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Simple Steps to Becoming An Organised Mum

Simple Steps to Becoming An Organised Mum

Here’s the thing, I’ve never actually thought of myself as an organised mum. However throughout my life, I have been always been given positive comments like

” I don’t know how you have the energy”, “how do you do it all?” and “you’re so fast”. Doesn’t mean I’m an organised mum right? Um well… it kind of does and that’s where I can help you too.

I also used to believe that I’m not organised because I don’t plan a daily schedule my whole day from hour to hour. The truth is that I still don’t believe you need to do that, have an online system or complicated journal to be an organised mum. You can find out more about me on my home page.

Organised-Mum

Write Everything Down (Not!)

I’m actually going to go against the grain here a bit. Take a step back. So you want to be organised but find that when you come to writing everything down in your fancy journal you just don’t know where and what to write. Especially being a mum, I don’t think people realise that we have a multitude of activities! From tasks like tackling the laundry to attending a meeting with our suppliers for a first book signing!

writing-everything-down

Divide and Rule?

With list writing, your mind is quickly running through a multitude of tasks that you need to action and don’t worry if you forget any. Just add them in!! I find when I’m listing my tasks that there are so many and I just keep adding them. At this initial stage I’m not even thinking about categorising them in terms of health and fitness, home organisation, business, family etc. It’s a really simple and effective method.

Using Your Journal

Here’s a few simple tips when using a journal. It’s something I certainly do when I’m list writing or planning ahead.

I tend not to write on the other side of the page so that I have a section to write a little more detailed notes if I need to. A bound book is better to use for taking notes or writing lists than loose leaf. That might just be me but it means that all details are consolidated into one space and there aren’t pages that are ripped out and all over the place. Please do resist the temptation!!

Don’t be scared to write in your journal. It’s a bit like painting on a new canvas. Take five minutes to think about it and then take the leap and get writing! Why not have a cup of tea, or your favourite brew and settle down in a ‘space’ that you can zone out and really focus.

spring-flower-journal-plain-paper

I have some beautiful handcrafted watercolour journals on my Three Kids and Heels Etsy store. Just hop over to my store and get your planning juices going. One of my favourite journals is the Spring flower design. I love Spring and that’s when I find my energy levels and ideas really springing into action!

spring-flower-journal-face-on

Only once you’ve listed all tasks should you number them in order of importance. Then as you complete them, cross them out or put a tick next to them. It really is that simple. If you would like to categorise your tasks then you could use separate pages or even separate journals. Personally, I like to have everything in one space and then just keep adding to the list as I go along, the next day and so on. It’s much easier than writing a new list and starting all over again. 

Prioritising & Letting Go

No, I’m not talking about ruining your diet here! That’s another thing, for me personally I don’t believe diets work but I will leave that to another blog 🙂

I’m serious here when I say that prioritising is something you absolutely must do. Think about those positive comments I received. I’m obviously not superwoman and can’t possibly get everything done in God given hours. One thing I firmly believe in is prioritising. So, doing tasks in order of importance is key to achieving success in being more organised.

 

To-do-list

Another thing is to let go and actually put some things lower down in your list or better still, get rid of them if they are simply not adding value. A list should never be indefinite. It should be practical and manageable. Try to focus on the goal in sight first and work back to your tasks. Remove or prioritise tasks that do not directly lead to reaching your goal. 

letting-go

Routine is Your Best Friend

Routine really is your best friend. Making a list and completing tasks regularly really does make good habits stick. Imagine you had to care for plants. Watering them on a daily basis helps to nourish them and help them grow strong and tall. Without consistent food, light and water, not to mention pruning, you will either end up with an unruly monster of a plant or a limp poor resemblance of a plant. Writing lists, actioning them regularly, sticking to the plan and reflecting regularly, can really achieve your goals in sight!

Routine-is Your-Best-Friend

Knowing When to Multi Task

There are plenty of ways of cutting down what seems like an exhaustive list and one of them is to multi-task. The trick is to know when you can do this otherwise you end up taking longer! For example, back in my student days, I couldn’t concentrate on my assignment when watching TV. Whereas, I can definitely watch my favourite programme whilst ironing. So find out what tasks can be done together so it works for you. 

The trick is to know when you can do this otherwise you end up taking longer! For example, back in my student days I could never really concentrate on my assignment when listening to music or watching TV. Whereas I can definitely watch my favourite programme whilst ironing. So find out what tasks done together work for you. 

