Household Management:
Simplify, Organize, Stress Less

by Coryanne Ettiene

Household management. Today’s modern family is busier than ever, leaving many mothers desperate for that 25th hour or the elusive 8th day.  As a mother of 3 children I find that on my worst of days, I fail to find 5 minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and usually race around the house with mascara in one hand and washing in the other, and on my best of days, everything falls into place leaving me wondering what all the fuss was about on Monday.

There are no set rules for finding middle ground; with children even the best-laid plans can be burned to the ground in an instant.  However, with the right tools behind us, those days when we are left standing in a smoldering pile of burnt plans are easier to tackle.

I find that the happiest women run their homes like a business.  They address domestic issues with the same professionalism they deliver outside the home.  Here are my list of suggestions to help you enjoy an organized household and household bliss!

Get Your Kitchen Working for You

  • Plan meals in advance of going to the grocery store – this will save you time and money.
  • When making a meal that everyone loves, make enough to be frozen. Your freezer is your best friend; keep it stocked and it will love you back.
  • Keep your pantry well stocked.  A full larder will save you from nipping to the grocery store for random ingredients.
  • Put your cutlery, dishes and glasses where your children can reach them.  Then get your children to lay the table and help with the washing up.

Review Your Cleaning Routines

  • Spend 15 minutes each day focusing on one cleaning task, rather than hoarding all the cleaning for the weekend.  For example, Monday clean the family bathroom, Tuesday the guest bathroom, et all.
  • Spend 5 minutes each morning tidying up the house rather than a big tidy at the weekend.  Keep a basket by your stairs for items that need to go up and another for items that need to go down.  Empty them each day.
  • Don’t let your laundry pile up.  Wash, fold and put away each day. It is never fun to live out of the laundry basket, and less fun to walk into a room filled with dirty laundry.
  • Keep your kitchen sink clean at all times.  It makes the kitchen look clean, and it reminds you to put your dishes in the dishwasher rather than the sink.

Get organized

  • Keep a family management book.  I have a book that has all my numbers, contacts, important facts, to-do lists and random notes that I jot down inside my book rather than on loose bits of paper.  Everything that relates to my home, my time, my life is in this bound book.  If there were a house fire, I would save this book.
  • Get your diary/calendar working for you.  Don’t just put play dates and birthdays in it.  Make notes of membership renewals, contract end dates, reminders for when you should get your gutters cleaned, anything and everything.  The less you have to remember, the better.
  • Plan your day the night before.  Get your school bags, coats, keys, lunches all sorted out before you go to bed.  Your mornings will thank you for it.
  • Plan your week the Sunday before.  Make sure you know what kind of week you have ahead of you so you can plan accordingly.

Simplify to Save Time

  • Embrace waiting times.  Be prepared to wait, plan for it by packing thank you cards, embroidery, glossy magazines you are behind on, anything you think you could dip into while waiting.
  • Embrace routine, let auto-pilot be your companion.
  • Set your priorities and focus on them. When time is short focus on your ‘must do’ and leave the ‘nice to have’ list for when you have more time.
  • Ditch time wasters. For example, are you spending too much time looking for your keys?  If so, find a safe place and keep them there.
  • Finish what you start, and make sure you have enough time to start something.  There is nothing worse than unfinished projects floating about-- too much time is spent setting up and clearing up, so do it once.

Squeeze a Little Time from the Kids

  • When dealing with children, keep it simple, ‘do you want A or B?’ rather than ‘what do you want?’
  • Delegate rather than carry the burden. Give everyone an age appropriate chore that they can do without supervision. Not only does it save you a few minutes, it also empowers them to be proud of their responsibility and their home.
  • Teach your children to tidy as they go.  Make sure you provide a place for everything, so they can learn to put everything back in its place.

Whether you are running a family home or simply trying to find that elusive 25th hour, I hope I have taught you something new that will
simplify your life.

While drafting this I was reminded of how easy it is for these strategies to disappear from our daily hectic battle to finish the day.  On the days when the finish line seems far away, I am most grateful for the foresight I had the day before to follow this advice-- because lets face it, every little bit helps when you need it.

About the author.
Coryanne Ettiene joins us at SM4W to offer her expertise as a kitchen livng and home entertaining expert. She has plenty of tips for household management as well. Coryanne is a published author, television personality and social media contributor. Coryanne is a woman who manages her home with pride, has a passion for traditional domestic arts, and above all is not defined by her home, but rather defines her home. Learn more about our guest author by visiting and enjoy her advice on the finer points of nesting and the delights of a modern traditionalist housewife.

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