Over the last few years, I’ve created several versions of a weekly routine, trying to schedule in housework, school work, exercise and everything else. Some have fallen by the wayside after a week. Some lasted slightly longer, but needed changing, which I couldn’t be bothered to do.
You know what didn’t work with a weekly routine? Trying to use someone else’s routine.
Your weekly routine has to fit your weeks!
It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But I think so often, we want someone to provide us with the answer. Someone to hand the solution to us. Someone to ‘fix’ things. But the fix has to work with your life and your family.
So I’m going to talk you through making a weekly routine. I’ve even made you a lovely printable to go with this, so you can write it out and it will look beautiful. Just pop your email into the pink box at the bottom and I’ll send it over.
Step 1: Plan in your fixed commitments
Each week, we have fixed commitments. For me, that includes my working days, church commitments and extra-curricular activities for Ben.
Those things are non-negotiable, and generally stay pretty constant.
Step 2: Plan in your housework
OK. I know this sounds so 1950s housewife, yes? But when I asked my lovely readers and subscribers, the thing that everyone struggles with is routines for housework.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to do everything every week.
When I grew up, my mum cleaned the house every week. When I started off in my own house, I did the same. All the cleaning schedules I pinned on Pinterest did the same.
But you know what? Some things in my house only need doing once a fortnight. Some things only need doing once a month.
Some things need doing twice a week.
These are the things I do weekly, without fail: clean the bathrooms, dust the living room.
I need to hoover downstairs twice a week. I need to iron twice a week.
But dusting upstairs, cleaning mirrors and mopping floors mostly need doing every other week.
This was a revelation to me! So I allocated certain tasks to certain days. On Mondays, I clean the bathrooms. On Thursdays, I dust and hoover. I hoover on Sundays as well. On Wednesdays and Fridays, I do one of the rotating tasks – and I’ve marked them in the schedule.
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, which are my busy work days, I do the bare minimum of housework.
It means I do a bit everyday, and I’m always kind of on top of things. If I miss a day, it’s not the end of the world and usually it can wait a week or I can find time on another day.
I’m not a big fan of blitzing it all in one day. This really ties you in to having to clean on one day, and if you miss it once or twice, your house ends up in a state. Little and often is definitely best.
By the way, make a note of the monthly tasks – that’s next week’s post!
Step 3: Add in time for food shopping and meal planning.
I think most of us still do something close to a weekly shop, and hopefully we plan meals. if you don’t, I’ve got several meal planning posts! Spring Meal Plans, Summer Meal Plans, Autumn Meal Plans, Winter Meal Plans
Step 4: Add in time for life admin
This is something we often overlook. But even if you allocate just 15 minutes, once a week, you’ll be amazed at how much paperwork you get through. I like to do this during working hours if I can, on one of my days off, but to be honest, you can do most things online now so an evening should be fine too.
I also like to have a slot on a Sunday night where I check through the calendar and work out what I need to do each week: birthday presents to buy, things to book, things to pay for… I note these down in my diary or my phone so I can do them throughout the week.
Task 5: Add in the things you’d like to do weekly.
For me, this is exercise, an extended Bible study and blog work. These are the things that I can be a bit more flexible about in terms of allocating time. I could also add in my marking and planning time in here, as I often get ahead with that and that frees up my evenings.
If you still need to declutter, can I suggest you add in a ‘decluttering’ slot? Again, it doesn’t have to be long as you can do loads in 15-20 minutes, but having it as part of your weekly routine will allow you to stay on top of it.
Put in the ‘nice’ things too. If you have a date night, or a hobby or just want a long, quiet bath, put it in! if you write it down, it’s much more likely to happen.
Task 6: Write it down, print it out and put it somewhere everyone can see
If it’s somewhere visible, it’s really easy to check what needs to be done. If you do this with your partner, you can both check what needs to be done on each day. You can colour code it, add in symbols or laminate it… But make sure you can see it!
In an ideal world, both of you would check that everything is done before you start watching TV or whatever, but that’s up to you!
Your weekly routine isn’t set in stone (even if you’ve laminated it). We’ll be reviewing it in a couple of weeks’ time, so if it’s not working out, don’t panic – we’ll be refining and improving it soon.
I’d love to know how you get on with this task and what your weekly routine ends up looking like, so please let me know in the comments or over on my Facebook page.