It’s not even officially the new year yet and I’m eager to start purging and organizing. Recently I have been bitten by the “less is more” error and the clutter has quickly disappeared from my house. I want my home to function like a well-oiled machine, so when 2017 rolls around, I’m definitely going to get more organized and start with these five steps.
Step 1: create a cleaning schedule
If you are like me and you clean all you want and you need to have company just to do You clean, a schedule is the trick you need to start January off on the right foot! I keep telling myself that I need to stick to a weekly schedule, so I finally took the time to research it online and came across a host of different plans. Explore and find one that suits your personality; mine should be detailed, but simple and achievable because cleaning is really the last thing I want to do!
Step 2: make a weekly meal plan
A friend of mine has been doing this for years and he swears. It seems like a lot of extra work to me, but when I think about how much energy and time I wasted deciding what’s for dinner each night, planning doesn’t sound so bad anymore! And once you plan your meals, it’s even easier to compile your shopping lists and be more organized in the kitchen. A weekly menu planner with a shopping list is the perfect solution to your meal prep problems.
Step 3: dust off your slow cooker and store your freezer
If you have hectic afternoons and nights, a slow cooker can be your real salvation. They release a long time and, by using mainly fresh ingredients cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time, they retain the natural, nutrient-rich juices of vegetables and meats. Try hot, hearty soups, immune-boosting bone broths, and kid-friendly recipes for Sloppy Joes and Teriyaki Chicken in your slow cooker, and don’t forget to double batches so there are leftovers to freeze for another day.
Step 4: downsize and eliminate clutter
After the holidays, have your family go through toy bins, drawers, and cabinets. Tell them that they need to make room for the new things they received by willingly giving the older items they no longer use. Also, when you remove your Christmas decorations, make a note of what you did not put up last year. It is more than likely that I will not use them again this year, so add them to the donation box as well.
Step 5: Involve Your Children More Often
I know it’s easier to do things yourself, but keep trying to involve your children in household chores and cooking whenever you can. Make chore charts and delegate chores at mealtime. It takes time and perseverance, but it’s worth the effort, both for you and for them. Suddenly, you’ll feel liberated when you don’t have to unload the dishwasher for the millionth time or fold your laundry and dust the living room alone. Your family will function better as a team, and your children will learn valuable life skills.