How to keep a home running smoothly

Marriage

A smooth running home is extremely important. It decreases stress in every aspect of life and helps get things done. I haven’t always had a smooth running home. When I was single (and early in my relationship with David), I often had dishes in the sink, trash balancing on top of the trash can, and lived off of frozen meals. My house was well decorated, but it was a mess. Piles of paper everywhere, books strewn about, and I could never find the tv remote.

Adding a second person to my living situation has actually helped with this a lot. David is a bit of a clean freak. He hates clutter and washes the dishes regularly. He encourages (and at times begs) me to work on the clutter I leave about, as well as do my chores, namely cooking.

But there are things we do together that keep our home running smoothly.

We start our week with a weekly meeting on Sunday afternoons to go over finances and any other pieces of business related to both of us. We go over our weekly calendar, and air any grievances we may have before they become issues.

Around the house, we make sure to:

  • Replace the trash can with a fresh bag whenever we take the trash out. And for that matter, take out the trash whenever it is nearing the top. It really only takes a few minutes
  • Wash our fruits and vegetables as soon as we bring them home. That way they are ready to use whenever we want them. I can’t count how many times I haven’t eaten an apple because I didn’t want to wash it.
  • Rinse out our dishes as soon as we are done with them. I only say don’t load them in the dishwasher because I believe in having a single, master, dishloader. That way, the dishes are always loaded efficiently.
  • Put items on the grocery list as soon as we run out, or are just running low.

We also have several apps synced for ease:

  • AnyList is a great app for grocery lists, and for truly “any list.” I have a list for every store I go to, one for grocery shopping at Harris Teeter, and a second for Whole Foods, I have a separate one for Target, and I even have a honey do list on there!
  • Google calendar has allowed for easy syncing. I use the Google calendar app, while David uses the calendar app on his iPhone, but that one syncs to his Google calendar and then syncs to mine. I am able to add events we have together, and see his calendar so that I know if we may have a scheduling conflict.
  • Upkeep is another great app that helps with home maintenance. You can customize your home maintenance tasks to your living situation, and customize how often they need to be completed. Unfortunately this app doesn’t sync with other phones yet, but you can each download it and get reminded of your respective areas of expertise, or one person sets it up and reminds their partner when something is due to be completed.

A smooth running house is one of the most important aspects that helps lead to a successful marriage, in my opinion. When my husband and I lived in Greenville, with a ton of stuff I had accumulated lying around, we were constantly stressed. We fought a lot. When we moved, we threw out about 30 massive trash bags of stuff. It was very hard, but also very liberating. Now, in Charleston, we have a less cluttered home, and we have improved in designating our chores. We are both happier and more relaxed.

What do you do in your home to keep it running smoothly?

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