I'm always looking to streamline as well so I'll be watching this thread. Here's what I've done to make my home life more simple:General:
1. Much, much less stuff. It really makes a difference! And the stuff that I have I love so I use it a lot.
2. A place for everything. It's much easier to put away the kid's art supplies because there is a place to put them. I'm not just piling them away somewhere intending to get back to them someday and never doing so like I use to.
3. To do lists. I don't like to have clutter in my head either and writing it down makes all the difference for me.
4. I deal with mail immediately. I recycle junk before I go inside. Anything that needs a response goes in one basket for later.
5. I have file for each person in the house. Any pending paperwork goes in there.
6. I've greatly reduced my standards and my commitments in areas outside the home I'm not really dedicated to. This is the bigest one for me!Food:
1. I make menus and do one big grocery shopping a month. Then I strive for one other shopping a week for perishables.
2. We eat a lot of simple, easy to prepare meals. While I'd love to be fancier, my picky kiddos dictate this.
3. I make one offering at snacktime, lunch, and dinner. There's always modifications for picky ones but I'm not a short-order cook. You might not like all of the meal but there's enough there you'll like. Breakfast is a pick-your-own meal most days. I've also stopped the all-day grazing we'd gotten into. Now there's snack time.
4. I'm more and more keeping food in the kitchen/dining area. I use to think that this was everyone's home and kids could eat wherever they want. But, I have to do much more cleaning when that happens. It turns out that toddlers doen't eat yogurt as carefully on the couch as adults do and strawberry cereal bars really, really stick to walls.
5. My kids all clear their plates. The older two have after-meal chores. (Oldest puts away all food items, younger one pushes in chairs and wipes table (then I rewipe!).)Laundry:
1. I do 1-2 loads per day. I start the load first thing after showers. That gives me all day to get it swiched, folded and put away. It often takes all day to accomplish this one!
2. We don't keep a ton of clothes per person, just enough so it's nice to have a person's clothes washed weekly but not a necessity.
3. Kids that are old enough help put clothes away.Cleaning:
1. I try to do the same routine each morning. I unload the dishwasher, clean up breakfast, start laundry, sweep kitchen each morning.
2. I clean up the kitchen after each meal.
3. I try to pick one chore to do each day, depending on what ever else is scheduled. It might be big or small, but I just keep chipping away.
4. I am always picking things up. It is rare for me to walk from one end of the house to the other empty handed. I take something into a room and take something out of it.
5. Almost always have clean kitchen counters. This makes me feel calm.Yardwork:
1. Have finally recognized that I HATE it and hired a very nice man to do the weeding.
I've learned so much on this forum the past year! I'm proud of the progress I've made.