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It's so easy to feel overwhelmed by the ongoing home tasks that need to be done to bring calm and organisation from the chaos of family life.
Organising a home routine that runs smoothly is not easy. It's not as if you can just do a task once and then forget about it. As someone once said, "The problem with life is that it's so daily!"
And when you add kids into the equation, the items on the family to-do list are not just additional but rather, multiplied. So what can you do?
Don't despair. You're not alone. Everyone struggles; but you don't need to sink beneath the relentless onslaught of home and family demands and tasks that need to be done.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison
These five simple secrets will quickly help you bring organisation and calm back into your home.
Stressed out mothers, and many others, want to know the secrets of being an organized mum. They may wonder if being organized as a mother with children at home is even possible. Rest assured, mums - it is possible to have an organized home and a life which runs smoothly – at least some of the time.
Secret Number 1
‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’
Determine the best place to store things and ensure they are put back when not in use. Doing this will help you know where to find something the next time you need it.
Purchase multiples of some items which are used in different rooms. For instance, if you use scissors in the kitchen and in the craft room, it would be a good idea to have two pairs of scissors. Teach your children early on where things should be kept and expect that they will put them there.
I find that any horizontal surface, but the kitchen bench tops especially, attract letters, assorted notes, books, magazines, pens and more. It's really hard to keep these areas clear. You might find it helpful to keep an attractive basket or container just inside the front door and encourage your family to drop those items in it until they can be sorted or retrieved later.
Hallway and entry tables with drawers or space for baskets are another option for containing and storing those many items that arrive home with your family and are often allowed to drop in the living room or kitchen counter.
Secret Number 2
Create routines to help your day run smoothly.
A smooth-running morning begins by having a great routine and doing as much as you can the night before.
Go through your children’s school bags to find out what needs to be signed, or write important dates on the calendar. Make lunches the night before and keep them in the refrigerator. Have your children bathe and choose their clothes. Place everything that needs to leave the house by the door so nothing is forgotten.
Make routines for other parts of the day as well. The more you can get your family used to doing without thinking about it, the better organized you can be. Download some free home cleaning routine checklists -daily and weekly tasks- to keep on top of everything and prevent to-do tasks from building up.
You don't want to use your weekends for catching up on cleaning or organising, either. You need some rest and relaxation on the weekend plus fun family time.
Need extra help? You might like to download a free workbook from the Creative Homekeeper to help you organise and prioritise your home life.
Secret Number 3
The more ‘stuff’ you have, the more disorganized you can appear even if you really aren’t.
Children outgrow clothing and shoes so quickly. Unless you have children who will grow into clothes, get rid of what is outgrown. However, don’t throw everything away. You can sell clothing, toys and shoes at consignment stores, on the internet, at yard sales or you can donate them to charitable organizations.
Teach your kids to clean out their things, too. Establishing a weekly routine of sorting and cleaning out their school backpacks is a great way to start, (and prevents the buildup of stale food and rotting fruit in their bags..aghhh.)?
Go through your own things as well. If you’re not using it and haven’t in quite a while, someone else might be able to use it.
Secret Number 4
Ask for help if you need it.
There’s a saying that ‘No man is an island; entire of himself.’
This means you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t be expected to. Delegate tasks you don’t have the time to do or simply don’t want to do yourself.
Enlist your partner’s help in doing tasks they’re better at doing.
Teach your children at an early age to help around the house. Give them chores to do and expect that they will get done. There are many chore charts available that can help organise and provide incentive for tasks and chores. It's a valuable life skill for them, too.
If everyone in the family pitches in (even young children can do something), you won’t wear yourself out by having to do everything by yourself.
Secret Number 5
Plan your meals ahead of time.
Doing this one thing can save you money, time and headaches.
By planning your meals for a week at a time you can make one shopping trip to get everything. You can also save money by matching what you need with discounts and coupons. You’ll also save yourself headaches by not having to run to the store in the middle of the week to pick up something you don’t have.
Don't forget, you can find family meal plans already organised for you atgrandmasplace. You can download the meal plans, with links to the recipes, filled with meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus dessert and snack ideas for an entire week.
The above are five priceless secrets of an organized mother.
They are a great starting point for escaping those ongoing feelings of discouragement and overwhelming tiredness. They provide the first steps towards finding balance at home and fulfillment in life. But don't stop there. You'll find other helpful articles here- simple tips for making school lunches, feeding fussy kids, developing healthy habits and more.
You may learn other secrets and tips from other mothers, too, who you think are organized and have everything together. In due course, you may also discover that others increasingly see you as an organised mum, someone with helpful ideas and skills to learn from and emulate. ?
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.