For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Planning Series - Week 5: Managing Your Home When You Have An Irregular Schedule

For the fifth week of my series on planning, I have Davonne from sharing about how to keep order in the home when you have an irregular schedule:
Hello! I’m about to begin my sixth year of homeschooling and I’ve had a very irregular schedule for the past several years. I’ve worked full time for short seasons, I worked part-time (on irregular days and times) for eight years, I’ve stayed home full time, worked from home, and everything in-between.

In addition to that, my husband is a business owner who’s nearly always the last one to leave the office and the first one to go in when works needs done on a Saturday.

In the midst of all of this, our children have become very accustomed to doing schoolwork in the car or at the office and all of us have learned to be flexible. We’re definitely not perfect at home-management (or anything else!), but we have learned a lot over the years.

Here are six ways to maintain order in the midst of an irregular schedule:

  1. Maintain a basic daily routine.

    A basic routine should include having good sleep and wake times, completing morning chores (getting dressed, tidying bedrooms, etc.), and eating meals around the same time each day. When you keep those things somewhat consistent, fitting in other activities and work projects will be a lot easier.
  2. Always have snacks and activities.

    Whether you’re at the office, on a field trip, or just running errands, it’s never fun when everyone is hungry and the kids are bored!

    Some people keep a basket of toys in their car. We just take a little activity bag with us each time we leave the house. You could even keep a few picture books in the car for your pre-readers.

    Even if you’re not planning on being out for a mealtime, always take snacks. I like to keep homemade muffins in the freezer to grab-and-go when we’re in a hurry. Peanuts, fresh fruit, or dry cereal are other easy snacks to grab on your way out the door. And don’t forget the water-bottles!
  3. Take a little time to clean.

    I’ve found that having a few home blessing hours throughout the week goes a really long way in helping us keep our home clean-enough when we're extra busy.

    I wrote more about home blessing hours here, but the basic idea is to take an hour to clean your home, thus blessing those who live within it.

    Even if you don’t have an hour, setting the timer for 15 minutes and having everyone rush to accomplish as much as possible in one or two rooms can make a huge difference!
  4. Keep meals simple.

    You can feed your family nutritious meals without spending hours in the kitchen each day!

    For example, my family generally eats eggs, oatmeal, muffins, or cereal for breakfast. Then we have leftovers for lunch. Dinners generally consist of a simple meat, rice, and a cooked vegetable. If we get hungry between meal times, we have fruit!

    If you’d like specific meal-planning tips, read Kimberly’s article about easy meal planning.
  5. Complete school-work on the go.

    If you homeschool, many school subjects can be completed verbally or in workbooks while driving or while waiting at a doctor’s office. Audio lessons or audiobooks can become your new best friend!

    While it’s difficult (and stressful) to try to force your kids to do their schoolwork in the car, you can encourage it. Tell them things like, “You’ll have two hours in the car this morning. If you finish your schoolwork while I’m driving, then you’ll have the entire afternoon free when we get home!” That’s a win for the students and teacher!
  6. Keep a positive attitude.

    Sometimes the kids will be grumpy (you will be too!), your home will be a mess, and your schedule will be overloaded. When that happens, responsibly drop what you can, snuggle your kids, have a home-blessing hour, and choose to embrace the moment!

What tips do you have for maintaining order in your home when you have an irregular schedule?

Davonne Parks blogs about organization, simplicity, and heart-filled motherhood at She’s also written two eBooks, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” (free to her blog subscribers) and “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person.”


Davonne Parks said...

Thanks so much for posting my article, Joelle! I'm enjoying this series!

Latonya Mo said...

It took me awhile to figure out meals do have to be fancy. I have found freedom in creating simpler meals. Thanks for sharing!

Davonne Parks said...

Thank YOU, Latonya!

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