How to Maximize Household Management in Just 30 Minutes
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When I was in college, I was commuting to school, working at Starbucks, running my blog, and totally new to household management. I moved in with my now-fiance who was (at one point) working two jobs at over 70 hours a week.
For us, juggling household management was practically non-existent. We were frantically doing laundry on our one day off. We fumbled through the grocery store, knowing we should have made a list, but consistently feeling too lazy to make one every week. And we put many unspoken expectations one another since we were constantly strained and exhausted.
Now, I’ve graduated and started working full-time with a hour plus commute. Jeramia (thank goodness) is down to one job. But the adjustment to this new job is taking it’s toll on me (don’t even get me starting on the soul draining-ness of cube life and omg the parking situation).
But enough was enough. I finally got sick of lacking functional systems in the life part of my work-life balance. I started putting as much of my household duties “on auto” to take care of what I could without thinking about it.
If you’re scrambling to get every drop out of the weekend, knowing 90% of it is household duties, hey, I totally feel you. But I also want you to know it doesn’t always have to be that way, my friend! Thanks to modern technology and systems, we can set our household duties on auto so we can use the weekend for living and not just cleaning our living rooms.
Organize Home Base with Trello
Every weekend, I felt like I had soooo much shit to do. Between laundry, grocery shopping, planning dinners, cleaning, and oh yeah, living my life, it felt impossible to get everything and anything done. Now, I don’t know about you, but I totally love lists and organization. They give me direction and focus. But with a list 20 miles long, I felt overwhelmed and sometimes petrified just thinking about everything I had to do! Ever feel the same way?
I was originally introduced to Trello from the lovely gals at Think Creative Collective. I started experimenting with it on my own before purchasing their fabulous course Trello for Business (which I totally recommend for any online entrepreneur, btw).
Trello is a digital organizational system. You get the satisfaction and organization of a to-do list, but with the flexibility and real-time benefits of a modern software. Plus, Trello is free to sign up for!
Jeramia and I use Trello to completely organize our home life. We have different lists for our life bucket list, wedding planning, and (my personal favorite) grocery shopping and meal planning!
For grocery shopping, we use a single card to keep track of our grocery list and different checklists to categorize them.
We can update them throughout the week, then when it comes time to grocery shop, we’ve got it all in one place. It’s so much easier because we don’t have to take time before grocery shopping to sit down and write the list together. Our list is organized (produce vs frozen, etc). So grocery shopping goes much faster, too!
Additionally, we put all of our weekly dinners on a single list. I link recipes (if there’s one available) to the card. So whoever gets home first can start dinner with the recipe ready to go!
Join Trello for you and your family, let everyone sync up, and keep your live list flowing! And Trello is totally free! Even better 🙂
Make Grocery Shopping a Breeze With Amazon Fresh
Jeramia and I are best friends. We love hanging out together and we’re always on the same page. Well, almost always. When it comes to household management, we can be a hot, frazzled #couplemess. Meal planning and grocery shopping was hit or miss. And we haaaated going to the grocery store (omg still do).
Now, Trello certainly made this easier. Being able to update our list wherever and whenever (thanks to the mobile app) was such a time relief. But we still hated going to the actually grocery store to shop. We’d heard of buying groceries online and doing curb-side pick up. Yet, we never took the plunge.
But now, Amazon does grocery delivery (in select areas)! Thanks to Amazon taking over the world, right? Since I have an Amazon Prime account from my student days, we took a stab at Amazon Fresh (free trial, so why not?). With Amazon Fresh, I can shop for an entire week’s worth of groceries in 20 minutes. And while watching Netflix next to Jeramia 🙂 I’ve never been more in love with grocery shopping in my life!
You can reserve your delivery time (either attended or unattended) and your groceries show up at your doorstep within the two hour window! I can’t even express how much I love not going to the grocery store anymore (it was one of my least favorite household duties!).
