Want an A* for organisation this school year?
Autumn is here, which means for most people it’s time to get back to the daily grind.
School uniforms need ironing, PE kits don’t get themselves ready and packed lunches won’t magically assemble overnight.
No kids? It’s no easier to go back to work after a holiday. Snoozing alarms isn’t an option anymore and the carousel of daily routines can feel overwhelming as nights draw in and that winter nip hits the air.
You can make life much easier for yourself
No-one’s saying daily routines aren’t demanding. Snuggling up with a bottle of wine at the end of the day is a lovely image inside a glossy magazine. But, for most people, that time after work and school is more a juggling act of washing, folding, cooking, defrosting and finding those goggles right now; while also thinking about 100 things that you need to be doing next.
Imagine if “stuff” didn’t need to be found and “things” were already ready?
My clients say that “being more organised changed my life”. And it can. But if you don’t do it right, you can end up making things harder for yourself.
Whatever your balancing act looks like; whether it’s prepping lunches for fussy eaters, trying to squeeze in shopping between school drop-offs and work, or just finding a way to organise a life that’s full of family, work and fun; these simple tips will save you hours:
My top five tips . . .
Magnetic calendars are brilliant! Move magnets around and have all your chores, to-do lists and reminders clearly laid out.
It’s easier to sort a week’s worth of clothes and swimming kits all in one go than spend time on this every day. Dedicate drawers or hanging space for each day ready to go and if they’re old enough, the kids can just help themselves to what they need.
Food glorious food
Make a meal plan for the week and then get all your ingredients delivered. Go for varied dishes – it’ll make the week seem less monotonous and you’ll save money doing this too. Remember to buy pre-prepared packs of dried fruit, chopped vegetables, nuts or treats which are easy for kids to grab. They’ll love having a choice!
When it comes to dinner, if you’re making a batch of pasta sauce, your special curry, soup or a stew, make enough for a few meals and freeze. Label each box with what it is and when you made it. You’ll be so pleased next time you’re craving a home-cooked meal but have no time or energy to make anything.
Get a timer – and design a timetable. Breakfast at …/brush teeth…/shoes on…
Set an alarm downstairs for five minutes before they/you need to leave the house which is a signal to everyone that it’s time to put on coats and grab bags.
Use technology to help you (but not at bedtime)
Put your schedule on your smartphone calendars and set up WhatsApp groups for rotas and after-school activities. It’s not a good idea to have your phone by your bed, so make sure you have a notepad by your bed in case any details pop in to your mind at bedtime and the act of trying to remember them stops you from sleeping.
If de-cluttering your home and being more organised this year sounds too overwhelming or impossible, remember help is available.