So you guys know i like to be organised, sometimes maybe a bit too much and i understand everyone isn’t the same but for me it works & its kinda how i think i stay sane 😉 i put a poll out on my insta stories the other week and you all strongly voted for yes please share how your so organised so here we go, in no particular order i’ve just tried to think of all the little things i do to help make life a bit simpler 🙂
1. Birthday card prep
At the beginning of each year i write down all 12 months and what birthday/ events fall under that month and therefore who i have to buy cards for (yes i put i as WM does nothing here, i think this kind of stuff always falls to the woman though!) i also have this basic folder WM picked me up & it has 12 dividers in it for each month and i slot the cards into the relevant month. I’m a keen buy cards on sale kinda girl, i seriously hate paying £3+ just for a card, i absolutely love to receive & send cards but i just don’t enjoy the price tag. Sometimes i’ll have a look on etsy & you can often pick up nice cards for 50p or a £1 (sometimes postage doesn’t make it worth while though so bear that in mind)
2. Clothes prep
Every Sunday i’ve started to plan Rues clothes for school, so i’ll put all his outfits out for the week (socks/ pants/ vest/ tshirt/ hoody/ trousers) ready to go, so it means no faffing around each morning, simply open the drawer and take out todays clothes! i half do the same for Ridley but as he’s in baby grows 95% of the time its much easier (nappy/ socks/ baby grow)
i always try and put my work clothes out the night before, this helps me in the morning, i play quite an active part in getting the kids ready for the day in the morning so i don’t just get to focus on myself so to take one less stress off my list i plan the night before. Some of you know that i can suffer with IBS so planning my outfit around my day at work also helps, i swear my iBS has played up a lot lately and i put that down to adjusting and also sitting either at my desk or endless hours of meetings!
3. Food planner & online shopping
Normally WM and i will sit down either on a Wednesday or over the weekend always during a nap time and we’ll plan the week ahead what we’re going to eat, well WM again really struggles to suggest anything helpful, he always comes out with the same two options every week & the food shop list the same two items every week ;( so planning our meals for the week is something we swear by, i realise its not for everyone and that i’m lucky WM is the type of guy that just gets on with it but it honestly makes such a difference. I’ll plan the meals for seven nights, write these down on our fridge planner, then place an online food shop from this meal planner, its really easy and i think saves a lot of money and time. The hardest part can be thinking of seven nights worth of meals, but once you have that the online shopping is super quick! i swear by it but another reason why this might not work for everyone is we don’t buy any meat so therefore don’t have an issue with wanting to see your meat first and also during summer WM brings home so much allotment produce we don’t need to buy as much so reduce the element of not seeing fresh fruit beforehand.
4. Birthday present box
this is something my mum got me into & it works a treat, its basically having a box full of back up presents in case you forget someones birthday or someone you didn’t think was going to buy for you did etc. I’ve kinda changed it and mine is buying in advance through out the year. so i use my birthday card planner to indicate when i might have to look towards buying presents (July is the most busiest month for me birthday wise) so i like to try and even buy ahead or at least jot down what i’m thinking of buying as i just don’t have time to go mooching for everyones birthday! I’ve already got four or five presents for Rues birthday in October sat in my wardrobe 🙂 so now i’m working on a few bits for Christmas for him, you might think this is crazy and what he’s interested in will change but on the whole i can’t say he’s the type of child to massively go off something and i’m looking at items which are that next step older. Sometimes I’m super organised but other times not, Ridleys first birthday is in like 6 weeks and i have one present & i know which cake topper i would like to get but thats it – i’m really struggling!
5. Plan holidays/ time off work
In WM’s previous role at work it was very much a first come first serve for holidays as his team was made up of four people only one person could be off at once realistically. so i’d always start to think about the next holiday year a couple of months before hand, our work holiday year runs January to December. I swear by these a4 yearly planners, which i’ve used for the last six years, i’ll colour code the time off so it gives you a quick view of how long you have working between breaks, i try and not go months on months without a decent amount of time off. Plus i’ll start looking at holidays/ trips etc way before hand, i’ve actually got a trip in mind for next year already, just one in the UK but we can’t fit it in this year. well we can fit it in but money wise we can’t, we already have one holiday booked, one to hopefully book & i’m looking at a long weekend away in July near London which we all no is $$
6. Night before work/ school (prep bags)
Kinda similar to point 2 but on top of doing outfits, each night i’ll put the bits of my lunchbox out that don’t need to go in the fridge on the side or in my tote bag so i don’t have to do this in the morning, i’ll also prep as much of Rues lunch bag the night before so that WM just has to make his sandwich fresh in the morning.
