For many of us, it’s not just January that brings with it the feeling of something new as September signifies the start of something new too. If you have children at school then September is usually all about new classes, new school uniforms and the obligatory back to school photos; my Facebook is FILLED with them! Perhaps it’s not children starting back at school, but you – taking the leap into further education, in which case it is all about the new stationery – who doesn’t love a trip to the shops for new pens and diaries? When I was younger I was obsessed with stationery and its a habit I’ve really had to rein in as I’ve gotten older as I rarely write things out these days! When I would go on school trips as a kid I could never walk past a gift shop without buying a rubber or pencil; a story that my dad LOVES to retell time and time again! They say your school days are the best days of your life but mine really weren’t. I wonder how many of you are longing for years gone by when picking the best sparkly gel pens and folder were the most important things to think about? Whatever it is, even if it’s just the change in seasons, September is an excellent time of the year to put new routines into place and to get organised for the long autumn and winter months to come. I love a good clear out and organisation of my home and life!
In today’s post, I have put together a few tips to help you all to get sorted and make life that little bit easier – school or no school!
START MEAL PLANNING
If you do not already meal plan, what is stopping you? Seriously, I used to roll my eyes at the mere mention of meal planning but when I started doing it for myself, I realised that it is one of the best things that you can do to save you time, stress, and money. It doesn’t have to be a difficult process and once you start to do it, you’ll notice the benefits. Simply sit down one evening a week, preferably the day before you do your food shop, and write out a list of seven meals that you and your family will eat. Always do your meal planning with a copy of that week’s calendar or schedule to hand, so you can plan around whatever you have going on. For example, if you know you are working late on Thursday evening, plan something really quick and easy for dinner that night 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. Check your cupboards and fridge and freezer before you plan to see what you already have in so that you’re actually using up what you have and factor left overs into other meals too, for example if you plan to have a roast chicken on a Sunday, incorporate the left over chicken into your lunch or dinner on the Monday to reduce food waste and save money.
We started ordering the Gousto Box around February and noticed a huge difference in our home. Now, because 4 evening meals are already planned out for us (we choose them through the app once a week and then they’re delivered to our door with the exact measurements of everything, ready for us to cook), we find that we’re just popping to the shops once a week for the food for our lunches so we spend far less and its so much less hassle as we know what we’re having each night. The other 3 nights of the week we tend to have a family night with my stepson so we choose what we’ll have when we pick him up, then one evening we go out or have a take out and on the other night we have a roast dinner (Sunday). It works so well for us as it means we only do one big monthly shop online to get the big things.
Talking of shopping; online shopping really is the way forward. Fighting the crowds with a shopping trolley is most people’s idea of hell, so get online and book a delivery slot! Most of the major supermarkets offer it now, with many offering deals if you buy delivery passes. A cheaper alternative to home delivery is click and collect where you order your shopping in precisely the same way but drive to a canopy at the supermarket where your shopping is already picked for you, ready to collect. It is so easy. Whenever we’ve done it we’ve just kept the bags for life in the back of the car, loaded them up and got on our way!
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ONLINE SERVICES
It’s not just supermarkets that offer online services now; you can sort most of your life out digitally and I would really recommend it! For example, if you have repeat prescriptions, you no longer have to make journeys back and forwards to a pharmacy as you can simply reorder online to make life so much easier. Lots of doctors, dentists, and opticians now have online booking systems, meaning that you don’t have to spend your lunch hour on hold trying to book an appointment.
Online banking is an absolute must for me. I run all of my accounts online but more so from my phone. Even companies who I have my electric with have apps now. Get them downloaded guys, honestly it’ll make your life so much easier and more organised!
CREATE A CAPSULE WARDROBE
Streamlining your wardrobe is the new big thing and for a good reason! Lots of clothes need lots of storage and theres always more things to put away. Take a long, hard look at your wardrobe and apply the Kon Marie principle to it; if it no longer brings you joy or serves a function, get rid of it. Do you really need 15 pairs of identical black leggings, or will three pairs suffice? Those leather trousers you bought ten years ago for that wild night out; do you still wear them, or are they 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!
CREATE A COMMAND CENTRE
Type in command centre on Pinterest and you will be overwhelmed with all sorts of fancy systems and centres but really, all you need is a small area dedicated to the things you use day in, day out. For example, it might be a small console table in the hallway or a space in your kitchen, somewhere you pass regularly. You might want to keep a family diary or wall planner there, so everyone knows where they are meant to be, a drawer for keys like I have and phone chargers, a letter rack for incoming and outgoing post and a file for important details or documents.
UNSUBSCRIBE FROM NEWSLETTERS AND UNNECESSARY EMAILS
We have seen a huge move away from physical mail to digital mail haven’t we? However just like our old inbox trays, our email inbox can become very cluttered with unnecessary junk very quickly, making it very difficult to find what we need in a hurry. When I met my boyfriend he had over 5000 emails on his phone, all completely unread. It gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it!
Keeping on top of your inbox by replying to or deleting emails as soon as they come in is the most efficient way of keeping your inbox organised but unsubscribing from all the things you no longer read can make that job a lot easier. Plus it can save you money as well if those emails are tempting marketing emails from shops. Unsubscribing may take a while to begin with, but you will soon see a difference. If necessary, set up a secondary email address to direct all your junk mail to.
CREATE AN INVENTORY
Make an inventory of home cleaning and toiletry supplies, so you do not run out but do not overstock either. You might think overstocking is good, but if you do not have enough storage, then all those extra supplies are just wasting your precious space. The same tip is applicable for office supplies, tins of food and toiletries. For this sort of purchase, Amazon is quite often a good bet, especially if you use the subscribe and save option on Prime, or if you have access to one, a trade warehouse like Costco or Makro.
CREATE DAILY, WEEKLY & MONTHLY CLEANING SCHEDULES
Organise your cleaning schedule so that you’re doing little and often. That way, it’ll not seem like such a big task and you’ll find it easier to keep on top of. It’s incredibly exhausting, not to mention time, consuming to have a “cleaning day” where you clean everything all at once, although this does work for some people. Personally, I prefer to 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 to help you keep on top of it all. Failing that, check out Mrs Hinch on Instagram, she’s a great inspiration and always offers handy, realistic tips.
I hope some of my own tips help you to feel more organised!
What are your tips for keeping organised?