10 habits for a well-run home

Or should I have titled this 10 habits to keep mom sane?

One reasons moms can feel overwhelmed is well, because they are. They have so much to do, and a limited time to do it in.

10 habits for a well run home - http://TheStressedMom.com

One way to overcome some of this overwhelmed feeling is to create some daily habits for taking care of your home and family.

There may be different habits that you decide you need for your family, but these below will get you thinking.

10 daily habits for moms

1. Wake up early. I know this one stinks, but it is the best way to get a jump on your day. Otherwise, the day seems to be in control rather than you controlling the day.

2. Waking up early starts with going to bed earlier. I know that you like the time after the kids have gone to bed for yourself, or for working on projects, or even for trying to catch up on housework. The fact is, shutting down and turning in earlier will make for a better morning and you will likely be more productive.ย This may not be accurate for the true night owls out there, but I urge you to give it a try.

3. Evening preparations. Make sure everything that is needed to leave the house in the morning is prepped and where it should be. Teach your children this habit as soon as you possibly can, it can make your life easier.

4. Institute meal-planning. Whether you have every meal for the week planned out, or you have 6 dinners to pick from each day, find a way to make meal planning work for you. I love Pinterest for ideas for meals! Look at your meal plan the evening before and see if you need to do any prep like take something out of the freezer, or prepare the crock pot.

5. Do one complete load of laundry a day. From start to finish. Build a habit of grabbing everyone’s clothes after bathtime and tossing in wash. and then toss in dryer before bed. Or in the morning when you get up. Take 5-10 minutes to fold and put away that load (or have your kids do it!) One load a day may or may not be enough for your family, but doing at least one load every day will help you stay on top of the pile.

6. Do your best to get your dishes done in the evening before going to bed. I know this can be hard sometimes, but think how much better it feels in the morning to come down to a clean sink. Build this habit and you will appreciate it. Again, if your kids are old enough to do the dishes or at least help, then let them! See: My strategy for getting the dishes done

7. Take 5 minutes and buzz through the bathrooms with a damp cloth. Straighten, wipe, and keep a toilet brush handy for swishing the toilet. Take any dirty towels and clothes to laundry room. Some days use a paper towel with windex to shine things up, including the mirror.

8. A place for everything and everything in its place. We have heard this our whole lives and it is true, it makes life a lot easier. One problem is that we have accumulated too much stuff so that we have a difficult time keeping things in their places. Work on clearing clutter and designating homes for regularly used items. And teach your children this as well. I know well how discouraging it can be to walk into a room and multiple things are sitting out. On the reverse, think how calming it is to walk into a room where everything is tidy and orderly. (notice I didn’t say spotless) See: How to magically make your house cleaner

Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

9. Have a bedtime routine that includes putting away toys, books, dishes, trash, etc and picking out clothes for tomorrow. Having this routine in place will help your kids learn responsibility and know what is expected of them. We are their mom, not their maid.

10. Do not say YES immediately to new requests. Come up with a response, such as “Let me check my calendar and get back with you.” Or if you know you need to say NO, get it over with. And don’t feel like you have to explain why. A simple, “Due to other obligations, I won’t be able to ________”. ย See: You know you say YES too much if…

Okay, before you go feeling like a total failure, and wondering how will I ever be able to do all these things, listen to me.

Baby steps.

What habits do you want to work on first?
Pick 1 or 2 things to start working on today.

Do them consistently and teach your family to do the same. Once they become habit, add 2 more things. Keep at it slowly and you will be surprised at how doing these little things will help relieve some of your stress, and lighten that burden that moms always seem to be carrying on their shoulders.

236 comments to 10 habits for a well-run home

  • Such a great list! I always fail at laundry, always. I just can’t get it from start to finish. Too many steps. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Desiree

      These always worked for me.

      Doing one load of laundry a day works wonders. It is surprising how easy it is once you get into the habit of it.

    • Melanie

      I have 4 kids… LOTS of laundry, to make life much easier, I have a white basket and a dark basket in the kids bathroom, as they take off their clothes they put in the appropriate basket and when we get home, I say “Bring the largest load” and even my 5 year old can separate and help! Then we switch after supper and before we go to bed… esp in the winter, load of darks daily with sweatshirts and jeans! Folding and putting away… I could use some advice and simplicity on that!

      • Four kids in our family too. Our chore chart dictated who did laundry for the week, but the clothes were folded in the living room by whomever was in there watching our only tv. Rule: You watch tv – you fold, or leave the room. Once folded and in stacks they’d all take their own clothes to their rooms. We didn’t have TVs in any other rooms and we never had cable. Since the laundry job was the hardest/busiest job, that kid got to ride shotgun in the car for the week, too. i wish I’d thought to have sorting baskets in the bathroom, Melanie!! what a great idea.

    • Jessica

      I like to put the clothes in the washer in the morning when I get up (5:30am), then by the time eveyone is gone to work or school, I can hang it out (weather permitting). I have older children and when they get home they take the clothes down and throw them in the dryer (air only). Then they do their homework and before dinner they fold the clothes and put them away.

  • I am pretty much lacking on just about every item on this list. I totally need to step my game. Augh!

  • I love this list. I just have never been a morning person no matter what time I go to bed. I have just learned over the years that for me I do all the extras after everyone is in bed. I drag a bit in the mornings but I drag no matter what so…
    I agree with the laundry and the dishes though. They are so easy and look so good when kept on top of but when you don’t…

    • Jessica

      This might help….a sleep cycle is 90mins long, the average person should get 5-6 of these cycles a night. So, say you have to get up at 6am, you should be asleep by 9pm or 10:30pm or even 12am. The average person takes about 15mins to actually fall asleep. So plan ahead ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope this helps.

  • This is a great list. Going to bed at a reasonable time does make such a difference. It is important for me to have some quiet time after the kids go to bed but I also have to go to bed in time to get enough rest before the morning busyness. It’s a balancing act, but when it is balanced everything else runs so much more smoothly.

  • LOVE it!! Evening prep is extremely important for our lives in particular. Thanks for this great post ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Great tips! And I’m encouraged because It seems I’m doing most of these! Who knew I was so “well-run?” haha! I think the trick is … having kids who are older and can help me with all of these tasks! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I needed this! Getting out of the door on preschool days has been hard. I am going to start prepping the night before and getting to bed early.
    Thanks for great tips!

  • Great post! A well run home does start with us and staying disciplined with our routines.

    I’ll be including a link to your post in my spring cleaning roundup post. I’ll send you a link when it’s up.

  • I am great at being on top of one of these things at a time (different one at any one time) but none all at once! I know that if I was on top of all 10 this family’s life would be a whole lot smoother but have always tried to do all at once! Baby Steps Definitely! Am going to have to print this out and work on each step, one at a time until habits are formed.

  • That dishes before bed thing is HUGE for me. I’m always exhausted, but my morning is just WORLDS different if I push myself to finish it the night before. There’s nothing that brightens my morning like walking into a clean kitchen to start the day.

  • Great list. Especially the saying NO part :). Found this on pinterest.

    • Kristin Heiner

      I always wondered why I read the comments on these things…now I know why! I get to run into old friends:) Hi Bobbi!

  • Such a great list! I especially need to work on the laundry part…living in an apartment where we have to pay to do laundry, daily is near impossible, but it definitely needs to be done more often! But once we get a house, then that’s a different story! Thanks for all the great tips! (Found this on pinterest.)

  • I just followed you over from pinterest, and I am happy (and shocked!) to say I am doing a bunch of these. My kids aren’t old enough to help a ton or to prep for the next day as part of the bedtime routine, but I love that idea. I don’t need to do laundry daily (YET!), but I do pop in a load a few days a week. My only probably is getting it folded. (Grow, boys, grow! j/k)

    Thanks for this great post!

  • awesome post!!!!!!!!

  • This is actually a great post. These are the things I would LIKE to do and very rarely manage. The to bed/wake up early one is so hard, though…

    Baby steps, is the best advice.

  • I have learned that laundry is important to get done everyday. Which means from washing to putting away, it needs to be done to avoid those times when you are running through the house looking for that one shirt you “know you washed!”

  • Love it! Especially the say no part, I needed that!

  • Joyce

    When overwhelmed with tasks, I repeat this ok’d, and rather corny adage to myself, ” How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time”. And this works for me-don’t think of the 20 things that need doing, think of doing ONE, finish it, and move on.

