Home organization ideas focus on the really big areas of our homes like the garage, the pantry, closets etc. While we need those areas to be organized, we as moms often need systems for the small areas of our home and life that we are interacting with on a daily basis.
I have found that being prepared will help bring efficiency, peace, calm, and happiness into your home. Being able to organize the small day to day work in the home into systems will make a big difference in simplifying your life. It’s important to have systems in place to make sure that your home is running smoothly. Make sure that you have everything you need to keep your home running smoothly, and this article will help you with that.
I want to share with you some systems that have really helped to simplify things around the house for me and helped keep me feeling good and keep my head straight. All families are different, therefore use what you can from my list, tweak some of my systems so they work for you, and add some systems of your own!
If you put time and energy upfront in creating systems that work for your lifestyle and your family, you will become more productive and find more free time as a result. Here are my 12 that almost anyone can implement in their home.
1. Grocery Shopping List On A Magnetic Board or On The Refrigerator
Keep a very visible grocery list with pens and pencils right there on the refrigerator. Everyone in the family adds to the list when they have the last of something from the pantry. When the time comes for grocery shopping which would be friday or saturday in our home, we don’t forget any essential grocery items that we recently ran out of.
2. Food And Meal Planning System: Weekly Menu
I prepare a weekly menu and put it on the magnetic board that we have in the kitchen. I plan this on friday or saturday before our grocery shopping round so that all items needed for the following week’s menu can be added to the grocery shopping list.
This has really been a game changer for me. It eliminated the question I used to ask many days around 4 pm – “What shall I cook for dinner tonight?” It eliminated decision fatigue. Kids also know what is for dinner as it’s on the board, and it holds me accountable.
3. Healthy Snack Prep
On the weekend prepare ready to eat healthy snacks, pack them in mason jars and store the jars in the refrigerator. You can wash and cut carrot slices and fill up a large mason jar. Similarly wash and cut cucumber slices and store in another mason jar. Wash and pack another jar with grapes, fill up another jar with boiled beet slices, wash and fill up jars with whichever berries are in season like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries etc. This way healthy snacks are ready to eat and any family member can get them even if mom is not around. Ever since I implemented this system, more fruits and veggie slices get eaten in our home and there is less food wastage.
4. Partial Meal Prep (similar to # 3)
Cleaning and chopping vegetables is time consuming and you might not have the time or the energy to do that on a weeknight. This partial prepping of veggies on the weekend has helped me save time on weeknights. Based on my menu for the coming week, I know to peel and chop ginger, onion, and garlic and put them in containers in the fridge. Also other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower can be cut into florets and then stored in the fridge in good quality plastic boxes so that sauteing, or baking or cooking with them on a weeknight is fast. I also clean and cut green beans if that is on the menu as a side dish one night.
5. System of No Outdoor Shoes In The Home
We have a shoe closet near the door where all outdoor shoes live. Actually we have a shoe closet near the front door as well as near the garage entrance. Everyone has separate slippers for home use which we don’t wear outside. This habit and system of storing outdoor shoes near the front door helps keep the floors clean. This saves a lot of time which would otherwise be needed to clean all the outdoor dirt and grime brought in the house. Other extra shoes are stored in each person’s room or the garage.
6. Robot Vacuum
We love our robot vacuum in our family. The timer is set for it to go off and vacuum all the kitchen and living areas downstairs in the early morning while we are still upstairs. Every year new models of better and better robot vacuums are available and I think this would be an excellent investment for any family, especially a family with young kids.
7. Do Similar Tasks Together
Instead of doing laundry every day or every other day, I like to do all the laundry on one day of the week. The idea here is that by doing similar tasks all on the same day, you become efficient and save a lot of time.
For example, take planning. Now in the month of December, I am already thinking about plans and goals for 2022. It will be more efficient if I batch plan for the whole year. Break it into plans for each month, and then plans for each week. If I can do this over 1 or 2 days with focus and concentration, I will be more effcient and productive and will save time in the whole exercise.
By focusing on one thing, like all laundry on one day, or all planning for 2022 on one day, you can get your mind in efficient focus mode. When you focus on one thing, you dont waste time and energy and are more efficient.
8. Do Small Tasks Immediately
Any task that is going to take 5 minutes or less, do it immediately instead of putting it on some list. In general, getting it done right away saves you time in the long run. Also, you don’t want it constantly nagging at you, and taking up space in your brain. Once it is done, it is out of your brain not occupying precious real estate in the brain.
9. After Dinner System Of Tasks
I learnt this from a friend and it works like a charm in her family. My kids are young but we have started to implement this right now. Each family member has tasks they need to do every day right after dinner is over. If you have older kids, you can create a plan and assign tasks to each family member. Then I like to rotate the duties every week so everybody gets a chance to do every job. I have tasks broken down as:
- Put all the dirty dishes, glasses and silverware in the sink.
- Put all the serving containers and leftovers on the kitchen counter.
- Put everything where it belongs on the dining table and the sideboard (like napkins, trivets etc.).
- Wipe clean all the placemats and the dining table.
- Sweep the dining room floor to get all the crumbs. My little one loves to do this ever since I bought him a cute little broom.
- Store the leftovers correctly.
- Load the dishwasher.
- Wipe the stovetop clean.
- Sweep the kitchen floor.
You can assign 2 to 3 tasks to each family member according to their age. At first they might complain, but sharing responsibilities will make your life so much easier. And your kids will be learning valuable skills in the process.
10. List Of Chores On The Magnetic Board
Again assign age appropriate chores to each child. I have a list of chores and the day of the week each chore should be done. If we can, we try to do a lot on thursday and friday so that we are not spending the whole weekend cleaning our home. On weekends we try to have free time for some outdoor and indoor fun games and activities with the children.
- After dinner chores from # 9
- Pick up toys and put where they belong
- Car wash
- Wipe the dust off the furniture
- Vacuum the whole house
- Clean up your own room
- Take out the trash
- Chores in the garden
11. Google Sheets For Finances
We have financial google sheets for monthly spending. This is an excellent system that gives you an idea of where the money is going and how much you have left over at the end of the month. Copy and do it every month. It has formulas to add everything up, and we just duplicate the sheet for each month.
12. Set Reminders For Everything
I make extensive use of google calendar and have set up all sorts of reminders that send an alert on my phone. You can use apple calendar which is equally good if not better. There are many apps also available nowadays, but I think google calendar is very convenient. I have it on my laptop and on my phone which is useful when you are on the go.
Well there you have it – the systems I put in place to make my home a peaceful and happy place that runs like a well oiled machine. Hope this inspires you to create systems suitable for your family and your lifestyle that bring peace and harmony into your home.