Simplifying the Schedule

Continuing on in our steps to simplifying series…

Making a simple schedule can sure help things run a little more smoothly (as long as you first submit it all to the Lord’s will, as I have been learning this week)! And who of us wouldn’t ask for that? My simplifying starts by a weekly evaluation and planning time on Sunday evening. I have developed a basic schedule for our household based on dividing the day into morning and afternoon blocks of time.

My household schedule may not work for every family, but trying out different methods is helpful to find which routine works for you. Any simple routine is better than nothing and will get you on the path towards simplifying your life.

Our Schedule

Morning Routine (Every Day):

  1. Devotions
  2. Exercise & Shower (2-3 times a week)
  3. Make myself presentable (otherwise I often never get around to simply fixing my hair – at least for my hubby!)
  4. Prepare Breakfast
  5. Dinner preparations / complete any preparation and soaking steps for next day
  6. House pick-up (just a quick pick up of items that are out of place)
  7. 5 minute plan for the day (selecting any items from my to-do list that should be completed that day) – complete one or two in the morning
  8. Fill up water bottle (not doing so good on this one! Help!)

Afternoon Routine:

Dividing each day into themes or focus days has kept it simple for me.

Sunday evening – weekly planning, making menu plan, hospitality (twice a month)
Monday – basic organization for the week, laundry
Tuesday – folding laundry, ironing
Wednesday – Ministry to others (as detailed in my weekly evaluation) – whether writing a note of encouragement, inviting someone over for tea, or simply preparing a meal for someone in need – I like to have a afternoon dedicated to this
Thursday – Simplifying/organizing task (as detailed in my weekly evaluation) – selecting one task each week that needs simplifying or organizing
Friday / Saturday- housecleaning day (twice a month), monthly baking day (once a month on an opposite week of housecleaning), grocery shopping (first of the month) – these things are marked on my calendar so I don’t forget which week I am on! Sometimes they get pushed to Monday, if we have a weekend event

Keep naps and meals on a consistent schedule! I try to keep Karis’ naps on a consistent schedule (10:30-11:30 & 2:30-4:30) along with our meal times (8:30, 12:30, 6:00). Consistency helps Karis do well and keeps the hubby happy when his meals are on time.

At this point in my life, I personally like to get my laundry completed at the first of the week. It allows me to get all the loads washed and put away more quickly rather than scattering it out throughout the week. This may change with more children and more loads of laundry, but for now it is my main focus for Mondays. I also like to consolidate my housecleaning to two weekends each month. It starts on Friday and is usually completed on Saturday (but sometimes it carries into Monday). Obviously our family and house are small so it doesn’t need to be cleaned more frequently as this point.

Master To-Do List

In my weekly planning, I map out a master to-do list of things that need to be completed throughout the week. I think the key thing I am learning is that they don’t all have to get done on one day. By each task, I write which day it should be completed. Make the list and then divide it evenly throughout the week.

Try anything once and see what works for you! Above all, keep the Lord the center of it all, and aim to work as unto Him! Faithfulness not perfection is God’s calling for us! I have not mastered it all, nor do I imagine I ever will. Just writing this out today was a good reminder for me that I have been slacking in a few areas myself.

Other scheduling ideas:

Dividing Schedule into Blocks of Time – Stephanie at Keeper of the Home has covered this idea thoroughly. This is a very helpful idea.
Scheduling
& Creating a Full Schedule by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood -She uses more of a strict schedule routaine and gives tips for setting up one that works for your family.
Tools & Tips for Using Time Wisely – an excellent list of tips by Kristy Howard at Homemaker’s Cottage

I would love to hear other ideas that work for you in simplifying scheduling and household management?

Next week we dive into simplifying menu planning…stay tuned…

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

13 Responses to Simplifying the Schedule

  1. Jamasina August 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    I know this isn’t really the focus of this post, but I am wondering how you got your children (particularly infants) on a regular nap/sleep schedule. My son has disliked sleep from day one, and it seems like everything I’ve tried has had little effect.

