Inside: Create simple systems to make your home run more smoothly with less time and effort.
Do you feel like keeping your home in order is a constant struggle?
Dirty dishes in the sink. Laundry piled high everywhere but the bin, waiting to be washed. Constant cries of “What’s for dinner?”
To be honest, it can be a little overwhelming. Trying to keep your home neat and organized while balancing everything else going on in your life isn’t easy.
But it isn’t impossible, either.
By embracing some simple systems and creating a bit of structure, you can make your home run more smoothly – and seriously cut down on the amount of stress your space is causing.
How can systems help my home run more smoothly?
The idea of implementing systems at home can feel like work – but you might be surprised to see just how much of a difference they can make in terms of keeping your space organized and functioning smoothly.
By implementing a system – which can be thought of as a series of steps that you follow each time you need to complete that task – you can take the stress and chaos out of daily tasks like making meals, tackling laundry, and keeping your home as a whole up to your standards.
Systems can be effective tools to run your home whether you live alone, share a space with roommates, or are running a household.
Whether your home is big or small, old or new, systems can help you make the day-to-day tasks of keeping things clean and organized a lot more manageable.
And whether you start small with a single system or implement multiple systems at once to totally overhaul your home management, one thing remains the same – you’ll see a difference when you take a systematic approach to running your home.
Simple systems to make your home run more smoothly
Looking for a few simple systems you can embrace today to make your home run a little more smoothly? I’ve got you covered.
Systematizing your home helps to create new habits that once established, you don’t even have to think about. You simply do. That saves you time and energy on a daily basis as you’ve already set up a system to help your home run more smoothly.
While there’s no shortage of systems out there that you can implement to transform your home and organize your space and routine, here are a few that can make a powerful impact without creating a ton of extra work in the process:
1. Meal Planning System
For some families, meal planning can be a real challenge. Between accommodating everyone’s personal preferences, finding meals that work with your budget, and actually executing your plan to prep and cook food, it can take a lot of time and effort.
Fortunately, by taking a systematic approach to meal planning, you can totally overhaul the way you approach your family’s meals – and make your life easier in the process.
Make a meal plan at the start of each week.
Planning your meals in advance brings a few benefits – it’ll shape your shopping list, help ensure you have a variety of meals in the queue, lessens the stress of ‘what’s for dinner?’ on a daily basis, and can help you waste less food.
Pick a day of the week that’s good for you, for many it’s Saturday or Sunday, to do your meal planning for the week. When you set a regular day it becomes an ongoing habit for your home that is part of your regular routine.
Go shopping once – and stick to your list.
Grocery shopping, especially when you’re hungry, can be dangerous business. Planning your meals for the week and having a solid grocery list (that you stick to!) is great for your budget and your health (those impulse buys are rarely good for you).
Prep and organize your meals for the week.
Chop, slice, dice, and pre-portion as much as possible in advance so you’re ready to go when it’s time to cook. And in terms of keeping your fridge tidy and neat, try storing ingredients for each meal in a separate plastic bin.
This way, when it’s time for Monday’s dinner, all you need to do is grab your Monday bin and start cooking.
If you’ve had a long day, these simple systems to make your home run more smoothly are such a gift. By doing a little bit of prep ahead of time, you’ve significantly simplified your week.
2. Laundry Management System
Laundry is another area where many struggle to stay on top of things. It can become especially challenging if you’re sharing a home with roommates or family members.
Fortunately, you can implement a system to keep your laundry under control – instead of making it a source of stress.
Come up with a way to organize dirty clothes that works for you.
Some families take a combined approach and designate different laundry hampers where everyone puts their whites, darks, colors, and towels.
Others prefer to let each family member keep a hamper to hold dirty clothes and sort them when it’s time to wash. Either way, find a system that you and your family can follow.
Designate a laundry day – or time.
It can feel like you’re doing laundry all day, every day. Keep that from happening by implementing a laundry day (or days), or choosing a consistent time each day to throw a load into the washer.
By dealing with the chaos of laundry on Tuesdays and Saturdays only, or starting a load of laundry every morning after your coffee, you can set clear expectations and avoid most situations where someone needs something washed on a non-laundry day.
With whatever laundry schedule you set up, try to be consistent with it. Whether it’s every morning or after dinner two days a week it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s the same each week and everyone’s on the same page.
Fold and store clothes right away.
It’s easy to let clean laundry pile up after it’s washed. Avoid wrinkles and get your laundry out of your way by folding it and putting it away ASAP. As an extra bonus, it keeps laundry from making your home look cluttered too.
Add a counter to your laundry room for easy folding, or turn it into a family activity.
Designate a spot for spare socks and rogue items.
If you’re tired of trying to chase down who owns every single sock that shows up in your laundry, stop!
Instead, create a system to help those socks reunite with their owners. You could attach them to a hanger in your laundry room with a clothespin, store them in a designated bin, or take a different approach – as long as it’s clear to all where to go when something has gone missing!
3. A System for Chores and Cleaning
Keeping the house clean can feel like an impossible challenge at times. With so many rooms to keep tidy and so much stuff to do, how do you get through it all?
You implement a system that helps you manage the process – and you get everyone in your household onboard.
Make a list of everything that needs to get done in your house on a regular basis.
Daily clean-ups, weekly chores, monthly tasks – write them all down. If you need some inspiration or feel like you’re missing something, a quick Google search can help.
Scheduling your regular tasks in advance will help you stay on top of house cleaning.
Find a system that’s going to work for you and your family.