    • Thanx! I REALLY needed o hear that!!!! I have 2 toddlers so I feel like I’m not getting anything done and am easily overwhelmed. They are VERY active and I feel like I’m cleaning the same things over and over again and don’t get to the rest of the house. But if I wake up early and get a jumpstart on my day, and take it one step at a time-like a checklist, I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Amy

    I was sad to see that most of this list is taken from Fly Lady. I think you should consider giving credit where credit is due. People who are looking for the real source of these ideas should check Fly Lady out. Unfortunately you are far from the only one poaching her ideas and posting them as your own. I know that it is hard to fill a blog with new material every day and I think you do great work, but giving credit is a very important part of respecting what is means to be a blogger.

    • Bernice

      Hi Amy!
      I am familiar with the FlyLady and her process as I read her books years ago. I went to her site to check her posted material to see what you may be referring to as poaching her ideas. I do see where she has 31 habits for Beginners, that may be what you are referring to?
      Actually, this post came from 30+ years of studying and striving to be a good wife and mother. I am sorry that you feel otherwise, or that it seemed I was stealing material.
      I WILL say that FlyLady IS the reason I get up and get dressed to the shoes everyday! Another great habit to implement!

      • I agree with some of the other responders regarding FlyLady. As I read through this list, I was happy to see that I do MOST of these things already (meal planning is the bane of my existence though). I just stumbled upon this blog, and I have never, ever even heard of FlyLady. So to a previous point – these concepts/ideas/suggestions were not invented by one person. They are a just a mixture of great habits among many others out there that people can use to their advantage. Why should we squash one’s attempts at bettering themselves and others in the name of “he said, she said” (or in this case she said, she said)? Unless there’s direct evidence of plagiarism, we should be careful who we are so quick to implicate.

    • Haley


      I have to agree with you. The first thing I thought of was that this is from Fly Lady.

    • Samantha

      Haha… I was kind of thinking the same thing. However, I used to do all of these things just because that’s the way I am. I never read it anywhere or anything. I’m pretty sure FlyLady didn’t invent these concepts. I’m sure there are a ton of people out there who live by these rules and have never even heard of FlyLady.

    • To Amy-
      I have 5 kids ranging in age from 11 to 20, and have discovered most of these ideas on my own through experience. I had never heard of “the fly lady” until recently. I don’t think it’s fair to insinuate that the material was copied.

    • Katie

      This list is definitely inspired by Fly Lady. You should consider crediting her, not doing so is a BIG DEAL in my opinion. You’ve lost a reader.

    • I disagree that this is from flylady. My personal home organization strategies come from multiple sources and flylady is just one of them, mostly from flylady failures. Many bloggers do this, there are no direct quotes, she is fine.

  • Anita Johnson

    Great advice.
    Here are my tweaks: on laundry 1) an 8 or 9 yr old is big enough to do their own. 2) we didn’t/don’t much care for sorting, so everyone had their OWN laundry hamper and did their own. (I have seven children.)
    About not saying Yes immediately: well… this is actually more to deter begging… if anyone asked for something twice, the answer was automatically No. Be consistent. It pays off!
    My daughter’s friends would think they should come repeat the request just in case. Said daughter would say to them, “NO NO NO, don’t ask again. They’ll say no for sure.” ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carrie

    I have 3 kids. One in college, one’s a senior in high school, and my youngest is a junior. I get up every morning and fight for bathroom space with my husband so we can head to work. We run a Mexican restaurant together. My husband does all of the paperwork, ordering, numbers, etc and I do all of the grunt work. You don’t even want to know how many dishes I do by hand a day. Dinner usually happens by us stopping at the store on the way home and throwing something in before my son’s hours of baseball practice. We are also active board members for his American Legion team and I run the concessions. We come from a small town so all of the brunt falls on our small little band of parents that put in countless hours of volunteer work. Also let’s throw in my daughter’s senior projects and graduation preparation and I am left with the night to myself. In a perfect world I would love to have a super clean house with everything in it’s place but it’s not. It’s a disaster. But you know what the best part is? I don’t really care! I would much rather leave the dishes in the sink and the laundry on the floor and take that time to hang out with my family or maybe get a few chapters of that great book in. After my kids graduate and move on, I’ll have all the time in the world to clean!

    • TN Lizzie

      I like you! I suspect that your restraunt gets the love that you don’t care to give your house right now. And that’s ok!

  • diana

    Fine. I’m going to bed right now!

  • Great list! What’s most encouraging about this is the fact that so many other moms struggle with staying on top of these things ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to print this and stick it on my fridge. I do a lot of these but not consistently. The days I do are so much better.

  • Thanks for posting this list! I do pretty well on some of them, but there are other areas for some definitely needed improvement.

  • Claire

    Reading through this list, it just hit me… I’ve been trying to get up earlier ever since I started staying home with my kidos ages three and five months with no success. Perhaps I should first make my goal to get to bed at a decent hour, then worry about the morning routine!

  • Love the list – I do some of these things (latest is the meal preparation having read “Frozen Assets – Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month”) I just need to get into the habit of DOING them each day!

  • Rose Coryea

    I have learned to break every task down into 1 hour or 15 minute time frames. This really works for me, because I have arthritis in my back and have to sit down often. So I cook, sit down, or dishes, sit down, or yard work,sit down. And when I sit to do bills I gladly get up to do dishes or clean the toilet!

  • Jessica

    Now if I can just get my HUSBAND to help me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • kristi

    I do every one of these. I have a husband who is gone all the time with his job and also in the military. I have four kids and I run m y home doing everyone of these. The biggest thing that changed my house was me waking up early (trust me I hate this but have learned to love it after I have seen the difference) to start my day with prayer and getting a few things running (such as laundry, packing lunches etc). My husband’s job is hard he works lots of hours so I can stay home with the kids asking my husband to do the laundry etc after he’s been working all day is asking him to get another job. My job is at home and I cherish it. The kids get involved to and the house runs smoothly. Love these ideas! Great Post!

    • Courtney

      I just want to say thank you for your service to your husband and our country for being a military family! My husband is also military so I have a soft spot in my heart for fellow families. Also thank you for being a woman who openly cherishs being a stay at home mom. In the last year I have all to commenly found my choice of staying at home is looked down upon so to hear a woman proudly saying that they like to stay at home is wonderful!!

      • TN Lizzie

        Courtney and Kristi, Thank you both for allowing your men to serve and for staying home with your kids. YOU are what makes America great, and I appreciate you!

    • Lisa

      My husband and I are both military. Soon I will be separating to stay home with our 2 children. I understand the long hours (as I typically worked even more hours than my husband) but asking him to help out with picking up after himself or putting the kids to bed at night is not too much to ask. After all, we are partners in the marriage and in parenthood, and I am not just “hired help”.

  • Awesome list! I don’t ever love housekeeping, but the more things I consistently do everyday, the easier things seem to run in our house.

  • […] So stop on by and see what she has to say! ย 10 habits for a well-run home | The Stressed Mom. […]

  • […] posted this list of 10 daily habits for a well-run home last month, and yesterday social media brought it to my circle. These habits would probably help a […]

  • Another one is make your bed every morning. It takes less than 5 minutes, and every time you walk into your bedroom, no matter how much or how little clutter, your room looks nicer with a made bed. Also, crawling into a bed that has been made is much nicer that crawling into one that has not been made. I tried to teach my kids this, when they made their beds they got a little “reward” edible treat.

  • Lisa P-M

    I love this list. The only thing I would add is run the dishwasher overnight and unload it in the morning. That way it is empty and ready for dinner dishes that night.

  • I love and totally agree with this list. This is how I started when my kids were babies. However, I would like to emphasize the importance of the mom TEACHING her kids to do this. The burden too often falls on and STAYS on the mom. This, I believe is a tragedy in our culture and the reason why I created Cleaning With Kids and the DVD Ready, Set…Clean! I am burdened to reach out and help families become successful in team cleaning. I hope you will visit my site and blog. I hope to continue to be a blessing to many. I am glad that I found your post through a FB friend. I like the concept of building “daily habits”.

  • Kelli

    great ideas! if only I could find the energy

  • I should send this to Mark!

  • Heather

    The evening prep and laundry every day are so helpful. I used to be good about doing them, and with just those two, things seemed to run considerably smoother. Have to get them back in the routine.

  • This list is AMAZING! Just what I need because I am constantly chasing after a clean house… and somehow never catching it.

  • Shareesa

    Thank you for this list and the encouragement! I found this on Pinterest and definitely need to be establishing these good habits. My baby isn’t even two and we have another on the way, but it’s never to late to start good habits! I just have to remember-baby steps!

