When I started my blog, I thought it would mostly be a mom blog. It really turned into a recipe blog with mom posts sprinkled in. Since we moved to South Korea and it has become more of a travel blog. But for whatever reason, the post with the most views on my blog is about my cleaning routine. Now that I have moved to the other side of the world, my lifestyle has radically changed and so my routines have as well. I thought I would share an update.
In Norfolk, I was mostly a stay at home mom. But I worked three days a week for about six months of the school year. So when I was making a routine, I did a lot of my errands and cleaning on the other two days. In Daegu, I am completely a stay at home mom so I am able to spread out my routine over five days instead. It has made my life less stressful (I don’t know how moms can work full time and get anything done. My hat’s off to you if you can). In addition to this, apartment life just has different chores than homeownership with a dog.
The beauty of our move was that it took two months before we actually received all of our belongings. This was actually great because it gave me time to get into a cleaning routine without as many distractions. Before everything arrived, I had already found my groove.
My dry erase board broke when we took it off Clarissa’s door at the old house. I didn’t bring the laminator with me. When we got here, I simply wrote my laundry schedule on a sticky note and stuck it to my laundry room door.
I still use the google calendar app for everything. I like that I can update events on my phone or computer. Everything is in one place so I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything. I also like that I can set email or phone reminders for whatever I need. I can remind myself ten minutes before something happens, an hour before, a day before, or even a week before if I want to. I can even put the address of the appointment or event and my phone will tell me what time I need to leave in order to get there on time.
I made a cleaning calendar for myself when we arrived and taped it to my refrigerator. But I honestly haven’t looked at it in months because it wasn’t in a good location for me.
I have discovered an app on my smartphone called Google Keep. This is another one that I can use on my phone or computer, but I mostly use my phone. Every night before I go to bed, I write out my to do list on the app. It basically looks like a sticky note on my phone with checkboxes. When I click the box next to my task, the task gets crossed off and moved to the bottom of my list. I have figured out what I can reasonably achieve during naptime and that is pretty much all that ends up on my to do list. Sometimes I can get to an item or two before naptime, but it’s not a big deal.
So basically, my schedule starts with my bedtime routine. Strange right? I recently did the Makeover your Mornings online course and it talked about a bedtime routine that sets your morning up for success. World rocked. It’s pretty easy. After Clarissa is in bed, I take my shower, brush my teeth, pack the diaper bag (or collect the trash), make tomorrow’s to do list, and pour my water for the morning. Then, I hang out with Tim until it’s time to go to bed.
When I get up in the morning, I have my quiet time, drink a glass or two of water, do my morning exercises, do my netipot, take my vitamins, and check my email. About that time, Clarissa wakes up. I check facebook while she’s nursing (though I’m pretty sure those days are numbered). We eat breakfast together and then we start our day.
In an apartment you have to bring your trash and recycling downstairs. In Korea, you also have to separate your food waste, plastic bags, plastic, glass, paper, styrofoam, and metal. Clarissa and I usually take down the recycling on Tuesday morning before we head to the playground. On Friday mornings we take down the recycling and food waste. The trash bag only gets full like once a month, so we take that down when it’s ready.
We basically either play in the morning or go to base for an activity like PWOC or Story Time at the Library. I don’t often make a special trip to base for shopping. I plan my week so that I will get my shopping done on the days that I will already be on base.
After lunch, Clarissa takes a nap and I really tackle my to do list. I pretty much do laundry, dishes, and vacuum every day. I have a monthly keep list on my phone of the deep cleaning chores that need to happen each month: clean each shower, mop the floor, wash the sheets, etc. Those things happen on days that I have more time. Each day I also have time to work on one of my goals that I set for the year. Mondays usually become making Tim’s lunches for the week, Tuesdays are a bigger project, Wednesday is a more indepth bible study book or a conference DVD, Thursdays are for bloging, and Fridays are me time. Weekend naptimes are for time with Tim.
I usually start dinner while Clarissa is still asleep and she wakes up about the time that Tim gets home and we are ready to eat. Then we hang out as a family for an hour or so before her bathtime and bedtime routine.
I have laundry down to a science. As illustrated before, I have a laundry schedule. This is so we never have a stressful late night or early morning where we have run out of underware, socks, pants, or shirts. We have enough of everything to get through an entire week. My husband knows that if he is using his last white shirt to sleep in on Monday night it isn’t a big deal, because I wash them all on Tuesday and his drawer will be full before he goes to sleep Tuesday night.
Most people probably think I have an excessive amount of laundry hampers in my house. For three people, we have eight. But it makes my life easier. There is a hamper for each load of laundry that we do. One hamper is for whites, colors, delicates, pants, towels, sheets/blankets, Clarissa’s clothes, and diapers. That way, on laundry day, I just pick up a hamper after breakfast and start the load of laundry. By lunchtime, that load is ready for the dryer and I put the second load in. By the time dinner is on the table, both loads of laundry are usually dry, folded, and put away. I find that doing two loads of laundry per day makes it so that I still have enough time to fold and put the laundry away in the same day. If I do several loads in one day, I can never keep up with the folding.
Find a system that works for you and stick to it.
In Norfolk, I would plan my meals for the week, based on what was on sale. Here, I plan for the month. The commissary doesn’t have crazy sales. Their coupon policy is nice in that I can used expired coupons and they even have a coupon station in the commissary with hundreds of donated coupons. They don’t double coupons either. So the prices for items are pretty much always the same.
At the end of the month, Tim and I talk about what meals we liked and what we’re sick of eating. Then, I get out a cookbook and mark a few new recipes for Tim to look though. We pick two new recipes to try that month. Tim also picks two different things he would like to eat for work lunches. I make a big pot of lunches for him each week. During the month I won’t make either of his lunch meals for dinner.
The plan is taped to my refrigerator, where I will see it daily. Since I usually go to base on Wednesday and Thursday each week, I make my shopping list on Tuesday during naptime. I look at the meal plan and make a keep list of all the food we will need for the following week. Then, when I go shopping I break the list in half so that I will be able to carry the groceries and Clarissa to and from the bus. Tim and I may go together on the weekend to Home Plus or Emart for a few items that we can’t get at the commissary.
Our grocery budget here is slightly higher than in the United States, because it is more expensive to buy food here. (The commissary food prices start lower than in the US, but the coupon policy is different). But we also have a going out to eat budget so I usually get Saturday night off from cooking (really my favorite part of that is that I don’t have to do the dishes that day!).
I will say, that these are routines that work for me as a stay at home mom with one child who currently sleeps through the night and takes a nap. You may not be able to do things this way, but my hope is that you will be able to use some of these ideas to find a routine that works for you.
Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase the Make Over Your Mornings Course through the link on this post, I make a small commission. However, it does not add anything to your cost.