Monday, 22 April 2013

Organisation (the one where I seem a whole lot more organised than I am...)

In order to try and balance our crazy busy working weeks, we have had to become organised on a whole new level.  At times our house runs like a well oiled machine, other times its struggling to start but for the most part, we are pretty good at this!  The still time in the evenings has become the time to fold washing, sort washing, do washing, hang out washing... When I used to read, I now vacuum.  No time for loafing about - all those tiny Lego bits need to be picked up for the 10000th time this week! I am sure you all know what its like.

And time for just the two together as adults of us is minimal - sometimes we do the dishes together!  And sometimes he takes out the cat poop at the same time I am out dealing with the dog poo - romantic times here.

But you know, you have to keep organised and in control of the mess or it will take over.  And no one is happy in a messy house.  So here are a few things that have helped me and  may help you a little in managing your busy weeks.

1. Plans meals and menus for the week
Every weekend I sit in front of the my entire shelf of cook book and plan the menu for the week.  It's part of my Saturday morning ritual - one of the children brings the paper in, Steve makes the coffees and I check out what Neil Perry is cooking that week.  This often becomes our Saturday night dinner too (thanks Neil - the taco's were fantastic).  Then I flip through my cook books finding things to cook.  I have to take into consideration that Stella is a fussy eater, which, I might add is the most stressful part of the whole process.

I try and include one pasta dish, one rice dish, one soup/stew, one meat free dish and one baked beans dinner (everyone needs a bakes beans dinner and its often our Tuesday night fare).  As we get in at around 6:00pm our week night meals needs to be fast and simple.  No time for fancy plated up drool worthy dishes.  If they are not fed by 6:30pm the children will be (more ) feral.

Weekends are when I get the chance to spend more time in the kitchen cooking up a feast, which I love doing.  On Sunday nights I also cook Mondays dinner, like a lasagne, that I can easily re-heat when we get in on Monday night.  Wednesday is my day 'off' so cook a more involved meal and I also cook an extra dinner to have on Thursday night. There will be another post soon on the recipes and the way I balance the cooking for the week.

2. Have a wall planner
It doesn't have to be fancy and I say the simpler the better. After trying desperately hard to remember when piano lessons where, due dates for school notices and when appointment were (and eventually failing at it) I got hold of this wall planner from Kikki K.  Its plain - no cute puppies or Scottish castles.  Its just an A2 pad with 30 tear off pages, one month to a page.  I just write in the month (with my Kikki K stamps of course) and add the dates and off I go. As Stella can read, its useful for her to keep a check on when her events are on. (This is not an advertisement but the Monthly Planner here from Kikki K is on sale at the moment). 

3. Buy in bulk
There are stores, a large American one in particular, where you can buy things in huge bulk quantities.  I admit that the store and its " in your face crazed frantic consumerism" makes me feel ill but I concede that when you are on a budget there are savings to be had.  Much of the criticism surrounding a store like this is that its American owned however for the most we only buy Australian products there.  We usually buy flour, toilet roll, cat litter, canned tomatoes and cleaning products.  We sometimes buy their Australian free range chicken and organic pork.  Other good places for bulk buys are local Continental supermarkets (for canned tomatoes) and the German supermarket (you know what I mean).  Buying some things in bulk is about savings but also about having plenty on hand.

What tips do you have for being organised? I would love to hear them.


Lisa said...

I am a fanatical calendar user, I put "appointments" for everything for our family of 5 - shopping, post office, afternoon playdates, Daddy home late from work etc etc... I have my iPhone and laptop calender's synced together so if an appointment goes on one, it automatically appears on the other too.

Hazel said...

Thanks for sharing your tips, I have already started the wall calendar as I was already losing track of appointments, bills, birthdays.
I will remember your cook ahead tips for my return to work. I will head back part time in January next year, luckily Rob has some long service leave so he'll go part time too.
Loved the romantic image of the poop collection.

katiecrackernuts said...

I am so bad at having a routine that now, if it gets thrown seriously out of whack I can become quite snitty. It's terrible isn't it? The routine does make flow so much easily though. So much more calmly.