  • Erin

    Something that is so simple that works so well in my household incorporates many of these things: We name the days. It helps my kids (ages 3-3-4) keep track of “school days” and “home days” and really ticks off the chores! Here are a few of the things that happen:

    Meatball Mondays (I make homemade meatballs, alternating between soy, turkey, and beef – simmer them in sauce for an hour while the kids tackle (and I oversee) “messy monday” – their time to clean and locate anything they misplaced over the weekend). Dinner (always messy) is followed by a bath.

    Towel Tuesdays – while I make dinner the kids run through the house grabbing every towel and sheet and pillowcase they can find, sort by colors, and stuff them into the two washing machines. The four year old puts in the detergent and starts them up – and after dinner? they work together to transfer to the dryer!

    Wacky Wednesday and Waffle Wednesday – I put out their clothes each night, but on Wacky Wednesday they get to choose an outfit from an assortment of items (there is a certain thrill to mismatched socks or wearing sweatshirts with shorts). Dinner time marks the middle of the week in grand style: waffles!

    Those are just a few. We’ve got monikers for every day but Saturday (which is a play day).

  • Meg

    Awesome list! I have been working on the laundry thing for over a month now and it is working out great! It is so much better than attempting to do several loads a few days a week. I agree with Nana Jones on making your bed every morning! This also keeps your room(s) looking neat and tidy!

  • […] sure chaos is unavoidable. I recently read two (almost) conflicting articles about parenthood: order vs. chaos. Of course, I DO NOT claim to be a great parent, but I do try. I think there just has to […]

  • Lorie

    While I completely agree with evening prep and weekly menu scheduled, having a weekly chore schedule is important. Knowing what day you need to dust or clean an area of the house is helpful. Only doing one load a day wont be enough. Monday I do towels, tues sheets, wed through fri clothes. I try my best to keep the weekend work free. But once inawhile I will do one clothes load. Having a set goal and plan really helps.

  • Wendy

    These tips are great! I agree whole heartedly. We follow these same rules/principles in our home. With two working parents (and mom in grad school part time) with a 14 month old, if we don’t stay on top of things it QUICKLY gets out of hand. Staying organized cuts down on stress significantly. Excellent advice!

  • Sherri

    I love this ! I’m trying it!!!!

  • Karen

    This is such a great list! Someday I will be WonderMom and do ALL of them!! But for now I think I will leave my pile of dishes and keep browsing pinterest to find out how to be a better mom ๐Ÿ™‚ (alright, alright, I’m getting up…)

  • All of these tips are fantastic! They are basic, easy and common sense but, they make such a huge difference for the atmosphere in a home. I love your article and I blogged about it today…couldn’t help but share it with my readers.

  • Thank you for posting such a simple yet thoughtful list! I feel less overwhelmed already! ~ Marnie

  • Love this. I will admit, I am a night owl, so I haven’t mastered the first two. But I have been working on the rest. I plan my meals weekly (and shop hopefully ONE time during the week). People laugh and say, “Do you really plan?” And I always say, “I have four kids and a full time job…how do I not?” It also keeps us from eating out often. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

  • This is a great post and I opened three more tabs to read some of your others. Thanks for the tips.

  • […] 8. I have found these tips to be super helpful. 10 Habits for a Well-Run Home […]

  • buzz thru the bathroom needs to be implemented at my house

  • Amy F.

    Great list! And even though it always makes my day better, I have such a hard time sticking to the “early to bed, early to rise” rule. Trying to improve, though!

  • Val

    This is a great list when you have toddler’s and are a single mother but in the case of husband and older children it should be a team with everyone helping out… not just the mother dealing with everything.

  • ann

    I always did laundry every day when my kids where home. Still works !

  • Dena Barrie

    Great advice!! Makes a lot of sense!!


  • dawn

    I was surprised to see that I actually do almost every one of these on the list. Some are more recent habits than others, but I have found that since I have started them, life is much easier in the morning than it used to be. And just getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning makes such a huge difference! I get so much more accomplished, I feel better, and we are on time!

  • Cindy

    I was raised in a very disorganized, chaotic house. My mom just wasn’t too great at those things, and didn’t teach me or my sister to do much of anything domestically except for cooking. I’ve been married now for 8 years and my children are 4 & 7. I still am not the greatest housekeeper/organizer in the world, but I am most certainly better than my mother was, in part due to my husband teaching me how to be. I really feel that implementing these habits into my life will be amazing. I feel stressed constantly! I think I will start with getting up early and dishes in the evening and go from there. Thanks for the great advice!

    • Jen

      ha! Are we sisters??? My mother only taught me how to cook, her house is still a disaster area. I have a 3-year-old and am pregnant with number 2, and have learned all of my cleaning/organizing habits from my husband. He’s still flabbergasted that he had to teach me how to dust. On the days when I’m feeling good and I get all this stuff done, our days go great. But on days when baby makes me nauseous or uber-tired it doesn’t go well and I play catch-up all week. sigh! Baby steps!

  • I already do 9 of the above. Adding # 7 ( love it) One thing I would add is taking 15 minutes (minimum) for bonding time with children; not tolerate time, or homework time, or run after time. Bond time; Talk, play a game and talk, take a walk and talk, take them out to buy them something special, restaurant, gift….Bond

  • Brenda

    My children were doing their own laundry by age of 8. They had 2 medium size plastic trash cans in the laundry hamper — white on the right for light colors & a darker one the left for dark colors. When one was full, they washed, dried, folded, & hung or put in drawers.

  • These are essential habits for a clean home.I will add one, pick up or straighten 3 things in every room u go into, every time you pass through a room. i had 4 under 6 at one time. we played pick up 2 times a day!!!

  • I can’t agree with the post anymore! I have the hardest time with doing the dishes before going to bed! The last thing I want to do after putting my little ones down is the dishes, but I know I always appreciate a clean kitchen when I do actually clean it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And YES to waking up early, if I sleep in past 7:30 I feel like I’ve wasted most of the day by the time our morning routine is over.

    • Robin Cheek

      Hey Chrissy, AS a mom of 6 , now an empty nester with 3 in college and 1 in law school and 2 happily graduated and employed. I rember that ” one dish ” meals will be a great help too. I recently found another one dish recipe that I love and you can google it . Its on the “Hungry Girl” site and its called
      Chicken Amore. Really good. But if possible , simplify the meal plan and it makes for fewer pans to clean. Best wishes.

  • This is a fantastic list. I know that just by assigning myself a set of morning chores such as breakfast dishes, one load of laundry and sweeping the floor, if I get at least these done on those hectic days I feel like I’ve done something productive and I don’t beat myself up if my entire to-do list falls apart.

  • […] read this postย yesterday on The Stressed Mom, and I decided to make a chart to go with the list of 1o Daily […]

  • I love your ideas! In fact I love them so much that I turned them into a Photoshop image to print and hang. You can see it here if you are interested http://heythingschange.com/2012/04/26/10-daily-habits-for-moms/

    I’m going to focus on step 1 for now…and step 2!

  • I love these ideas and want to keep them going. One other thing I always fail at is actually getting myself showered and ready. I always end up doing everything else and then it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and my hair is a greasy mess and I still have sweats on!

  • […] the same time, I found this blog post through Pinterest (what did we do before Pinterest?) called 10 habits for a well run home.ย  I have never read this woman’s blog before but I really like this post.ย  She simplifies […]

  • karen

    Thanks for these tips, they are logical and I try to do most of it anyway, but where you say ‘get your children to help’ I do substitue, ‘children’ for ‘husband’ most of the time!! Actually, it’s nice to see all this down in one place and just to know that other working mothers are struggling with the house too, I feel like I’m the only one among my collegues. I’ve been pretty down about it all lately so thanks for giving me a bit of a virtual lift,xxx.

  • Linda

    I found these suggestions to be great. Most of them I do already however the bathroom is my downfall. I cannot understand not doing the dishes after you eat dinner however expecially if you have a dishwasher – give me a break, that is just lazy. We eat dinner as a family and the first one done gets up and runs the dishwater (no – I am not blessed with a dishwasher) and starts to wash the dishes. Then everyone takes a turn at washing their dishes. That way no one is stuck in the kitchen all night. Something else we implimented when the kids were small is getting out their church clothes on Saturday night and not going anywhere socially. Much more calmer on your way to church.

  • I just love this list. I have been working on one strategy per week to improve my life this year. I am going to add this 10. This week’s strategy is going to be to do one load of laundry per day! Thanks!

  • Bridget

    This list made me laugh because it is the list I love to hate. If I had to come up with a list of 10 things I should be doing that would make my life easier, probably at least 8 of the 10 things here would be on it. Sometimes I manage to do them, but too often I just give into the craziness and scrap it.

  • Just showed this list to my hubby. We have five kids and we are living it! Great list! Off to check out more of your great stuff. Erin

  • Shar

    Well, my kids wake up at 6:30 on most days. Am I supposed to get up at the break of dawn?

