• Simplifying Family Organisation

July 16, 2021

This month, we are thrilled to chat to Tracy Ross, founder of Blissfully Organised, to learn some fantastic tips to help make life easier ... exactly what we all need right now.

Simplifying Family Organisation

As a busy working mum of two teenagers, I know that family life can be fun but also chaotic and busy.  

This year has been challenging for many parents, balancing working from home with home schooling, exam cancellations and children self-isolating.  In addition, our holiday travel plans may have been affected by the covid restrictions and we are looking to holiday in the UK this year.


With this in mind, I'm delighted to share my top tips to help busy families feel both organised in two key areas;

1. Organising at the end of the school year.
2. Packing confidently for a UK staycation.

1. Organising at the end of the school year

Do you feel overwhelmed at the end of the school year with everything to organise?

I wanted to share with you my top tips for organising at the end of the school term so that you can feel organised for the summer head and back to school planning. I will cover artwork/books/crafts, school uniform and organisational systems.

Artwork / Books / Crafts Organisation

1. Make Time

Allocate time in your diary to sort through the things that your children have produced at home during lockdown or brought home from school if they returned to school for the last few weeks.

2. How to Store:

    • Memory Box: If you don't currently have somewhere to store your children's' artwork and memory items I would highly recommend that you purchase a large clear box per child which you can use to store selected items from each year. This box should be large enough to store items from 0-16 years.

    • Display Space: I often recommend that clients set up a display space in their home to put up current artwork, photos, awards etc. These can then be recycled as new items need to be displayed. I think this gets the children used to things being on display, deciding what stays on display or recycled.  

3. Be Selective: 
As much as its tempting to keep everything I would recommend that you only keep selected books and artwork.

    School Uniform Organisation

    Here are my top 4 tips for organising school uniform.

    1. Uniform Audit
    Ask your child to try on any current school uniform so that you know which items need to be replaced. This is especially important as many children have not worn their uniforms full time this school year.
    If you are purchasing school uniform for the first time (reception, year 7, sixth form) the school will issue you with a list of all items required. Often schools run uniform sales which can be a fab way of picking uniform in great condition at a very reasonable price.

    2. Create a List
    Now make a list of any items that you need to purchase with the relevant size needed.

    3. Purchasing 

    Once you know which items that you need and are comfortable with the sizing, you can order any new items online for home delivery or collection.

    4. Shoes

    You can order most items anytime during the summer and all your non uniform items too (pencil case, sports equipment, school bag etc). But I always purchase school shoes, trainers, football boots etc late in August to avoid an unexpected growth spurt.  

    Organisational Systems

    Having simple age-appropriate organisational systems in place can not only simplify daily life
    but also teach your children an important life skill so that they can be part of keeping the home organised too.

    These systems will help reduce stress and avoid rushing around in the morning looking for misplaced items or forgetting important items.

    1. Uniform

      Organise so it is easy to find what they need. Replace items to the correct storage place. Label cupboard and drawers in needed.

      2. Sports/music equipment

      Have a set place to store everything – swim kit, football kit etc. Dirty kit often needs to be washed and turned around quickly so getting into the habit of muddy cleaning boots and putting dirty items in the wash bag will help.

      3. School books/study system

      Having a simple system will encourage children to pack their own bags for school and know where to find what they need.

          • Notice board/white board: can be used for to display the weekly school timetable, keep track of homework and any important notices.

          • Magazine files: Again, these work well for storing workbooks and textbooks. You can have 2 files or a file by subject depending on what you think will work for your child. This can then be expanded to subject folders when they reach GCSE level. 

