Efficient Parenting: A Guide
Ok, so one of the questions I am asked the most is how I find time to do everything. Quite simply, I don’t. You can guarantee that if I’ve got beautiful style flatlays going on Instagram and blog posts a-plenty, then my house is probably a dive. I can’t do it all and I don’t expect to be able to BUT there are a few ways to be more efficient with time, which I’d love to share with you.
First up is The Organised Mum Method (TOMM). I was unsure about this when I first stumbled across the group on Facebook because it means you have to clean Monday to Friday and seeing as I struggle to find the motivation to clean just one day a week, I wasn’t sure it was for me. I’m not even exaggerating when I say it’s changed my life - I bloody love it. Just half an hour a day, which I run around and do while the kids are having something to eat or during nap time, and over the course of a week the house is perfect. It takes a while to get used to the routine but once you get going with it, the more weeks you do it for, the easier it is and the cleaner your house is.
Whether you decide to give TOMM a go or not, the next thing is something I always try to do. It is so tempting to sit down and scroll through the ‘gram during the kids having snacks, or on the rare occasion they’re playing nicely together, but I try to use that time to do the mundane stuff... hang the washing out, run the hoover round, clear the kitchen up etc. This means that jobs are pretty much done by the time I put the kids to bed (click here for my top tips for bedtime routines) and once I’m downstairs, I’ve got time to have a cup of tea and chill before Charlie gets home.
As much as I try not to throw things away unnecessarily, I do think decluttering is the way to go. If there’s less stuff to make a mess, there’s less stuff to tidy up! I like it to be homely (so we have a lot of photos and books) but I hate having random knick-knacks about the place... which I know is easier said than done when you have toddlers who want to keep special stones, interesting sticks and random bits of paper. I try to keep on top of decluttering by regularly sending a bag of toys or clothes to the charity shop and that way it seems manageable and goes unnoticed by small people with beady eyes and attachment issues.
Easy storage is also key to efficiency. I'm not a big fan of the IKEA Kallax units BUT they are so bloody good for just chucking all the toys in at the end of the day. I’d love to hear your toy storage solutions though so please get in touch if you find something better!
Use my behaviour management tips to train children up to help! Lots of positive praise and kids will often help with tidying or cleaning - Erin knows to take plates and bowls to the kitchen and even empties her leftovers into the food bin now. She also knows that toys must be put away before bedtime and, as they say, many hands make light work! I’ve heard that the Montessori method is handy with this too, whereby children take out one toy at a time to play with. On the other hand I also kind of think it’s easier just to tidy everything away once at the end of the day while the kids have their pre-bedtime milk, so do whatever works for you as a family.
Of course I sit and chill and have snuggles on the sofa but when it’s nap time or Erin is playing happily by herself it’s go go go for me so that the evenings are spent in a child-free, tidy home. And it goes without saying that a tidy home = tidy mind for me.
Now I’m off to check out these Marie Kondo documentaries... watch this space!!
All images: Canva