16 Oct 2017

Five Great Ways to Simplify Your Mum Life

With our lives getting busier and busier and the children seemingly having better social lives than us, I find it increasingly hard to keep up with everything. So seeing as I love a good list at the best of times I decided to get myself organised and write it all down. Below are my top five tips on getting organised in a family setting (next week I'll show you how I organise myself with a Bullet Journal). So grab a coffee and a notepad or planner and we can get started.


Meal Planning


For quite a few years I've been using a meal plan and now it's second nature for me, I've always been one of those people who needs to know what they are eating all day long as soon as I've got up. So I'll eat breakfast and then start planning what's for lunch....I'm a real foodie (although that makes me sound more like a piglet really).

On a Thursday/Friday I will sit down with my meal planner and a notebook and decided what we need. First on the list are all the boring bits that you've run out of like loo roll and washing up liquid but then I'll plan what we eat for dinner each night. I sometimes look through recipe books or go to Pinterest for ideas but usually I decide we will have say a chicken week and plan around that. So for instance - I'd buy a chicken, roast it and have it with Orzo on Sunday night, Monday we would use left over chicken and have Fajita's or chicken pie - usually we get another day out of chicken and I'd do a Spanish Stew.

I have my staples in between of fish once a week and as I go out on a Wednesday night we have something easy such as eggs...so an omelette or baked eggs or egg and chips. Once I've got the meal plan for the week I decide what ingredients we already have and what extras we need (such as the chicken or vegetables). We've found this really helps with our family budget too and makes it easier to shop online and also in the shops because I don't stand around trying to decide what we might eat.

 Write it Down


I use a calendar for big events like Birthdays but I found that each week there seems to be an event at School or something that I overlook so we also have a whiteboard too. I write any main appointments that don't go in my bullet journal and anything I need to remember for the school run etc. I find I can now just glance at that and it'll jog my memory.

Set a Budget Each Week


I used to set a budget monthly and always go wildly over it but now we set a weekly budget and it helps us stay on track a bit more. I allocate an amount to spend on food shopping, entertaining (that's kids eating out/little treats etc) and other bits we need. I then write on an envelope what I need to buy that week and put next to it how much each thing costs. All receipts go inside the envelope so I don't loose them in the pit of my bag and then I can pass them over to hubby when he checks off the account. We are allowing £100 a week at the moment and we don't borrow into the next week as otherwise we'd be in a constant state of flux.

Focus on One Thing

I've been reading a great book that explains the principle of focusing on one thing at a time, it seems that the old multitasking is now unfashionable and proven as not working. So at the beginning of the week decide what you want to concentrate and get good at that and the rest can wait, so this week I'm focusing on being on time, on time for the school run and getting out the house on time so that it's a less stressful atmosphere in the mornings. Or if I'm at home I'm no longer running around trying to do the washing, sort the kids out, tidying up etc. Now I'll allow say 30 mins to sort out upstairs and/or a particular room so that I can then move onto the next task and it does seem to be working well, I get all I can done and then move on, so rather than shuffling bits of paper or clothing from room to room I'm actually feeling more productive.

Declutter


This goes with the above really, I try and work on one room at a time and get that sorted as otherwise as I've said above, I seem to take things from room to room and never actually get them cleared away. So now I focus on one area that needs clearing and forget about the rest. A big one for us at the moment is the dining room table, it seems to get used as a dumping ground for colouring pens, little plastic toys, any work I need to do and a few random magazines. I try and clear it and find a home for everything on the table - so if I take the small plastic toys to the kids rooms, instead of staying up there to continue another clearing mission, I'll return back to the table and not stop until I've either found a home for the item or rehomed it in the bin or charity bag. I'm fairly ruthless now and ask myself if we need the item, does it get used lots and if I can't find an appropriate home for it, is it worth keeping?

I hope these have given you some ideas on how to get and stay organised when there are kids and animals to look after and keep life a little more streamline in the process.

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