Monday 25 January 2016

List To Help Life Easier!

Whether there's one or two working parents in the home, keeping the household running smoothly requires meticulous organisational skills and true determination. You don't have to be a superhero to achieve this; simply follow these ideas to help keep your ship afloat!

White Boards
White boards and/or pin boards are essential tools for the busy home. These are best displayed in the kitchen, where family members are likely to take notice. You'll also need dry wipe pens in various colours, post-its, planner and drawing pins. Whilst smartphones and tablets have organisational apps, you can't guarantee everyone will read a post.

Unless you intend on feeding the family microwave meals or takeaways, it will make life much easier if you know what dishes you'll be making a week or two in advance. Display this list of meals on a white board. The family can even rate the choices with a tick or cross and leave suggestions! This will also help with the food shopping and will hopefully reduce waste. Shopping is probably best done on-line and delivered at a convenient time, so that you don't get tempted by special offers that you don't actually need.

If a child is old enough to move around unaided, they're old enough for chores! It might be a simple task like putting their toys away or folding their school uniform - starting them young builds character and teaches responsibility! For older children, tasks like loading the dishwasher, or putting out the rubbish is more reasonable. A weekly rota should be displayed prominently, with items being ticked once they're done. An incentive scheme could be introduced, offering treats such as a family outing, or a new toy. For weeks/months where all chores have been carried out on time, and without complaints, maybe they could even get a little extra pocket money! Although positive reinforcement is far preferable, privileges could be removed if anyone reneges.

Appointments and Timetable.
A large-scale, monthly calendar should be in the kitchen, for all family members to use. This could include meetings, dental appointments, birthdays, parties, project due dates, non-school uniform days, when to renew the car insurance etc. If there are too many items, you could have a separate one for the children. Explain to teenagers, that it is their responsibility to add anything that's important; this is especially important for those who forget to pass on letters from school. If your child has a dodgy memory, get them to have their own notice board in their room, to make a note of things they need to remember. A weekly timetable is also necessary, so everyone knows where they should be and when.

If possible, organise a car share with other parents so you save on fuel a few times a week. Take it in turn to drive one another's children to school, and take advantage of those who usually catch the bus; agree on a plan where they pay you their bus fare in return for a lift to the school and back. If safe, teenagers can walk with friends to and from school, or even ride their bike, accompanied with the appropriate safety of course, like a helmet.

List and charts form the backbone of every efficient household with working parents, once family members become accustomed to the routine you'll find it makes your life much easier!

Until next time,
Jada x


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