Everyone is different, which is why there’s no one-size-fits-all approach here. In some cases, a chore chart can be a great way to keep everyone accountable and on task.
In others, a weekly family cleaning spree on Saturday afternoons can work wonders in terms of keeping everything neat and organized. It may take a little trial and error to find the system that works best for your home.
Systematizing things like running the dishwasher each night, assigning someone to unload it in the morning, and regular cleaning of the kitchen counters and bathrooms is a great way to keep your home cleaner with less stress.
4. A Decluttering System
To prevent clutter from piling up in your home, consider what decluttering habits and systems you want to implement in your home.
Create a simple system to make your home run more smoothly by tackling these two decluttering categories.
Implement daily decluttering habits.
There are two common reasons that clutter accumulates in a home. One is due to having too much stuff and the other is because things aren’t being put away.
To prevent clutter in your home, assign a place for everything. Make it easy and obvious so that everyone knows where items belong.
Start a habit of putting things away immediately. We often overestimate how long it takes to clean something up or think I’ll take care of it later, which ends up creating clutter.
Form daily decluttering habits that include clearing off counters and other flat surfaces before the end of the day. It will help to keep your home clutter-free and will allow you to wake up to a tidy home the next morning.
Assess your stuff seasonally.
Daily habits for decluttering are important, but it’s also key to assess the stuff you have regularly. If you’ve already decluttered your home and you’re working to maintain it, reviewing things seasonally will help to keep the clutter from piling back up.
As you head into a new season, look over your clothes, decor, and any other area that you feel is getting too full. With this simple system to make your home run more smoothly, you’ll have a fresh start to each season while also keeping cutter at bay.
5. A Coordinated Calendar & Communication System
The final simple system to make your home run more smoothly is to create a centralized system of communication for your home.
Pick a platform or format that you will all use.
Choose a common method of communicating important information within the family. There are a digital options including text messages, marco polo, or a variety of other platforms for messaging.
Centralize your calendars.
Opt for a central calendar as well that allows you to see each other’s schedules. This can help prevent double booking or overcommitting to too many activities in a given season.
If you prefer a non-digital option, or simply want to reinforce upcoming events, consider creating a DIY home command center so that everyone is on the same page with what’s going on.
Having clear centralized communication can help alleviate stress and prevent (some) misunderstandings from happening with important information and events.
What simple systems do you currently use to keep your home running smoothly? Leave a comment and let me know!
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I love these idas. I started decluttering a few years ago and and so glad I did as we are now moving into a much smaller place and packing and moving will be a breeze. I do washing, ironing, cleaning etc. with a smile. The one thing though is that I HATE HATE cooking. I have tried meal plans and cooking once a week and freezing. I google for interesting things to cook, but it gives me NO pleasure. I hate the time it takes, the finding/shopping for ingredients. I decide on a chicken dish and then when I get home I’d rather have pasta. We eat out most days and I love looking at the menu and then deciding what I want. No decision hours/days before and having to stick to it because that the stuff you have or the meat you defrosted. We recently bought an Airfryer and it is now a lovely decoration in our kitchen. Not nearly as time and effort saving as everybody said. Anyone else who tries not to set foot in their kitchen out there ?
I do find it challenging to meal plan, but I haven’t stop trying. My adult son got us into using glass food storage containers – I love them – which has been great for keeping leftovers, cut fruits n veggies, etc fresh. Cleaned n dried lettuce in a container with a couple paper towels makes a fresh salad ready n easy to make, or whole leaves for healthy tacos, etc. Washed, cut veghies stay fresh n reafy to as a steamed side or for a simple stir fry with meat or noodles. Cooking things that can be used for a 2nd meal/recipe on the following day helps me, like ground beef or turkey, for spequetti sauce, then tacos, and fish can be baked then tacos the next day. I like to buy the family pack of fresh chicken thighs, thin steaks, and individually plastic wrap them, it makes it easier to defrost and portion control. When buying fresh salmon cuts too. Costco has good mahi mahi, etc, individually sealed too.
Also, I find it helps me to prep n cook early in the day, if possible, leaving the evening free to unwind and relax alittle more. Wishing you all the best!
Me…I hate cooking,prep and especially cleanup
I don’t know how I got through life without this blog, but I’m sure glad I found it today! I’m a “system” person too, so this post really spoke to me. My challenge is getting ready for a move. After 30 years in our large family home raising 3 kids and owning various pets, we are downsizing and moving to a new area. I really need some motivation on decluttering cupboards, drawers, closets, and an attic. If you came in our home and looked around, you’d think we are clutter free (thank you cozy minimalist decorating!) but all the extra stuff is hidden away. Like your AirBnB experience, we actually lived with way less in a furnished apartment for the last 6 months. Other than a couple throw pillows and a few pictures we added, I found I was perfectly content with way less stuff. Now it’s time to get busy and work on decluttering those hidden spaces because I’m sure as heck not moving all this stuff with us! Thanks for the encouraging coaching!
I’m so glad you’re enjoying the posts, Kelly!
Meal planning is the worst.
Back in the day when I was a working mom I had to set up a schedule to survive. I was a Monday to Friday worker with every other Friday off. That was my big clean day. I would give the house a thorough cleaning and a quicker clean on my 2 day weekend. For laundry it was done on the weekend only. Thursday after work was grocery day. Often that day was a quicker or meatless meal. Sunday the big meal with leftovers for Monday. Tried to plan crock pot meals or cooking extra on weekends and freezing a meal. Time management was critical! Truly a balancing act!