I started 2013 with piles of paper covering my counters, laundry piles as tall as me, scrambling to think of something to put on the table at dinner time, and just plain unorganized in every aspect of our lives. With a family of 5, I started to think there must be an easier way! When things aren’t organized, life can be more stressful then it needs to be. So, I welcomed the new year with promises to make things easier and less stressful for everyone in my home.
I started with a Home Management Binder. Being obsessed with anything stationary, I will take any excuse to buy new notepads, pens, binders and the like. I searched online for some inspiration A Bowl Full Of Lemons had some great ideas and so, our Martin Family Binder was born. I started with thinking about where I wanted to be more organized and compiled each divider in our binder. Meal plans for the week, cleaning schedule, calendar, school, extracurricular activities, and a spot to jot down some of our favourite meals for quick reference. Our binder has a divider for each of those, plus folders for loose important papers. (those darn hot lunch order forms that some how vanish into thin air as soon as they make it inside)
I printed out some templates of weekly calendars, check lists, meal plans for the week etc… some of my favs;
Motherhood On A Dime
Organizing Home Life
I spent the whole evening putting it together. This one simple thing has made such a difference in our organization and efficiency I can not believe we managed without one. When I plan out meals for the week, I whip up a list of groceries I will need for those meals and the grocery store trip is a lot less annoying and more cost effective considering I am not going in there with no idea of what I will need 3 days from now. The cleaning schedule keeps me on track and reduces the accumulation of things to do. I write down one or two things to do each day. For example, on monday I clean the tubs and sinks, and wednesdays I mop the floors. Things get done and I don’t spend a whole day devoted to cleaning each week. I highly suggest every family has one of these, they are easy and fun to make and will have you less stressed in no time!
Laundry is my mortal enemy. It piles up faster then I can wash it. In a family of 5, we easily accumulate at least a load a day. Its so easy to get behind and once you are, its a daunting task to get caught up. I vowed to change this and somehow figure out a way to keep on top of it without devoting 10 hours a day to laundry because lets be honest “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
So after spending a full 3 days chipping away at monstrous piles of laundry and putting it all away in the respective closets (many thanks to my amazing mother in law for helping me and not making me feel like a crappy wife) I was completely caught up for the first time in months. There were still shorts and T-shirts at the bottom of those piles thats how far behind was. I ventured to Walmart to see what I could find to sort the laundry. I decided that keeping everyones clothes separate instead of all together when washing was the best idea. I found this super awesome laundry hamper on wheels with 3 separate hanging baskets. I got stupid excited about this! 3 baskets, 3 kids! AND it was nice looking enough it could sit in my hallway without being too much of an eye sore. Each kid has their own basket and has learned (slowly) to put their clothes in their own hamper after getting changed. Laundry has become not so scary and my kids have had a matching set of pyjamas every night! How exciting!
Anyways, the key to keeping your busy family track and keep life running smoothly is great organization. A little planning goes a long way! When I wake up each day, I know what we are having for dinner, the hockey schedule, the cleaning tasks I need to accomplish that day. Honestly, I wake up happier and less stressed about the days “to dos”
Happy momma, happy home!