In this post, you’ll discover tips to help you become a more organised homemaker. You’ll learn how to plan ahead so that you can be more prepared for your daily homemaking.
This post is part of the Traits of Successful Homemakers series.
Tip #1: Develop a Daily Practice of Planning Ahead
To become a more organised homemaker, develop the habit of planning before taking action. Do this as much as possible, every day. The more you practise planning ahead, the more organised you will become.
An easy way to practise planning ahead is to make lists. You can make a list for almost any task that you need to do throughout the day.
Here are some easy lists that you can start with:
- A shopping list. I never step into a supermarket without a shopping list. Otherwise, I’m bound to get distracted and forget what I intended to buy.
- A list of your meals for the day. It’s much easier to serve up healthy and appetising meals if you plan them in advance. To learn how to plan your meals, read my beginner's guide to meal planning.
- A list of your cleaning tasks for the day. You will be able to clean your house more thoroughly and more efficiently if you start with a plan.
Tip #2: Make Your Plans Easy to Execute
Having a plan is just the first step to being a more organised homemaker. You also need to make sure that you take action on your plans. Therefore, aim to create plans that are easy to execute.
Here are some questions to help you evaluate whether a plan is easy to execute:
- Is it visible? You will find it easier to carry out your plan if it is visible.
- Is it achievable? You may struggle to act on a plan that is too ambitious.
- Is it easy to understand? If your plan is difficult to understand, it will also be difficult to execute.
- Does it excite you? You will find it easier to carry out a plan that makes you feel happy and excited.
Tip #3: Turn Recurring Plans Into Routines
Once you have developed a daily habit of planning ahead, you may find yourself making similar plans over and over again. This is because many homemaking tasks are recurring ones.
To save time on planning, organise recurring homemaking tasks into routines. A routine is a group of tasks that you do on a regular basis. Routines save time because once you have written out a routine, you can follow it over and over again.
Here are some homemaking routines that you can create:
- Daily homemaking routines. For example, you could create one homemaking routine for the morning, and another for the evening.
- Homemaking routines for each room. For example, you could create one routine for cleaning the bathroom, and another for cleaning the kitchen.
Tip #4: Collect Useful Information
Some homemaking tasks are straightforward, and you can rely on your memory or your common sense to carry them out. But other homemaking tasks are less straightforward, and you need to follow specific instructions in order to complete the task.
If you want to be more organised, start collecting the information that you need to perform your homemaking. Store the information in a homemaking journal, so that you can easily access the information whenever you need it.
Here are some examples of the information that you can keep in your homemaking journal:
- Appliance care and maintenance instructions. Read the instruction manuals for all the appliances in your home, and write down any useful instructions that you find. I have notes on how to descale my kettle, how to clean the detergent dispenser of my washing machine, and how to clean my tumble dryer.
- Washing instructions for clothing and linens. Check the care labels on your clothing and linens, and take notes on the correct way to launder them. Through proper care, you can can extend the lifespan of your clothing and linens.
- Your favourite homemaking tips. Each time you stumble across a useful homemaking hint, add it to your homemaking journal. I have collected notes on how to iron clothing, how to store different types of produce, and how to clean blinds.
Tip #5: Plan for Setbacks and Successes
Being organised is about planning ahead, but that doesn’t mean that your plans will always unfold exactly as planned.
Once in a while, you may encounter an unexpected setback. Suppose you plan to make lasagna for dinner, and you step into the supermarket with a perfectly organised shopping list. But what happens if the supermarket has no stock of lasagna sheets? What’s the best way to make a last-minute adjustment to your meal plan?
The opposite can also happen. Suppose you decide to deep clean the downstairs bathroom, and you allocate two hours to that task. But what happens if you end up finishing the job in half an hour? What’s the best way to make use of that extra time?
Both cases illustrate the importance of having backup plans. Since it is impossible to predict the future, it’s sensible to plan for setbacks and successes.
To create backup plans, imagine the setbacks and successes that you might encounter. Then develop a plan to address each of these situations.
Here are some examples of my backup plans:
- If I can’t find an item I need at the supermarket, I will substitute it with a similar item.
- If I forget to start cooking dinner on time, I will make a quick and easy meal instead.
- If a household chore takes less time than expected, I will spend the spare time on a relaxing leisure activity.
- If I encounter the same problem twice in one week, I will look for a long-term solution.
Being Organised Helps You Make Better Decisions
Being organised helps you become a more successful homemaker. When you plan ahead, you take responsibility for your homemaking. You become an active participant of life instead of a passive bystander. Planning ahead allows you to make decisions that move you closer to creating a home that you love.
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