I never thought I’d be a routine person.  I’ve always been the “mix it up” type -the “throw caution to the wind” type. But as it turns out, the most mixing up I’ve ever done is in the kitchen and my idea of throwing caution to the wind is abandoning laundry for a television marathon.

I’ve always lived for lists, so I shouldn’t be surprised that when I figured out a routine that worked for me, my life became infinitely more simple. A few months ago, I started dedicating a day to cooking. I spent the entire day in the kitchen: baking, mixing, and freezing foods. It was a super success, and it was so nice to be able to reach in my freezer on any given Thursday and find breakfast. But what was even nicer was knowing that everything else could go to heck. I didn’t feel any guilt over the mounting pile of laundry or the specks of paper on the floor… I knew that on cooking day, I would cook my buns off and take care of everything else on another day.
Eventually, I created a laundry day. This isn’t to say that I don’t do laundry on any other day, but I can’t tell you how much easier my life has gotten since I labeled Wednesdays as laundry day. ALL DAY LONG, I wash, dry, and fold. It’s my favorite day because I get to watch as many movies as I’d like (hey!  a TV marathon AND laundry!) and at the end of the day, I can pull dinner out of the freezer and feel like a champ of champs.
These two days worked so well for me that I assigned away my week! I never thought I’d be so happy to live with a routine -honestly!
Monday has become cleaning day because we ALL know how awful the house looks after Sunday (thanks to Aunt Cat for this tip, and the entire idea of getting a routine that works for me!). Seriously -this has been life-changing. I do a sweep over the entire house: vacuum, dust, mop, wipe, wipe, wipe… and then I pick one big project (like “clean out the fridge”) to conquer. This is SO nice because it alleviates about 2000 pounds of guilt and stress. I don’t worry about my fridge anymore because I know that I’m cleaning it out Monday. I don’t feel like a terrible mother for having a stack of clothes near the closet because I KNOW when it will work for me to handle it. I don’t spend the rest of the week thinking “I should be doing this” or “I should be doing that” because I know now I’m NOT ALLOWED to clean on cooking or laundry day. It’s so nice! I mean, really: Mr. Bluebird’s on my shoulder.

Tuesday is cooking day -and BOY do I love it. I say that in all seriousness. I LOVE it. I crank out homemade goodies and gain a tremendous amount of self-confidence because I can SEE what I’ve done and it stays done! (unless my kids tear into it which has happened to a poor loaf of zucchini bread.) Also: the rest of my week is much more laid back because I have goodies in the freezer/fridge/pantry. I can pull a meal together much faster, everyone is happier, and we’re saving money.

Wednesday is laundry day.
Thursday is special. Every other Thursday is shopping day. The off Thursdays are catch-up days. For example: I had to shift days this week because I’m teaching preschool. I had to nab Wednesday as my cooking day and I spent the ENTIRE day just cutting and canning jalapenos -no lie. SO today should be laundry day, but I wasn’t able to get much cooking in, so I’m going to half/half it. Some cooking, some laundry… catch up!

Friday is my day off. It’s the day I do whatever I want to do. Crochet, write, play with the kids, devil may care.

But I have to tell you: while my routine may sound hellish to a career woman, it is JUST what I want to do with my life. And I should also tell you that my life has been something of a ride lately. Sitting and chopping jalapenos was the biggest blessing in the world. I didn’t have to think about anything! I just sat and chopped, sat and chopped… it was bliss. It took me four hours to chop them all up, and in the end, I only had 4 pint jars of candied jalapenos to show for it, but I really could care less.
I’ll tell you something else: I’d give anything for a pile of jalapenos to sit and chop today. Of course I can’t do that. I’ve got other things to handle, but those four hours were some of the best of my life.

There’s a line in the movie “Return to Me” where Gracie’s grandpa is outside of his restaurant cleaning up. She’s looking down on him from a balcony and she calls out, asking if he needs help. His reply? “I’m blessed with work.”

I’m blessed with work.


  1. I love routine, too. And your routine sounds wonderful. There’s no better sense of accomplishment than taking care of our home and families.


  2. One of my all-time favorite lines, “I’m blessed with work” I hear it in my head in a cheerful Carroll O’Conner voice – not Archie Bunker. It is my mantra, sometimes. Another one is “while the cat’s away, the mice will play” Or “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” Okay, so I have a problem with authority. I have to make chore games for myself to get my work done, I probably need routines and discipline.

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