I’m a Mum of two busy kids, aged 13 and 11 who both take a lot of my time and energy, so it’s important for me to feel personally organised so I don’t let things get on top of me, particularly as my own organisation affects how well the whole household runs.
Until 6 months ago, I found myself feeling totally overwhelmed and being pulled in all directions. I was letting work consume my life, replying to messages and emails all hours of the day and was letting household chores and general household admin slide, as well as at times neglecting my children ☹
Having always been an organised person before kids, I was disappointed to find myself constantly running late, missing appointments and generally becoming quite unreliable. Although I’m lucky that my work is flexible and I can fit it around my children’s commitments, I didn’t really feel I was ever present for them. I was more just a taxi service! On top of all this, my exercise and self-care regimes had completely gone out of the window and I began eating really unhealthily, frequently turning to sugary snacks as a pick me up.
I have been focusing over the last 4 months on trying to organise my life better. It has definitely been working and I am feeling a lot happier, more positive, and feel more in control again. Although it’s still a work in progress and there’s always room for improvement, I thought I’d share my 4 top tips of some of the things that worked for me in helping to organise myself better…
1. Plan, Plan Plan
I love lists and write everything down! There are heaps of new online apps available for to-do lists etc, but I find it much better having visible lists as they make me more accountable. I use a magnetic to-do list that is divided into 4 sections that I keep on the fridge. Each morning I write down and make a mental note of my top 5 things to get done for the day, which I write in the top left hand section “ To-do Today”. I allocate times to each. The top right section is "Things to Buy", these can stay here and get wiped off as they are bought, the bottom left is "Things to do tomorrow". Anything that doesn’t get done in the things to do today box will get moved here and then any other items I need to remember go in the "Notes" section.
2. Home organisation
Because I often work from home, I know that if my work space and the house are tidy and organised I feel better for it and it significantly improves my productivity. It’s important that everything has its own home and items go back into place when used I try to make sure the kitchen space is clean and tidy before doing the school drop off, that way the kids help can with unloading and loading dishwasher too! I even went as far as re-organising the pantry and now every item has it's own labelled container.
I’m also always looking for my phone and keys when I’m about to run out the door, so I now have a dish just inside the front door that these go into when I come home.
3. Find Balance
I needed to find a balance between work and family. Rather than trying to tick everything off on my work to-do list each day, I started prioritising tasks and making sure by 6pm my phone was turned off, so I am really present for my children. To get some more family time back, I also started opting out of unrealistic plans and learning to say “NO” to people, something which hasn’t come easily to me!
I have tried to ensure my own self-care is a priority. I take a Friday afternoon off when work allows, which is time for me to recharge. I also make sure that I spend time with friends and family, read a good book from time to time, have enough sleep, make exercise a priority and have some pamper treatments every now and again 😊
4. Declutter Regularly
Despite having a “tidy” home and thinking everything had its own space, I would still sit down in the evenings and not be able to fully relax as everything felt cluttered. I don’t like to let go of things, so for me it was learning to part with items that were unused. I used the rule that anything that hasn’t been worn or used in the past 6 months can be donated. The benefit of de-cluttering means there is less to clean and organise, and having a clutter free home makes my living space feel way more relaxing.