Not cutting it as a domestic goddess?
(spoiler alert: none of us are)
27 practical tips to be more organised and less overwhelmed
Trying to be a domestic goddess with children around is paramount to a porcupine riding a jet ski. Nonetheless, many of us feel stressed with the endless mess that comes with having small children. We continually strive to feel organised and on-top-of-it-all, yet too often we feel overwhelmed by how much effort is required to run a household.
Here’s some tips and hacks picked up from mums all over the world (some of which I live by, some of which are a pipe-dream!).
If you could introduce just a handful of these ideas IN THE NEXT WEEK, you could be faced with more time, less stress and more sanity … give it a try!
- Use dry shampoo – because who has time to wash and blow dry their hair every day?
- Own a good coffee machine at home – because, coffee.
- Get a robo-vac (Robot Vacuum Cleaner) – often cited in my house as my best friend. Tip: invest in a good one – and don’t let it anywhere near a rogue puppy poo: personal experience with this one!
- Do meal planning and preparation on the weekends, even if it’s just knowing what you’ll have each night of the week, and chopping up the veggies into different containers. I feel great when I do this, I can’t understand why I don’t do it every week!
- Pick tomorrow’s outfits and lay them out the night before.
- Provide a self-feeder for the pets – and plenty of water bowls – saving a few minutes trying to get out the door can make all the difference.
- Indulge in gel manis & pedis – if you can afford it, Gel / Shellac keeps your nails looking nice without spending time on maintaining them. Lasts a few weeks at a time.
- Set reminders – e.g. alarms for tasks, and put items you need to remember by the front door.
- Try to get fifteen minutes cleaning done in the evenings, every evening. (Yes but sometimes that just aint happening!)
- Play a game or timer race for the kids to pick up their toys – make it fun. You may have to bribe them.
- Instead of putting washing away, compose ‘outfits’ onto a hanger with pegs and all – so there’s a pre-prepared outfit available (next level organised!)
- Clean a different area of the house each day of the week, including areas and things you typically do on weekends – try to free up your weekends!
- Use a slow cooker regularly – throw it all in the morning and come home to a wholesome meal ready to eat – perfect when you don’t always know when your significant other will walk in the door.
- Use online app workouts – squeeze in a 10 or 20 minute workout each morning – it will make you feel great to have exercise off your to-do-list early, plus you get a boost of feel-good energy out of it.
- Buy a pack of generic birthday cards, wrapping and even some presents so you don’t have to rush around buying these items on the morning of a party.
- Keep shopping lists in your phone (there’s plenty of apps for this or just use notes) so whenever you think of anything you capture it in the same spot and can refer to it anytime.
- Use your phone to remind you of things – Siri or Android phones both have functionality now where you can say ‘Remind me Tuesday morning to pick up the dry cleaning’ – use it!
- Find a reasonably-priced cleaner, book as frequently as you can – a fortnightly house clean can be a seriously contributing factor to your sanity. It’s worth it.
- Keep a daily checklist of things your kids must do every morning and evening – e.g. shower / bath, clean teeth, tidy room, make bed, get dressed, put shoes on, homework, reading etc. Make the list look great and laminate it – have them tick off the items on the list each morning and night until it becomes habit.
- Create an extra chore list – things they can do to help around the house that they get rewarded for (pocket money, points etc) – vacuum, wipe cupboards (they love this but waste a lot of spray!), put washing away, maintain pet bowls etc.
- Limit yourself to one obligation per weekend – start saying no to invitations when you’ve got too much on to stop running yourself ragged on weekends
- Try a meal delivery service – there’s sooo many to choose from now – find one that suits your budget and #goals.
- Use essential oils and a diffuser to create relaxed environment and stay on top of your stress levels.
- Pack lunches and drink bottles the night before – yours and the kids! Put lunchboxes in the fridge overnight, keep frozen items in the freezer (muffins, sandwiches etc.) and put them together in the morning.
- Do your shopping online, or use grocery pickup or home delivery service – which ever works for you – the less trips to the supermarket, the more time you have!
- Get into the habit of doing things as they come up – meals over: do dishes, washing finished: put in dryer (I never remember this one!)
- Create habit triggers – train your brain to allow one task to trigger another: e.g. Whenever I unload the dishwasher, I also pull out freezer meat for the next day’s meal e.g. Whenever I put the washing away, I make sure all the shoes are organised too. This will help you get more done without feeling overwhelmed by so much to do.
No-one is perfect and nobody should think they need to be, domestically or otherwise.
The intent with getting organised is to feel less overwhelmed and more in control. Hopefully some of these tips and hacks will help make these parenting years in the trenches a little easier to manage.
If you need to get away from the monstrosity of your domestic mess, come to an Upswing co-working and childcare session where the kids can mess up OUR play space, and where YOU can sit quietly in productivity bliss in one of our beautiful offices and smash your to-do-list!
Find out more about Upswing and what we do here.
[photocredit: © Can Stock Photo / joebelanger]