Decluttering and Tidying Up

You might find it surprising that this is one of the steps to becoming more organised. The idea is that when you’re juggling different tasks on an ongoing basis, the less you have to juggle the better. Through decluttering and tidying up, you can reduce clutter that otherwise has to be dealt with. This makes it more of a hassle to-do list. Try taking each room at a time and focusing on certain areas. I have a great Home Organisation Kit that can help you get started straight away. All you have to do is download, print and get started!

home-organization-kit-cover

Simple Is Beautiful

Often the simplest of methods are beautiful, having the greatest impact. I have first-hand experience of a better work life balance through following these steps. I hope you can too. Be prepared to follow routine but still be flexible; to reflect regularly but take action by prioritising and sometimes letting go.

Most of all, be proud of yourself for making small changes and making your life more organised a reality.

Tiabah xx

Be The Back To School Queen

Be The Back To School Queen

Are you prepared for back to school ? Yes, I hear most of you say however there’s much more preparation than just buying school essentials. Be the Back to School Queen by organising yourself and your child for school. There are tips from preparing their mindset to knowing your school allowances and much more. Last but not least, how we can organise ourselves better to minimise stress for both parent and child. Let’s make both your and your child’s first day Back to School a memorable experience.

Back-to-School-Preparation
Back to School Preparation

Preparing Mindset

back to school anxiety 2

This is often overlooked but some kids suffer from back to school anxiety. Due to Covid, this may be more of an issue than previous years . I guess we need to be mindful of the stark contrast from being at home to suddenly being in totally different environment. This is especially true for small children.

Ever started a new job and feel anxious about what your first day will be like and whether you’ll fit into the team? Now imagine how a young child feels! There are many things we can do to combat this. For example, there are ‘meet the new teacher’ days before school breaks out which gives children an opportunity to meet their new teacher and get familiar with their new classroom.

Nurseries also have taster sessions which help mums and kids alike to get an idea about what a particular nursery is like and if their child fits in. Believe it or not but establishing routine also plays an important factor in reducing anxiety. Let’s chat about that next. 

Establishing Routine 

Summer holidays are for relaxing. On the other hand, it’s also an ideal time to prepare your child for school. Depending on your child’s age, they might be at the potty training stage before starting nursery. Older kids may need to to work on certain areas like doing their homework on time. A couple of weeks prior to starting school, set an earlier fixed bedtime routine. Limiting iPad exposure is also important. Tough huh?! I’m feeling your pain mums! Being a Back to School Queen takes a little work!

I have personally been using a Kids Weekly Planner. My eldest daughter loves following as it makes her feel independent . We all know how nine year olds hate being told what to do! Find out more about me and how I stay organised here. You too can be super organised by downloading this for FREE. Just laminate it and you can write on it each week. Saves on the printing! It’s EDITABLE so all you need to do is fill in the main task fields. Then print and GO!

KIds Weekly Planner
KIds Weekly Planner

Buying Essentials

back to school clothes 1

Sorry mums, in this blog I’m not going to tell you where to buy your school bags, shoes and other items. It’s not so much where, but what to buy, what sizes, how many!

This is just me but I tend to write a list of items we need to buy from school clothes to swimming caps. Some of these items need to have the school logo or be certain colours so watch out and read your school uniform list. Other items are just easier and cheaper to buy from the school office.

Especially with Covid, it may not be convenient for everyone to go out school uniform shopping. This year, I have bought quite a few items like school shoes online. You may not want to buy items where you’re unsure of the sizes so sometimes items like stationery or bags are easier. I bought a similar Smiggles bag for my eldest. We love these bags as they are good quality and smell great too!

In terms of the right size, its best to start school shopping after the first few weeks of the summer holidays and expect your child to grow by December! If this is just mind boggling as it can be first time then just buy one of each item. I actually remember calling my sister first time haha. On the other hand, not buying enough shirts for example is just another problem.

You want to have enough just to be able to not have to check every night if they have a clean shirt to wear the next day. With the Covid situation, be sure to ask your school, what changes if any they have made to school uniform.

Budgeting & Allowances

Being a Back to School Queen requires some planning ahead. You’ll be surprised how quickly the school issues their term calendar, most do this before the school term starts. We can’t plan for everything but we know of any upcoming school trips. Working mums may need to book leave from work or anticipate additional childcare costs. Find out if the school organises any free/paid clubs.

School meals is also another factor which we tend to overlook. Its universally free for all KS1 pupils (UK). I only wish I had known that I could be flexible with school meals and packed lunches for KS2 onwards. So in a nutshell, find out about any allowances according to your financial circumstances. 

Packed-Lunches-and-School-Dinners
Packed Lunches v School Dinners

Back to School for Mums

Meal-Prep-and-Lunch-Ideas

The more organised we are, the less we have to deal with on school days! For example, just planning out your meals on a weekly basis and packed lunch options makes life so much easier. Why not freeze some food items such as pies, flapjacks which freeze really well. Get imaginative and join in the kids. They will love both the baking AND the eating part!

I also tend to organise things like a few outfits that I can just whip out in the morning for the school run.  If it’s a new school or nursery you need to travel to by car/bus, just check it out in advance so you know how long it takes at rush hour and/or if there are parking spaces nearby. 

