Today I would like to introduce Lisa. From her experience as a mum, nana, and organising consultant, she shares her tips on how to be an organised mum, including tips on time management, meal planning, organising clothes and organising toys.
Can there be such a thing as an organized mom? Oh, the life of a mum; whether you stay home full-time or have a job outside the home, can be a challenge. I used to think that I had it all together until baby number one arrived. When my first one was 6 months old and crawling everywhere, I called my mum and asked, “Can you watch the baby so I can get my house cleaned?” I was very annoyed at her reply, “I didn’t have anyone to help me clean house with 4 kids, you need to figure this out yourself”. The compassion was just oozing, but I figured it out. You know what happened when the second one showed up. It was during that time I realised my life, time, and schedule was no longer my own. I had humans to care for.
Imagine getting ready to leave the house for an errand. In a timely manner, you have successfully dressed yourself, the baby, and even packed a diaper bag. The best part was you actually put on lipstick and mascara. Did I mention the dishes were also done? As you opened the front door your sweet little baby throws up all over themselves and you. Well, there went your time, Which is why it’s so important to have good time management skills (a second plan). I’ll share that with you.
Skip over a few years and you now have a very active toddler and a fussy newborn. Yep, that was me with toys, diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, cups, clothes, and shoes all spread from one side of my home to the other. As you wearily look at the scene and think about trying to clean up, your thoughts are interrupted with, “I need to make dinner”. As you walk into the kitchen your next thought becomes, “Did I even brushed my teeth today?” Now that I am a grandmother, I will say you can and will survive with a few simple strategies in this article. I’ll give you tips on time management, meal planning, and organising clothes and toys.
You have to create a schedule and check list. It’s that important. As a parent we don’t need to play with and entertain our children all day long. We should use opportunities to teach them to play independently and also teach them how to do chores and laundry with you.
- Create a list of everything you need to do in the course of a day and a week.
- Schedule it on a calendar.
- Chores don’t have to be done weekly, you can pick one area to do daily.
- Take one day and create a meal plan with a grocery list. Keep in mind there are 21 meals in a week with snacks. Repeat after me, “It’s OK to eat leftovers and it’s OK to have a fold over sandwich.”
- I do recommend grocery shopping weekly or twice a month for bulk shopping bulk shopping, if you have the space.
- Make a list of possibilities for meals. I don’t try to put them on the calendar and say that it’s Taco Tuesday or Red Beans Monday. I just like to know that I have all the ingredients to create a taco and I might eat it on… gasp… Wednesday.
- Crockpots and Insta pots can be your friend, as well as frozen foods.
- The rule for toys is that less is more. Just like adults, children can be overwhelmed with the clutter of too many toys. They usually end up watching a movie or video games.
- Purge some of the toys they don’t currently play with.
- Create an area with toys they can play with (the bedroom is just fine).
- Create a separate area (usually the living room or den) for learning activities where they can colour and play with puzzles. This way you can interact with them while you are cooking or whatever.
- Like toys, less is more.
- You will need an assortment of play clothes and dress clothes.
- There is a temptation to buy more clothes to avoid doing laundry daily. But trust me if you wait and do laundry once a week instead of daily, you’ll be overwhelmed at the volume. It’s better to do a load of clothes daily.
- In my house we usually fold clothes at nighttime while everyone is watching TV. Commercial breaks are used to put the clothes away.
- When your child outgrows their clothes, store the ones that do not have stains on them in plastic containers. Label them for the next child, or to give them away or sell at a later date, when you know you’re not going to have any more children. (Sample: Girls 18 months, Winter).
I think I could write a whole book on how to be a mummy now that I’m a nana. These are just a few tips.
Lisa Giesler is a speaker, author, consultant, and professional organizer.