When I made the shift to being a stay at home mama, I struggled with how to stay organized and creating a routine for us. I thought it might be helpful to share what works for me. All of these apply whether or not you have kids. I’ve just gotten a little more structured about it since having Lawson and Sybil.
HOW I STAY ORGANIZED
- Simplified Planner
I started using the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley last year. I didn’t fully realize how much I loved it until a few months into this year when I had to get it again. I use the daily version and would definitely recommend it. My favorite features are the daily to do list and area to record dinner each day. The planner includes an hourly schedule, which I also use to plan out our days. On my best days, I add everything (shower, workout, naps, activities). The 2018 Simplified Planner launches today, September 6th! I’m sticking with white and gold and getting the polka dots.
2. Meal Planning
Every weekend I plan out dinner for the upcoming week. I aim to cook dinner 4-5 nights a week with 1-2 nights of leftovers and takeout (mama needs a night off once in awhile). I also plan any extra stuff I want to make for the week – muffins, banana bread or cookies. This ties into tip #3…
3. Schedule Household “Chores”
I do laundry and grocery shop once a week, generally on Monday. All laundry gets washed, folded and put away the same day. It drives me crazy when it lingers. Going to the grocery store with two kids is almost always a challenge. I’d rather go once and get everything we need. I definitely couldn’t do this without meal planning. The night before garbage day, we clean out the refrigerator. We throw away any leftovers that didn’t get eaten or items that are bad. Before we moved this was always on Sunday night, which helped me feel like we were starting out the week on a fresh note. Other Sunday chores include a quick wash of the kitchen and bathroom floors and running the kitchen towels, high chair and bibs through the laundry.
4. Pick Up at Night
I’ll admit I’m not always the best at this one, but I try. We put away the kids’ toys and books that were brought out during the day. The dishes get done, shoes are returned to their spots and we run the dishwasher if needed. It brings a sense of calm when everything is put away.
5. Create Consistency
While I plan dinner for the week, I don’t typically plan out breakfast and lunch. Instead we rotate between 3-4 breakfast options (eggs and sausage, oatmeal, pancakes or smoothies and toast). Lunch is leftovers or sandwiches, yogurt and fruit. Creating consistency in our meals may be a little boring but makes grocery shopping much easier. I’ve even created a list of 10 dinners that we like. When planning for the week, I pick 3-4 from the list. It’s much easier than coming up with something new every week.
6. Prep for the Next Day
I always spend 5 minutes each night with my Simplified Planner checking our schedule and to do list for the following day. If we’re trying to get out of the house right away in the morning, I’ll get water bottles, snacks and anything else we need together before I go to bed.
Do you have any tricks for staying organized?