Have you ever wondered why you’re always on the last minute and your to-do list seems to grow rather than reduce? Or why your home is never quite tidy, and you’re reacting to problems rather than being proactive? Making a few simple adjustments can change all of this and help you streamline and organize your life, freeing you up to spend time with those closest to you. Run your home like a business, and you’ll be shipshape in no time.
1. The Stationery Order
To get organized you’re going to need some stationery. Items for the list are a wall planner, week-to-view diary, a small notebook, and two expanding files (one A to Z and one organized by month). Colored pens are optional.
Allocate some time to put some processes in place. This should only take a few hours, but once it’s done, you’ll have a firm structure.
Your diary is to map out the year. All your important dates can be placed in here, such as birthdays, anniversaries, terms dates, etc. The wall planner is more immediate and more detailed. Here you’ll include PE day, doctor and dentist appointments, bake sales, etc.
The expanding files have a couple of purposes. The A to Z file will make it easier to file away your post once it’s been actioned. You can locate documents and information at a glance. The monthly expanding file is for forthcoming events. Here you can add birthday cards, important documents, party invitations, etc. Some people buy all their friends’ birthday and anniversary cards at the beginning of the year and file them by month. All they have to do as the time approaches is add a stamp and post them.
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Any good business is reliant on its finances, and it is down to the managers to look after the budget and make savings wherever possible. Don’t pay more than you have to for goods and services. Check out sites such as dontpayfull.com/blog for hints, tips, and coupons.
Go through your monthly incomings and outgoings. Write everything down. Are there areas you could make some immediate savings? What about the subscription to the magazine you never read? Or, the coffee you buy each morning from the fancy coffee shop?
When you have reduced your list, find ways to make savings to bills and expenses. Shop around and look for the best deals. There are some ‘big wins’ to be found when switching energy and cell phone suppliers, etc.
A productive business needs adequate premises that are functional and present a good first impression. Does your home do this? The first place to start is to have a good tidy up and get rid of items that are no longer needed. Go through your home room by room and recycle, donate to charity, or give away any items that you’re unlikely to use again. This will create additional space and allow your to organize your home more effectively.
Analyze each room of your home by the functions that are fulfilled there. Pay close attention to things like comfort and lighting. Make sure this is attended to. For example, if you read a lot in your den, place a lamp close to your reading chair. If the kids do their homework at the kitchen table, an effective overhead light will make this easier and more comfortable.
Businesses can reduce time and labor by revising simple processes. Are your home processes efficient? This is something that can be tricky if you have kids and several people to organize. However, by putting a few simple routines in place, you can avoid meltdowns and kids telling you they need their PE kit just before they get into bed.
After school each afternoon, go through school bags and ask for any letters. Action those straight away by highlighting pertinent dates on the wall planner, etc. Go through mail at the same time. If actions take less than five minutes, do them there and then. It will take you longer to make a note, remember, and action them later. For everything else, ensure you make a note or put the item on your list for a later day.
When making meals, prepare twice as much and freeze half of it. This will ensure you always have healthy meals on hand for when you have a busy day or don’t feel like cooking.
Draw up a schedule for using the bathroom each morning. This will avoid arguments and bad moods. Each family member has their allotted time and will need to be in and out within that time slot.
Make bedtimes pain free by starting the process earlier. About an hour before bedtime, change activities to quiet play. This will ease them in slowly, rather than an abrupt ‘time for bed’ instruction.
No manager can do everything themselves, nor should they try to. They all need help from their colleagues and employees. The key is to delegate. Make sure household chores are split between you and your partner and ensure the kids also help. Even very young children can do their part by tidying their toys away at the end of the day and keeping their rooms tidy.
The key to a happy and successful office environment is good communication. The same is true at home. Sites like livestrong.com provide effective advice in this area. Earmark certain times as ‘family time’. For example, the family should sit down together each evening for their dinner. Phones, tablets, TV and other electronic devices should be banned. This is the time where the whole family comes together to talk about their day. There may be some initial resistance, but once this is in place, everyone will get used to it.
Promote an atmosphere of tolerance and calm. If disputes arise, and no doubt they will, equip your children with the resources to talk through their issues. Encourage politeness and respect and insist this is adhered to.
Once your routines have been established, and your new strategies are in place, your home should run more efficiently. As with any changes, there may be some initial reluctance, but this will work itself out over time. Running an efficient and organized household will free up the whole family to get on with the things they enjoy doing, in a calm and happy atmosphere.