This is the year you’re going to get it all together, right?
Sure, me too.
Actually, the older I get, the less attractive having it all together looks. I’m leaning more towards the school of “let’s just get through today, shall we?” And it seems to be going pretty well. Well, most days, anyway.
But I do cheat a little with my Sundays to make sure the weekdays are easier to survive. Our family guards our Sundays pretty fiercely so that I’ve got the day open to play with kids, watch a movie with the girls, clean up the house, and prepare for the week. There are some things that I do every Sunday without fail that make our week so much easier. Yes, some of it takes a little bit of time, but it’s worth it because once I put the girls to bed on the weekdays, I get to relax with Chris or read a book instead of rushing around getting ready for the next day.
Now doesn’t that sound magical?
Here’s what I do on Sundays to make the week more manageable:
Every Sunday you’ll find a couple of pounds chicken in the crockpot in my kitchen. I let it cook all day and then shred it at night and store it in the fridge. If I have no idea what to make for dinner or am short on time, I pull out the shredded chicken and whip something up. There’s a million things to do with some shredded chicken and we never get tired of it.
I cook a package of turkey bacon every weekend to use for my breakfast during the week. If I don’t prepare my breakfast beforehand, I’m guaranteed to make an awful food choice and then continue it through the day. So starting the day with a healthy, filling meal is a requirement for me. Even though I’m working from home now, I still meal prep my food because I don’t necessarily have the time to make food during the work day. I also boil 12-14 eggs, peel them, and store them for breakfast (or any meal). I eat one every morning, and the girls love them as part of their meals too.
Get outfits ready
Now that I just wear my sweaty workout clothes or dressy lounge clothes (AKA: the sweat pants that don’t have holes in them) for work, I don’t get my clothes ready on Sundays like I did for years, but I do get the girls clothes ready for the week. I pull out five outfits for each of them and then stack them in their closet so I can pull them out the night before. This means they can get ready without much drama after breakfast each morning. Sure, it’s not too time consuming to pull their clothes out in the morning, but that tends to lead to more arguments about choices or what socks are more fun to wear, so I just cut that chaos off before it even starts. Eventually I’ll have the girls get their own outfits out for the week, but for now, they’re still okay with most of the clothes I pick out for them.
Chris and Ellie both take their lunches every day so to save time, I bag chips, snacks, and fruit ahead of time so that we can just grab what we need in a matter of seconds. I also make Chris’ sandwiches for the week and store them in a drawer in our fridge so he can just grab one, put some mustard on it, and go. Ellie eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich every single day (gross, but whatever) so Chris just makes that the morning of since it would get nasty if made too far in advance. I store all the baggies that don’t need to be refrigerated in our pantry and they just pull out whatever things they need without much thought.
Wash the sheets
I don’t think there is any better feeling than crawling into a bed with fresh sheets so on Sundays we wash all our bedding and start the week with clean sheets. I hate making beds, but the great feeling of beginning our week with some fresh, cozy bedding makes the actual making-the-bed-part almost bearable.
Dusting and sweeping
Did you know if you dust and sweep every week, it actually saves time in the long run because you don’t have as much to clean as opposed to doing it only once a month or so? *Gasp* I know, it’s crazy. I can sweep and dust our whole house in less than twenty minutes if I already did it in the past week or two. Granted, our house is pretty small, but maintaining the cleanliness is a whole lot easier than letting it get so bad that it takes all day to find our furniture under the dust. Our house is older and seems to be extremely dusty no matter what we do, but maybe you could get away with dusting every two weeks? Who knows. But if you figure out a schedule and stick to it, it’s way more manageable then doing it five minutes before company arrives (not that I’ve ever done that before, obviously).
If this list seems overwhelming, start small and do one thing that will make your week easier. Or maybe you’re a morning person so getting up earlier to make everyone’s lunches is easy for you and you don’t need to meal prep as much. I have issues getting out of bed at the right time so I will always fail if I try to do it in the morning so I’ve made adjustments based on that shortcoming. Also, don’t feel like this is all your responsibility. In our house, Chris is in charge of laundry so he washes the sheets. He also does the dusting which gives me more time to make food and clean the floors. And like I said, when our girls are older, they’ll be in charge of getting their own clothes ready for the week.
However it works in your house, taking the time to prepare for your week makes things so much less stressful and more manageable. I work hard on the weekends, but it also means I don’t have to work hard in the evenings because of it. After work, I really like to do nothing so I spend a lot of time on Sunday making that dream a reality. The bottom line is, figure out what best fits your lifestyle and goals, and then make it happen.