    • Krista

      I have the same problem! My kids are up and running usually by 5:30 every morning! I am NOT a morning person and dragging myself out of bed any earlier than that is torture! Any ideas to make this work for us?

      • Kari

        Shar and Krista,

        I have the same problem.My girls are up at 5 am 7 days a week. I set my alarm for 430. It isnt exactly fun but it makes for a much better day if I get up, have a cup of coffee ( or 4)and start my morning in silence. After a while you get used to it.

  • Olga

    God knows, i needed to read this TODAY. Thank you soooo much.

  • this is AWESOME! found on pinterest and gave you a shout out with a link on my new blog- http://mylifeathomewithlam.blogspot.com/ LOVE IT! will be a definite help in my crazy house! thanks SO much!

  • Emma

    Thank you so much for this post. I am sitting at home with a stomach bug and two sweet and unruly bubs under three feeling so overwhelmed it is great to know other mums struggle with this stuff too and to have someone else do the thinking for me! Great ideas and will definitely follow your advice!

  • Esmeralda

    Wow, you make it sound so simple. I’m afraid to say I am lacking in all 10 areas. But you have motivated to start tonight! Thank you.

  • E

    As an older(night owl)mother and wife a routine has been helpful keeping me(and the house)up and running. What I do:get fully dressed and make my bed every day, complete just 1 load of laundry daily, clean the kitchen (I keep almost nothing on the counters, clutter never looks clean), eat something, take an exercise walk 10 min-60 min depending on the day. A few times a week I lightly spray 2 rags, one side with glass cleaner and the other with anti-bacterial. I wipe the mirror and faucet, flip the rag and do the counter and finish with the toilet tank and seat, throw the first rag in the laundry and continue on the the second bathroom and repeat, eliminates cross contamination. My secrets-sheets don’t need to be changed weekly, towels can be hung in your children’s rooms (we use back of the door hooks)and used several times. Children over 6 (and husbands) can do their own laundry which eliminates sorting and putting away. Young boys love using the washer (if they can play Xbox they can program the washer) and soap pods eliminate spills. I threw away my ironing board so many years ago my 15 year old didn’t know what that thing was in grandma’s closet! Don’t fold what you can wad and toss in a bin like undies, kitchen rags and towels. My newest discovery- refrigerator organization- all items go in the same place every time, you may have to keep reorganizing it but your family will get it eventually and you can see what you need so much more easily. Purge your stuff, you will be less embarrassed in the case of sudden death!

    • c

      “Purge your stuff, you will be less embarrassed in the case of sudden death!”

      Hilarious! …and all the motivation I need!

  • Ana

    Hi Bernice,

    I just stumbled upon this trough a repin on Pinterest. I have to say that your 10 habits for a well-run home sounds like something I should follow :). Thank you. I also wanted to share that I noticed that you have quite a few minimalists references (ebooks, links, etc) but that your blog looks very cluttered and a bit overwhelming, so my two cents here would be to clean that up a little too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Warm regards,


  • Lorrie e

    Sounds like someone is flywashed! (and so am I ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] for starters, I would suggest reading, Teaching Kids to do their Share Around the Houseย as well as 10 Habits for a Well-Run Home. The 2nd article I mentioned has some tips that, if put into practice consistently, could […]

  • Krista

    We have 4 young kids and plus my husband and I, there is a lot of laundry in our house! I have it set up so that I do one load per day, but we did it a little differently. I do one person’s laundry each day. That way it all gets put away in the same place and I don’t have to run from room to room putting away everyone’s clothes! It has made that part of our lives much easier!

  • […] (and an amount) that has to be dealt with…and on that note I came across an article (click here to read #2) […]

  • Sam

    I have 4 kids still at home (all teens), my brother and husband at home. A full time job, full college classload and a home crafting business.I have ADD, mild bi-polar, epilepsy and a bad habit of thinking I have to do everything for everyone. This is a good, simple list to make life easier. I LOVE getting up early (once I’m actually up) because I have a little time to myself to sit quietly and plan my day while I work on one of my (too) many projects. My biggest problem is that I have spoiled my family and know one knows how or is willing to help. Any suggestions?

  • This list is hilarious. This really should be titled “10 Habits to Become A Boring Mommy Drudge.”

    My best tips for being a “great wife and mom”:

    – Get a housekeeper. There is a book out there called “A Housekeeper is Cheaper Than a Divorce.” It’s the truth. A housekeeper is cheaper than a lot of things, including constant teeth-grinding about the state of the toilets and constant fights with everyone about how much cleaning you have to do. Eat out a few less times a month; cut down the grocery bill by ditching expensive packaged snacks and convenience foods; stop buying craft supplies you don’t ever have time to use; and cut out recreational shopping. A housekeeper will enrich your life far more than ALL of those things by giving you the gift of TIME.

    – Stop cleaning up after your husband. You’re not HIS maid, either. He’s a grown adult. If he was living on his own, he would have to take out his own trash, do his own laundry, pick up his own dry cleaning, buy his own groceries, etc. He can do all that, and more, for your household. Too many women out there become their husband’s mother, and then wonder why the passion has gone out of their marriage, and why their husbands look at other women. News flash: he sees you as a house-slave who mommies him, not a passionate partner. And, you’re too tired from picking up his crap to feel romantic. Ditching the dutiful-wife routine will bring the spark back.

    – Don’t go to bed early if your husband stays up late and then sleeps later than you do. That’s a good way to ensure you won’t have time to connect with each other. Also, what do you think he’s doing while you’re going to bed early so you can wake up early and be the perfect mommy? He’s not working on his honey-do list, I can tell you. Put the kids to bed, pour some wine, ask him about his day.

    – Ditch the daily laundry, bathroom cleaning, and meal-planning. Call a girlfriend. Get a pedicure and read a magazine while you’re there. Read a book. Read the news. Play with your kids. Go to the library. Go talk to a neighbor. Take a walk. Do something so that you have something interesting to say to your husband when he gets home other than “the sink in the bathroom is clogged again.” Do something so that your kids see you as something other than a housemaid who cares more about the kitchen counters than world affairs, politics, science, or her own health and welfare.

    – The biggest one: stop being such a damn martyr to the house. Your house does not love you back. It will not nurse you when you are sick. It cannot cuddle you when you feel lonely, or have sex with you when you feel randy. You are not living in a constant reality TV show where cameras are following you around. Your kids don’t give a crap if the house is perfect, the laundry and dishes are always done, etc., and neither does your husband. They care about YOU. As long as you are not living in a house worthy of HOARDERS, who cares if the bathrooms are not spotless every single day???

    Let go. Tune in, turn on, and drop out of drudgery. Live a little. You’ll be a happier and more interesting person for it.

    • Meagan

      Thank you!!! Reading all these responses I was beginning to wonder if I was the only mom who isn’t a slave to my house! I’m not saying we live in a pigsty, but when the kids are in bed or napping, I’m relaxing or enjoying some quality husband time. Lord knows its only going to be a huge mess again a few hours later! Live a little!

    • Beth

      THANK YOU! As I read this list, I was thinking “Yeah…and, so where is Dad (if it’s not a single mom)? Why is it up to Mommy to do everything?”

      I see this list as another message that we just aren’t good enough as moms until our house sparkles, our clothes are neatly ironed and put away, and our household routine runs like Swiss clockwork.

    • Michelle, Thank you! Your comment is hilarious and insightful! And thanks Bernice for the venue

      Thank you for freeing me today from being a boring mommy drudge! I clean for my family because I love to, but I do tend become worn out and boring because of it.

      Today I am letting go and trying to live a little. Tonight is our date night and I want to be a passionate partner and not a mommy drudge! Luckily my husband values my happiness more than he cares about a spotless house.

    • Mel

      I think the point is that once you get these systems in place, you’ll have more time for other things that are important to you and your family. Having a clean house doesn’t make me uninteresting or a “drudge”. It also doesn’t take 18 hours to accomplish once routines are set and habits are formed for yourself, your husband, and your children.

  • […] And another….Click on the link to check out the full article! 10-habits-for-a-well-run-home […]

  • Great list, Bernice! Thanks for the suggestions on finding habits that work for us {not every thing works for everyone}. A well run home is a happy one for sure! Good planning keeps us free to do those fun things we want to do when they come up! Being organized reduces stress and frees us to have fun, be creative, and enjoy life!

    One of your suggestions is my favorite – preparing for the next day before going to bed. I like to do this as soon as I put the kids down, before I have some me time {or husband time}. I work sooooo much faster knowing I have a reward {something I want to do} waiting for me at the end.

