Sunday, 24 April 2016

How to get organised for the week ahead!


I am by no means a domestic goddess. I work full-time and in addition it is usually just myself and Little Man at home Monday to Friday as Husband travels a lot for work. Hence I have had to make a few short-cuts at home, to make sure Little Man doesn't go to crèche in yesterday's yoghurt smeared jumper or worse, and to ensure that I can at least give him a hot meal in the evenings while maintaining some level of sanity. 

I regularly trawl the internet for life and time-saving tips when it comes to housework (and parenting!) and the below are a few things that I have learnt especially over the last two years since a small tornado entered our home! 




1) Use a Personal Organiser!

Yes, it is an oldie, and a boring one, but planning is absolutely essential. I am a stationary nut hence I always have a Filofax/organiser in my handbag which has endless to do lists and appointments. Granted, some of these to-do lists are "ideal lists" and never actually get looked at, but on a day to day basis I make smaller lists for myself and break down chores etc over the week to avoid getting overwhelmed and giving up on it all. It is also vital to keep track of when bills are due to be paid and to keep track of my own finances as well as the family ones. I rely on it for recording when Little Man needs to have his medical check ups etc and any urgent groceries that need to be picked up or errands to be run at lunchtime.  I also use it to jot down any "wish lists" for myself or blog post ideas that might pop into my head at random moments. 

Here is the Filofax I'm currrently using - it's the Malden Personal Size in the brown leather which is called Ochre and I have to say it's my favourite organiser I've used so far. 


(pictures from www.filofax.co.uk)


Malden OrganiserMalden Organiser

If on a Sunday you are starting to feel anxious about the amount of work you have to get through during the week - either at home or at work - then taking half an hour to sit down with your own organiser or diary to plan your to-dos over the course of the week really helps. Jot down what your priorities are for each day and things that you would "like" to do not "must" do every day. Breaking tasks down into smaller, manageable steps really helps if you are a born worrier like me! (I even worry if I don't have a "to-do" list to go through - it makes me worry that I'm forgetting to do something!)

2) Make household chores more manageable.

Iron, Flatten, Fashion, Clothing, Budget

Split up your domestic to-dos over each day of the week where possible. E.g I do any ironing on one day, laundry on another, bathroom cleaning on another. Vacumning for me has to be at weekends for instance as otherwise I'd keep Little Man awake. In fairness The Husband is fairly good about vacumning and has often been known to get the hoover out on a Saturday morning without any nagging from me!

3) Grocery shopping.



Do a weekly grocery shop at the weekend - or better still do it online and have it delivered on a Monday. I tend to alternate between supermarkets depending on what baby/toddler stuff we need etc and also depending on what we plan on doing at the weekends so I might go to Aldi/Lidl one weekend then do the next week's shop online. (Most of the baby and toddler items we use need to be bought in one of the main supermarkets as they are the only ones stocking the major brands). Also I have grown to enjoy that hour's peace and quiet when going around the supermarket sans toddler who is usually at home playing with Daddy or else having his afternoon nap. Ah the little things...

4) Feeding a hangry toddler.



Cook extra portions or in bulk at the weekends if possible. Getting home at 6pm with a hangry, tired toddler does not leave much room for prepping home-cooked meals from scratch and I have a window of roughly two hours before bedtime becomes a battle of wills. Whatever I have cooked Friday to Sunday, I try and make an extra portion or two and freeze or put in fridge so that myself or Little Man can have it during the week. He doesn't necessarily want a "dinner" every day, some days he will have beans on toast or scrambled egg or something depending on how he has eaten during the day but it helps to have more options.. 

5) Have a bedtime routine (for you and the kids).



An organised bedtime routine (for both of us) really helps. For example, before I go to bed myself, I try to make sure that the sink is empty of dishes, the dishwasher is loaded and on if it's full and the kitchen counters etc. are tidy. If I need to empty bins, I leave the bin bags out in an obvious place so I remember to do so before we leave for work and crèche.  Giving yourself a head-start really helps. 


6) Have your wardrobe ready.

Plan your outfit the night before and leave everything hung up and ready to go. Otherwise what happens to me is not only can I not decide what I want to wear in the morning, I often have to check the clothes for mucky toddler hand-prints or whatever other souvenir he has decided to leave on my lovely clean clothes. Which often means an outfit re-think at the last minute and I don't have the time or the patience for that at 7am!

7) Have a "launch pad".

Foyer, Door, Front Door, Entrance, Home

I read some tips recently on www.flylady.net about organising the home and domestic chores etc, and one of the things that really stuck with me was having a "launch pad" where you leave items that you need to take with you when leaving the house in the morning. I use our hall table as my "launch pad", and leave things that I am at risk of forgetting at 8am while chasing a cranky toddler around who is refusing to put on his shoes. If I'm taking my breakfast or lunch to work as well, anything that doesn't have to be kept in the fridge will be left in a bag at this "launch pad" and the rest I can grab from the fridge on the way out. If Little Man has been told to bring anything in to crèche I leave this there too e.g nappies, wipes, spare clothes etc.  

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Moon, Clouds, Dream, Lantern, Sky, Boy

Little Man's bedtime routine stays the same most nights- it's bath, pjs, story and milk and is usually finished within roughly 45 minutes. If he is overly tired we skip the bath but he enjoys messing around in it and it helps him "wind down" a bit too. When toddlers are used to a routine and know what to expect, it makes bedtime so much easier. Mind you this one is getting too clever for me and he's starting to anticipate what comes next and he doesn't always like what's coming next! :) Ah, the terrible twos....


After Little Man has gone to bed is usually when I have my dinner if we haven't eaten together, and clean up the kitchen as I mentioned above. Then I prep my lunch, clothes and whatever needs to be at the "launch pad" and check if there are any other housework bits that are on my list for the day. Once that's done, I write my to-do list for the following day, have my shower then spend a little time before bed either reading or working on my latest blog post.  By this point I'm usually ready to drop and it's lights out for me to try and get some rest before the madness starts all over again :) zzx

Alarm Clock, Stand Up, Time Of, Sleep
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