Productivity

How to Manage Chores and Still Run a Booming Home Business

Let’s get real here.

If you’re a mom who works from home and have small children, it’s hard getting all those daily and menial chores done, right?

How to Manage Chores and Still Run a Booming Home Business (Plus Free Checklist!)

I betcha you’re reading this and you have a load of dishes to put away. Or, you have dirty dishes in the sink from last night that need to get washed.

Every day chores pile up and for many of us, it’s up to the moms to take care of it. No one gets why your house is a wreck when you stay home all day.

You’re mommy friends look at you funny; your sister tsk-tsk when she sees your living room.

I don’t know about you, but having twins and running a home based business doesn’t leave much room to do chores.

So, what do you do?

I’ve been working at home for almost two years now, and have finally got my act together (well mostly. I’m still working on the whole time management thing).

My house doesn’t look like a day care anymore and I don’t have piles of laundry to put away!

Mamas, when that day happened, I smiled on the inside. If you’re struggling getting chores done while having to handle clients or blogging, here’s what I do to have a clutter-free home.

If you’re a stay-at-home-mom and want to start a blog I have an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog using SiteGround!

Before we get into the post, I’ve got a checklist to declutter your home and business to help you start using some of these tips from this post today!

Create a System

Now, I’m not one for to-do lists (I tried that and I couldn’t get it to work long term). I prefer checklists, goals and systems. If you can create a system that helps you stay on top of your tasks for the day, you won’t need to-do lists anymore.

For me, I have four systems in place:

  • Morning system
  • Upstairs system
  • Downstairs system
  • Evening system

Let’s go a little deeper:

1. Morning system

coffee-morning

What does your morning look like? For me, I roll out of bed like a zombie and guzzle my first cup of coffee – while my twins fight over a fishing rod and scream “mommy” about a bazillion times.

Every. Morning. Without. Fail.

But, once I have my power juice in me – coffee – I begin my system. I check my email and respond to time-sensitive emails. I flag emails that I need to be dealt with later that day.

I then block out a time to check social media and update my profiles. From there I shut it down and focus on the house.

I vacuum and sweep; clean up the toys and make breakfast. While the kids eat, I:

  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Load up the dishwasher and run a load

After the kids eat, I change them and then I:

  • Fold one load of laundry OR clean a bathroom
  • Do kid-friendly activity

As long as I can do all these tasks, my day can run smoother. But, I’ve been known to “forget” to wash a load of dishes and that puts me back for three days (yes, we run the dishwasher hella lot).

But, having a system is helping me stay on top of my morning chores.

2. Upstairs System

upstairs

I try to do one “spring cleaning” or bigger task upstairs. This can be house focused or business focused. Some tasks I’ve tackled so far include:

  • Store clothes that don’t fit twins anymore
  • Organize the pantry in the kitchen
  • Organize the linen closet
  • Sorted my inbox
  • Catalogued my projects on my project management sheet
  • Washed bed sheets

I find that if I do one big task a day or every other day, I don’t get bogged down with disorganization and clutter.

My upstairs system does frequently take a break when life gets in the say – appointments, exercising, having fun outside – but it’s okay if I skip a week or more.

3. Downstairs System

downstairs

I work on the downstairs system once or twice a week. Since my husband is the only one that works downstairs, there aren’t many tasks to keep up with. I typically vacuum, wipe down the bathroom, dust and stock up on extra groceries.

Now that it’s getting warmer, there’s other menial tasks like running the de-humidifier and opening up the blinds and windows for fresh air that I add to the checklist.

4. Evening System

dinner

As the day winds down, I focus on getting supper on the table. This is the time when I clean up the kitchen, put a load in and sweep the kitchen floor. If I’m not completely exhausted by this time – rare – I’ll shake the rugs or organize the boot mat and coat hooks.

But, usually, I’m pretty tired and just like to relax and play games with the twins.

What I try to do is to find a flow and system for parts of my house to times within a day. If I can break up my day this way, I can see what needs to be done and it no longer feels overwhelming.

Focus on Three Tasks Per Day

Within my systems I have several tasks I try to accomplish. I try to make sure to only do no more than three a day since that’s really all I have time for.

So I might pick: vacuum entire house, put away a load of laundry, dust upstairs. I try to figure this out in the morning or after the twins have breakfast.

As work-at-home moms, oftentimes business can eat away at your day. Emails to answer, having to do research for a blog post to do or checking Facebook (my guilty pleasure).

But, I don’t feel so guilty hopping on the computer once my three big tasks are accomplished. I can set up an activity for my twins (they are loving camping right now) and hop on to do some business work for 20 minutes.

Put Your Business on Auto Pilot

Okay, maybe you can’t do this completely, but there are ways to run your business without you having to be there.

One easy way is to schedule your social media posting. I use Tailwind and am loving it. It’s actually helping me grow my blog!

