Like many of you, I wear many of hats throughout a day. Between being a mom, running a full-time business and managing my team, plus keeping my house and personal well-being in check it feels like there never is enough time. We are always searching for time to add to our day. There are things that I can do throughout the day and week that can get me--and you, too--more in control so that when the kids get home and I close my computer for the night my knee-jerk reaction is not to unwind with a glass of wine in hand.
HOW ORGANIZATION CAN HELP TO REDUCE STRESS
- Set up a command center. Command centers are a low-tech, high-reward system that will cut down on the time you spend coordinating everyone’s busy schedules. The command center is where we keep our calendar and is a way to take stock of what we have going on in our lives so that we know the fundamentals of who, what, when, where, why, and how. I have one designated go-to spot for everything.
- PRO TIP: Remember that when you are setting up your weekly or monthly calendar to schedule in time for self care. I know that we are all busy and this may feel unrealistic, but getting a time on the calendar to focus on you will give you something to look forward to and also put some much needed and deserved time spent on making and maintaining a better you.
- Create a meal plan. My command center is where I plan my meals for the week. Because I have my schedule mapped out, I can see when we’ll be having family meals at home, when we’ll be going to an event, and when I’ll need to prepare a dish to share.
- PRO TIP: This might be a good time to consider trying a grocery or meal-delivery service like Peapod, Instacart, Blue Apron or more. These days, more and more families are turning to prepared meal services to help save time. If meal-planning makes you break out in a sweat, and this option is within your budget, why not give it a whirl?
- Contain paperwork/gifts. Let’s face it, sometimes the amount of paper clutter - between the cards, catalogs, and packages we bring into the home, can be overwhelming and feel never-ending. When it comes to papers, I subscribe to the “touch-once” principle, which means that each incoming item is dealt with as it comes in. I try not to let papers pile up without taking action, whether that be signing, filing, or recycling. The idea is to avoid holding onto things that you don’t need. It takes two minutes!
- PRO TIP: I treat my kids paperwork like the daily mail. Seriously, when my daughters get home I go through the papers with them to identify what is To Do, To Read, To File. Once the “To File” folder gets full we do a once-over to make sure that they still want to keep what they’ve included inside the folder, and then I transfer the contents over to each of the girls’ “Save” boxes.
And most importantly, what’s helped maintain the organization and somewhat even the sanity in my home is by involving the kids because this is not a one woman show. Giving them responsibility and control in the process in ways that are just as simple as letting them choose the color or pattern of bin that they use for their toys or near the door to collect their shoes will make them feel a part of the process and more likely to help keep up the system. There is no way we can do it all. The systems that we put in place as parents are bound to fail if we don’t have support from other people, even if those other people are your kids. They have responsibilities and expectations at their school and they are completely able to do the same at home, so give them the ability to do that. Sure, the end result may not be exactly how you pictured it to be, but it will worth it and in the end helpful for you.