Much of what I write about on this blog is one-off organising projects but today I want to tackle a different subject.  What about the routines? The simple everyday things that you do regularly and consistently.  Why have routines and what difference do they make to the running of a household?

Many of us have routines imposed due to the constraints of going to work and school each day.

I love this quote from a colleague with whom I worked.  When asked about why he worked a particular way, his response was, “I always do this the same way because then I don’t have to waste time thinking about how I am going to do it”.

This really sums up the essence of a routine.  It becomes so ingrained that you do not really think about it.  This does take time, so in the interim you need to set up a plan to incorporate new routines.

The routines I am working on are ones to simplify and streamline my time during the week.  Here are a couple of examples:

Every Sunday I refill the tablet dispenser for my medications for the week.  This takes about 3 minutes to do once a week.  The tablets are at my finger tips and I do not have to open several bottles twice a day.

Menu planning – On the weekend I generally do at least a rudimentary plan of evening meals for the week.  I cannot afford the time to spend thinking about what to have for dinner, when I am out of the house for about 13 hours each day.  By having a plan I can take food out of the freezer the night before and start cooking the minute I arrive home.

Wardrobe planning – My morning preparation is 40 minutes from the alarm going off until I walk out the door so there there is no time to waste on thinking.  Before I go to bed I decide what I am going to wear for the following day.  I do not set it out but with a relatively uncluttered wardrobe I can simply open the door and grab my pre-determined outfit.

Naturally, you need to seek a balance between routines and flexibility.

My routines are based on my need to minimise the time wasted during the working week.  What are some of your routines and how do they help you?

7 thoughts on “Routines

  1. Minimising time on tasks may lessen the burden, but some routines deliberately take plenty of time. Routine can mean many things to many people, and it is not always about briskness. I have a routine response to the question, “Would you like some chocolate?” I routinely write letters to family every Sunday. Part of my routine is to go to choir every week. I enjoy selecting my clothes for the day and it is done slowly with consideration of prevailing conditions. That is a routine.

  2. The only one of these I do not do is the despensing of my medication. One reason is that I cannot fit all the vitamin supplements into my existing tablet box. Perhpas it is time for a new 7 day box. I put the clothes out to wear the next day if I am working in the morning and often they go into the bathroom overnight so as not to walk my man in the wee small hours when I have a particularly early start to the day. Another routine I have is to hang all our clothes in individual sections on the line which I then fold into the basket into individual piles. Routines are a great time-saver. Unfortunately my life cannot be totally one of “routine” as I work shift work but being “organised” certainly helps with this too.

  3. I do like to bring in washing in an order (like susan, but it’s just me), undies first, clothes by piles (ie so the three singlets come off the line and get folded together etc), then last is the linens/tea towels etc, and socks. Linens, tea towels and socks are all downstairs, and between the line and the stairs upstairs for clothes. Works well!

    I have lots of routines, and morning is the most crucial (again, brain not fully awake, so need as much help as possible!).

    I could happily introduce more routines, perhaps a set bedtime one (beyond what I already do – teeth, undress etc), to include a little more cleaning up!

    • I bring the washing in with the clothes to be folded in the bottom of the basket and the ironing on the top. I then put the ironing straight in the ironing basket and fold the clothes, placing them in individual piles for each person – easy now that there are only 2 of us. I do stack each pile in the order in which I will put it away in the drawers – from top to bottom and also left to right within each drawer. This tends to coincide with the size of the items eg: from the top of my pile would be socks, bras, knickers, nightwear, t-shirts, shorts, rugby tops.

  4. I like to have routines particulary in the morning and evening as these are my busiest times of day. I do the same things in the same order most days so I can get through it all and know that I’m set up for the day and my family has everything they need for the day, and then in the evening so I can start the next day fresh. I love my routines! I like the comment above about deliberating over certain routines such as choosing clothes for the next day. I find most of my routines to be enjoyable, such as hanging the washing on the line and putting it away (not so keen on folding and ironing). Thanks for your post!

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