  • Jen

    Good list! One of the best things about it: it’s totally doable for WOHMs without taking up all of our little free time. :o)

  • Stevie

    I just moved into a new house, and we are still in the process of unpacking, but doing these things has made things MUCH easier, and new home/new habits is a great way to start! I implemented many of these things right away (its MUCH easier when starting new)… now, to work on getting to bed early!!! Thats where I mess up! (SO TIRED during the day!!!)

  • December Caswell

    Thank you SO much for your words of wisdom! I never was a mom of my own little children. I got married a month before my 40th birthday. I got two wonderful step kids who now have kids of their own. My home has never been filthy, but clutterly. My step son and his wife and 4 yr old and 17 month old have moved in with us. My daughter-in-law is AWESOME! She lives by your suggestions! She is helping me transform my home into simpleness ๐Ÿ™‚ And your suggestions help me with my sweet grandchildren!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] Bernice from The Stressed Mom recently wrote a post giving moms ten new habits to keep them sane. I loved it so much, I decided to share. Check it out here. […]

  • Carrie

    Thank you! These are very practical and well thought out tips.

  • I’m glad to see that FLYLady tactics are making their way around the blogosphere! She would be glad to see that others are sharing these tips for a more calm and organized home life.

  • Jay

    Thank you!!!!

  • Great tips. Thank you for sharing. I really like the idea of not having to say YES right away. Great words of wisdom for even us non moms in the room. My husband came with 4 kids and now 5 grand-kids. Things can get really busy and they want you to all buy their fundraiser items and go to all the events. I’ll practise waiting a few minutes till I say YES next time.

  • Judy

    I do most of these except the laundry everyday. I do it once a week and then I feel like I am not folding everyday and putting away (that is the part I dislike the most) cause sometimes they don’t get upstairs to be put away. It sits on the kitchen table for days. But getting up early is great…running the vacuum early in the morning helps to get everyone up. FLYLADY IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST. THAT TIMER WORKS EVERY TIME…JUST REMEMBERING TO TURN THE TIMER ON.

  • Cheryl

    Thank you very much taking the time to share what works for you! I think everyone can use a reminder of tried-and-true methods every once in awhile.

  • Kit

    Thanks! Some of this I’m already doing but not others. One thing that’s helped has been a help-chart for my 3 oldest. There’s 3 lists (a kitchen helper, a bathroom helper and a baby brother helper) that they rotate weekly. That way I’m not always asking the same child for help all the time and they don’t start envying someone else’s tasks. I’m also teaching them that it’s just part of being a family and avoiding using the word “chore”. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brenda

    A menu will save dinner as well as your budget!!

  • Priscilla

    Awesome list. I just made a similar list today for myself! About the laundry. This is an issue for so many of us. I think it’s because it has so many steps and is time consuming. I *think I figured it out. I’m going to start implementing a Day A and Day B schedule. Day A: Put a load of wash in as soon as I wake up in the morning. At some point during the day, stick it in the dryer (even if it’s right before bed- it’s all good. Do no folding on Day A. Day B: Wake up and fold the clothes and don’t put any clothes in the washer… just fold and put away immediately. I’m hoping this system will work! “Laundry days” where I do 5-10 loads and try and fold it all and put it all away just doesn’t work out for me. Hope this helps someone out there! Also, a note about going to be early. DO IT. We mom’s need to do it, even though it is counter-intuitive. Going to be at a set time everyday helps with our health (we need sleep to be mentally stable) but it’s a good way to remember that this is a JOB. Any job I ever had I had to wake up at some ungodly hour to get ready and drive somewhere. I think we need to see our jobs as moms in a similar light. Wake up early, get dressed, TEETH BRUSHED and even put on some makeup. I’m amazed how much better I feel and how that translates into my interactions with my kids and the overall atmosphere in the house.

  • Felina

    Thank you Bernice for this list, I see things that I can definately improve. One thing, I can do is let my children help because even if nots done perfectly they are learning and the things are getting done which allows us to spend more time together.

  • Suvi

    I love this list. As energy prices are going up all the time, I have started to do my “daily laundry load” at night. I fill the machine before going to bed, set the timer and its all done when we wake up. Not sure how much energy that will save, but I guess every penny counts really.

    Thanks again for the list x

  • mary mary

    yea for Michelle!!!!All those chores will be there later and completed on my time. An impromptu lunch with a dear friend or a surprise trip to the beach with a family member and their children may not!!!
    I hope my children, grandchildren and good friends don’t look down on my grave someday and say “my my she was such an organized mom and wife, everything was so neat and tidy!” Having all your towel stacked neatly and the spices in your cupboard with the label out in alphabetical order in the my reason to get up every morning. But good luck to all of you that need to schedule your days…. not me! Life is too short to sweat the small stuff!!!!

  • Rachel

    I keep a box of those lysol wipes and wipe down the sink, shower and toilet every other day. It helps SO much!

  • Angela

    I have a specific laundry item for each day of the week. I take Saturday and Sunday off for rest. For me; Monday=sheets/towels, Tuesday=Mine/husbands, Wednesday=Boys. Thursday=Girls, Friday=work uniforms. Then once a season I spend a weekend washing drapes and misc items that need less frequent washing. I can’t sleep if my dishes aren’t done. I do need to work on the night prep thing. My oldest starts school this fall… Thanks for the post!

  • Anna

    I already do all this stuff! I guess this is what comes of having an OCD mom. My house is always spick and span when I go to sleep! I can’t sleep without a clean together house. I live waking up to a clean kitchen and bathroom and well just all around clean house! Makes me feel like I already have a jump in things!

  • Carole

    Great list of ideas. Even after 30+ years of marriage and 2 grown children, I still struggle with some of these things since I work full time. It is always nice to have reminders. I learned the clean kitchen one the hard way years ago though. Not only is it nice to wake up to a clean kitchen, but one night our house was broken into (while we were sleeping) and I had gone to bed with dirty kitchen after an exhausting day. Needless to say, we had to call the police in. How embarassing was that, with dirty dishes and all. I might not get it sparkling every night, but it is at least picked up.

  • Shelly Medleyg

    I love the clothes idea. I took it one step farther and did one load of underwear and socks, one of towels, one of t-shirts etc…you get the idea. It works pretty well most of the time.

  • Amy

    This list obviously appeals to the vast majority of women who have posted but most of the things on there just wouldn’t work for me. Doing laundry every day would make me feel like a slave. Going to bed early just isn’t an option. Fly Lady makes me want to run away screaming. It seems there are a majority out there that this list appeals to. And then there’s the minority – probably creative types like me – who this just wouldn’t work for.

  • Debbie

    On Thursday nite while cooking dinner, I clean out fridge, straighten pantry, A make note of what I need from pantry and spice cabinet… At lunch on Friday, while chatting and eating, I start a grocery list. I plan out a menu for the next 14 days. I buy only what I need for those meals, lunches, and snacks. I have it all planned out. I can switch up days, but my pantry, fridge and freezer are stocked and ready for any desire of that menu, which is posted on the fridge. I make sure I allow enough money to have a pizza nite or KFC just to break up the day to day… I tell you ladies, it works fab. No running to the store on the way home from work, or getting home and discovering what I don’t have halfway thru prep. And there is a pad and pen on fridge at all times, if someone empties something, they write it down so I keep track.
    Stay safe!!

  • Rhoni T

    Great List. By the time my boys where almost 12, 10 and 5 yrs old I was a single Mom. Laundry was done daily, meals where planned out 2 weeks ahead, dinner was eaten at the table,and everyone had to help clean up afterwards, backpacks where always ready to go at the front door and no I never got up early or went to bed early, unless I just dropped from exhaustion. The boys went to their dads every other weekend and that is when sheets got washed, floors mopped, bathrooms deep cleaned, and stray laundry got washed and I still had time to go out with friends. Things didn’t always happen the way it was planned and that is life.

  • Quita

    I do all this already. with 4 kids it is a life saver or sanity saver for better words.lol..I would like to add.. get all your bags ready night before. backpacks,lunch boxes, diaper bags, purse everything you will need and put it by the door.it saves time and you KNOW WHERE EVERYTHING IS as you run out the door.

  • Roberta

    Such helpful tips!..which actually make sense! I’m always starting jobs and never finishing them. Hence I’m always on the go! The school run is a nightmare in the mornings, but I’m gonna start putting these tips into place now! Thanks for your help! Xx

  • Sally

    Great list, but…. do none of you ever iron? Here in England, due to horrendous electricity prices, we only tend to tumble dry on wet days. So our laundry includes, washing, hanging out in the garden to dry, bringing it in, folding, ironing and then putting away. I just don’t know how you would manage to do that on a daily basis. Or maybe I’m just lazy. lol.

