As the new year begins, many of us are making resolutions to eat better, lose those few extra pounds or quit a bad habit. For me, a new year is a time for renewal and getting things better organized around the house! As we take down the lights and put away the boxes of decorations for another year, it’s a good time to take stock of your household items, be more organized, and start on the path to a less hectic morning routine.
Here are few tips I use to help keep my family organized and ready for work and school each day:
- Use a wall calendar, desk organizer or your mobile device to create a ‘to do’ list. Record tasks and organize your family’s schedule, meetings, clubs, sports, etc. I write everything down, even when I should do laundry, take the garbage out, and shop for groceries. It might seem a bit over the top, but if I don’t write it down and check it off the list, it may not get done. There’s also something really satisfying about checking items off a list!
- Plan out dinners for the week in advance. Write down suggested ideas of what to have each weeknight and make sure you have the ingredients available (eg. get the chicken out of the freezer in the morning if you’re planning on having stir-fry for dinner). This will lessen the ‘What to have for dinner tonight?” stress when everyone gets home. Cookspiration from the Dietitians of Canada has some great recipe ideas.
Make lunches the night before! Gather all your lunch supplies in one place.Have containers, cutlery and snacks organized in one place so kids can help pack their lunches. Ensure all items are labelled with your child’s name.
- Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Students need fuel so their brains and bodies are ready to learn. Keep an emergency supply of “mobile” foods—a wrap with yogurt or cream cheese rolled up inside, or made-ahead egg cups. EatRight Ontario has some great quick, easy and healthy breakfast ideas.
- Lay out clothes and have backpacks ready and by the front door. Go through any permission forms or notes from school the night before.
- Lack of sleep makes everyone cranky. Encourage everyone to get to bed at a reasonable time, including you! It’s important to have ‘wind-down’ time by reading a book or having a relaxing bath. And turn off the electronics and smart phones at least an hour before bedtime – screen time close to bedtime has been proven to cause sleep disruptions.
The new year is also a great time to go through your closets and purge clothing and other household items you are not using anymore. Donate them to a local organization such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, Dress for Success, or a local women’s or homeless shelter.
Happy New Year!
By Melanie Rumley, Communications Officer