The beginning of a new year is always filled with promise – resolutions, new leaves to turn over and clean sweeps to action. Best intentions notwithstanding, it can all be a little overwhelming when it comes to the crunch.
Taking small steps towards your ultimate goal is the best approach to tackle change and there are lots of things you can do each day to smooth the way to an organised, clean and productive household.
Read our tips for a little push to get you and your home into gear for the best 2018 you can have.
1. Clear the decks
Make sure all the trappings and trimmings of the holidays are clean and packed away. Store things so they’re handy for a quick trip weekend to the beach as summer continues but ensure the disappearance of camping gear, Christmas gifts and packaging.
2. Start fresh
If you haven’t already, invest in a family calendar or app to get you and your family synced with your activities. This encourages communication and gives everyone in the household a voice. Whether you have kids or housemates, set aside a couple of nights a week where evening meals are held at the table - device free - to chat and plan the week ahead. Stick to these nights going forward.
3. Clean as you go
With school and work underway now, you’ll have less time to a big clean. Cleaning as you go is now the best way to get on top of jobs like clearing out the fridge, mopping floors and reorganizing the pantry. Rather than shelving these jobs for a rainy day, do a little here and there as you notice the need – little bits add up.
4. Invite friends over
Get into the swing of things with a dinner party or gathering. It’s the best way to set a deadline for odd jobs you’ve been putting off and present your house at its best.
5. Plan ahead
On Sundays (or whichever day works with your schedule), plan your weekly meals, snacks and lunches. Ask for input from your family and make a list of the ingredients you’ll need to add to your weekly shop.
6. Rise and shine
Aim to go to bed 30 minutes earlier each night and set your alarm 15 minutes ahead of when you normally get up. Get straight out of bed without hitting snooze and start the day in earnest from the get-go. This will give you a buffer each morning to include one task you’ve been putting off, or simply stave off a frantic morning rush.
7. Enlist everyone’s help
Talk about your plans and lead by example. Discuss the jobs that need to be done with other household members and/or children to enlist their help and support. Ask how you can help smooth their day along or take stock of their daily routines and adjust for efficiency.
8. Catch up on weekday evenings
Rather than falling in a heap in front of the TV, use one or two nights a week to catch up on jobs that can free up time on your weekends, such as:
- Ironing work clothes or uniforms
- Preparing lunches ahead of time
- Tidying drawers or wardrobes
- Small cleaning jobs
- Washing and folding clothes
9. Adjust as you go
Take stock on the weekend and take a break. Keep a note on the fridge or calendar of the bigger jobs still outstanding and commit to ticking one off each weekend. This may take a few weeks, but you’ll look back in a month to find you’ve achieved so much!
Block out a day every few weekends where you have no commitments. Resume holiday mode and take a picnic to the beach or local park with your kids, or stay home and potter in the garden. Pause and enjoy the results of your cumulative efforts.