Being organised doesn’t come naturally to a lot of us. Add in children of various ages with differing needs, schedules and eating habits and it can be near impossible to run an organised household. As with a lot of stuff in life though, with a few tweaks and tricks things can end up running a lot more smoothly. Fionnuala Zinnecker from Three Sons Later shares her lazy organisation tips for every mum.
Lazy organisation tips for activities and hobbies
Whether it is baby swimming, piano lessons or judo your children are into, there’s going to be a whole hoo-ha every week when it comes time to find the gear and leave the house. A stress that everyone can do without!
Ready-packed bags are my favourite solution to this. Sports gear or swimming togs should come straight off the line and into the bag they belong in. Music notes should go directly back into the instrument case after practice. Once you get into the habit of putting the gear in a certain place, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. When the following week’s lesson rolls round, all that’s left to do is grab the kids and bags and run.
Lazy organisation tips for Housework
No one really has a thoroughly organised household, do they? Mostly it’s a case of keeping things ticking over and dealing with the biggest issues first. What it all boils down to is keeping the family fed and clothed, meaning laundry and cooking are two areas to try to keep on top of.
Food: When it comes to food, think of the oven as your friend. The same goes for slow cookers. Pick out a few family meals that can be made with little preparation in the slow cooker or the oven and you’ll be laughing. Once the food is in there, you’ve bought yourself some time to dedicate to something else, be that your need for a caffeine refill or the chance to play Duplo with the children. Handy meals we love are slow cooker beef stew, pumpkin casserole, roast chicken or homemade wedges with fish.
Why not go one step further and start meal planning?
Laundry: It’s a whole lot easier if you pre-sort it. Rather than having one central laundry basket or a basket per bedroom, try colour-coded communal laundry baskets – a black one for darks, a white one for whites and a coloured one for – you guessed it – colours. Once a basket is full, it’s time to put on a wash. The bonus here is that the children can put their dirty clothes into the right baskets themselves. If you are an ironer, you can take the sorting a step further and sort your laundry into iron and non-iron piles before washing. Once a load of non-iron laundry is dry it just needs putting away, giving you a quick win.
We have lots more laundry tips here.
What to wear? Even with the washing done and put away, that early morning rush to find something a child will wear without a tantrum can be a challenge. Laying out the children’s clothes as a joint pre-bed task in the evening is a simple and effective way to get around that. Make it fun by helping your child lay his or her clothes out on the bedroom floor. Un-pair the socks and arrange them as feet at the bottom of trouser legs. Place underpants on top of the trousers. Add a T-shirt above that and you’ll have a whole flatlay child on the bedroom floor, ready to be brought to life in the morning.
Holding it all together
Even with all the tips and tricks in the world, keeping life organised can seem like an impossible task. When you are looking at your home and all you can see is mess, dirt and disarray, it can be disheartening and, at times, overwhelming. Using lists – that age old tip – makes sense, but only if you take the right approach. Rather than writing broad points, be specific. Break tasks down so you can get them done and ticked off easily. “Do laundry” then becomes “put on wash”; “take in dry clothes and fold”; “put away folded clothes.” Marking off what you achieve will make you feel a lot more organised that feeling discouraged at not getting “do laundry” finished.
Find more tips on organising a busy family.
Of course if all that doesn’t work you could always employ a cleaner, a chef, a P.A., a driver or a nanny….
Fionnuala is an Irish mama to her three bilingual boys in Germany. She can usually be found in the kitchen or garden with her children, chickens and dog. Over at her award-winning blog ThreeSonsLater you’ll find her writing about craft projects, cooking, vintage treasures, interiors and family life.