For a family with one or more parents working outside the home, it is straight up survival mode some days. These are the top five home routines every working family needs to start right now. 

These routines will save your sanity in the mornings when you are trying to get everyone out of the door on time. They will also bring peace to your evenings as a family by cutting out some of the weekly to-do’s. 

Here we go!

Routine #1: Meal Prep

Meal prepping has been an absolute game changer for us! We spend a few hours on Sunday preparing 1-2 meals that we package for lunches and dinners throughout the week. This has saved us *so* much money on eating out or grabbing fast food, and the stress of trying to figure out what to cook as we navigate the week. 

For example, I spend $15 on supplies to make enchiladas and Spanish rice, and this creates six packaged lunches for my husband and I to take to work throughout the week ($2.50 per meal!). 

Routine #2: Prepare the Night Before 

Prepare all that you can the night before so that morning routines run smoothly, and you can truly enjoy the time with your children before separating for work and school. 

This could include:

  1. Setting out full outfits for the next day for yourself and the kids. (No more wasting time searching for shoes in the morning, am I right?!) 
  2. Packing backpacks with homework and supplies. 
  3. Preparing snacks for kid’s lunch boxes.
  4. Setting out workout clothes or books/journals if this is part of your morning routine. 

Routine #3: Include Children in Housekeeping

It’s never too early to start your children with household chores… that’s our philosophy. 

In our family, these are some of the things the kids help with: 

  1. Dog: Feeding our dog, and taking the dog in and outside the house. 
  2. Laundry: Helping us put all clothes in the laundry basket, loading the washer and dryer, and putting clothes away in their room. 
  3. Cleaning and Maintenance: Turning off all lights in the house before we leave in the morning; taking their dishes to the sink (or trash if using paper goods) after each meal; taking their toys and shoes to their respective rooms; putting their trash in the trash can; cleaning their rooms. 
  4. Outdoors: Cleaning their outdoor toys; washing the vehicles and pulling the weeds with Dad; watering our plants. 

Our sons enjoy the sense of accomplishment and respond well to being helpful around the house. We thank the heck out of them! 

We have a high tolerance for household chaos (fortunately for us), but we, too, have our limits. These small routines help us all work together to take care of our home, even with our sons at such young ages.  

Routine #4: Use Grocery Shopping Services 

We just can’t do it all as working parents. When we delegate or outsource what we can, we create a little margin in our already full lives. 

One thing I outsource regularly is grocery shopping. Walmart Pickup has become my best friend, a life saver, and a convenience I can’t imagine living without at this point.

My online account saves our favorite items for easy reordering, allows me to order food AND household goods, and gives me more time in our days to spend with the kids… not succumbing to boredom antics as we move as quickly as possible through the grocery aisles. Oh, and I don’t have to repeatedly tell the kids that they can’t have the candy, and donuts we passed by. Win! 

Routine #5: Display a Weekly Calendar 

We display a weekly calendar whiteboard in our kitchen to capture all the things. 

This is an opportunity for my husband and I to talk through our weeks (any late work meetings, any needs to swap our normal family responsibilities with one another, any appointments or commitments, etc.). 

And now that my three kids are in two different schools, they each have their own varying schedules, due dates, and activities to track. 

With so much going on, we truly need this visual to reference each day. We use the Erin Condren Wall Organization Center in the weekly format.

These routines create margin for more as a family.

These small routines and habits truly do make a difference in our home and daily lives. 

How do I know? On the days I don’t follow these routines, I’m more stressed, running late, forget little things they need, and impatient with the kids. I want them to remember our mornings as smooth and peaceful starts to our days. I want them to remember our evenings as quality family time. These routines truly help us get there. 

I would love to hear what routines simplify life in your homes. Drop a comment below!

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