Try these 19 easy tips:
It’s summer – so no better time to clear out those wardrobes. If you’re saving children’s clothes, sort them by age and packed them into labelled bags that can be stored flat. Once you have everything organised, keep on top of it by keeping three boxes in the garage – charity, storage and sell. Once a month, empty these.
Store toys in boxes
Invest in some clear storage boxes and keep your children’s toys in them. Label these clearly and encourage your children to tidy away their toys at the end of each day. Once these boxes are full, when a new toy comes in, an old toy must be given to charity to make room for it.
Keep everyday items together
Always looking for your car keys or glasses? Designate a drawer or keep a box in your most-used room and keep your frequently used items in there. If you have young children, keep a pack of baby wipes in there too.
Deal with post immediately
Open post beside the recycling bin so you can throw away unwanted leaflets and envelopes immediately. Keep bills in a ring binder. Keep important information together. Use a box binder for items like birth/ marriage certificates, car registration certs, insurance policies, prize bonds and PPS numbers.
Designate a day for cleaning
Name a regular morning/day for cleaning and get everyone involved. Kids love helping when they’re little, and this is a good time to get them used to having their own jobs.
Keep a calendar
As kids get older, their lives get more complicated! Keep a diary, preferably on your phone, with reminders set up, or use a system like Google Calendar, which can be shared with other family members.
Use Sunday evening to organise the week
Take a few minutes to list out what needs to be done during the week, any appointments and any work. List these out in terms of time needed and days, and review each evening.
Make appointments for early morning
If possible, make any appointments (especially doctor appointments) for first thing in the morning. You’re less likely to be kept waiting. Similarly, avoid the bank or post office during busy times and days.
Sort the morning the night before
Take half an hour before bed to get outfits together and to take out bowls and utensils for breakfast. If you like a morning shower, get up 10 minutes earlier to have a shower in peace.
Be on top of your financials
Go through your accounts and make a spreadsheet with all your regular bills and payments. Set up direct debit bill payments so you never miss a payment. Consider having a separate bill account for your bills from your everyday spending to make sure your bills are always covered.
Keep on top of birthdays
Keep a store of bargain generic birthday cards. Store these with some stamps, spare envelopes and notepaper. If you see a good toy on sale, buy a few of them so you’re never stuck for a kids’ birthday party present.
Use your freezer
When you’re making meals like lasagne, bolognaise, chilli etc, freeze an extra portion. Make a basic tomato sauce and freeze in portions too – this can be used as a base for pizza or pasta dishes. Treat these as your “fast food” options.
Limit time online
When you are with your family, resist the urge to continually check your email or social networks. Designate two times during the day to check and deal with anything that comes in.
Be kitchen organised
Stick to a weekly food shop, and go through your cupboards before making your food menu for the week and your shopping list. When storing food, put the earliest best before dates at the front. Pin your menu on the fridge so everybody knows what’s for dinner that night – but add in some flexible options to avoid the temptation to order in if the night’s dinner doesn’t suit/appeal.
Keep a list of emergency numbers
Write out and maintain a list of emergency numbers and any household information (eg how to work the heating) – this will save you having to write it out each time you have a babysitter or visitor.
Stock up on essentials
When they’re on sale, stock up on goods like light bulbs, toothpaste, nappies, wipes, batteries and toiletries.
Keep antibacterial wipes handy
For quick clean-ups, keep packs of antibacterial disposable wipes handy in the kitchen and the bathroom. If you have an unexpected visitor, you can give the washbasin a quick wipe in seconds.
Keep medicine together
Designate a cupboard (up high if possible) for medicine and first aid essentials. Keep a list of dosages if needed on the inside of the door. Make sure your kids can’t reach the cupboard or keep it locked.
Store an overnight bag in your car
Keep a change of clothes for your children, plus wipes and nappies if needed. If possible, keep waterproof clothing and wellies in the boot for unexpected downpours. While you’re at it, keep a pen and paper in the car in case you need to take down insurance details in the event of a crash.