Other ways to automate your business is to:

  • Create an autoresponder email message for new people who email you
  • Pre-screen a client by asking certain questions – like budget – on your contact form. This eliminates follow-up questions that can take time out of your day.

contact-form

  • Outsource some of your work. Maybe you could benefit from a VA or content writer. They can handle your inbox, blog, or Facebook group for example. If it means you can focus on income generating tasks, then hiring help makes sense.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

I’m the first to admit that I suck at time management. It can be 5 o’clock and I have no idea what to cook for dinner.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a clutter-free home! My twins are getting older and can now help me clean and learn to put their toys away.

It’s also a balancing act too. Some days I just can’t get all my chores in because I have client work I need to do. Other days, I can devote my morning to spring clean the closets and then take my twins to the park before lunch.

As long as there is a balance of some kind, don’t beat yourself up if your house is a mess for three days straight. It’s happened to me lots of times! 🙂

You too can be a BOSS MOM in your business and home!

Make sure to pick up the free checklist to declutter your home and business today.

I'm Elna, wife to my college sweetheart and mother to my school-aged twins. Together we are the parent entrepreneurs. I'm also a professional blogger and freelance writer. I help mom bloggers make money blogging so they can stay home with their little ones too! Come join me in the Mom to Mompreneur Facebook group!

