Change Your Life With: Weekly H.M. Sessions

The HM Session Checklist

Do you wish you had more time? What if I told you there was a way of stream-lining some of your responsibilities and creating more time in your week? Your work as a Household Manager (which sometimes feels like a secretarial position) can feel all-consuming.

~~~Where do the kids go and when? Has that bill been paid? Did we send Grandma a birthday card? When is the last time we changed the filters? How can I find anything in my wallet/purse when it is so messy? Did we save any money this week? What should we do for Izzy’s birthday party? What preparations do I need to make to get ready for family pictures? Are the kids up to date on everything? Have we returned the library books? Did I pay that bill? What is coming up at school? At church? And more? And more? And other stuff???~~~

My life is very full. I really cannot imagine functioning if I was doing all that I do while trying to keep these thoughts circulating in my head. Why don’t I have to stress about it or worry about it constantly?

Five Words: My Weekly Home Management Session.

Once a week, I make an appointment with myself (Wednesdays for me), and I work through a checklist that helps me take care of things that need to happen. And if I can’t do something right then, I assign it a time to get done. Since I keep this appointment with myself on a weekly basis, the amount to do is not overwhelming. I imagine it would get overwhelming if I skipped a whole bunch of weeks and tried to cram it all into an hour. Or if I tried to do a little bit here and a little bit there, I’m pretty sure that would make my brain feel everywhere.

HM Session Checklist

 

My Weekly H.M. Session Checklist:

  • Inbox: You MUST read more about this in my post Taming the Paper Trail of Clutter (or How to Effectively Use an Inbox)!!!!! This is the crux of the H.M. Session system working. Your brain cannot fully relax with piles of paper all over the place.
  • Household Checklist: This post is coming, but for now I’ll summarize. The household checklist is full of home-maintenance things like when I last changed the filters, reminders to unplug all the hoses before winter, reminders to clean lots of random places in our homes, and other things that need to happen for home maintenance, but I don’t feel like carrying any of it around in my brain. Every week I look over the list to see if anything needs to happen within the next week or if I need to plan ahead for anything else. I don’t usually do these things right that second (unless I can), but add them to my to do list for that week. {Update — Household Checklist now available.}
  • Birthday, Holiday, & Event Planning: Any holidays or birthdays coming up? I check my calendar looking ahead and make plans and send birthday cards. (I have a printable coming up about birthday party planning too! So much useful stuff in the works!) {Update — Party Planning Printables}
  • Clean Out Wallet & Purse: Pretty self-explanatory. This is pretty easy when done often. My mom has always done this every single night. so sometimes I feel rebellious only doing it once a week.
  • Set $ Aside: We operate on a cash-ish budget, so this is the day I’ll set money aside for things coming up.
  • Plan Menu & Grocery List: I’ll do my shopping over the next few days, but I like having that list ready to go. (Of course I have a simplified way of doing this, better subscribe and stick around to find out!) {Update — Grocery Shopping & Menu Planning Printable}

That’s it. Pretty easy. I think it takes longer to write about some of these things than it actually takes to do them. But Whoa!! What a difference an hour (or less) a week can make on the whole rest of the week! This is what organizing is about: streamlining and efficiency with the *boring parts of life so that we can use the bulk of our time on what really matters. (*Boring to most people, but not to me!)

Happy Living!

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~~In other news, if I ever had a shop on this site, I’d sell cute little pads of paper with this checklist on each page. Maybe I’ll think more about that next Wednesday. ~~

18 thoughts on “Change Your Life With: Weekly H.M. Sessions

  1. Love love love it! I love the word streamline :) Thanks for the ideas-I have some of these things implemented, I have a binder where all of my “things” go to deal with and to think I can check it weekly, great idea! Also I have 3 file magnets on the fridge for kids school stuff (one for each kiddo) for active school stuff they need. School binders for each kiddo to put important papers in–well I wrote about it here simply http://www.myheartandyours.org/2013/05/need-help-organizing-kids-school-work.html :) Look forward to implementing these things and oh, now off to read about your organizing files as mine are only half done, oops…

      1. It’s been a while-but it is going good. I continue to change up things to meet our needs. Now have a basket with files in them to organize all incoming papers and not a binder. Also still have the binders for each child, and love them and less papers go in them the older they get :) How have you been?

  2. I’ve always felt like that hour was greedy of me and unnecessary. I love that I now have permission to sit and work this HMS.
    My tip: I have a magnetic list on my fridge and a magnetic pen right next to it. House rule is, if you used the last of it, write it on the list. Even my youngest loves to help with this. I always know what we’re running low on without having to explore the entire kitchen and both bathrooms.

    1. Yes, I have a list like that on our magnet board that we’ve been using for years. It took a bit to get everyone used to using it, but now we all rely on it. It is magic. If it goes on the list, it shows up at home. What makes it extra entertaining is when the little kids put things like “sgar” or “cukis”. :)

  3. This is great! I’m working on a household spreadsheet of things I need to do daily, weekly, monthly, etc. I love the idea of cleaning out my purse every week, instead of waiting until I can’t possibly cram one more receipt in there! I have added that to my list, along with checking for birthdays and events ahead of time. Good stuff…all very good! I just discovered your blog today and I literally rubbed my hands together gleefully because I could tell right away this was going to be just my style! :)

    1. Okay, your comment made me so happy that I decided to go re-read the post and see if I really was candid or practical! Ha! And when I was re-reading it, I realized I never updated the post with links to printables I’ve made since then. So thank you for the kind comment AND the reminder! :)

  4. I keep thinking I am going to do this. I am going to set aside time each week to do Home Maintenance. But the babies don’t cooperate. Life doesn’t seem to allow it. Perhaps after the 91 day de-clutter challenge, I can try this again. I used to have the kids in a mom’s day out program and that was the time I could do this. But even then there were a million time stealers. An old friend would happen to be in town. Someone wants a brain storming session, I need to meet with someone about homeschooling, I was up all night for some reason and need to just sleep more and shower. So sigh. It was really hard to guard that time even then. Now if I sneak away into my office, the kids are on red alert and will not allow me to focus. Ever.

    1. Now that I’ve been doing it for years, the sessions go really quickly most weeks (20 minutes or less). The weeks after holidays when I’ve skipped a week or back to school times, those ones still take a while (~45-hour). Here are a few of my trips for working around the kids:
      – I bring my inbox to the table and do my stuff while they do their homework/ coloring, etc. It takes longer because of interruptions, but I’m spending time with the kids and getting it done.
      – I bring my inbox to the couch and do it while my littlest (he just turned 3 last week) watches Mickey Mouse. Sometimes I will do the phone calls separately, or walk to the kitchen out of earshot, but since the phone calls are just quick ones, it works out. Sometimes I just let the person on the other side hear Mickey Mouse in the background and I just say “sorry, my little guy is watching tv”. And if he starts to talk to me while I’m on the phone, I just say “sorry, my toddler is trying to get my attention”. People understand when moms call that we may have kids around, it is okay!! It is totally different than making a professional phone call and needing to sound professional. If we are making a dental/vision appointment, we can just be a mom, not a professional.
      – When I was getting started with my H.M. sessions, I did them in 2 parts. After bedtime, I would sit with my inbox and do everything besides the phone calls, but then I would make a clear list of the phone calls needed to make. Then the next morning before I could forget, I would take care of the phone calls.

      And my last piece of advice is, it sounds like you have boundary issues and a problem saying no. I can be direct in telling you that because it is my job. :) You need to prioritize taking care of yourself and your family. You will still have time to serve and help others too, and you’ll be surprised that you’ll actually have more time and feel better and less anxious while you do.

      You can do this!!!

  5. For years I did this when I worked from home (Thursdays for me) because my time was so limited. Then I retired, had lots of free time, and got out of the habit, always saying “tomorrow”. Now I am working part-time & am back in the habit again. What a difference! The expression “if you want something done, ask a busy person” is true.

    1. Yes, that expression is so true. So glad you are back in the habit again. Sounds like this part-time job may have given you a lot more “time”. :)

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