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As parents, we typically have to juggle getting the kids to and from school, taking them to their sports practices, music lessons, dance lessons etc.., getting dinner on the table at a reasonable time, keeping up with their social commitments, ensuring their homework is done, whilst keeping on top of the washing, household chores, and cleaning among others.... And that’s not to mention working yourself and having a life of your own!
It can be completely exhausting! Which is why we wanted to share with you the below 7 tips to help get you organised and feel in control again 😊
Get the family together at an agreed time at the weekend and hold a family meeting. We do this on a Sunday night. Here we all go through the week ahead, and discuss any commitments that require juggling. We write everything down on the family weekly planner (see no. 2 below), and update our monthly planner. We also plan out the weeks meals based around commitments we have in the evenings (see no. 7 below)
Having a calendar of the week’s activities works really well, especially if it is in a central place for everyone to see, such as on the fridge. This encourages the whole family to stay more organised and take responsibility.
On the monthly calendar we add all upcoming activities: birthday parties, doctor appts, important meetings and special occasions, and on the upcoming week planner we include more detail for the week ahead with times and locations.
A white board planner is a great tool for this as it’s easy to revise as plans change. Assign each family member a different colour so even the younger kids know what to look for. Make sure you don’t over commit. Before committing to something last minute, look at your upcoming week to gauge your free time.
Our youngest has just started school, so we also have his own personalised morning routine on a whiteboard planner. Each morning he ticks off each task as he does them and this really helps to make getting out the door in the morning so much easier.
Don’t forget to delegate! Running a household is A LOT of work and it doesn’t need to be all the responsibility of one person.
Involve the children in tasks they are capable of, such as helping with unloading the dishwasher, putting away their washing and packing their lunchboxes.
Cleaning is always a big bug bear in our household. Why not create a cleaning routine and involve children in cleaning and household tasks? Chore charts can be a great tool for this as they instil a sense of responsibility. Assign tasks based on the child’s age and capabilities and get buy-in from the kids at the weekly family meeting.
One idea is to also add Parents' names to the chore chart, so the kids believe it to be fair and parents are leading by example. You could assign a specific area of the house for each family member to keep clean and tidy (e.g. kids – playroom & bedrooms) or alternatively, divide the household tasks up between all family members or even rotate the tasks by day or by week.
If it is an option for you to outsource the cleaning to a professional cleaners, it can be really worth the money as it helps reclaim your time and you will feel better knowing you have a set day when the house will be
sparkling clean again!
Making the most of the morning before the kids get out of bed works really well and avoids that morning chaos that comes with everyone trying to get ready at the same time! If you can set your alarm even just 40 minutes earlier than the time your children wake up, you’ll have time to get yourself showered, dressed, have your coffee and breakfast in peace, make a start on the kids' lunch boxes (unless you’ve been really organised and done them the night before!) and set yourself up for the day ahead.
I have always been one who loves to-do lists! If it’s not on my list, it probably won’t get done!! Until recently though, I have been guilty of scribbling lists on scraps of paper and then losing them before they were complete. Now I used a magnetised to-do list that I keep on the fridge and it is ever evolving. Once a task is complete I rub it off and add any new tasks in the blank spaces.
Keeping your house clutter free, really helps with having that feeling of being organised and in control.
Rather than sporadically going through your clothes and doing a big clear out, have a permanent donations box for kids' outgrown clothes and unused/unwanted items. If you haven’t used or worn something in the past year it’s time to get rid of it as it’s taking up valuable space.
Utilise boxes to go on the stairs, on in the hall, one for each family member, where items that are left around the house are put. I use these with my children and one of their tasks each week is to put away everything in their box. Also making sure everything has it's own place in the house helps to keep the house tidy and organised. Just make sure each family member knows exactly where that place is!
Labelling storage boxes is a great idea. I love these home organisation labels by pretty little designs
Whilst the word meal planning can seem daunting, it really isn’t as hard as it sounds. Personally, I’m not the best of cooks and am certainly guilty of arriving home at 6pm after the kids soccer practice to throw a meal of baked beans on toast on the table as there’s nothing in the pantry! But since I’ve been planning out our weekly meals and I know what’s for dinner each night, I feel way more in control.
There really are heaps of benefits of meal planning such as:
Plan out your meals for the week ahead (we do it on a Sunday at our weekly family meeting) and get the children’s input as to the menu for the week . You could let them have a day each to have their favourite meal and if they’re old enough maybe they could cook it for the family. Have a day off cooking once a week, say a Friday night where you know it will be takeaway night. If you have a late commitment one evening maybe your child’s sports practice, cook double portions the night before and have leftovers. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to the same meals each week or each fortnight, especially if your family is enjoying them. Make sure to keep a well stocked pantry of the basics, e.g. olive oil, spices.
For more tips on how to meal plan effectively read our blog.
“The fridge is half full and my kids love looking at them, where we’ve been, what we’ve done every time they look at it!”
— Michelle H