    • Sally, almost no one hangs their laundry out to dry here. The weather is too humid during the summer and too cold in the winter. Besides it being easier to use a dryer, I would be hard pressed to find anyone that even owns a clothesline.

  • Corina

    A few months ago I did something similar to this list. I was frazzled like always so I asked myself what are the three main things I get behind on that constantly build up. The answer was dishes, laundry and trash (two kids in diapers). So I make sure to at the very least stay on top of those things. And now it’s slowly becoming a habit and I never feel overwhelmed because at least those things are done.

  • Rondia

    I raised 4 children and have a husband who has worked shift work all of our married life. I can tell you all of these things listed work. I never really thought about sitting down and getting all of this on paper… but all of these things work. Keeping your children busy and on a schedule is the way to keep your house calm and a happy place. Children who have a set routine and rules are better and more productive adults. You will see all of these things you start now flourish in their households with their own children one day and they will thank you for it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I was raised by a mother who went back to school to be a nurse when we were young, she joined the Army before women could see combat, and sewed most of our clothes. Things ran smoothly on schedule at our house, and that is how I learned to run my house! I had twins at 25 yrs. old and thank goodness my mom taught me everything she knew! I have no idea who the Flylady is!! I do know the dishes should be done after dinner, you should get up early in the morning, do the laundry, clean your house AND go to work. It isn’t rocket science folks, it’s common sense, and yes, I nursed my twins, and I went back to work! Life was busy, but it went on. What else can you do? All three of my kids are adults now and are wonderful, caring, human beings.

  • Common Sense

    What about dads? Just sayin’!

  • I *must* begin implementing some of these again. I’ve gone round in circles over the past years, sometimes keeping on top of things, and other times … well, let’s just say things don’t go so well.
    I *have* to begin with getting up earlier. Every single time I have been on top of things in general, I have got up earlier. And when I’m up later in the mornings, no matter how hard I work, my day never has enough hours in it.
    Not what I want to hear, because I’m not a morning person! But … truth must be told ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laure

    Great tips!

    I have one to add….I started my kids doing there own laundry at age 10. If they don’t have clean clothes it’s their own fault. I do not enjoy laundry at all so this was a big relief to me and it has taught them how to be responsible. I never hear them complain about it and I never hear “mom, did you wash —-?”

  • Renee

    another helpful laundry trick – we have 10 children in our home – we do alot more laundry than one load a day. I have taken laundry baskets and labeled them – darks, whites, shower towels, etc. Then after evening showers the children bring all their dirty clothes to the laundry room and sort it themselves and place in the correct basket. When the basket is full your load is ready to go into the machine. Saves alot of extra steps for moms!

  • Patricia

    A huge timesaver is having labled totes for each person. They’re on a shelf near the laundry. The clothes would never, ever get to a bureau after folding! My relatives say I’m not teaching my kids to put away their clothes….YES I AM! We save loads of time NOT having to look everywhere for our stuff. One community sock and undies tote, shirt/pants for each person…it really works. then in summer I just take down the shorts/bathing suits totes! Lone socks get thrown in tote to be paired later.

  • Mary Lynn

    Have never understood doing laundry every day . . . you are then doing laundry every day. I start the laundry Friday morning (yes, I set the alarm for ten minutes earlier), get at least one load and often two loads washed before I leave the house for work. My hubby is home about two hours before I get home and picks up where I left off. Everything is washed and dried before we go to bed, except for the sheets which are done Saturday mornings. So instead of having laundry all week, we only have it once (twice if you want to count the sheets on Saturday). There are times when we do run the washer on odd times. But those times are few and far between.

  • Jen

    I have to agree with Mary Lynn about the laundry. Twice a week has always suited me best. I wouldn’t enjoy the bit-by-bit approach. I love the list however. I’ve run my household for 35 years and we’ve raised two sons, and over the years I arrived at every one of the habits that you list here (except the laundry). Problem is it took me years to figure out each habit. I wish I had seen this list 35 years ago when I was starting out!! Just call me “Older but Wiser!”

  • My five kids are 21,18,16,13 and 8. I’ve been doing everything listed for all these years.I figure..the kids are big, let them help me out,I need a BREAK! So, guess what? The kids do it now! Okay, not EVERYTHING..but most. I do like my towels folded a particular way and put anally in the closet, so I do that myself.
    But still..YAY for me..lol.

  • WONDERFUL list! My girlfriend and I are always pushing each other on stuff like this, and she found this list. Just the other day my son said, “Mommy, why don’t we wash the dishes every evening.” I said, “I like how you said ‘we.’! I had started doing laundry every day just to catch up! But will try to continue this. The folding thing gets me! There is a pile in the chair now! And since my son has begun middle school, he’s much better at wanting to prepare, so I need to jump on this and make it a regular at our household. Thanks so much for this.

  • […] 10 habits for a well-run home | The Stressed Mom Or should I have titled this 10 habits to keep mom sane? One reasons moms can feel overwhelmed is well, because they are. They have so mu… […]

  • Great tips! I’m currently working on the meal plan but I’ve found that the other tips make a huge difference in my day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Monique

    This sounds just like Flylady.

  • Susanne

    Good list! Now that I live in an apartment with a w/d and I actually can do laundry every day, I am thrilled with the difference it has made. Also, cleaning up the kitchen at night is a beautiful thing.

  • Janey Hathcock

    I must be well organized. I do most of this already. I love Watkins lemon cleaner which I keep under each sink with a cloth to wipe down as needed. I do prefer to do laundry all in one day but there are only 3 of us. Love getting up early and starting the day, now have time for a walk or exercise.

  • Kathy Rosenberger

    One thing I did with my 9 kids was called a ‘folding party.’ I didn’t have trouble washing/drying it, I had trouble folding & getting it put away. So I would do group reading (an exciting, interesting book above their reading level) while everyone quietly folded. We had a pile on the back of the couch for each of us from youngest to oldest. It was amazing how much we got done! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] or not and there was a good reason like tired, stress, hormones or being busy. Image courtesy of Stressed Mom I am mother of a 5 month old and 20 month old girls. Sometimes I can be so forgetful or do silly […]

  • Mandy

    Love the effort to help keep the home happy. It starts with a hopeful wife and mother:)
    It seems that in the days we live now, the effort to teach home- makers or any form of domestication is just made fun of or not done all together! Praise the Lord for those who still care:)

  • April

    I started waking up earlier when my kids started back at school a few weeks ago…wow what a difference! Last year I snoozed until the last possible minute that I could get them up and out the door…so of course I was running around like a mad woman. Now I get up 25min before I get them up…it is soooo much better!

    Thankfully I do almost all the other things…been trying to do that one load of laundry a day…just can’t do it! I’ll try again tomorrow!

  • Joy

    As a single mom (widow)of 6 children, it was almost impossible to keep up. I usually did 3 loads of laundry a day, cooked the meals and got them to their school events on time. Many nights I went to bed exhausted, hardly able to make it to bed. These are excellent ideas, but they are just that. Everyones life is different, all anyone can do is their best and keep trying. Now my kids are gone and I can do these things, but I am glad for the responsible young adults they have become.

  • Heather K.

    Thank you for writing this thoughtful article! Your tips are so practical, do-able, and yet non-perfectionist. Some tips that I read make it seem like you’d have to end up doing MORE work to do LESS work, but this fits just right into the lives of busy Mommies just trying to find the balance between “clean enough” and family (and work! For those amazing working Moms out there!)

  • Love these ideas. As an eBay seller, I do find the controlling of stuff part most difficult and my children are grown up!

  • Kelsey Raub

    I would add two things to this. Toys picked up before going to bed and make the bed every morning. It’s amazing how things look tidy when beds are made.

  • These are some great and realistic habits for your home. Thanks for sharing them. I have four children and another one on the way and it’s great to hear that I am not the only one having these same feelings. Thanks for the tips!

  • Dee

    Great ideas! I did them all but my teenager must have gotten a head injury because she has forgotten everything I taught her. Not one stuck.

    • Marnie

      Dee, I consider myself blessed and ahead of the game if my teens simply don’t add to the already existing mess. Let alone help with the cleaning. They cleaned here one weekend when we were out of town and I swear it took me a week to find anything. But I was impressed that they tried

  • Lindsey

    Wow. This is exactly what I needed today. My poor husband witnessed a complete momma meltdown yesterday due to me spreading myself too thin (always saying yes) & the house always feeling like a tornado has hit. The first thing he always recommends for me to do (& I don’t!) is waking up early before the kids. I love your list & needed this reminder ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you!!

