Whether you’re a single parent of one or a family with six kids, getting your family organised is one of the best ways for you to balance your life, get more out of it and be more productive as an individual and a family.
We’ve heard those words before though: get organised. It sounds so simple! But sometimes, getting organised can seem like an overwhelming task as we know we should do it, but don’t necessarily know how.
Well, it starts with a single step. Choose one aspect of your life to organise, and organise it well. Here’s some practical ideas you can use to get started.
Ever been late because you were looking for something at home – keys, phone, purse? Or spent an extra ten minutes getting you or the kids dressed because you were rifling through masses of clothes for that perfect outfit? Then it’s time to declutter!
Clutter comes in many shapes and sizes and doesn’t necessarily mean your house is untidy. It means you’ve got a lot of stuff…and it’s completely unorganised!
Despite the obvious impacts clutter can have on your life – making you late and creating hazards around your home – having excess ‘stuff’ around your home can actually contribute to stress, make you tired and impair your decision-making skills.
The Japanese method of KonMari is a great place to start.
It’s a simple concept that helps you make decisions on what to keep and what to throw away.
• When sorting through your ‘stuff’, pick up an item and ask yourself, “does it spark joy?”. If the answer is no, it has to go.
• Instead of sorting by room, your decluttering should be sorted by category; clothes, personal documents, home furnishings/ornaments, and so on.
• Don’t re-clutter. It’s really important that once you’ve removed your clutter, that you don’t relapse!
You’ve probably felt the pain of being the only one in the household who cares that the floors are mopped and the dishes are clean. Well, it’s time to get some help and divide up chore time.
• Make a chore chart. There’s nothing like everybody knowing who’s doing what and a chore chart outlines who does which household jobs on, which days. There’s no squabbling, unfairness or confusion – you can’t argue with the chart!
• Have a reward system. Just as important as outlining the chores, is outlining rewards for getting them done. Check out our Monkey Dollar System at www.pakmag.com.au.
SCHEDULE YOUR WEEK
Knowing what you’ve got to do and what the kids have to do, and figuring out how to fit around everyone’s schedules is a balancing act that can sometime leave us unstuck. Ever missed that ballet lesson or soccer practice because you didn’t have time, or just forgot?
• Plan! Planning is the most important aspect of scheduling your week. Know who’s doing what, when.
• Use a family planner. Whether it’s a wall chart or an online calendar, make sure you have something, and use it as your family scheduling bible!
• Don’t overcommit. It’s really important that you don’t commit to things you simply can’t do. AFL game and netball practice in the same night? Then don’t add a birthday party to the mix too!
Proper meal prep is the key to saving time and money.
• Plan your weekly menu. Planning a weekly list of meals means you don’t have to think about what to cook when you’ve come home from a busy day. You know what you’re cooking and you know you have the ingredients. Easy!
• Write a shopping list. It might seem like a simple concept but writing a list will help you nip around the shops quickly, ensure you don’t forget anything and mean you don’t have to spend time running back when you miss that all important ingredient.
• Organise your Fridge. Making sure your fridge is tidy will mean you actually use the food you buy, saving you money in the long run.
Extra Tip: Why not try preparing all your meals for the week on a Sunday? Take a few hours on Sunday afternoon to cook, chop and box-up your meals for simple and quick meals during the week.
PREPARE AND PLAN
Managing your home and time are the most obvious ways of making sure your family is organised. But being organised in terms of our family’s safety and home security is a necessary step we should be considering too. It’s something we often take for granted but what happens when the unexpected occurs? Would your kids know what to do in an emergency? Is your home prepared for any eventuality?
HERE’S OUR TIPS FOR GETTING PREPARED:
• Prepare your emergency kit. With the beautiful weather most of the year in our region, ensuring we have an emergency kit is often far from our minds. Well, we urge you to think about it now. Is it well stocked? And do your children know where it is?
• Know your emergency plans. It’s important that you and your children know what you would do in the event of a fire, a medical emergency or being separated away from home. Take some time to plan it now – it’s too late when it happens for real and having a plan could save lives.
• Make your home safe. Recent statistics showed that many people who reported break ins had left a door unlocked. Don’t take home safety for granted, make sure doors are locked, car keys aren’t left by doors and that you have adequate safety measures on windows. Thieves are increasingly opportunistic, so don’t give them a chance!
• Check your smoke alarm. 1st April is National Smoke Alarm Day, a day which highlights the importance of having a working smoke alarm. So, if your battery hasn’t been changed in a while, now’s the time to do it!
• Get Insured. Home insurance, life insurance, travel insurance; the list of insurances that we can take out can seem endless but it’s really important that you think about which cover you need for your family. Check out your options and take out a policy that will give you peace of mind that your family will be ok should the worst happen.
GETTING ORGANISED QUICK TIPS
• Check out Pinterest for some great ‘life hacks’ to make getting organised easy and fun.
• Visit the council’s website for more tips on planning your emergency kits.
• Invest the time in getting organised and you’ll reap the benefits in the long run.
• Get the whole family involved.
• Don’t relapse!
• Get some great books. One Year to an Organized Life with Baby by Regina Leeds and Meagan Francis helps new parents get themselves and their home organised. And Home Organization Tear Outs for the Whole Family by Kristi Dominguez gives your family step-by-step guides on one page sheets that you can literally tear out! Both available here.
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