You can also easily re-add your favorites picks every week. One time, I forgot to add cake flour after I submitted the order (instant button regret). But I was able to go back and add my cake flour with no problem. Whoop! If you have any issues with your order, Amazon goes above and beyond to remedy the situation. I returned some unsightly pears with no problem once. And one time, our frozen bag got mixed up with someone else’s. Not only did Amazon refund the items we didn’t get, let us keep what we got by mistake (yay frozen pizzas I would have never ordered), but they made sure we got our forgotten items and added a $10 credit to our account. Amaze-balls service for sure.
If you have a Prime membership, you can subscribe to Amazon Fresh for $15 a month. But with my nifty Amazon credit card, I get 5% cash back so it pays for itself by buying the groceries. I admit that I became an Amazon addict over the past few years.
Give it a go yourself for FREE with a 30 day trial of Amazon Prime and Amazon Fresh or start a Prime account for just $5.99 a month. Set a calendar alert on your phone in 25 days to evaluate if you want to keep the service. If so, keep it up and join the club! If not, you can cancel without paying for anything (other than your actual groceries!). Make your list in Trello and you’ll be back in love with grocery shopping in no time.
Automate Your Finances to Save
I admit that I’m more of a saver than a spender. Not having a good chunk in savings makes me anxious! To make sure that I focus on saving over spending (because purses and shoes are my biggest weakness), I put my money into my savings accounts right when I get paid.
For my Roth IRA and my savings account, I set automatic transfers to happen right when my paycheck hits. I don’t have to worry about not having enough in my account since the transfers happen on payday. Then I get to sit back, watch my savings grow, and spend what I have in my account without fearing that I’m neglecting my financial health!
I also set my bills on auto and have them go directly to my credit card (for the ones that don’t charge a credit card fee). I rack up points for our honeymoon and don’t have to worry about whether the cell phone bill was paid.
Keep The Usuals Stocked with Subscribe and Save
Toilet paper, paper towels, my favorite deep conditioning treatment, loads and loads of cat food. These are all items that I have racked up to ship on auto. I get my household usuals through Amazon Subscribe and Save. You save 5% for one to four purchases or 15% for five or more. But even more than the savings, I don’t have to worry about making sure we have our household usuals stocked. Before we can even realize we ran out of toilet paper, there’s another box at the door.
Next, we’ve got our pet needs set up to ship automatically as well. We go with Petco, but you can definitely price compare (it was about the same with Petsmart for our items). With Petco, you can even rack up points with their rewards program. Then apply to your next purchase once you reach the $5 certificate!
Find a Dry Cleaner with Free Delivery
Now that I’m working a typical 9-5, I actually have clothes that need dry cleaning! I don’t get them dry cleaned often. But that makes it all the better that I found a nearby dry cleaner with free delivery. They stop by on Mondays to check if we have any items on the door. Then they drop them back off on Thursday cleaned and ready to go.
Since we don’t use dry cleaning too often, I love that we don’t have to go out of our way to add dry cleaning to our routine. If you ever dry clean your clothes (whether it’s often or only when you spill mustard on your awesome grey pants), I highly recommend looking for a local cleaners with free delivery. It’ll save you butt loads of time and you won’t have to go out of your way to take care of that mustard stain.
Strong Communication on Your Team
Your family is a team; whether that’s you and a partner or all the kiddos included. Any team needs strong communication to thrive. Your household management is only as strong as your household communication. When Jeramia and I were maxed out, we put far too many expectations on one another without actually saying them. For example, when I got off in the early afternoon, Jeramia wanted me to make dinner for when he came home. Or I wanted him to be in a good mood even though he was completely exhausted.
Now, these were completely reasonable expectations for us to discuss. But the problem was, we didn’t actually do the discussing part. We didn’t communicate our needs in the relationship, our expectation from the other person, and frankly how we were doing juggling life’s stress.
After a bit of time apart and refining our relationship, we realized that we focused too much on our day to day (working in the relationship) than communicating our needs and goals for moving the relationship in the future (working on the relationship).
Whether that’s partners, roommates, children. Everyone needs to have clear expectations of one another and communicate how they’re doing and what they need from the others in the house. You can even set monthly check-ins to explicitly lay the foundation for strong communication. Your main goal is life to feel fulfilled! Not just checking off a to-do list. Because you and your life are more than a column of boxes.