This is a collaborative post
Being organised is key when you have young children. I have spent ten years organising events where every single detail matters. When I have had to shepherd packed coaches to certain places at the right time, in order to be greeted by the musician that I booked to greet them as they arrive at the venue. I have had to organise parallel sessions which have to run to time (and never do!) in order for people to be able to switch to the next. I have had to organise catering for breaks and lunches and then re-organise them when the sessions haven't run to time. And it always works, the events run smoothly and I get a pat on the back from the boss. I guess what this means is that despite sometimes feeling like the least organised person, I do know a bit about being organised.
When it comes to running the family home and being organised with the children, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. There is so much to do and so much to remember, places to be and fun to be had. But if you forget something important, it can all go to pot! I've been having a think about the things that I do in order to make sure everything is smooth running (most of the time!).
Regularly check the bags
I have two bags that I pretty much take everywhere. One is the changing bag, full of nappies, wipes, spare sleepsuits etc. The other is Zach's little rucksack, which contains spare clothes, a water bottle and more wipes (you can never have too many wipes!). I check these bags on a regular basis and try to remember to top up anything that I have used from them the previous day. They also tend to have a thorough check on a weekend where we check that the spare clothes still actually fit (babies grow fast). If the bags are simply ready to grab at a moments notice, it makes actually getting out of the house much easier.
Get ready first thing
I would love to spend the start of my morning in my dressing gown with a nice mug of tea, but instead, I am first in the shower so that I am ready before the other half goes to work. It means that I am ready for whatever is thrown at me and am not wondering when I'll be able to get washed around the baby!
Important morning chores
There isn't a lot that I pressurise myself with regarding the chores in the house, I do stuff as and when I can, There are a couple of key things though, that if I get them done early on, make me feel far more organised for the rest of the day. The first is unloading the dishwasher. If this is done first thing, it means that I can keep the kitchen worktops clear of whatever I use from breakfast onwards as everything can be popped straight in there throughout the day. The second is the washing. Getting a wash on in the morning means that by lunchtime it can be hung up to dry. And that is a big task ticked off!
When I do my online shop on a Thursday morning, I plan the following week's meals. I know what we are cooking after the boys are in bed, I know what I am doing for Zach each day and I don't have to spend any time in the week wondering what I am going to feed people. I haven't always done this but once I started, I discovered how effective meal planning really is.
Have specific places for toys
It can feel impossible to keep on top of the toys but ever since we got our Ikea Kallax storage at the other end of the through lounge, I kind of know where most things are. With shelves for puzzles, some for books, baskets for train stuff and another for playmobil, it never takes too long to find what Zach wants. I then have another two baskets on the first shelf of the downstairs changing unit which has all of Oscar's current toys in them, and next to it, his giant playmat that I can quickly grab hold of to pop him on the floor. Having everything within fairly easy reach is key!
So there are just a few things that I do to keep things in order and make life a bit easier for myself. Have a look at this fun "organised mess" infographic from Furniture at Work which looks at the organisational characteristics of the star signs in the Zodiac. I am a Scorpio and am most definitely the hoarder it says I am! Does yours ring true?