I often look at my friends who have kids and think ‘Wow, they are so organised and completely have all their shit together! Why can’t I be like that’?
I used to be the most organised person ever; Every single thing I did was supported by lists and charts and there was in-depth meaning behind every action. I remember with our first child, my husband and I went away for the weekend and left her with my parents for the night. I had listed everything that needed to be done on a four page schedule, even down to the words to her bedtime song. (Little did I know my parents threw it in the bin as soon as I left the house, but it gave me piece of mind)
I had drink bottles and snack containers labelled. Shirts, socks, shoes and hats were all neatly organised in my daughter’s bedroom. The toy room had colour-coordinated containers of Lego blocks and the books on the book shelf all lined up neatly, spine facing outwards... I drew the line at alphabetical order or the implementing dewy decimal system, much to my husband's dismay.
Fast forward to now, add three more children, and I’m sending my son off to school with pink containers because his blue ones are still in the dishwasher that I forgot to turn on the night before. My mountain of washing holds four children's different sized socks and undies! It’s every child for him or herself; although, since my son is the only one who wears blue, he clearly has an advantage. My toy room is a complete mess of half-made Lego Houses and creations that make no sense, but you dare try to pack them up and the entire world ends!! And, I'm sorry, bookshelf??? Ohhhhhhh, you mean the pile of books in the corner of the room that gets even messier as my youngest child’s fascination with reading grows. In fact they can’t make it back on the shelf now anyway: it’s now covered in miscellaneous paperwork and old food!
It wasn't until I started working again and three of my kids entered school that things started going downhill. The amount of paperwork sent home with each child is ridiculous. I mean does anyone actually read the school newsletter?? And when I finally get around to reading one, its already two weeks old; so when I congratulate my daughter on her win at the latest netball game I get a glare back because "Yeah rub it in mum, that was two weeks ago! We lost thank you very much" YIKES, I need to step up my game.
I'm sure you all know the trials and tribulations of parenting; staying on top of appointments, committing to weekend sports, organising after-school activities and trying to get a catch up with friends and other mums; All while juggling an unpredictable work schedule and trying to stay sane.
I have come to realise though, that even though the washing isn't put away everyday and I forget about free-dress day from time to time or that I'm on orange duty this week for netball, and just because my kids turn up to school in their pyjamas because I haven't washed their uniforms the night before ( just joking but I'm sure this is imminent) it doesn't mean you can’t get some organisation back!!
Find a box for paperwork and put all the school forms that come home in it every afternoon. Yes, you will never look through this box again and you will still forget important dates and eventually you will have a mountain of paperwork in a box but at least you will have somewhere to send your husband when he asks for the latest school fee statement: ‘Wow honey, your miscellaneous pile of crap is so organised’!!
Find individual washing baskets for each member of the family. This does two things: One, it cuts your washing time in half as you just sort the washing pile into relevant baskets (I can do it in three minutes flat, making finding those pink undies in a pile of pink, well, at least four times easier! Two, when friends come over and see all your baskets lined up they think you are the total bomb and "so bloody organised! How do you keep up with it all?"
Don't sweat the small stuff! If my kids go to school with odd socks is it really the end of the world? HELL YES!! So make sure you place all socks in one big basket and make it fun to find the pairs (bribing with $1 coins as a weekend task helps too)
So yes my house is crazy and best described as "organised chaos", but it’s a home of love, creativity, fun and laughter! All of which can be found in, around and under my giant pile of washing!!