Don’t forget mum, YOU need breakfast too! So organise some quick and healthy brekkie options for those school runs and give yourself those extra ten minutes to avoid gulping it down! 

Wishing all mums and our little ones a great start to the new term.

With all this information, you are a Back to School Queen. You Rock!!

Tiabah x x 


The ultimate pregnancy bag checklist for hospital.

The ultimate pregnancy bag checklist for hospital.

A little about me

Ever wondered why there are so many blog posts about how to pack a pregnancy bag?

This is no ordinary bag ladies, simply because it’s a major event and much preparation is needed! Read my blog to discover the secret of how to pack your pregnancy bag whilst having other nice to have items. Then we can all sit back in anticipation and excitement of your new baby’s arrival.

On a personal level, this is a great blog for me to write about. I gave birth to my third child Raza, back in October last year so I know how to write a pregnancy bag checklist for sure! Find out more About Me.

Now, let’s get your bag packed…

Your Pregnancy Bag

Notice, I said ‘your’ because if we each packed our bag, some basic contents would be the same but others totally different. One thing we can agree on is that some people do have bigger pregnancy bags and that’s really OK but we do not have to take the kitchen sink! I have seen ladies with a rather large trolley dolly’s when I went to the hospital for my first child and remember feeling inferior to them when actually, I ended up having exactly what I needed. I don’t remember thinking afterwards that ‘Oh I forgot this thing’ or ‘I should have brought…’. Seriously trolley dolly’s are fine. I took a small one with me.

One size does not fit all

The point is that it’s not the size of the bag or the number of items but more specifically what items you personally need. Once you have that sorted, work on what items you would like to have. Let’s talk more about that next. 

Pregnancy Bag

Mindset

Packing your pregnancy bag is almost like a ritual and prepares the mind for the fact that you ARE going to give birth to this baby! It helps to prepare you for the event that will happen. It also gives a sense of satisfaction and an element of control over the situation.

Pregnancy Checklist – Items You’re Likely to Need

Items Needed v Items You May Like to Have

Here’s a list of the items that I believe that we ladies need:

  • Slippers, gown, at least 2 pairs of pyjamas, socks, a towel (for baby & mum)
  • Basic personal items & toiletries – deodorant, a few makeup items, comb, hair tie, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner.
  • The medication you normally take
  • Maternity record (should include your birth plan)
  • Outfit for mum to go home in – loose ones, please
  • Outfit for baby – at least 3 baby vests, Babygro, mitts, hat, blanket/sleeper bag
  • Newborn nappies, wipes
  • Large sanitary pads and breast pads, underwear, nursing bra – comfy large ones, please 😉
  • Car seat for baby (hospitals do not allow you to take the baby home in the car without one).
  • Phone charger
  • Spare change for the phone
  • A written list of emergency contacts e.g mum, other half, sibling, friend etc – sometimes the phone runs out of charge or there isn’t a place to charge it
  • Snacks e.g small cartons of juice, energy bar. Keep spare change for the vending machine.

Items You May Like to Have

Now that we have the essentials out the way, let’s list the possible wants. You can be as crazy/inventive as you want! Just check with your selected hospital and midwife that you are actually allowed these items or that the hospital facilitates them.  I have watched some YouTube videos from Doulas based in the US that pack lamps and fairy lights for a dimmed atmosphere. Other examples are essential oils and pressure point pads. Some of these may be essentials for you in which case just add them to your list!

Nice to Have Items

  • A gift for your newborn and/or their sibling
    Gift / Thank You card for the nurses – they do a fabulous job and I can’t thank them enough.
  • Sleeping mask, that is if you’re a lucky mum to be and manage to squeeze in some shut-eye.
  • Entertainment as for some ladies it’s going to be a long day!! Magazines/ books, downloaded playlist on your iPhone.
  • Fan/water spray
  • Your own pillow
  • Your own birth ball or check if your hospital provides one
  • Items for your birthing partner – e.g. they may need spare change of clothes, snacks

When to Pack

You can pack as early as you want and that’s just my view. Though it’s probably best to start gathering basic items at about 30 weeks plus. We all know that some babies like to surprise us and arrive early! Also, it gives you a chance to shop around in the sales for items that you’re not likely to use again. For me, in the later stages of pregnancy, it’s more difficult to shop around when carrying extra weight!

Where to Leave Your Bag

Should we discuss this? Yes, I do think it’s important as if I didn’t leave my bag in an obvious place, I don’t personally think my other half would ever have found it. It’s always advised to leave your bag near the door. Just in case you can’t take it yourself to the hospital, leave it in an obvious accessible place. 

Wishing all mums to be good luck. I hope you feel better prepared as I did. 

 

Tiabah x x