    • Marnie

      I’ve had a few of those myself Lindsay! In my house the kids say “Oh no, Mom is getting ready to have a come-apart” lol



  • Great ideas! Even though I am engaged and maybe the only one here who is not a mom yet, I am trying to get the chores more “routine”. Instead of doing all the cleaning on one day I designate a chore a day. Doesn’t really matter what day as long as it gets done 1x a week. Kitchen one day bathrooms the next. Dishes every night is awesome but sometimes hard to do. Thanks for the tips! Best one… baby steps!!

  • Jen

    I can’t even tell you how tired I am of still seeing women stressing about this crap. Is this 1955?! Seriously, it should be a group, family effort to run a household. How many times do you see this stuff in a male blog?

    • Marnie

      True Jen, but life isn’t always fair, and unfortunately it usually ends up being the womans/moms place to get it done. My husband works 80+ hours a week, I don’t expect it would be right to expect him to come home and do housework, do you? Now as for the teenagers… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I have seven children and I am here to tell you that EVERY LAST TIP here is TRULY the answer. When I do these things, my life IS smoother. Wonderful advice that I will be posting by my mirror. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Sarah

    You are just copying flylady.net’s baby steps..shame shame.

  • Corey

    I get up at 2 am for work most days of the week and get to bed around 9pm, if I get up any earlier I will lose my mind!

  • Denise

    Just like the old saying, “Why put off tomorrow what you can do today”. Every little bit of what you can do today will greatly help you out tomorrow. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Jamie

    Who is this FLYlady? And why is it a big deal? Did no one ever clean their house, or do laundry before her? I think not. These are simple steps on how to make your life easier. Everyone is such a critic, and so rude these days. These steps will help me stepping back into being a house wife after being laid off. I have no kids, thank goodness. Thank you so much, I appreciate the time and effort you took to post this. (You probably posted this with all of the extra time you had from following this list, huh?) Thanks! Muah!

  • I love this idea. My big thing is laundry and not having the time to actually put it away so we end up living out of baskets! I am going to try all of these things!

  • I am way overly stressed by the mess my house is getting in.
    I am too involved outside the home, but most of it is for my own pleasure…and some work outside the home.
    I go to bed super late as I don’t go to bed until my husband gets up for work, which is around 1 am. I try to get up by 7:30 though….and always take a nap in the afternoon.

  • […] 10 habits for a well-run home | The Stressed Mom Or should I have titled this 10 habits to keep mom sane? One reasons moms can feel overwhelmed is well, because they are. They have so mu… […]

  • Terry

    Laundry, I do a load everyday. even when the kids were home. We didn’t have that many clothes so laundry had to be done. My Mom Bless her heart. when we were growing up and automatic washers were available. She still did her laundry with a wringer washer and two tubs, hanging them out on the line even in the winter time. She did laundry on a Wednesday put a roast in the oven for supper, the house was always picked up. we lived on a farm and took care of livestock, a big garden and also did her mending in the evening. she would get up at 5:30 to get us ready for school and she wouldn’t at times go to bed until 1 or 2 in the morning mending. She not only made cookies for birthdays to share for one class but for 5 classes. Yes I do laundry when there is a load to be done, but it’s not drudgery, I thank the Lord for automatics just toss it in the washer then dryer, fold right after they dry you don’t have to iron like my Mom did. WOW! She’s 80 years old and still can run circles around a lot of people. she still cleans her gutters, works on her lawnmower and still have cows to take care of and lives alone. Love her and her stamina her spunk. I thank the Lord for her. So people Look back how they use to do things and look at your luxuries of today. You are very blessed. OH We didn’t get to run all over the place. We lived in the country and we learned to get along with siblings we created our own games. NO COMPUTERS. Which was a blessing not to have. REAL LIFE! We turned out pretty good not having all those extra activities. My younger sisters and brother were in band and we had private music lessons.
    I think if we would walk in the shoes of our pioneer Mothers and sisters we would be more content and appreciate more of what we have. Not against working Moms. Stay at home Moms work just as hard if not harder to keep kids in line esp. living on a farm We learnt to do without and we were blessed for it. So stop your complaining get rid of the clutter in your life. tell your children NO and enjoy an evening at home everyone pitching in helping giving them chores. TEACHING them how to clean not only rooms, but laundry, putting away clothes and teaching them to mend and sew on a button, dishes, back to basic. My brother was even taught how to cook and mend. He went to college and fend for himself and The guys in his frat couldn’t get over that he cooked they didn’t. He taught them. So didn’t have to get married for someone to take care of him, but for real love. His wife is wonderful. My brother baked all his kids birthday cakes. something he enjoyed doing. He was a juvenile probation officer and now a criminal justice teacher and also teaches at college. hard working young man. Thanks to MOM and Dad taking the time giving up luxuries they could of had, OH they whipped our butts when we needed it. We all turned out pretty good. JUST HAVE FUN at HOME. That’s a job in itself. Turning off the computers, cell phones and make up games to play outside or inside. We’re running our kids all over that they don’t have a home life. it’s run run run. I see so many parents taking sick kids out to just because they want to run here and there. those are very selfish MOMs. I enjoyed my children and still do they are now from age 29 -19 and two grandchildren and when they come over it’s play play play, Loving it. So again get over yourselves and count your blessings!

  • […] children, only one of which is even in very part-time preschool yet. I was so inspired by this very helpful list that I found in Pinterest, that not only did I adopt some of her tips, but I’ve been compiling […]

  • Jan

    Many of the above suggestions are life skills. These will be required of us to become successful funtioning adults.

  • […] Bernice Wood @womanonajourney of The Stressed Mom: 10 habits for a well-run home […]

  • Aimee

    Really a nice boost to read, I needed to read this too! I enjoyed reading all the feedback as well, until “Amy” had to post about the list being copied from “Fly Lady” and wanted her to have the credit. Can’t we just share ideas for everyone and for all to use? I’d never heard of fly lady, so I’m really happy I had the chance to read these tips from an experienced mom wanting to share her experiences. Thank you for posting and reaching out to this audience.

  • Jennifer

    I’m not a mother, but found this on Pintrest. I have done all these things because my mother did them with me in the 1970’s. I don’t know who this flylady is that everyone keeps referencing, but I assure you she didn’t invent this philosophy. Shame on those who are narrow minded enough to not give women credit of being smart and sensible since the beginning of time!

  • Excellent tips,some of which I have been trying to implement for a while (going to bed early and getting up earlier and tidying up before bedtime). Re FLYLADY – she doesn’t have a monopoly on how to run your household. If she thought of it a load of other people thought of it too.

  • Ashly

    One of the things on this list I have finally gotten into a habit of doing is one load of laundry each day. I work three days a week and have gotten in a really good routine for getting laundry done on those days, so even working moms can find time. First thing I do after my husband and I get out of the shower is start the washing machine and throw in a load. Then when I get home from work I switch it over to the dryer and after my girls go to bed I fold it. My new problem is getting it put away!
    Also, for those of you who keep making comments about the responsibilities for your husbands, you can easily delegate these simple ideas to them. I know my husband requires some guidance when it comes to cleaning the house and must admit that when he was recently working three jobs the housework was my responsiblity, but since he has been only working one job he has done well with some direction. He is responsible for giving my girls their bath while I do the dishes and he gets them ready for bed and helps them pick up their toys in our living room before we all settle down to watch our tv show and read books. It has worked out great for our family.
    Finally, I saw a few comments about how to get up early when your children are up at 5:30/6:00 each day and this is very much my life as well. But, my children go to bed at 7:00 pm which is still early enough in the evening that I have good 2-3 hours to be productive without little ones at my feet.

  • Marnie

    Enjoyed reading this list and alot of the replies. In regards to the accusation of copying the Flylady: let me say this. I love Flylady, very much. In fact when I was doing all her suggestions (I’ve slipped alot since moving, gotta get back on track)my life and home were hugely improved. However, lets be realistic for a moment. Most of the ideas here and per Flylady are trial and error, and most if not all were implemented for eons before computers and life in the 21st century made us all start running around like chickens with our heads cut off. I’m sure most of our grandmothers had their own versions of these ideas, and passed them on accordingly. I remember my older cousin telling me YEARS ago that making the bed everyday was the best way to make your whole bedroom look clean because it is the biggest peice of furniture in the room. Which makes sense. Modern life, working outside the home and so much of the stuff that wasn’t an issue years ago now make these common sense steps seem foreign to most of us. But they were always around. Most of us have just been too focused on everything else to know it, and many of us were not taught them. The idea should be to help us get back to those values, not whine about who thought of what. How silly.

