Home organization is not easy, especially when you work outside of your home. Mounds of dirty laundry, hungry kids, school homework and dinner yet to be made do not make for a happy return to homely warmth after a tiring day in the office. So what do you do to streamline your daily routine and practically every aspect of your life?
All women can be termed ‘working’ once they start a family. There are people who look up to you and expect you to deliver, even if it is your 3-year-old who wants his mom to build the best Lego castle, after what seems like millions you have already built. The work becomes all the more demanding when you have a full-time job that consumes 40 precious hours every week.
Every working mother faces her own set of unique challenges and circumstances. You will have to work out a plan that suits you best, and helps you manage your family and career better.
Let’s look at how you can go about taming the dragon of time management in your own unique way with these tips for how to get organized at home.
What Is the Biggest Ordeal?
It is important you analyze your activities and pinpoint the ones that stress you the most. Once you have worked out a plan to simplify them, you will find your life free of much clutter.
But these stress-causing activities vary from one working mom to another.
Setting Right the Dinner Fiasco
If having to cook after a long day bothers you, try simple and time-tested tricks like meal planning. Plan your menu for the coming week and finish your grocery shopping on the weekend. This will spare you much stress and uncertainty when you come back from office tired and hungry.
Other benefits of meal planning include less consumption of packaged and unhealthy fast-food, more of eating nutritious home-made home-made meals and less spending on eating out. Also, you can cut down on unnecessary grocery purchases mid-week.
Menu planning does call for some cooking in the evenings. If you need to help your kids with homework or there are other social commitments in the evening which makes it difficult to spare time, a crock pot meal is the best solution.
Advance planning will make your dinner tasty and satisfying. Get all the ingredients ready the previous night. Trim the meat, chop the veggies, measure out the spices and get the sauces ready. Refrigerate them and in the morning all you need to do is place them in the insert and switch on the crock pot to walk in for a delicious home-cooked dinner in the evening.
Getting Kids Ready in the Morning
It is not easy to jump out of bed, get dressed, grab a cup of coffee and be off to work on time. The task becomes harder when you have a whining 5-year-old to wake up, feed and dress, pack lunch for, and drop off to school. So plan and deal with weekday mornings smartly.
Do not add to the madness of the mornings with missing homework sheets, files, keys and misplaced backpacks. Get everything ready the previous night itself.
- Help your child pack the backpack so that it is ready to go in the morning. Pack lunches and refrigerate them. Have your work satchel ready so that you do not miss out on any important file or paperwork.
- Lay out the clothes for the next day, both for yourself and your child. It is best if you can plan your kid’s outfits for a week and put them on hangers with a color-coded label for each day of the week. Children’s hangers with clips will not damage or crumple clothing, and also give you versatility to keep all that your kid needs together, including inner and outerwear.
- Ensure you wake up at least an hour before your children. This will give you enough time to get dressed, have your morning coffee and ready breakfast for the family. Once the kids are awake you can focus on getting them ready and off to school.
Household Chores Can Be Managed
Once you have had kids it’s best to put away the dreams of achieving an immaculate and spotlessly clean house, at least until your kids are off to college.
When you hold a full-time job, it will be difficult to find time to clean and spruce up your whole house in a single mega-cleaning session. You will have to tackle it one room or task at a time.
- Curing the clutter problem will help your house breathe free and easy. In all probability, more than the dirt or the dust, it is the pile of things strewn here and there that is making your house run wild.
- Enlist the help of your family to keep the house clean. Make your children a part of your clean-up force. Small children enjoy lending a helping hand and taking on responsibility. You can delegate chores and ask your kids to water the plants, feed the pet, put away the toys and tidy up the bed. You can also teach them to put things they take out back in their place, and put their bowls and spoons in the kitchen sink after dinner.
- Your husband can also chip in to make things easier in the evening. He can cook the dinner or help with the kids’ homework so that you can do the dishes or clean up the bedroom closet.
- Outsourcing tedious cleaning activities can provide a harried mom much relief. If possible, pay for reasonably-priced cleaning help to come in every month. It will save you a lot of stress and also help you find time for other pressing activities, like your child’s PTA meet or a long-overdue visit to the salon.
Never Give Romance a Backseat
Mark out a day in the calendar for a date night. Plan well in advance and make babysitting arrangements so that you will be able to really enjoy your night out together. If possible, go for a short holiday with you partner while your children have fun at the weekend summer camp. Do not let the burden of everyday routine snuff out the romance from your life.
Make Room for Friends and Have Some Fun
The carefree girlhood days are long behind you, but that should not stop you from enjoying a night out with your girlfriends. This is a rare luxury for busy moms but do ensure you enjoy some me-time, whenever possible. Get your hubby to stay at home while you go shopping with your friends or catch up on the latest gossip at a café. Friends take the steam out of your high-stress life and provide a shoulder to lean on, so treasure and nurture those bonds.
A working mother puts everything and everyone before herself. It is important you give attention and care to yourself as well. Try to fit in some personal time in your schedule and stop being a perfectionist. Be flexible, go with the flow and be okay even if no plan works. It will on another day, just let go of it today.