Work and home: Part 1

I know most of you are stay-at-home mums, however there maybe a few out there that go off to work or perhaps you know someone who is working but not coping very well with the stresses. These tips might be useful.

The most important message I can give anyone is to keep your home TIDY (thanks mum).  If the house is a mess, it can quickly lead to frustration and stress.  If I get up in the morning/arrive home from work in the afternoon and find a tidy home everything runs smoothly—I feel better.

The motto in our house is "a place for everything and everything in its place”.  Nothing is left lying about—something my sons learnt early.  Another thing that is also important is keeping up with the chores by doing a little each day.  By the time the weekend arrives there is very little to do (except to buy the groceries).

Planning meals and buying all the food in one go also saves heaps of time and avoids stopping off on the way home to buy bits and pieces that have been forgotten (time waster). 

Multi-tasking is something all women do—whilst brushing my teeth I give the sink a wipe down, when walking to the washing machine I use the washing  to do some dusting. It is surprising what you can do whilst doing something else.

As I do not expect my husband to come home and do housework, I make sure that the housework is completed and dinner is cooking by the time he walks through the door  Here are a few of my tips for running a smooth organised home:

Before I leave for work
  • Wash dishes (usually only a few)
  • Kitchen cleaned, take rubbish out
  • Kitty litter cleaned
  • Bed made (sons do their own)
  • Bathroom sink wiped clean, towels neat
  • Washing in basket (decided if washing will need to be done in the afternoon)
When I get home
  • Change into “home clothes”
  • Put washing on (I wash twice a week and on Saturday)
  • Quick vacuum (to clean up any cat hair etc)
  • Put any washing away
  • Quick whizz around making sure house is tidy
  • Start dinner
  • If I walk past something that needs dusting I dust it, it means no big dust is needed at the end of the week.
Before I go to bed
  • I always leave the house tidy before I go to bed — everything put back in their right places e.g. throw rugs folded, pillows tidied, book pile tidy, DVD’s away
  • Dishes air-dried and put away
  • Ruby’s breakfast “tray” is ready for her breakfast
  • Move meat from freezer to fridge for next day’s dinner
  • Make lunches for next day—I only make mine now, but I use to make the children’s school lunches in the evening
  • Have bags packed for next day—make sure that everything you need is together (no looking for lost items)
At work (at lunch time of course!)

  • Paying bills/organise the budget
  • Make appointments
  • Post mail
  • Place orders
  • Filling out forms
  • Phone calls/emails
  • Shopping lists
I am not superwoman.  But being organised and using my time wisely, things will run like clockwork. And even though it sounds like I am busy all the time – once the dishes are done at night (usually by 7:00pm) I am sitting down relaxing— reading, blogging, watching a DVD etc..  And I don’t spend my weekend doing house chores as most have been done during the week (that is my gardening time).   And I try hard to take time to stop and take pleasure in your day-to-day activities—take time to smell the roses so to speak.

PS you may notice that ironing is not mentioned, I don't iron, only what I need.  My husband irons his own clothes!!


  1. Jo, this sounds exactley like my own mother. It is incredible what a diffrence it makes when you are organised in the home and everything. Thanks for sharing! Have a blessed week! xxx

  2. Hmmm.... sounds great. I think your home would be a delight to visit!
    Factor in young children, Home schooling, a house full of people 24/7? Was it such a breeze when your boys were small? I am not a good house keeper so it always fascinates me how families can keep so clean and tidy with kids around and I also have a mechanic/ horder husband. Between all that it is pretty chaotic!
    My motto is : "My house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy!"

  3. This is what I aspire too. However, even as a SAHM I expect my husband to help some when he is at home. Work is work (no matter it takes place) and I like to think we share what needs to be done. Then again--my husband doesn't iron his own clothes. ;-)

  4. Ruby – when my sons were little they used to have bright coloured plastic boxes so all their toys had a home and went away at the end of the day and everything was neat and tidy - I don't cope well in mess and can't help myself (sounds like I have a disorder!!) but will tidy up anyway. And no hoarders allow in my house, my husband is not a hoarder so all is good!! My sons have also learnt that when they leave in the morning (for school or work) they need to leave the kitchen clean and tidy – otherwise I come home to a sink of breakfast dishes and I won't be impressed! They are usually pretty good. It is a good habit for them to get into when they have their own homes.

