Friday, September 27, 2013

Organizing for Fall



Fall Organizing
I love the change of seasons and the change to fall is my absolute favorite. The start of the new school year, the crisp mountain air in the mornings, fall sports and fall foods. I love it all. With the start of the school year it always seems like the best time to make new goals, get organized and start fresh. It also makes the most sense to put new routines in place while the school kids are getting their new routines as well. Get your kids and yourself on a schedule this school year. Consistent bedtimes and mealtimes, a good housework schedule, a menu plan and simplifying your home can ease your stress and make being a mom, whether at work or at home, much more joyful! There are some things you can implement this fall to make your life easier with kids.

Plan Your Housework
Housework doesn’t take all that long if you consistently get small jobs done. As a stay at home mom, plan a couple of hours a day for getting household chores accomplished. I like to do certain chores on certain days every week. When I was a working mom, I used Saturday mornings. Get into the habit of doing your housework at scheduled times so that it becomes automatic for you.

Homeroutines.com has some great resources for you if you need a boost in getting the job done and they also have a handy app.

Enlist the help of your kids. Remember that chores build character and we all want our kids to have a lot of character, right? Start your little ones in small chores and as they grow give them more responsibility. Big kids can do laundry, dishes, pet care, yard work, etc. Everyone can pull their weight and the younger you start teaching your children, they easier you make your parenting job as they get older. You raise kids who have a work ethic and self-discipline.

Chore Checklist helps manage chores at home. Records completion and calculates next due date based on your preferences. You can set a reminder for each chore. It comes with a pre-loaded checklist with daily/weekly/monthly chores. You can add and delete chores, as well.




Plan Your Menus
One of the biggest jobs that mothers have is planning, shopping for, and preparing the meals for the family. That takes a big chunk of time if done right and if not done at all, takes a big chunk of cash spent eating out. Meal planning can save your budget and your sanity. There is nothing worse than looking at the clock at 5 and realizing you have no idea what to feed your family. The best way to make a menu is to come up with a list of all the things you know how to make and start plugging them into days, then find your recipes and make your shopping list. Once you have a month done, you can just repeat it all year.

A great tip is to use themes for each day of the week. This makes it so easy to plug in your meals each week.

Mondays-Mexican
Tuesdays-Italian
Wednesdays-Crock Pot
Thursdays-Casserole
Fridays-Pizza Night
Saturdays-Grill out
Sundays-Comfort Food


Helpful Hint
If you like Pinterest as much as I do, then you probably have a whole board of recipes. I took one morning and printed them all off and put them in a notebook. I slipped them all into page protectors and categorized them. What a timesaver! I was spending so much time trying to remember and find the recipes I had pinned or bookmarked in order to use them. Now they are all in one easy to find spot.


Ziplist.com is a free site with a recipe index, shopping lists, and mobile apps to help you out. It makes meal planning and grocery shopping a breeze. Create your weekly meal plan, organize your grocery list and get money-saving coupons.


Simplify Your Home
Have you ever stayed in a rental house on vacation and wished your home was always that clean? That is because none of your junk followed you on vacation. You don’t have to keep up with all the paper, toys, clothing, and clutter that we have in our homes. In the United States we are blessed with abundance, but abundance becomes clutter. We over buy and over spend and then are stressed at home because there is too much stuff to manage. Fall is a great time to get your clutter under control, especially when the kids are at school and you can control their clutter, too! One of the best things I ever did was to simplify clothing. If your laundry is you’re most dreaded, never ending chore, then possibly you suffer from clothing abundance. Pare down kids clothing to one outfit a day, a few pairs of pajamas, 2 pairs of shoes, and underclothing. Simplifying clothing was life changing for me.

Get the rest of your clutter under control this fall, too. Simplify in all areas. A team of anthropologists from UCLA spent four years studying 32 middle class families and found that the effects of “managing the volume of possessions is such a crushing problem in many homes that it elevates levels of stress hormones for mothers.” Too much stuff is the cause of too much stress!
Once you have your housework scheduled, your menus planned and you have simplified and decluttered your home, you can enjoy more downtime with your family. When you have done the things you have to do, you have so much more time for the things you want to do.

We love to be on the mountain in the winter and on the lake in the summer, but if we have to spend all our free time getting housework, errands, and homework caught up, we don’t have any time for fun. Spend a little time this fall getting organized, making a plan and simplifying your life. Less stress = happy families.

Evernote is a super-organizer’s best friend. You can type in to-do lists (complete with checkboxes), scan in whole documents, insert pictures and videos into your notes and then automatically sync up those notes between your smartphone and your computer, storing everything online.

1 comment:

Courtney Ferda said...

Gretchen! This is Courtney Ferda from 114-west.com! I am trying to find your email because you won the Montana Love necklace and bracelet! Please email me at courtney.ferda@gmail.com so I can get your info!!!
xoxox
Courtney

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