In a recent effort to contain the chaos, I briefly considered spending dollarbucks on a swanky space, close to the family engineroom (A.K.A The Kitchen) to help the five of us prepare for the week ahead. Who am I kidding really….the space was to help ME be a little more organised for the week (plus working to find an easier way to share the work of running a family). I’d seen a few organising hubs on the socials, and thought “yeah, I can do that”. Ha. yeah, I “could” do that, but during one of the toddler’s daysleeps, I got started using resources we’ve already got at home, saving those dollarbucks for another time. It turned out to be quite a nice little space!
I gathered my favourite/well used cookbooks, found a picture frame not being used, added the daily “to do” thingy for the kids, along with the wooden calendar/time/season toy thingy one of the kids had buried in their room (clearly not being used in any effective manner) and placed these all on the side table, underneath the clock (which just so happens to be close to the kitchen). It was supposed to be a bit of a trial and I’d add to it as needed, but my loose approach has turned out to be the perfect approach. The cookbooks inform the mealplan (that’s written on the picture frame), the clock continues to pass time and the organising things help the kids know what day of the week it is, what the days weather will be and what task they need to be doing to keep us all moving in the right direction. I must admit, I have found it quite remarkable at the number of times each family member has used the space…how had I not thought of implementing a space like this this before?
I’ve found that with the meal plan being so publicly available, the burden of picking a meal for the family and then actually cooking it is much less, both adults are aware what the meal options are making an a-grade kitchen partnership and even the most vocal offspring-critic has been silenced. I’m not sure if the kiddies like being included in picking a meal for the week, or the fact that they can read “what’s for dinner” – essentially they’ve had to find other questions to whinge at me, because that one is already answered. In any case, I now have much less resistance to dinner options simply by having the menu on display. I even had an inspired 7 year old, who started this week’s meal plan – turns out he loves chicken, however even if we’re eating chicken each meal, it is very nice to share the burden of picking the family meals!
I got the space set up a few weeks back and have been using it very consistently, yet I haven’t really hit a rhythm with the day of the week I plan ahead or do the shopping. I have found I quite like a flexible approach and I don’t need to consistently plan the weekly meals on the same day – I can haphazardly do the meal planning as I remember or have space to do so (or can use the meal picking as a way of separating some of the bickering kids), and with everything in the one place, it’s pretty quick to get through.
I really didn’t think I was the “Organising Station” type, but here I am and loving it. What do you do that really helps keep your chaos a bit calmer?