Managing a household as a single mum can feel daunting and at times completely overwhelming.
It’s no wonder!
Between juggling work commitments, coordinating what seems like a ga-zillion activities, keeping the house (and piles of washing) in some sort of order and making sure everyone is eating well is A LOT to manage.
The trick to this juggling act is to take back control and create new routines and habits for yourself and your family that lead to a more calm and organised home.
Implementing a set of new routines into your family schedule will help you get more sh*t done without feeling like a frantic mess.
Balancing work, kids, numerous extracurricular activities, your social life and even the odd date can become quite the feat, the last thing you want to come home to at the end of the day is an unorganised mess.
Initially a new routine might feel alien, but once it becomes second nature to everyone in the family, things will start working like clockwork and you’ll feel ah-mazing!
Here are some ways to create some new routines in your household to reduce stress, save time and tame the chaos in your family life.
New routines to start today for a calm organised home
BRAIN DUMP A LIST
You’d be surprised by the positive side-effects to using lists to organise your life, like becoming an organised queen, super productive and crazily efficient. For busy mums, using lists is a total game-changer when it comes to managing routines for a calmer more organised home.
Most things that need to be done around the home are recurring, meaning they should be repeated at a certain interval, maybe it’s daily, weekly, monthly, 6-monthly or yearly.
The first step towards creating better routines is to sit down and make a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be done around the house and group tasks by frequency. Mentally scan each nook and cranny of your house and yard, then jot down all the household jobs.
Of course there will be the usual things that need to get done on a daily basis, such as making beds, cooking meals, popping on a load of laundry, feeding the dog, prepping kids lunches and tidying the kitchen.
Then there will be jobs that need to get done weekly, like cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the house, watering the plants, washing the sheets, putting the bins out etc.
And, there are things that need to get done less frequently (the big jobs we love to hate), like cleaning the car, weeding the garden, vacuuming the pool, decluttering the pantry, washing the windows, cleaning the oven… and the list goes on – right!?
Get the gist? Write down all of these jobs out of your head and down on to a list, sorted by frequency.
To make your life easier and to create a more organised home, here’s a downloadable guide to help you get started click here to download.
SCHEDULE ALL YOUR REPEATING TO-DO’S
The next step is to schedule these tasks or “things to do” around the house into your family calendar and set some reminders.
Putting them in your calendar is much better than only having them on a to-do list. We’re creatures of habit and most of us look at our calendars every day, so building them into your schedule is crucial.
Schedule in your calendar all the repeating daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual tasks you need to do in order to run your household like a well-oiled machine. Spread out tasks across different days of the week and scatter larger less frequent tasks throughout the year to avoid overwhelm.
Calendarising these regular tasks will save you the mental load and guessing game of what to do next and give you back more time to spend with your family.
INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE HOUSEHOLD CHORES
If you have big kids you can assign them ownership of some household chores, things like taking out the bins, loading the dishwasher or even packing their own lunches.
Brainstorm all the chores that they’re perfectly capable of and put them into their schedule. Such as hanging their towel after showering (kudos to you if you can get any kid to do this without nagging LOL).
You’re not only saving yourself valuable time but you’re also softly encouraging them to take responsibility for their own schedule while also teaching them valuable life skills.
CLEAN YOUR HOME LITTLE BY LITTLE
As parents we can tend to play the hero and try to do it all, sadly this leads to things slipping through the cracks, overwhelm and severe frustration (did I just hear a bottle of champagne popping?!).
If you’re looking to foster a calmer household, you need to tackle things bit by bit, because as they say little by little, it adds up to a lot!
Rather than dedicating big chunks of your time (which you seriously don’t have) to do a deep clean, do a little bit each day. Whether that’s picking a room and spending half an hour tidying it up, or only choosing to do the bathrooms on Saturday morning and vacuuming the house on a Sunday afternoon.
For a more organised home, break up areas of the house into different days, so you don’t feel overwhelmed to clean everything at once.
DECLUTTER YOUR SPACES TO SAVE TIME
There’s nothing worse than when you’re getting your kids ready for school and you can’t find their sports hats. Right in the heat of the moment, you’re turning every single cupboard and drawer upside down, leaving a trail of destruction behind, only to be met with disappointment as they are nowhere to be found.
That’s why you need to start purging the clutter in your house so that you can locate things on demand.
When every single object and belonging (even batteries!!) has a place in your house, it’s going to save you hours each week not having to hunt to find them. Even the smallest of things can have the biggest impact, like chargers for example! Make sure your phone chargers are easily accessible. There’s nothing more infuriating when your phone dies mid-call and you’re running around the house like a headless chook trying to locate one.
BUILD A SMARTER NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
Want your mornings to start productively?
Get as much as you can ready the night before for a quick and seamless exit.
Before you go to bed each night, schedule a 15 minute block to tidy up the kitchen (or the family’s transit spot from inside to outside). Wipe down the benches, put the dishes away and make sure the space is clean and tidy for the next morning. You’ll feel much calmer and more organised when you’re greeted by sparkly fresh kitchen benches when you wake up.
If laundry is a paint point in your household (I mean let’s face it it’s never ending), keep it going throughout the week to avoid it piling up. You could set the timer on your washing machine to go off one hour before you wake up. Then if any of your children are old enough, delegate hanging out the washing to them each morning or every few days.
If there’s anything you or your child needs on a specific day, simply set up a weekly reminder in your calendar for them to pack it the night before.
PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
Cooking for your family can become quite a headache. It involves a lot of moving parts (what the heck is in my cupboard again?), grocery shopping and dealing with picky eaters (aka your children!).
The best solution is to plan your meals well in advance before the week starts, Sunday morning is a perfect time for this.
A great way to plan for your meals is to ask yourself these questions:
- What nights are we going to be home?
- How much time will I have to cook?
- What meals will everyone eat? Are there any dietary requirements?
- Can I make any meals stretch over two nights?
- What’s already in the cupboard, what do I need to buy?
Once you’ve got all these answers you can go ahead and write out a meal plan for the week and create your shopping list.
Yes you may still have to pop to the shops during the week to grab fresh fruit and veg, but a meal plan will save you the frustrating guessing game of “what shall I cook tonight?”.
DIGITISE YOUR FAMILY CALENDAR FOR A MORE ORGANISED HOME
A traditional family calendar is great, but a digital one is a million times better!
It’s time to say goodbye to your trusty diary and embrace a digital calendar that everyone in the family can have access to wherever they are. A centralised digital family calendar like Life Sorted, is the perfect solution to organising your hectic family life and achieving a more organised home. Digital calendars like Life Sorted allow you to see what every family member is up to at any given time on all types of devices.
Plus intelligent features like combined to-do lists (that also display in your calendar… hallelujah!) make it super easy to keep your family organised and tick off tasks as they’re completed, meaning everyone will know what needs to be done and when.
On top of the benefits of a shared to-do list, say goodbye to chasing and nagging your kids to walk the dog, you can set up multiple email and in-app reminders for yourself or individual family members so they know what they’re responsible for.
Don’t be scared of technology! If your kid is big enough to have a device, they’re big enough to get push notifications and learn to be organised.
P.S. Don’t be paralysed by perfectionism, if you need to take a f*cking bath don’t worry, tomorrow is another day. Self-care is far more important than a clean toilet kitchen and ironed uniforms.