    Bonnie - my husband does vacuum as he has a passion about vacuuming and will sometimes do it after I have done it to provide how much dust is still in the carpet (he is probably wearing out the carpet). It turns into a scientific experiment which use to annoy me, but I have given up on saying anything!! But generally I do all the housework which doesn’t worry me.

    Sarah - I learnt it from my mum, we were never allow to leave a mess and her home is still very organised and tidied.

  5. Being organised is the key. It seems like an effort initially, but then it actually saves time.
    I swing between being organised, to letting one thing slide, to feeling overwhelmed.
    So, some very sensible tips there!

  6. See, I told you Jo, you must be very organised! lol! And, you are... I know it would help immensely for your days and nights to flow smoothly.

    I know what you mean about things piling up and not done, it does feel like a stress. For me, I get extremely frustrated if too much is out of order in the housework department. Everything is usually in it's place, but sometimes I am too busy to sweep the floor and that is when I get a little frustrated. (our dog drops a fair bit of fur)... even with this, I have managed to get more organised of late.

    My children are not as disciplined as your boys. I tried and tried to train them that way, but they are messy but mainly in their bedrooms, not in the rest of the house.

  7. I just knew you would be a very organised person from reading your blog, lol!
    Some great tips here!
    I also get a bit stressed when the place is messy but have learned to relax a bit during the day when dd has stuff everywhere plus home schooling etc etc and just tidy up twice a day. Habit training is good, we are taking small steps in training dd....time will tell!
    Thanks for this I always learn a lot about home management from your blog:)

  8. I certainly enjoy when my home is neat and organized. I know that as the woman of the house it is my responsibility to set the tone and having a tidy home sure does help to set it off.

    I have experienced that when my home is not as tidy as it should be it creates an oppression. I go around my house and pick up while I am doing that I also pray for the Lord to reveal to me anything that is not supposed to be in my house that does not please HIM.

    Have a week blessed in HIM!

    P.S. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I do appreciate you taking time out of your day and visiting.

  9. Amanda - My sons have doors to their rooms (!!) and I keep them shut, that way I can't see any mess!! If they, as adults, want to live in mess they can - however my eldest is quite good, the youngest needs to understand washing baskets and kitchen sinks.

    Sydney - I enjoyed visiting :) My husband doesn't like mess, so keeping it tidy does help him as well as keep me sane!

  10. Jo,

    I could have used the advice given in this post when I used to work outside of the home. When I did work outside the home, I used to try and cram all my chores into the weekend, which usually ended-up being disasterous as well as tiring!

    I'm actually a better housekeeper now that I am home full-time.

    However, you sound very organized and detailed. I applaud you for "working" even during your lunch time at work, which is supposed to be your "relaxing" time. :)


    -Lady Rose

  11. Lady Rose - I don't "work" all my lunchtime, most of the time I read a book while eating.

  12. Jo - your organisation amazes me! Can I hire you to be my housekeeper as well as my gardener?? ;)

    When I worked and before I got CFS I used to be much more organised - but now, sadly on days of fatigue a majority of the cleaning and housekeeping is left until a good day, and then I'm able to work hard and get it all back together. I do prefer to try to keep it clean as I go, however homeschooling young children is rather demanding and limits what a person can get done in a day, without even thinking about the fatigue! Weekends tend to be my busiest days for housework most of the time. With the children getting older and more able to learn and help out, the house is easier to keep :)

  13. Good and fun post!!! Some how we have survived 30 years of marriage and 27 years of parent hood, and I still can't say I have a system. I am sure if you came over and watched you could see it...but to list way, not a list person.
    Thanks for the encouragement to keep things in order.


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