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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Structure and Routine

An unpredictable and chaotic life will create insecurity and anxiety. This is one reason I always LOVED school starting back up. It always brings back structure and routine to life.

Times for vacations are over, lounging around with a good book happens less often, and things start to revolve around schedules and calendars more.

I learned many years ago that it is very important to set-up, establish, and protect your daily routine in order to have success in life.  And I don’t mean climbing a cooperate ladder.

Success to me means having groceries on had to feed my family a healthy and delish meal. Clothes are clean and ready to wear. And peace is reigning in our home because we are organized and able to adapt to any last minute changes in plans. And being in ministry, changes occur all the time. But success in said areas don't just happen. They require forethought and planning.

So here are some of the things I do to bring structure in my life.

First I start by get up at 5am and exercise for one solid hour. NOT!! I really do wish I did this one though. So let us begin again shall we?

#1. See what is the biggest challenge for you and work on that. Due to my hectic schedule for me my greatest challenge is planning out our meals and having the supplies on hand to prepare them. So the one thing that helps me in this area is always having something in the freezer I can heat up.

How I do this is by making a double batch (one for now and one for later) of anything that can be frozen like my spaghetti sauce, deer roast, or soups. This is a huge blessing if you already know you will arrive home late due to kids practices and you need something fast. Just remember to take it out of the freezer the day before and let it thaw in the fridge.

#2. I have one day of the week designated for cleaning house and I only deep clean on that day. Unless of course company is coming over. We wouldn’t want them to see how we really live now would we? (grin)

This is hard for me too because I like things nice and clean. BUT, I choose to have a life more. So yes, my house could be spotless 24/7 but I refuse let the fact that it’s not bother me. But please don’t think it is a pigsty, it’s not. I just choose to overlook the dust in the corner until my next cleaning day.  This allows me to spend time with my family, enjoy some down time, or go to a movie without the guilt of thinking, I really should be cleaning right now.

#3.  Even though I may not deep clean in between my designated cleaning days, I do however wipe down counters and furniture when needed.  This keeps everything from getting too bad.  My fav thing to keep under my bathroom sink is Clorox Wipes.  After I dress for the day I can pull one out of that yellow and white container, wipe away then throw away. 

Don't call me crazy, but I also keep a package of Pledge Wipes in my top dresser drawer.  If my bedroom furniture is getting a little too dusty during the week I can give a quick wipe down without having to walk to the kitchen to grab by bottle of Pledge and cleaning rag.  But again, I leave all my deep, time consuming cleaning for one day a week.

#4. I make my bed EVERYDAY.  It takes about a minute to do this but this one thing makes all the difference in the world for the overall look and feeling of serenity in my room. I may have a pair of jeans that need putting away or books that need straightening up but as long as my bed is made it makes it all ok.  Conversely, if everything else is clean and put away and yet the bed is unmade, it all looks chaotic. 

Another benefit to my #4, there is nothing like crawling into a comfy made up bed every night.

#5. Before I walk out the door each morning I make sure the pillows and cushions on the couches are fluffed and in their proper place.  At the end of the day, walking in and seeing everything in its place makes coming home so much sweeter. 

There are more things that really enable me to have some means of peace and structure in my life and move more easily throughout my day and I will expound on that in the next posting. But for now I hope some of these things help you as you prepare for the 2011-2012 school year.

If you have some tips you would like to pass along, please click on comments below and share the love. :)

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