Want to start 2020 off in the best possible way? Here are some tips to keep you and your family organized throughout this year and beyond!
Start meal planning
If you do not already meal plan – why on earth not? Seriously, it is one of the best things that you can do to save you time, stress, and money. It does not have to be a complicated or time-consuming process. Simply sit down one evening a week – the day before you do your big food shop, and write out a list of around seven meals that you and your family will eat. It is always a good idea to do your meal planning with a copy of that week’s calendar or schedule next to you so that you can plan around whatever you have going on. For example, if you know that you are working late on Tuesday evening, plan something really quick and easy for dinner that night (scrambled egg on toast, anyone?) or something that you can pop in the slow cooker before you go out in the morning, so it is ready to serve up when you get home. You may also want to check your cupboards and fridge and freezer before you plan to see what you already have in. If you have half a roast chicken leftover from Sunday, incorporate that into some of your meals the following week to reduce food waste and save money.
While we are on the subject of food and shopping, make 2020 the year you convert to online food shopping, if you do not do it already. No more fighting the crowds and squeezing into packed carparks while having trolleys rammed into your ankles. No – going online and booking a delivery slot is the way forward! Most of the major supermarkets offer this as a service now. If you do not want the hassle of going into the supermarket, but you want to avoid the cost of home delivery (around £3-£5 per delivery), many supermarkets offer a click and collect service, where they do the shopping, and you collect it from the door for free! You can save money on deliveries in some of the supermarkets by signing up for a delivery pass. for example, Asda’s is £5 a month (the first month is free!), and you can have unlimited deliveries without paying anything else.
Take advantage of online delivery
It is not just supermarkets which can deliver straight to your door now. Gone are the days where you have to traipse out to pick up your cheeky Saturday night takeaway. Enterprises such as Just Eat and Uber Eats have taken care of that for you! Other – and probably more important areas of your life – can be organized and taken care of digitally as well. For example, instead of going backward and forwards to the pharmacy to pick up medications, you can visit an online pharmacy and take advantage of their online repeat service, and have them delivered straight to your door. That is a complete godsend when you have unwell people in the house! Lots of dentists, doctors, and opticians now have an online booking system, meaning that you do not have to waste your lunch hour on hold trying to book an appointment and find they have all already gone!
Ditch the password guessing
The one downside of having everything online is the sheer amount of usernames and passwords that you have to remember. Of course, it is recommended that you use different passwords for different things, but of course, this can mean lots of password resets when you can’t remember which one you have used. Most of us use some sort of cloud-based software now – Google Drive or Apple iCloud, so create a list of passwords that you can store in an easy to access document. Of course, make sure you don’t name it something obvious like ‘passwords,’ in case the document gets into the wrong hands – you might even want to use a password-protected document (just remember that password, obviously!). Storing them in the cloud means you can access them anywhere from any device. There are also apps and software available, such as Last Pass, where you can safely store all your passwords and login details.
If the kids come home waving about a party invitation or a letter from school telling you that they need to take £1 and a bottle of bubble bath to school in two weeks’ time, take a photo of it. That way, if the letter goes missing, as it inevitably will, before you get a chance to put it on your calendar, you have a copy of it stored in your phone memory.
Have a capsule wardrobe
Streamlining your wardrobe is set to be a big thing this coming year and for very good reason! Lots of clothes need lots of storage, and more things to put away. Take a long, hard look at your wardrobe and apply the Kon Marie principle to it – if an item of clothing no longer serves a function or brings you joy, get rid of it. Do you really need 12 pairs of black leggings that are all identical, or will three pairs be enough? That leather miniskirt you bought ten years ago for that wild night out – do you still wear it or is it just taking up valuable space? By having only a few pieces of quality clothing that will see you through the season, you will find life is so much easier – and you will have less laundry to deal with!
Create a command centre
Not sure what a command centre is? Search for command centre on Pinterest, and you will see all sorts of fancy Instagrammable systems and centres, but in reality, all you need is a small area dedicated to the things you use every single day. For example, it might be a small side table in the entrance hall or a space in your kitchen – somewhere you pass on a regular basis. You may want to keep a family diary or wall planner there, so everyone knows where they are meant to be and when, a bowl for keys and those ever disappearing phone chargers, a rack for incoming and outgoing mail and a file for important details or documents.
Unsubscribe from email newsletters, magazines, and other unwanted subscriptions
We have seen a huge move away from physical mail to digital mail, but just like our old physical inbox trays, our email inbox can become extremely cluttered with unnecessary junk very quickly, making it very hard to find what we need in a hurry. Keeping on top of your inbox by deleting, filing or replying to as soon as they come into your is the most efficient way of keeping your email inbox organized, but unsubscribing from all the things you no longer need or read can make that job a whole lot easier. This may take a while to start with, but you will soon see a difference. If needs be, set up a second email address to direct all your junk mail to.
Create an inventory but don’t overstock supplies
Make an inventory of all of your home cleaning and toiletry supplies, so you do not run out – but do not be tempted to overstock either. You might think having a massive stock in a cupboard is a good idea, but if you do not have enough storage, then all those extra supplies are just wasting your precious space. There is also the chance that something may lose its effectiveness, you or someone in your household becomes allergic to a product, or something much better comes along. The same tip applies to office supplies, tinned goods, and your toiletries. For this sort of product, Amazon is quite often a good option, particularly if you use the subscribe and save option on Prime. You may, if you have access to one, want to consider using a trade warehouse such as Bookers or Costco.
Create daily, weekly and monthly schedules for cleaning
Thanks to influencers such as Mrs. Hinch, cleaning is something that is now seen as almost a hobby for some. If that is you, great, but if cleaning is one of those jobs that you do not enjoy but have to do, sort out a cleaning schedule. Many of us tend to let it build up and have a ‘cleaning day’, where everything is cleaned at once, usually on one of our very precious weekend days, but this can be exhausting and time-consuming. To declutter your home can actually help because it makes it easier to clean with less junk in your way. Distribute tasks evenly, so for example, washing up could be done daily; while vacuuming or mopping could be scheduled weekly and cleaning the windows done monthly. The Organized Mum Method may be worth looking into breaking down tasks into half an hour segments each day, and there is even a handy app and blog to help you keep on top of it all.
What are your top tips for staying organized this year?