Helpful Steps to Address a Sense of Feeling Overwhelmed: Part Two A Household Directive

The previous Blog Post in this series, looked at doing a de-clutter occasionally. De-cluttering, however you choose to engage in it, truly can be a very helpful first step to addressing a sense of feeling overwhelmed.

The next step which I share with you now, is about creating and putting in place a Household Directive.


You may be wondering: What is a Household Directive? What does it involve? How do you go about setting one in place?

In simple terms: It involves getting everyone on board to set out some particular aims and focuses, for a period of time, that would benefit the whole household.

The idea of creating and setting in place a Household Directive came about quite recently for our particular household. A spontaneous discussion between my husband and I led to us to see that it could be quite advantageous to set out, even put on actual paper, some particular aims for the next block of time that the new school term would encompass.

By discussing, evaluating, and being real about what had worked well and what hadn't previously, we were able to re-focus. We were able to put pen to actual paper, to create what I am referring to here as a Household Directive.


Together we literally recorded those things that we agreed we both wanted to have some proper, deliberate focus placed on, in the block of time that would be the new school term.

Our Household Directive for the coming new school term addressed those things we jointly felt we needed to figuratively and literally be on the same page about. It wasn't a list that was so long that from the outset it would a burden. It was an honest, concise, transparent statement of intention.

It was a concise statement of intention, to try and address some of the concerns that had been raised during our dialogue about redeeming time and energy.


It was a positive intention, written out on paper, to endeavour to work towards making things work perhaps a little better for all household members.

It can be very easy to get trapped into thinking things have to be done a certain way, in a certain time-frame and style.

By re-evaluating, actually putting pen to paper and creating a Household Directive, it means that everyone can see from the outset what are the intended areas of focus, for a set period of time. Each time there is an evaluation, the reality of what is achievable is able to be taken on board.


Every time a new directive is drafted and put into plan, there is a common purpose and constructive, positive vision set in place.

Here are some possible conversation starters to initiate discussion about aims and focuses you might like to look at, to draft your own Household Directive:
  • Discuss & evaluate the various ways you have been involved with and contributed to your local community. 
  • Discuss & evaluate the various ways you have been involved with and contributed to your church community, your school community and neighbourhood. 
  • Discuss & evaluate the various ways you have been involved with extended family.
  • Discuss & evaluate the education outcomes and goals for your children as they had played out over the previous school term/semester. 
  • Discuss & evaluate how the health needs of your household were met/ not met currently.
  • Discuss & evaluate the various work commitments you have been involved with, and how they affect & create time & energy & financial restraints.
  • Discuss & evaluate your family time experience. Have you done enough in the previous school term/semester as a family to simply relax, to rest, to build those fun memories that your children and you yourselves would fondly talk about in years to come?
  • Discuss & evaluate whether you had enough quality time with your spouse/partner in order to invest in your relationship.
This is an extensive list. It may only be appropriate to choose one or two to focus on for a set time.


The point of a Household Directive is to get everyone on the same page. It is not intended to be a legalistic, constrictive means of planning ahead, but rather an overview of good intention.

By getting everyone involved in constructively evaluating how things are going (according to the actual time, energy and resources available to you all), it can then be easier to be realistic about what is involved to keep things in balance.

Rather than being a chance to indulge in a blame game, or antagonistic criticism, it is about being able to look to move forward with combined ownership, combined responsibility, for keeping focused on a collaborative vision.


A Household Directive helps eliminate the sense of being solely responsible to keep the wheels turning, to keep things on track.

A Household Directive includes both the work and the play aspects of being a small community knitted together, in your common home environment.

A Household Directive encompasses those aims and focuses that allow your particular household logistics to function well, as well as those that are intended help build lasting, fond household memories.

Drafting a collaborative Household Directive for the next school term, the next season your household is engaging in together..... I highly recommend it.


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