With great intentions, the New Year brings with it a need to get back in gear, back into a routine, and most certainly more organised.
After the tinsel comes down and the school books come out, there can be an air of panic in those first few weeks to get out the door on time, get the dinner on while helping with homework, and manage those after-school meltdowns. Family life is always busy, but we can take a few simple steps to slow down and be a more organised family this year.
Adapt Your Mornings
The alarm clock is ringing again, and if you’re like me, you’re hitting snooze repeatedly. To make mornings work for you, get up on that first alarm before the kids, brew a coffee, and adapt your mornings to avoid the groggy panic of making lunches, getting little ones dressed, and zipping out the door in a mad rush.
- Prep clothes the night before. Have clothes and shoes laid out for younger kids (and yourself) and get the older kids on board by giving them the responsibility to prep their uniforms and school bags
- Have a breakfast station so kids can help themselves to cereal, fruit, bread, and other favourites
- Plan school lunches and snacks in advance to know what is going into each lunch box. Encourage older kids to make healthy lunches
- Keep everything that needs to go into the car in the morning, e.g. school bags, projects, sports gear etc. by the front door ready to pick up
Meal planning is one of the biggest tools for an organised family. If you don’t already meal plan, I encourage you to hop on board. It can be overwhelming but start by planning the weekly dinner before working on lunches and breakfasts. Not only will this take away the stress of figuring out what’s for dinner every day, but when you shop and budget around your meal plan, you will also notice the savings.
Know The Family Schedule
When I say families are busy, I mean it! There is always something happening from our job schedules, school diaries, and guitar lessons or GAA. There is something so pleasing and comforting about having a clear and obvious schedule on display on the kitchen fridge. Write down everyone’s schedule on a whiteboard or similar calendar, so there is no double booking or forgetting about those all-important extra-curricular activities.
Set Out Those Chores
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where the ratio of chores is unfairly divided, with Mom taking the brunt of the load regardless of her career or schedule. Get everyone involved and set out those chores. Encourage everyone to take personal responsibility for their bedrooms and their assigned chores. Overall, find a balance between being organised and what works for your family.