Well, my girls are off to school as of today. I got a bit choked up watching them walk up the school steps, with backpacks on and lunch bags in hand. I noticed they have all grown into their backpacks, they no longer look like a backpack with a head walking away from me!
I am proud of my girls. They truly are growing into young ladies who have hearts that care for others and want to do what is right. Oh, how I pray they continue on that path!
Now I am home, and the first thing I tackled is a new Fall Morning Routine List for myself. I do this every fall, and they look pretty similar each year. My girls have a “Back To School Morning Routine Chart” that I will share with you soon, but for today I will write about what I’ve decided to do each morning to start my day out right. This list begins AFTER my girls are off to school, other than the first 3 items. The only things that I need to focus on with them, (because their own morning routine keeps them on track) is helping with their hair and making their lunches.
I keep my list online. I have an iGoogle homepage. It allows me to add “gadgets” to the page, depending on my needs. Today I added a “To Do List” gadget, and used it to make an A.M. Routine list.
Here is what is on my list:
~Give Day To God
~Fill Water Bottle
~House Pick Up
~Wipe All Glass
~Go Through Email
~What’s For Dinner?
~15 Minutes Zone Work
~5 Minute Hot Spot
~Quiet Time/Prayer Time
Give Day To God
This is a quick acknowledgement before I even get out of bed, a prayer that God would use me how He sees fit, and that I would be mindful of Him throughout the day.
I do this right when I get out of it!
Sometimes I even shower…lol.
Pretty self explanatory. I need a good breakfast and to remember to take my vitamins. There are many morning that I eat with my girls so this is already done before they leave.
Part of my girls morning routine is to empty the dishwasher if needed. This really helps in the morning, because it takes no time to stick the breakfast dishes in, as long as it is empty!
Fill Water Bottle
I have an EcoVessel water bottle that I love! I fill it with ice and water in the morning, and it stays icy cold all day. I never have to add more ice throughout the day, just water. Love it!
House Pick Up
This one is super easy and a habit. I just go into each room and make sure there is nothing in there that does not belong. It is only easy because of my Flylady System (I talk about that below) and also because part of my girls morning and evening charts is “pick up personals,” which means they go into each room of the house and get anything they have left out and put it away. If they miss something, they will not earn their points for allowance. We are strict about this, I do not want to follow them around nagging them to pick up every little thing, and I don’t want to pick up everything for them. “Pick Up Personals” has made a major difference in how easy it is for me to keep the house cleaned up.
Wipe All Glass
I have a kitchen table and dining room table that both are glass. They need wiped numerous times a day, especially after my girls have had breakfast at them.
I use Flylady’s “Swish & Swipe” system. Basically, you keep toilet bowl cleaner in the container of the toilet brush, so everyday you just grab it and do a quick swish (not a good idea if you have small kids, unless your cleaner is non-toxic). I also take a paper towel and vinegar spray to quick swipe the mirror and sink area. “Swish & Swipe” keeps the bathroom company ready with just seconds a day. (I do deeper bathroom cleaning once a week, this just keeps it shining throughout the week).
A load a day keeps the smellies away! I am working hard on this one. It really is doable if I just make myself think about it, which is why it is on the list.
Go Through Email
If I don’t do this daily, my inbox becomes a mess. Still learning this one…
I do this as part of my evening routine, but a quick peek in the morning is always good, too. I use iCal on my Mac.
What’s For Dinner?
It is good for me to think about this at the beginning of my day. Especially when thawing meat is involved or if I want to use the crock pot. It eliminates last-minute-before-dinner trips to the store because I check to make sure I have all I need at the beginning of the day.
15 Minute Zone Work
This is also part of the Flylady System. She divides the home into “zones” and has you work in each “zone” for 15 mintues a day. At first, those 15 minutes each day are used for de-cluttering. Once your home is de-cluttered, you use those minutes to do “missions” that she suggests, which basically keeps your home spring cleaned all year, only working 15 minutes a day! It works beautifully when I actually stick with it daily. It is tempting to go longer than 15 minutes, but that is when I crash and burn and don’t want to do it again the next day. If I set my timer for 15 and stop when it beeps, it is a GREAT system.
5 Minute Hot Spot
Also part of the Flylady System, a “hot spot” is any spot in your home that erupts into clutter easily. For me, it is our study closet, our desk, our stairs, my trunk, certain drawers, an area that collects clothes in my bedroom…I could go on and on. Spending 5 minutes a day in a hotspot keeps these areas under control. I am amazed at how well this one works. Again, the key is stopping after 5 minutes and knowing you will have 5 more tomorrow..
Quiet Time/Prayer Time
This is a must for me. Time with God enables me to do everything else. He is my life line. I love using my prayer bench for this or taking my Bible/journal to a coffee shop for extra extended time.
This one is actually quite funny. I don’t workout. I should. I put it on the list knowing my sister is going to make me run a 1/2 marathon with her next spring. Training would start in January, so this one will probably sit unchecked on my list until then. Ugh. I can’t believe I just admitted the marathon thing for all to see…that isn’t a commitment…
This is another ‘gadget’ that is on my iGoogle homepage. It keeps track of how many grains, veggies, fruits, glasses of water, etc. It is a simple check box system. It is easy and keeps me aware of what I need throughout the day.
There are a lot of things on the list that we all do everyday. Seeing them listed makes it seem like a lot, but really, it is not. Many of them only take a minute or 2. This is what works for me, it is not for everyone, and it would look different if I went to work full time every day.
It really, really makes a difference in my day when I do these things regularly and purposefully. This is the list I miss most during summer school break, it keeps me on track and helps things run smoothly around here!