I made sure my bags are all out ready to finish packing or to go and that Rues spare set of clothes are clean and in his bag on the buggy ready to go to school. Also any paperwork for school i leave out for WM to take and leave a note somewhere to remind him 🙂
7. Make use of nap times (prepare dinner/ write meal plans/ hang washing)
Nap times are crucial for us to get stuff done, although sometimes we do take full advantage and spend that time colouring or playing playdoh or bingo with Rue sometimes in all honestly we’ll put a film on so we can prepare dinner or write our meal plans or hang the washing out, you might think bad of this but you can’t do all these things whilst trying to juggle a baby and a toddler and this is stuff that can’t always be done of an evening. I tend to on Wednesdays or Saturdays use Ridleys first longer nap time to run errands and sometimes Rue will come with me to help me.
8. Email yourself
i do this everyday, from my hotmail account to my hotmail account as i just can’t remember everything i need to do. being back at work also helps as i use my outlook calendar for personal items as well as work, sometimes it doesn’t mean i action them any quicker as i tend to press snooze a lot but it does mean i have a constant reminder prompting me! but emailing myself does help also which is what i would do when i wasn’t at work! or leave yourself notes on the fridge or somewhere you’ll see them a lot. sometimes i stick big notes on the front door if i really need to remember something 🙂
9. Saying no to things
is key to being organised, because if you don’t have much free time at home to catch up then when are you going to catch up? we mainly spend alllll our time just us four and it works perfectly for us, i know not everyone else is the same, but for us it helps us plan ahead for our week or get things done on the house. if we was out seeing people everyone weekend i wouldn’t be able to get my washing done/ or the food shopping or cleaning the bathroom, i have to use my weekends to do all these kind of things and you maybe thinking why isn’t WM doing that during the week and the answer is he does as well as look after two babs and he’s renovating our home – he does not sit down and he doesn’t have a moment to himself. plus we could easily do a full washing load every other day and at the moment we really struggle to get anything dry as we don’t have a tumble drier so washing quickly builds up ;(
10. Budget planner
my 100% key to surviving! a lot of you will be so far removed from this and will not understand how and why we do this but for us it works and it has done for seven years now. Ever since WM and i decided to start saving to move out we’ve done a month budget planner, each month i have an excel spreadsheet of all our outgoings (jeez does anyone else have a shed load of outgoings!) vs what money we have coming in. This allows us to determine how much money we can spend on food ( i generally allow £250 a month for food for four people/ house goods/ nappies & formula) and how much money we can save and what that’ll leave us with to enjoy for each month. This was so important as we was trying to save to move out, then we moved out, got married, had rue, did up our home, had ridley and move house so you know a lot of finances to keep on track up. i’m so super lucky that WM A lets me look after finances for both of us and B does not want for anything e v e r! so therefore he’s happy we put as much money into the house or into savings as possible. We certainly don’t waste our money!
11. Organising your time & being fair
we always try and be fair in our relationship, so if i’ve planned to see a friend in a couple of weeks time i’ll add it to the fridge planner and mention it to WM and then it gives him time to do the same, relationships are about being fair and its not fair for one parent to go out more than another we believe. i mean we hardly ever go out but when we do its always fair. So last week i spent a friday with my gorgeous mama friend (we’ve been hanging out for nearly three years and this was our first solid amount of time without the kids and it just us) we try and make sure we have at least one family day per week even if we have no plans and just stay at home or decide on the day its still our family day, lately most weekends its just been us four and its perfect. i know as Rue gets older he’ll start having birthday parties and being invited to more parties than currently which will eat into our weekend so we’re making the most of family time now 🙂