As clients enter my house, everyone comments about how nice it looks (especially for base housing! LOL) I've been told my living room looks like it's in a magazine. And asked HOW do you run a business, have 4 kids, AND a clean house?! That's probably my most asked question- so, I figured I would tell you all! Here's how the Johnsons keep up with the Johnsons!
First, WE manage it all, I don't manage it all. I have a husband - who's my partner.
I've been married to Chris for over 11 years. TOGETHER we have 5 children (4 here and one angel). TOGETHER we have a house. TOGETHER we run our household. TOGETHER we support each other!
We have our own ways of doing things, our own preferences. Overall Chris like things a little cleaner than me. For example I don't mind the playroom being a mess - but he does. Oddly, I hate the kid rooms being a mess, but he's more okay with it because he can shut the door.
We each have a "big" chore to split the main responsibilities of keeping the house clean which makes the daily upkeep much more manageable. He does the LAUNDRY and I do the DISHES.
So, how do WE do it?
Here's the daily break down for you. I try to stick to this as a schedule/routine each day. While some days it doesn't go quite like this, the majority of the days do. My husband works in an ER and is gone from 7am to 4:45pm Monday - Friday.
6:30am - Wake up
Make the bed
Make cereal for the littles
Chill for an hour "drinking" my coffee and cuddle with the littlest one
7:30am - Help the kids get ready for school (they shower 2-3 times a week in the mornings)
Dress the little ones
Get myself ready for the day
8:45am - Send the big kids out the door for the bus
OR put all the kids in the car for school and daycare drop offs at 9am (if it's daycare day)
9:20am - Clean the house
My big 3: dishes, pick up the living room, and vacuum *explained below
Make myself breakfast
Depending on what time clients are coming, I'll do extra cleaning: picking up the studio,
playroom, dining room, washing the kitchen counters, the downstairs bathroom, etc.
10am - Typically is when clients come to my home studio, my studio hours are 10am-1pm
*if it's a no client day, I start my computer work, editing, accounting, etc
12pm - Lunch (if the littles are home)
1pm- Clients leave
Upload images, pick out a sneak peak, and if I have time - I'll edit it and schedule it
*if the littles are home, this is nap time
2pm- Pick up the littles from daycare
If they didn't nap at school, I'll put them down for naps and return to the computer.
4pm - Littles wake up from nap time
Changes and a wake up snack
Nice weather days, I take a break and we go to park by the bus stop and play until the Bigs arrive
4:45pm - Big kids get home from school, Chris also returns around this time too
Snack and homework for them, help/answer if they have questions
*YES, I'm still on my computer working and editing in between these things!
5:30pm - I stop working unless I have an evening session, then I'll go to it and return AFTER dinner
Cooking dinner, normally I do it, Chris has specialties (steak/grilling) that he cooks
6pm - Dinner time
7:30pm - Bed time routine for the kids: wash, brush teeth, and read books in bed
We alternate putting the kids to bed/ picking up the house
8pm - Kids asleep
Husband and I are already IN bed, normally watching a show
10pm - We try to go to sleep around this time
Thats my advice. Personally, I like a made bed so my bedroom feels clean.
Then the living room needs to be clean; that's where clients enter my home and walk down the hall to my studio. This includes vacuuming the living room and hallway.
For my husband, his most important chore to making the house feel clean is the dishes being done.
These 3 things (bed made, living room, dishes) take no more then 25 minutes each day. Even with all the dishes our large family can produce in 24 hours. Why does it not take more than 25 minutes? Because I take care of these chores every.single.day. They don't take long at all, and it feels like, and looks like, our house is kept up on. Keeping up with the house is one thousand times easier then only cleaning once a week... I've been there, done that, HATED it.
Ask yourself - what can you do in 25 minutes that makes
you feel like you have a clean house?
Do that, every day!
As I said- WE do it. The kids are not exempt and help out as well- our kids chores include:
Emptying the dish washer, scooping the dog poop, feeding our two dogs, putting away their own laundry (we do the two littles, although Jaelynn at 4, is learning how to separate hers), and cleaning up their bedrooms and bathrooms.
10 More ideas for a smooth running house
Left: Our google Calendar, Chris is grey, family it teal, my business is gold, and the kids are purple
Right: My bullet journal, with my business on the left, personal on right, to do list, meal plan, grocery list, and a inspirational quote for the week.
-Start with a great planner - I'm a paper gal. I'm currently bullet journaling so I can control every aspect of my weekly planner. I take about an hour on Sundays to plan the upcoming week. Google's calendar is free, you can connect to your spouse so everyone is on the same page, and it's easy! So on Sundays, I pull up my google calendar and I make my bullet journal. Since I have my assistant Kate, she does all of my scheduling into my google calendar, I don't actually know whats in store for the week. Writing helps me remember. So I write everything in my bullet journal. Then I do the next step of meal planning, which also creates the grocery list, and I go grocery shopping either Sunday night or Monday morning, depending on what my schedule allows.
- Weekly meal planning. Sometimes, alright MOST, we don't eat what I've assigned to each day, but it takes the thought out of what to eat and do you have the stuff for it? I even ask everyone in my family for something they might want to eat for a meal that week.
- Take the minimum, 25 minutes every morning to pick up the house (i.e.: your must clean rooms) Set a timer even! If I'm in a hurry and want the house the cleanest I can get it, I will enlist the help of everyone and do a 20 minute clean up. If everyone participates, they will get a reward- sticker, piece of gum, dessert after diner, etc.
- Split the chores! Every one works. Some people just leave the house for their job... be fair to the stay at home parent or worker. Their day is not built around CLEANING! Mine is built around my job and children. Thats why I have a specific schedule. For a stay at home parent, their focus is taking care of and raising the young children - they need constant supervision, being fed, played with, put down to sleep, taken to appointments, etc. (I end here because this job title includes EVERYTHING).
- Crock pot or Instant pot/pressure cooker meals. If I know between my husband and I that we have a busy day, I'll plan for a crock pot meal. This is why I do my planning one day a week, I already know which day is going to be the busiest one... so when I do my weekly meal plan, that's when I plan for a crock pot meal.
- Avoid over cleaning. Crazy idea, right? LOL I mean - get a toy box and throw the toys in it. We have a toy box, and a toy shelf. The toy shelf holds books, coloring things, a box of blocks and legos, and a smaller basket of other toys. Now, you can ask the kids for help! "Put your toys away" is now easier for them! DELEGATE. They made the mess.... they clean the mess. Kids can really start doing this well by 18 months old.
- Simple systems. The easier...the better. Kids love consistency: knowing whats expected from them, what's going to happen, and how to do it. My kids come home from school, they have a box in their cubby that fits their coat and backpack. Thats where they go. We no longer have coats and backpacks laying around to get tripped on. We have a shoe closet...where all the shoes go. Where do the things 'fall' when people put them down when they come in? That should be where you put something for those things to go.
- Family wall calendar. Everyone gets a color of their own. Dry erase boards are perfect! If you can't find a calendar one, but a large plain one, and use a permanent marker to create your own. You can customize easily this way!
- "To-buy" list on the fridge. Anyone in your family can jot down what they need. Makes for that trip quick to the store go more seamlessly and you'll go to the store less frequently!
- Corral the dirty laundry. We have three locations for dirty laundry: one in our bedroom, one in between the kids bedrooms, one in the laundry room. This way we are not tracking down dirty laundry all over the house. Again- have a place where things go.