaning of any kind! I want to return to this schedule:
Monday: clean kitchen and water plants
Tuesday: laundry, iron, clean master bath and vacuum
Wednesday: sweep and mop floors
Thursday: clean entry window, dust, clean hall bath
Friday: laundry, sheets, vacuum
* Family Nights: I have found that when I am planning lots of creative things for homeschooling or during the day, that my energy for Family Night planning is low or zero. I'm not sure what it looks like to reinstate this, but it is something I want to do.
What will be added:
* Date night: We have not been good at taking time just for the two of us. And, we agreed on a date night just after Christmas that this is something we want and need. We can't manage once a week practically or otherwise, but are thinking twice a month at this point.
* Family prayer time: It is on my heart to teach my children the benefits and disciplines of prayer - even in a very simple way for their age. I don't know what this looks like yet - but it is something I want to pursue.
* Planning, cultivating and enjoying a garden. Last year our garden was a complete flop - because I did not invest much time or energy in it. I desire this to be different this year - Lord, please help the bugs to stay away from me or make me not afraid of them.
I'm sure there are other things that should be on these lists - but this is all I can think of at the moment. Regardless, it is a great place to start and will spur some other ideas as well I'm sure!
How about you? Are your home systems keeping things in order - what needs to stay and what needs to go?