This quick guide to organise daily family life is part of our quick guide to life series. Short, sharp advice that tackles the pain points of parenting.
The overwhelm of daily family life comes swift and mercilessly. One minute we feel like we’ve got this, the next we are drowning in a sea of paper, unwashed clothes and slothful children. Enough already!
We’ve rounded up our best short, sharp tips for organising daily family life. Start at #1 and work your way through to #5. Ahem, lady, you’ve got this.
5 ways to really, truly organise the chaos of family life
1 x GAME CHANGER
Just meal plan already! You’ve read about what a difference meal planning makes, so why aren’t you doing it yet?
Here’s where to start – no frills, no fuss: This super-simple meal planning method is a game-changer
2 x THINGS THAT MATTER
1. Write things down. Don’t force yourself to remember things – that’s just another burden on your mental load. Keep notes in your phone, or carry a notebook with you (that’s my preference). Write down everything and anything you know you need to do, try, or remember.
2. Make sure everything has a home. There’s no way you can keep everything tidy if nothing has a home. It takes work to keep a home tidy, but don’t make it more difficult for yourself by not knowing where everything belongs in the first place. Teach the family that this goes there and you’ll find things much easier.
>> TRY THIS: A quick guide to organise family clutter (and keep it gone) <<
3 x IMPORTANT RULES
1. Allocate enough time. Don’t spend your life rushing because you’re not realistic about how long kids take to do things. Kids take a loooooong tiiiiiime to do things they are not particularly interested in. Make sure you leave enough time for the feet dragging and things will feel much less stressed.
2. Stick to a cleaning routine. Don’t let it pile up on you. Have a cleaning schedule that means you do a little every day, not a lot one day (because one day never comes).
• Fold the washing as soon as you bring it in and put it straight away.
• Put dishes straight into the dishwasher.
• Wipe the basin and vanity when you have your shower (clean the shower while you’re in there!).
• Put a load of washing on timer over night and hang out first thing in the morning.
• Return everything to its home every night before you go to bed (the kids can do the same).
3. Get the kids involved. Organising daily family life is so much easier when everyone is helping out. Be clear about what each kid is responsible for and follow up! Guaranteed most kids will not do their chores if someone isn’t checking up on them. So religiously check up on them. And if they’re not doing something to your satisfaction, pull them up on it and show them how it needs to be done. If you’re brutal for a few weeks, they will soon understand that if it’s not done right, it’s going to have to be done again.
4 x THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW
1. Create some family go-bags. Have go bags for every activity your family does on a regular basis and keep them topped up. That way, you just grab a bag on your way out the door. Same goes for the kids and their school bags – get them into the habit of packing for tomorrow the night before.
2. Put some screen rules in place. So much time is wasted every single day on screens. Consider whether there are other things that need doing before the screens can come out and make it a rule that those things are done first.
3. Create a dedicated area for school paperwork. This will help you keep track of school life. We have a tray near the front door that the kids deposit paperwork into. I’m praying for the day that schools go completely digital, but I’ve a feeling we’ll be out of there before it truly happens.
4. Plan a week of meals. Again, I can’t stress enough how much of a game-changer meal planning is, so I’ve added it twice. Plan out the food for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you’ll remove so much mental load every single day.
5 x RESOURCES
1. Zen Habits: A guide to getting good at dealing with chaos
2. Childhood 101: 10 simple ways to get your family more organised
3. Planning with Kids: Where to start getting organised at home
4. HuffPost: 7 apps for family organisation
5. Becoming Minimalist: 15 clutter-busting tips for any family
Would you consider yours to be an organised family? Have you found your rhythm?