      Part 2 - Staycation Packing Tips

      1. PRE-PACKING PREP

        Packing Check List

        Consider the following:
        Clothing
        Think about what you will be doing on holiday i.e., will you be relaxed and doing lots of activities or are you planning to dress up and go out to dinner.
        If you are staying in a holiday cottage check if you have access to a washing machine. Whilst you want to escape the domestic routine at home having a washing machine can really help you avoid taking too many items as you can wash and dry things when you are there.
        Work out how many of each clothing items you need. Give teenagers a list and ask them to pack their own bags.
        British weather
        As you know the British weather can be unpredictable. I would say that you need to pack for all weather conditions. Make sure you pack a raincoat, extra warm layers and at least one outfit in case it is super-hot!
        Sporting Equipment
        Are you planning to do any sporting activities whilst you are away – mountain biking, hiking, golf, water sports, etc.
        Will you take your own equipment or hire at the destination that you are staying?
        If you are planning to do activities that you would not normally do think about anything that you might need. i.e., old pair of trainers/water shoes if you are doing water activities.
        If you know that packing space if going to be limited, you might want to opt for hiring equipment locally even if you have your own.
        Medical / Covid
        Do you need to pack any special medicines?
        You might not need any tropical deet this year but thinking about creating a small medical it could be extremely useful. When we go to Scotland, we always pack Avon Skin So Soft for the midges (it works).
        Covid kit – masks, hand gel and tissues
        Self-catering Equipment
        If you have opted for a self-catering option, this year think about what you will need to take i.e., food - will you take a few favourites and then buy locally once you arrive?
        Toiletries
        You do not need to think about travel size this year but also you don’t want to take everything. Sun cream.
        In-car essentials
        Entertainment: This will vary depending on how many people are travelling with you and what they like to do en route.
        Food/drink: do you need to pack snacks and drinks or a picnic to stop off en route. If you pack a picnic, you can choose somewhere nice to stop off for a break. Alternatively stopping at a service may the treat everyone needs.
        Other practical’s: hand gel, wipes (spillages), chargers etc.
        Pets 
        Many people have bought dogs during the lockdown period, and this is the first time that you are travelling on holiday with them.
        This may mean that you will lose part of your in-car storage space if your dog will be travelling in a cage.
        Think about what you need – pet food (do you need to take it with you or can your source locally), equipment (leads, coats, bowls, poo bags etc) and bedding (where will you dog sleep in your holiday home?

        2. DECIDING WHAT TO TAKE

          Once you have a better idea of what you need to take with you on your trip you can start to pull things together.

            • Pulling items together before your trip and starting to think about packing will help prevent you grabbing and packing items you no longer need.
            • Clothing: pull out the bags/suitcases you plan to use and start to add things to the bags a few days before the tip. You can use packing cubes if these help to group items together. Fold or roll it is up to you. Shoes will you do a shoe bag for everyone or pack separately?
            • Toiletries: pull core items together ready to pack
            • Sports equipment/toys/family games: pull these items together ready to pack.
            • Special food/household essentials: add these to your shopping list the week before then keep separately ready to pack.
            • In-car bags – pack the night before – include all car entertainment and anything that you might need on route i.e., neck pillows, raincoats etc.

          3. PACKING

          Now you are ready to pack your car.

          • Give yourself time to pack: As you pull all the bags and items that you need to pack near the car you might find that you simply have too many things for the space. Are there any optional items that can be left behind
          • Space share: does everyone has their fair share of space?
          • Most accessible items: Think about what you will need to have easy access to during your and what can remain packed until your destination. If you are stopping off at several places on your tip you might want to pack essentials near to the top of your bag. 

          To find out how I can support you to simplify your home organisation please contact me below

          Instagram: @blissfullyorg

          Contacting Blissfully Organised

          If you would like more organising tips, you can join my FREE Facebook community on the link here

           

           





          Also in Miller & Keane Blog

          Mental Health Matters
          Mental Health Matters

          May 12, 2021

          Mental Health is important for everyone.  Whether you call it 'mental health' or  ‘emotional health’ and well-being .. it is just as important as our physical health.  In short, it refers to the thoughts we think and feelings we are experiencing and becoming aware of these so that we can identify when they are not serving or. 

          Continue Reading

          Yoga for Concentration
          Yoga for Concentration

          March 25, 2021

          “Discombobulated” is a word which deserves to be said out loud. It is a brilliant word but what does it mean and is it even a real word? 

          Continue Reading

          Waffle Day Recipe
          Waffle Day Recipe

          March 25, 2021

          Today is International Waffle Day and my two boys convinced me to 'invest in' a waffle maker! So we are now the proud new owners of a lovely little round Netta waffle maker.

          Continue Reading