  • Baby Steps is right. As with everything, sometimes when we have do much we become undone and cluttered Especially after the holidays when you have extra ” stuff” around. Phew.
    Doing 2 if these things this week seem sime but well worth the effort. Next week 2 more. I was looking for ideas and I found it! Thanx!

  • Lori

    Whereas I agree with no.5 – Laundry. For those of us, and there are a lot, who do not own washer and dryers – this is completely unrealistic

  • […] came across this great post while blog hopping at The Stressed Mom called 10 habits for a well-run home. Since one of my resolutions for this year is to implement better habits to keep my house in order, […]

  • […] especially if you babies and/or toddlers. Iย thought I’d share this brilliant site – link! It is a list of mommy habits that can help you live just a little bit better. Here is a […]

  • […] and not become overwhelmed. Do ONE load a day from start to finish. It was highlighted on this very  helpful blog. I am […]

  • […] Schedule it: I do one load of laundry every weekday. ย (An awesome tip I picked up from The Stressed Mom!) ย Monday – whites; […]

  • […] came across this great post while blog hopping at The Stressed Mom called 10 habits for a well-run home. Since one of my resolutions for this year is to implement better habits to keep my house in order, […]

  • Beth

    Discipline is not my strongpoint. Therefore, I have to work hard to stay on a cleaning schedule. I keep my daily cleaning chores list on the inside door of my kitchen pantry. Every morning, I open the door and double check my duties for the day. Every day I have a “daily five”: make the bed, sweeping the hardwoods and stairs, one load of laundry, a fast clean of bathrooms, and a quick pick up and put away of items. I mop and dust only every other day. Each weekday, I have a special chore (ex.: Mondays I wash sheets). I usually get all my cleaning done in 45 minutes a day. I couldn’t do it without a plan to look out every day!

  • Your ideas are perfect, although things I already know, but can’t seem to get them in place. You have motivated me to get it done!!!

  • Jen

    If you delve into fly lady’s site, you will discover that she was not the originator of her ideas, either. She developed her system based on a 3×5 card system created by two sisters (Pam and Peggy). So I guess based on some comments here, we should be saying shame on fly lady…. For me,I honestly appreciate when people share what works for them (even if it seems like we have heard it before) – because everyone does things a little differently and I can usually glean something from each one – and this list really inspired me. I am not a slave to my home – I find joy in making it a place of love and where my family can feel the spirit of The Lord – and this is one way I choose to do it, and that’s what I enjoy. But like everything in life, rarely does on size fit all! Thank you for sharing what works for you!

  • Erica

    How about Dad gets to do a few of these things. That’s my problem. I do most of these tasks but get zero help from my husband. I am so tired from work and the kids and the house while he sits on the couch and only gets up to eat. Ridiculous, I know.

  • […] I think of that?” but this is a tip from a post by ‘the stressed mom’ called 10 Habits for a Well Run Home. I always did mounds of laundry twice a week and then had mounds of laundry to fold (wish is almost […]

  • Great ideas! I do some of them, and I always say I am going to do that one laundry load a day and never quite get to it!! But I am going to try to get a head start on some of it tonight!

  • Angela

    One of the things I have done which is helpful when your kids are very small is that I sort their clothes into full outfits when folding the laundry. Then I leave them in each child’s own basket and just grab an outfit each evening when laying out the clothes for the next day.

  • Judith

    The Fly Lady comments made me laugh. I think she (fly lady) stole the ideas from my mother.

  • […] 10 Habits for a Well-Run Home {The Stressed Mom} […]

  • Sharon

    I am a mid-50’s mom of two adult children, so our home consists of just my husband and me. About a year and a half ago, I lost my job due to serious health issues. I went through a long period of severe depression during which time I stopped doing almost anything other than making dinner and doing laundry.

    It took over a year for me to pull out of the depression. While I’m ready to get my life in order, a stroke left my ability to organize rather lacking.

    Although I don’t work outside my home nor have children to care for, many of the tools your list will help me greatly in my quest to get myself and home back together. Keep your fingers crossed for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • […] For the rest of her list, visit The Stressed Mom. […]

  • Leah

    the problem I see — this is all on the mom…where is the dad/husband? That is my gripe. How do I get him to understand I need his help without sounding like a Witch?!?!?

  • LOVE this post! I may actually be able to follow through with all of these!

  • Mary Isabel

    Very good post. Staying on top of things keeps me from getting that “out of control” feeling that is overwhelming and defeating. I have 4 grown kids (at one time I had 4 teens plus an extra) and would tell them that it’s easier to keep the place clean than to try to clean a disaster.
    I’ve never heard of fly lady, but have no doubt that many, many disciplined women have followed this sensible plan.

  • […] overigens, het wereldwijde web staat vol met adviezen hoe je het anders of beter kan aanpakken. Deze blogpost (Engels) geeft een mooie samenvatting van welke dagelijkse routines het leven makkelijker maken. […]

  • Laura

    Put shelves in the laundry area and label one basket for each person’s clean clothes. When the basket is full THAT PERSON must put it away or at least help even if they are small! We need to start teaching our children earlier to help out and not just for allowance – we don’t help out because we are being paid for it, we help around the house because we live there!

  • Wow. I wish I had found this article when my kids were younger. I figured it out slowly over 11 years. I still struggle with going to sleep early and getting up early. (lifelong problem) This is a blessing to all who read it I am sure. Doing all these little steps does keep my house clean and ready for company.

  • Liana

    Struggle with the dishes side of things, but great list and we use/do most of them any way.

  • ML

    I despise doing laundry. The thought of spreading it out over an entire week would just do me in. Each of my kids has a basket. On Friday morning (and yes, I set the alarm ten minutes earlier on Friday), before I leave for work, the laundry is sorted by color, into several baskets. During the school year, we do a lot more darks (my son wears black/navy slacks and dark green polo shirts; more sweatshirts too) and we often have two loads of those. After sorting, one of the dark loads (or in the summer “the” dark load), I put it in the washer and head off to work. When my son (12 years old) gets home, he puts the “green” load in with his clothing from the day. When my husband gets home, he starts working on the rest. If my husband gets it done, he just sorts the clothing by which kid it belongs to, puts it in their basket (yes, their baskets are labelled) and tells them to fold and put away. He leaves any questionable stuff for me (socks through him for a loop) but does fold and put away his own stuff and most of mine. I will admit that I am lucky in having a husband that is hands on with this but from the time the kids were little they have always had to help. I work a minimum of 40 hours a week out of the home and really don’t want to have to work another 40 hours a week at home.

    Yes, the dishes are done every evening before bed. And if the dishwasher needs running, it is done while we sleep so that it can run through its full cycle including drying and sanitizing. I do not have a drainboard at my sink. Drainboards are disgusting and the kids would never ever put everything away. so those things that can’t go in the dishwasher are hand washed and laid on the stove to air dry. In the morning, they are put away.

    And, yes, there is something very satisfying about walking into the kitchen every morning and having a clean sink.

  • Steph

    How chuffed am I? I read through them going “yes I do that, I do that, I do them all!” What a good girl am I ๐Ÿ™‚

  • CarolQ

    If I had to do a load of wash every day, I would slit my wrists! There is only me and my husband but I still do five loads of wash on Mondays. I found that if I wash a load Sunday night, I can have loads in both the washer and dryer going. I won’t let any load sit in the dryer because it will wrinkle and then the four-letter-word (IRON) would raise its ugly head. If I get stuff folded/hung up, then there are no wrinkles and for me that is a beautiful thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Great tips!

    Here is mine for doing laundry for a family of 7 in less than 1 hour per week! ๐Ÿ™‚



  • Sarah

    Why is this whole list mom’s responsibility? No wonder she is (I am) overwhelmed. What is dad up to? Why doesn’t he help take on the psychic burden to “run” the house smoothly? This is a genuine question.

  • […] 10 Habits for a Well-Run Home – blog post by The Stressed Mom. ย One of my goals for the new year to to be less stressed […]

  • […] This list from The Stressed Mum really makes sense. I know I need to do pretty much everything on it. Getting up earlier and going to bed earlier are my holy grail โ€“ Iโ€™m not sure why I just canโ€™t do it! […]

  • Robyn

    Great list. I must say I love fly lady & I’m pretty sure even she would agree that she didn’t invent ALL of these ideas. Just sayin..:)

  • I have 4 kids of all different ages. If left alone they usually fight. Someone has to do the dishes and help clean the house. So, I do the dishes and each kid takes a room and has to pick up while I clean the dishes. It seems to work pretty well. The harder the rooms the older the kid of course.