April 27, 2024

Routines that are working now

Here are a few routines that are currently working for us with our four kids ages 5 and under:

Laundry We make a lot of laundry.  I used to always wash and put away in the same day.  That's currently impossible. Every morning I start a load of laundry around breakfast.  It gets put in the drier midday.  It comes out in the afternoon or evening and sits in a basket in the hall until the next morning, when it gets put away during morning baby nap.  Baby clothes get put away just after baby nap.  Every other day we do 2 loads of laundry, which means I need to make sure the second load is in the drier by 5pm so it will be dry after dinner and before bedtime.

I have sort of given up on kids putting away their own laundry for now.  I do try and make Isaac take school uniform from the clean laundry pile rather than his drawers in the morning.  Yesterday he said "It's ok,  I would rather take it from the drawer" to which I replied "oh no, you'll take it from this pile".  

I love the verbalised notion of "It's OK, I'll just make your life harder" which I have only ever heard at home from children and at work from business executives.

Dishwasher We are now a twice a day dishwasher running family.  Breakfast and lunch dishes are put in and we run the dishwasher at around 1:30.  Emptying the dishwasher is part of dinner prep, and then we load it up again after dinner and run it.  Now that the babies are eating food too we are fully filling it twice.  Also, EVERYTHING (except wood) goes in the dishwasher. I don't usually rinse things before putting them in the dishwasher.  I know some people basically wash dishes first, but isn't that what the dishwasher is for? I scrape food into the compost but otherwise if something comes out with food on it (which happens rarely, and mostly with peanut butter knives and spoons) then I give it a quick rinse and put it back in.  

Do you wash dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Do people who rinse dishes first think it's gross not to rinse dishes?  Can wood go in a dishwasher?

Meal Plans We are making meals plans again, which we hold loosely and move around the week if needed.  For instance this week's plan is:

  • Pizza (with sweetcorn and broccoli on the side)
  • Beans on Toast & scrambled egg
  • Carbonara
  • Chicken Gyros 
  • Tacos
  • Pea Fritters & Roast Veg
We semi assign these to days (Pizza is tonight) but if we need to swap around on the day then we can.  Also, whoever makes dinner also sets the table and makes Audrey's bedtime bottle.  The other parent watches all the kids from 5-5:30pm.  Dinners have to be made in 30 minutes or less.  Tray bakes are a total winner here

Schedule Our days have a pattern.  The babies have a pattern.  I wish they had a schedule, but they don't really.  Here is the rough schedule/pattern:

6:30 kids up
6:45 Breakfast
8:30 kids out the door (if going to school/nursery)
9:30 nurse babies
11:30 Lunch
1:30 nurse babies
2:30 snack
4:00 nurse babies
5:30 family dinner
6:00 kid bedtime
6:30 baby bedtime
7:00 tidy house
7:45 Free time for fun and adventure
8:30 my bedtime

I feel like I spend my whole day feeding people or preparing food.  It turns out, I *do* spend my whole day feeding people or preparing food!

Evening Tidy In the evenings we load the dishwasher, clear of the kitchen counters, clear the dining table, sweep the floor.  Hoover if we have time.  Pick up the lounge.  Put everything that belongs upstairs on the stairs.  Start the dishwasher.  And that's it.  The stairs have stuff on them.  The hall has shoes all over.  However... a clean kitchen, dining room, and lounge is enough.  In the morning, I am not really awake till coffee and coffee is in the kitchen, so I don't tend to notice the messy stairs or hall.  I notice the clean kitchen, and that's a boost for me.

Groceries/FLOM On Thursdays we do our Family Logistics meeting (which I will write about again!) but we have split this so that we plan meals around lunch time, and then do the rest of the logistics and future planning in the evenings.  I book a grocery delivery every Friday.  I can add everything from the meal plan to the grocery delivery in the afternoon.  You know when I 100% don't want to meal plan?  In the evenings after spending ALL DAY feeding people.  When we make the meal plan at lunch (Andy and I do it together since he works from home on Fridays) it doesn't seem like such a chore.  

Oh dear, It's 6:45am now, time for me to start feeding people.


  1. "I feel like I spend my whole day feeding people or preparing food. It turns out, I *do* spend my whole day feeding people or preparing food!" YES, you do a lot of feeding people and preparing food!

    I am a pre-rinser, purely because I cannot stand cleaning out the dishwasher filter. I see my dishwasher more as a... sanitizer than as a washer, if that makes any sense at all. (Probably not.) I put wooden utensils in the dishwasher. They definitely wear more quickly that way, but I don't mind. I don't put wood cutting boards in the dishwasher, though.

  2. Dishwasher as you do, including wooden utensils. But yes, I agree they get easily damaged, especially with the newer dishwasher models. I would only put in utensils that I don’t mind replacing.
    Great routine though.

  3. I dishwasher everything. Even kids hats and plastic toys. Wood? We don't really own anything wood, except a few wooden spoons. In the dishwasher they go.

  4. My dishwasher sucked, so I had to basically wash everything before putting it in there. Note to self, next time I buy a house, buy a GOOD dishwasher, because I am with you on the fact that you should not have to wash them if you have a dishwasher!! Also, I put everything in there including wooden spoons, which was my only wooden item.

  5. Team No Rinse. The point of the dishwasher is for me to not have to get my hands wet. LOL. Sheesh. You are doing so much right now. I'm impressed you even have a laundry routine.