Being organized and more importantly, staying organized is all about creating systems to fit your needs. You’ll hear me say that a lot. The thing about systems is no two families are alike, and therefore no two systems are alike. What works for someone with 2 young toddlers, might not work for someone with 3 teenagers. Whatever your needs are, you can tailor systems to work for you. One thing I find especially key to staying organized is setting yourself up for a successful week with weekend prep. That means taking a little time to prepare for your week ahead. There are a few things I do every weekend to make sure that my upcoming week is productive and organized.
Create a Plan
How many times have you written a to do list and then left it at home or lost it? I have MANY times. But, to do lists really can work if you use them correctly. First, decide where you want to keep your list and calendar. There are so many different options now. If you are a good ole’ pen and paper person, I would recommend grabbing a notebook or planner (I love the Erin Condren Life Planner) to write in each day. Some other options are apps (there are a million, just find the one that works best for you), or if you are an iphone user, I love the reminders app and Google Calendars. The reminders app is super simple. Just create a list for each day of the week and add your to do items under the correct day of the week like a checklist.
Now that you know where to store your list, make your list. Take 10 minutes to look at your calendar, think of all of your commitments, kid’s activities, literally everything and make one giant list of everything that needs to be done that week. Disclaimer: you will feel extremely overwhelmed, but I promise this step is important. It may also help to work backwards. School field trip on Thursday? When does the permission slip need to be turned in? What do you need to buy for lunch? Once you have your list, start thinking about what is a priority. This is a step that most people overlook. BUT DON’T! I am giving you permission now to tell yourself that you don’t have to be superwoman.
Most likely you won’t get to every item on the list. So, look at your list and circle the top things that HAVE to be done that week. Next to each task write how much time you think it will take. Is it a 10 minute phone call? Will that work commitment take 2 hours? Then you can start assigning them to a day of the week in whatever you are using as a calendar/to do list. Think about how your day looks and what tasks make sense that day. Now, when you are sitting in that 30 minute car pickup line you can whip out your to do list and see how many 10 minute tasks you can get done! You go SUPER MAMA!
Meal and Snack Prep
Taking the time to set yourself up for a week of healthy snacks and easy dinners will save you time and stress. Figure out which day is best for a grocery trip. It may not necessarily be on the weekend, and that is totally fine. Plan your snacks and meals before you make your grocery list. We love to plan out a few weeks in advance. After you do your shopping, take a few minutes to prep some quick and healthy snacks. Wash and cut up the fruits and veggies. Make an easy grab and go snack bin in the pantry for those last minute rushing out the door emergencies.
There is nothing I love more than waking up on a Monday to a clean house. If you don’t want to spend your entire weekend cleaning, do a little each day. Then, take about 30 minutes Sunday night to do a clean sweep of the house. Wipe down the kitchen counters, recruit the kids to help pick up, and clear any clutter. If the word cleaning makes you cringe, set a timer. This is seriously the most motivating thing I have ever tried. Start with 15 minutes and see how much you can get done. You will truely be amazed. Try it with your kids as well.
You are all set for a successful week, so take some time to relax. Go into Monday feeling rested and ready to tackle the week.