Marie Kondo might help you get rid of your physical crap, but what about all the other chaos you’re living with?
Being a mum doesn’t require a military operation, you’ve just got to get clever about how you organise your life!
Never forgetting an appointment or school play, feeling less stressed and on top of everything, AND having more time for yourself – these are just some of the perks of being organised. SO LET’S DO THIS!
1. Clear out and tidy up
This is the only time we’re going to mention clutter we promise, but seriously if you haven’t already gone total KonMari on your house then you need to get chucking out and tidying up asap as the first call to action. A cluttered house is a cluttered mind after all, and how are you going to organise your life if your brain is all over the shop? If you need a few pointers here are some realistic tips for decluttering and sorting out possessions to get you started.
“For every minute spent in organising, an hour is earned.” Benjamin Franklin
2. Divide and conquer
The next thing to tackle if you want to organise your life is the never-ending list of chores. If you have a partner, sit down together and write out a list of who does what and when. Even if they go to work and you’re a stay-at-home mum, they still need to pitch in. Because let’s face it, kids are hard work and being at home more doesn’t mean you have that time to yourself.
So from who pays the bills to who puts out the bins or scrubs the toilet – divvy up the list to stop arguments or confusion about who’s responsible for what. If you’re a single mum you should still write this list of chores out too. Then work out if there are any family members who can help with some of the chores, or if you have budget to pay for help such as a cleaner.
3. Get the kids on board
Chores aren’t just for parents either! Make a chore list for each of your children, no matter their age, because every little bit helps. Even if it’s just taking their lunchbox out of their school bag each day, or packing away toys after they’ve played with them, in the long run it will make a big difference.
If your kids are at preschool or have recently started school, you can also go one step further to help create morning calm (instead of chaos). Make your own morning checklist or grab something like School’s Coming to makes sure everyone gets out of the house on time without the yelling and stress.
4. Planners and charts
Speaking of charts and check-lists, the key to organise your life is planning. So put pen to paper and create a weekly planner for yourself. Include personal items such as exercise classes and hair appointments. This way you’ll get a bit more of an understanding of where you need to be, how much spare time you have, and where you can be more productive. A yearly goal list for yourself with monthly breakdowns is also fantastic if you really want to be a high achiever.
Plus a family calendar is another great idea so everyone knows what’s happening when. A few minutes on a Sunday night doing a dinner plan for the week ahead saves so much time. You’ll know exactly what to cook AND what groceries to buy.
5. Become a ‘night before’ ninja
By the time the kids are in bed we know you’re exhausted, but doing a little bit of preparation for the morning will make sure you start the day feeling much more organised and motivated. And that’s key if you wantt o organise your life. For example: lay out your clothes for work or morning exercise, do a load of washing so it’s ready to hang out first thing. My fave is to tidy the kitchen so you’re working with a clean slate at breakfast, or make the kids’ lunches. You won’t regret it!
6. Do tasks in batches
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek swears by grouping tasks together to save yourself time (and be more organised). So instead of doing a little bit of ironing every day or two, save it for once a week. You’ll save heaps of time setting up and packing away the ironing board
The same goes for other household chores, work and leisure activities. Make set times each day to check your emails and social media accounts. Then you’ll waste less time staring at your phone constantly, and be more productive on the work front. Cooking big portions of meals to freeze for the week on a Sunday afternoon is another example of great time effective task batching. And doing any online shopping once a week at the same time can also save you hours.
7. Think and plan ahead
Having a good diary in place is essential for being organised. Digital diaries are great for reminders, but physical ones let you more easily see in advance upcoming dates and appointments. This helps you be more prepared. So it’s good to have both. When it comes to presents, a good tip is to create a list of gift ideas for family and friends on your phone. Then add to it whenever you think of an idea throughout the year. This way you’ll never be stuck for inspiration and can order things online early.
A present box or cupboard is very handy as well for all those children’s party gifts. Buy things when they’re on sale and pop unwanted gifts in there, and you’re always ready to go.. Buying blank cards and wrapping paper in bulk is great too. Let the kids draw and write on them for a personalised (and cheap!) touch.