Tag Archives: routines

Jury Duty and Being Prepared

I recently spent 8 days serving on a jury. I was not prepared for this, as most cases in Denver last 2-3 days. As I sat in the jury box during jury selection, after the judge had said the case could take 8 days and I realized I was likely to be selected, I started thinking of what I would need to reschedule, who would watch my kids, and how my life was going to be impacted. I’m not going to say that I came home that day and magically got my life prepared for the next 2 weeks. We had take out for dinner as I was too tired to cook. And I’m sure we didn’t have the kids put their toys away before bed (which we try to do each night). I did do a load of laundry, gave my kids a few extra hugs, and figured out who was going to watch the kids the next few days.

What I learned through this experience is how important it is to be organized and have some simple maintenance routines. We usually have our meals planned for the week. We prep much of our food on Sundays or early in the week. Our fridge has a drawer marked ‘raw meat only’ so we can defrost several days of meat/fish at once. This makes for easy dinners because food just needs to be put in the oven. I did a load of laundry and cleaned the kitchen each night. And I spent a few minutes after the kids went to bed cleaning out emails, packing lunches, stocking the diaper bag, and identifying priorities for the next day.

There are many simple organizing tasks that can be done each day to keep on top of the clutter. This great article outlines a few of those. If everything in your house has a home, it’s easy to put stuff away, see what needs to be replaced, or what you can get rid of. There are also plenty of things you can delegate. Can you hire a house cleaner? Someone to mow the lawn? Can your kids start doing more chores (put away their clean laundry, take out the trash, feed the pets). Do you need to reevaluate who does what tasks with your partner?

What are some tasks that you can start doing every day to make life a little simpler?

Morning and Evening Routines

September is almost over. The school year has been underway for several weeks now. Hopefully you have your command center set up, your kids’ homework stations are working for you, and packing lunches are easy! Let’s take a few minutes to check in on your morning and evening routines. Are they still working for you?

Let’s start with your evening routine. The more you do the night before, the easier your morning is going to be. Here are some tips for your evening routine.

  • Plan breakfast for the next morning.
  • Pull out anything that needs to defrost for dinner and put it in fridge.
  • Pack lunches for the next day.
  • Pack backpacks, purses and bags with items needed for the next day. What events (soccer practice, piano lessons, choir, etc.) are happening? What does each person need for their activities?
  • Ensure all permission slips are signed and placed in backpacks.
  • Pick your clothes out (and have your kids’ pick out theirs).
  • Set alarm clocks!

Now that you’re ready for the next day, your morning should run a bit smoother. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready before the kids get up. This will help you feel less rushed. And make sure your kids get up with plenty of time to get ready. My daughter likes to read books or play for a bit before we head off to school. I plan time into our morning for that.

What other tasks needs to be completed in the morning? Get the dishwasher running, dinner in the crockpot, etc. Have a checklist on the wall by the door to make sure you have everything you need as you head out the door!

What changes do you need to make to your routines for your mornings smoother?