  2. Tanya April 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    wondering how many people are in your family? I have to do laundry every day. Usually we do 3 to loads a day. I have 8 children (one a newborn) and we live on a farm. The kids work clothes are flithy at the end of the day. I am hoping to use some of your ideas to help me organize my day. I seem to be doing the same things daily and getting stalled.

  3. India July 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    Hello, I am currently a mother of two, and pregnant with our third baby girl, and the biggest obstacle for me is bath time! I give my oldest daughter her bath first, get her dressed and do her hair because she has a 9pm bedtime. Almost always, I finish giving her a bath I am worn out, and have no energy left to bathe our other baby so I end up doing it the next morning which makes the next day even more slow and tiring! Its the same thing at meal time, but I do that really quick because i dont want them to go to bed hungry! Any advice!!!

    • Lindsay July 30, 2011 at 5:38 am #

      I give my two kiddos a bath at the same time. I plan to include our baby in this process soon. I will have the two kids in the bath and the baby in the sink. We usually give baths after breakfast before we get dressed for the day 2-3 times per week. I don’t plan on separating them until they are able to give themselves a bath or I deem it inappropriate, but for now, it works great and definitely saves a lot of time.

      • India July 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

        Thanks a alot for the advice! I will definately start giving both girls thier baths together. I usually bathe them everynight, but I think 2-3 nights per week is a great idea. This website is definatley an answered prayer from God!! Because Im at home majority of the time, I really dont have any other homemakers to ask for advice! I’m so excited to read all the wisdom you ladies have on homemaking (Im sort of new at this)! Thank You!!

  4. Sarah March 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Lindsey,
    I noticed that you do laundry once a week. Currently, I’m doing laundry almost every day. I’d love to get down to doing it once or twice a week (with the exception of diapers). I’m curious to know how you treat stains. Right now I’ve been using a Fels Naptha bar and laundering right away, but I’d love to be able to pre-treat our stains and wash on one or two days. With a 1-year-old, we ALWAYS have stains from food! Any advice?

    Sarah

    • Lindsay March 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

      I pre-treat stains by scrubbing them with a little soap and allowing them to soak in the bathroom sink until washday. You could use any washbin or plastic container for this purpose if you don’t have an extra sink. The key is to just take the outfit off as soon as possible and get it soaking. This usually always solves the problem for us. If I know it is going to be a stubborn one, I will scrub it with oxygen bleach and water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes just prior to washing. Oxygen bleach works really well even if I happen to miss a stain and it went through the dryer.

      • Sarah March 31, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

        Thanks! What kind of oxygen bleach do you buy?

        • Lindsay April 1, 2010 at 9:17 am #

          I have had best results with oxiclean.

  5. Abbi June 20, 2008 at 7:22 am #

    I would love to hear more about what you do for exercise in the mornings. What has worked for you?

    Thanks so much!

  6. Pam June 19, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    What a great post! I especially like the idea of scheduling time to minister to others – this is something that I want to do, but often don’t think about on a regular basis – by scheduling it in I can make sure it happens weekly! In addition, what a great teaching tool for my children.

  7. lisa June 19, 2008 at 6:23 am #

    I have recently found your blog and I can’t stay away. I have gleamed so much already. I have even made your bread!!! Thank you so much for sharing your ‘gifts’ from our Lord. I needed to read this post because I need to learn how to journal. I have tried time and time again and it doesn’t work. I may try the ‘blocking of time’ and see how that works.

    We have recently (or I should say I) started purging all of our ‘stuff’. Talk about being weighed down by ‘stuff’. I have noticed the cleaning is a lot easier to stay on top of if you don’t have as much things to pick up.

    I just wanted to thank you for your blessings and wisdom.

    In His Service,
    Lisa

  8. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home June 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    Great post, Lindsay. I always love to hear how different people organize their days. I like how you’ve intentionally planned a day for ministry- sounds like a really good way to keep focused on being aware of needs, opportunities and purposefully taking the time to meet them!

    The quick house pick up is helpful, too! I’ve recently been really faithful in doing mine, each morning after breakfast and getting the kids dressed, and then I try to again before Ryan gets home from work. I feel like it helps keep the house so much more manageable, which is important with young ones who scatter items if I don’t stay on top of it!

    Thanks for the link! :)