I’ve always been organised – lists and spreadsheets are definitely my bag, but then I had kids. Two of them and suddenly my organised life became a whole new challenge of unpredictable moments. Which to be fair I love – because I’m a planner and in control of a lot, I love that my kids surprise me and make me laugh. However, I’ve found that I’ve had to up my organised life game to be able to ensure where possible that my family and my business runs smoothly and everything gets done with the minimum amount of stress.
My children are Noah (10) and Ella (8) and all through their lives I’ve LOVED reading other mum’s life hacks – they genuinely make me smile and feel as though I’m part of a tribe that can win the day. Over the past ten years I’ve managed to squeeze a little extra time out of my day and reduce my stress levels with these ones below which I hope will help you too!
Create the master of all lists
I’m a complete list maker and one hopelessly sleepy morning a few years back, I realised when I was trying to wake up and get into gear, that the list I was writing was one that I’d done the same time last year. Madness. Why on earth was I wracking my already tired brain to duplicate what I’d already done once? Not any more! Now I tend to use a large A4 ‘master list’ notepad and keep everything in there safely in one place.
Don’t ask me what I’d do if I lost this notepad – ok, I’d probably sit and weep …
All I know is that Noah’s classmates birthday card list is very quickly and easily duplicated ready to be checked off in time for the holidays.
So keep your to-do lists, don’t throw them away. Instead refine them so that next time you need them they’re already done, and require less time to put together. Summer activity idea lists, stuff needed to take on snow holiday lists, meal planning lists, keep refining them each time you use them until they are bang on.
Wherever you keep your children’s school backpacks, keep pens and envelopes near that space. Hall or mudroom – either one is fine! Your kids run in yelling about some paper that you need to sign-off and with the stationery right there, you can just bend down sign it, place it into an envelope if needed and put it straight back in their bag ready for the next day. No last minute chaotic requests and scrambling around for pens.
We have a family calendar in the kitchen with all of our upcoming events on it and I try and make a point of signing off a school trip then writing it immediately on the board. Nine times out of ten if I don’t follow this process I forget to do it later and you can guess what that means – epic fail.
Bulk buy birthday bargains
I have to admit that I remain basic when it comes to cards for kids. Unless it’s your own child and you want to go all out and make a personalised one of course. When I’m looking at the year ahead and thinking that I’ve got to sort out birthday party cards and presents for all of the kids in Noah’s class (there are 22) and Ella’s (there are 25) I start to freak out – that’s 47 cards! 47!
Oh my goodness. And let’s be really honest, unless there’s a wad of bills inside them they’re not massively interested in the card, they’re looking at the present. Save time, money and the planet by ordering them in bulk in the sales. This works for birthday presents too – bulk buy and keep a whole load ready to go.
Let it go and buy frozen … fruit that is.
I buy frozen fruit for smoothie making. Hear me out on this one … I used to always buy the fresh fruit from the counter thinking that it was super healthy, but then I read this study conducted at the University of California, comparing the nutrient content across fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, where they found no consistent differences between fresh and frozen. Basically from the moment that the fruit is picked it starts to lose its moisture and subsequent antioxidant benefits. In their study they found that Vitamin C was higher in frozen corn, frozen green beans and frozen blueberries than in their fresh equivalents. Shocked? Yes so was I! I’ve been paying a premium for my fruit for us all to be healthy and I might as well have saved the money!
This study was music to my ears because not only do I get to save money, but I also get to save preparation time too as the chopping and washing of the fruit has been done – the family’s healthy intake of five a day is suddenly much easier.
So there we have it. I dare say that there’s more but these are the top ones that I always get in order when a new semester looms. What are your new and updated time saving hacks? In the lead-up to Halloween and the holidays I know I’m going to enjoy reading some more of them … see you on here again soon, Charlie xox