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30 Comments

Hi Elna, just stumbled onto this post and I can’t even tell you how much I really need this. Right now, I only have one child (a 3-year old) and I’m working on getting my new(ish) blog to take off and breaking into freelance writing. I followed your advice on Ready, Set, Blog For Traffic and am churning content like the world is experiencing butter shortage. I’m aiming for a month of daily posting. So, things at home are slipping. I was never very good with time management in the first place anyway and I really hate being pulled in a thousand different directions so I was honestly lost – so lost. lol So, can I ask you about your morning routine? What are the kids doing whilst you’re checking email? Because my son wants to do what mummy does and sit beside me to “work” too. Translation: he wants to borrow my phone so he can watch Blippi on YouTube whilst I’m doing some work on the laptop. Also, when you say you put “three things” on your daily to-do list, do you mean three household chores? Or three work-related stuff? And how do you recommend allocating my available time so I can do aaaaalll the things that we work-at-home-mums do? haha Realistically speaking, I can only work a maximum of 8 hours a day (split in two: one 2-hour lunch-time sprint and a longer 5-6 hours during the night). Thanks so much for a very timely and helpful post. JadeReply to Jade
Hey Jade, I wrote this blog post when I didn’t have a million blogs! So my focus was more home life than business. But, now, it’s slightly more business life than home life. I do my best to have a clean house, but it’s not always organized. I’m trying to downsize right now, but business always pulls me in! My twins will be in school so that gives me more balance to home life and work life. Take it day by day. I do email when my twins are eating breakfast…then do my morning chores and then try to hit my to-do lists for the day (house related). I hope that helps!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much, Elna. I’ll try that. XReply to Jade
These are great tips! I love a good organizational system! I try to front load my day by doing the chores I really dislike (like folding laundry) and save the easy ones for the evening when I’m tired! I REALLY need to declutter and have no time! I’m going to try your tip if one task per day! Thanks for this!Reply to Sarah
Hey Sarah, That sounds like a good plan. My cleaning schedule has changed a lot since I wrote that post, but I do what I can when I can!Reply to Elna
Hey, Elna! You’re kinda super mommy thing. I can never routine myself to tasks like you do. But I’ll definitely give it a try. By the way, thanks for the tutorial. I also loved your site, it’s clean and catchy. wish me luck.Reply to Stephany
Hey Stephany! Thanks so much. To be true to myself, I do slack at times – especially when I’m in course creation. But having a system does help me!Reply to Elna
Thanks for a great post! I have a 2 year old and another on the way, and the chores seem overwhelming at times! But your tips are really going to help. Rather then put the pressure on myself to have all the cleaning done at once i am going to focus on 3 things a day. Thanks Elna. 🙂Reply to Rachel
New to your site and loving it! Thank you!! Kinda random question but what is the font you used in blue for “Chores” and “Business” in the header image here? Looking forward to learning more from you!Reply to Yen
Hi Yen! I use Madina for the script and Futura sometimes for the body copy! Glad you like it.Reply to Elna
Thank you Elna for your great advice. I totally need this. After giving birth to my third son I totally got lost and finding ways to get back on track. New systems needed I guess.Reply to Tasya
Hey Tasya! Congratulations! Having twins is hard enough! I hope you have the help you need 🙂 Glad this post gave you some tips to organize your home. I still find it a challenge. Now, with the fall, I’m reorganizing the closets and packing away old clothes and putting in new ones! It’s an ongoing effort.Reply to Elna
This is very helpful for me as I’m a systems person so this really speaks my language. Thank you Elna! I no longer have children at home, however I serve as the primary caretaker for my 95 year old grandmother. It takes a lot of effort and planning to care for her, run your business and manage your home. And of course love on your hubby!Reply to Rita
Hey Rita, Thanks so much! Yes, I love systems better than to-do lists. It makes me feel much more accomplished. Glad you found this helpful even though you don’t have children. It goes to show, this system can work for anyone!Reply to Elna
I don’t think this was mentioned in the article, when do you find time to blog? I have two blogs, one is a Q&A, the other wordpress but by the time I get both my 1 year old and my 2 and half year old settled, fed, changed. House semi decent. Making sure my son isnt getting into trouble in the process. I am so frazzled, it’s hard to write a detailed post when I have to force myself to finally focus on what I like to do. It seems more like by the time i’m finally alone I am too exhausted to accomplish anything. I get stuff done but not at the pace I would like…lol Do you have a system for blog writing I could try? <3Reply to Ashley
Ashley! Thanks so much for stopping by. And no, I actually didn’t cover when I actually write! Many moms have a different schedule. I know some write all their posts in one day. I could NEVER do that because I have two blogs and I have to write for clients. Oh, and I only have two time slots in a day to do this all – between 2-4:30 and 8-10. That’s it. I will do a post on my system for blog writing. That’s a great topic girl!Reply to Elna
haha I was going to add, that would make a great blog post idea 🙂Reply to Ashley
Hi Elna, Great advice! Do you have need of a VA or content writer? I have worked in the corporate world for over ten years and am itching to work from home by using my passion for communications online. Let me know either way.Reply to Nora
Hi Nora! I’ll keep you in mind! I am looking for a VA but not right now since I don’t have the extra funds quite yet. Thanks!Reply to Elna
This is great advice Elna. I used to beat myself up over not getting my chores done but now I don’t sweat it. The house was clean – that is until my daughter moved back home with my grandsons. Now there’s PB&J stains on the rug and cereal under the sofa cushions. 🙂 If I wanted the house spotless, that would be a never-ending task. I clean three times a day and I have a list of things to do for each ‘session’ to make time for work – I leave the bigger chores for the weekend. There are times it doesn’t all get done but I’m over stressing about it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this! Hope all is well. 🙂 CoriReply to Corina
Hey Corina! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 I know, CHORES SUCK! I hate them. I always thought – before I became a mom – that all being a mom was playing with your child and going on mom and toddler play dates. I had no idea of all the chores and the cooking and the cleaning and messes involved! I’m working hard on developing a system so that I don’t have to be so overwhelmed by it all! I clean every day, multiple times like you and after awhile you just get tired eh! I can’t wait until my twins can actually clean and help mama out!Reply to Elna
Although I’m not a mom yet (not even married 😛 ) but I do love to help mom get all house chores done. Your systems are perfect 😀 One thing I’ve noticed that help me stay on top of my work is getting up early. So I can take care of dishes and do my morning retuals including workout before anyone gets up 😀 that time is super relaxing when there are no distractions!Reply to Unaiza
Unaiza, I wish I can wake up before everyone else! If I do, I’ll wake my twins! That’s great you’ve developed a system that works for you. My systems aren’t perfect, but they work for me. Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Elna
Elna, Oh mine aren’t perfect yet. There is so much to work on. But I guess that’s the exciting part right? To be always struggling for better 😀Reply to Unaiza
This is so helpful! One of my biggest struggles is time management!Reply to Jen
Yes! It’s still my struggle too! But, I find organization different than time management. Like I say, I can get my duties done but it’s already 5 pm and I haven’t thought of dinner! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
Love this! Exactly what I need since starting my business. I am so overwhelmed because I also work from home as a caregiver so the house is almost always a disaster lol! Looking forward to implementing a system!Reply to Iyanna
Hey Lyanna! I so know what you mean girl! I have bras on my office desk I mean…. 😛 Having systems in place, though, really has helped me cut the “daycare” look to my home 🙂 I’m also trying to wake up at least a half hour earlier to tackle all those silly chores AND be able to work out. Let me know how it goes on your end!Reply to Elna
Yes! The 3 *bigger/impo* tasks per day is exactly how I have been functioning since a therapist suggested it to me several years ago when I was very overwhelmed at my FT corporate job. She said, “As long as you knock those 3 things out, you’ll feel accomplished and then can worry about the other things as needed.” Now that i WFH, I still use that technique. Have you ever watched “How Jen Does It” on YouTube? She’s a SAHM but she also has a successful YT channel (so it’s definitely a job in itself) and she shares awesome “how I manage the house/quick cleaning, easy recipes” that she does with her boys/husband. I have found her tips similar to yours and helpful. I think you’d like her 🙂Reply to Steffanie
Hi Steffanie! Thanks so much for the YT tips. I’ll go check them out now! Yes, three things is the ticket. You do feel so much more accomplished when you give yourself just three things to to. I love it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂Reply to Elna