Updated: Dec 13, 2020
If you follow me on social media, you've likely heard me talk about a Sunday reset. It's something that our family does almost every Sunday. It's nothing fancy, it's just a handful of things we do as a family each week to put our house back in order. We all participate because we all live in the house.
Before I tell you what we do, let me tell you WHY we do it.
We don't do it so our house is perfect. We don't do it because we "should" or it's the "right" thing to do. We don't do it because we have to.
We do it because we have found that it helps us get our home back in order and gets our minds ready for the week ahead. We do it because it helps us lower the stress that can come from all of the to-dos on a families plate.
There are studies, many of them, that show a correlation between clutter and stress especially for women. A UCLA study conducted by the Center of Everyday Lives of Families found an intriguing link between women’s descriptions of their homes and their patterns of cortisol and depressed mood. Cortisol triggers the fight-or-flight survival system and if our bodies are too long in fight-or-flight it can lead to a whole host of stress-related health issues.
I don't know about you, but I didn't need a study to tell me that too much clutter can be stressful because I can feel it inside. When there are too many things cluttering up my space or my minds, I don't feel as relaxed. That is an added benefit of the Sunday reset. It helps my mind and body unwind so they can simply rest.
So what do we do each week? Truth be told, it depends upon the week. While we do have a weekly reset, we're not too rigid about it. If it's a super beautiful Summer day, we typically do an abbreviated version. If we have a really busy school, work and activity week ahead, we often do the full on reset.
The main things we do:
Put things back to their home - We go through the entire house and anything that isn't in its "home" we simply put back. That's it.
Weekly activity coordination - My husband and I sit down together and look at the weekly work schedules and kids activities and we make sure we're on the same page about who is doing what and update our family calendar if anything is missing or incorrect. I use this weekly planner I created for Neat Little Nest.
Weekly meal plan - Once we have our weekly work and activities schedule set, my husband and I sit down together and we meal plan. As we meal plan, we check our inventory of food and create a shopping list.
Take inventory + stock the kitchen - We take inventory of our food in the kitchen. We pull up any backstock from the basement pantry and fill low areas - usually it's refilling cereal containers and snack bins.
Clean anything that needs it - Many people have asked me what my cleaning schedule is and are surprised when I say that I don't have a schedule. It's basically done on an as needed basis. I did hire a professional cleaning lady who comes twice a month several years ago and it was a great investment for our family.
Water anything that needs it - Again, no strict schedule here. It just has become a natural thing we do when we do the reset because we've been doing it so long.
Recycle magazines - About once a month during the reset I will review the magazines we have in our sun porch and recycle the ones that need to go. I usually base in on how big the stack is.
Prep snacks - This is mostly done doing the school year, but depending on the camps my kids attend in the Summer, we also do it. I have my kids take larger size snacks (popcorn, snack crackers, etc.) and put them into snack-sized bags. This way, in the morning when they go to make their lunch, they just grab them and they're ready to go!
Gather up and take out the trash - Sunday is our trash night, so the timing works well for our Sunday reset.
I know the list above looks long, but since we do it every week and everyone participates, it takes us under and hour. There is power in taking the little-by-little approach and using a routine to help you get things (the boring things!) done faster.
Things we do daily:
Clean kitchen after every meal - by "clean" I mean we put the dishes in the dishwasher, we hand wash anything we need, we wipe down counters if the need it and we wipe down the table. Because it's a "we" thing, this takes our family under 10 minutes each time.
Bring laundry to the laundry room
Keep bathrooms clean - Since our bathrooms only have pedestal sinks, we don't have an opportunity to leave things on the counter and I'm kinda grateful for it. This means that when we use the bathroom to get ready in the morning or shower at night, we put stuff away.
Ok, so that is it for the Sunday reset. If you don't do a weekly reset, you might want to experiment with it for a few weeks and see how you feel about it. It might be just the medicine you need to help your home and your mind get ready for the week ahead.