It’s the start of a new day and already, before you walk out the door, things are in a frenzy. The permission slip for your little one’s field trip is missing, as is that important file you brought home from work yesterday – and, oh, do you know where your keys are? If this little episode is any indication, your day isn’t starting off on the right track. And, although this NYC Professional Organizer can’t promise a perfect day every day, I can offer some home organizing tips to give you the best chance of enjoying a successful day both in your family life and professionally:
- Map out your days – Although there may be similarity in many of your days, no two days are exactly alike. Therefore, it’s smart to map out each day the evening before. By taking a few short minutes to check your calendar and to-do list so that you can create a game plan for the next day which may include shopping lists, project priority lists for work, errands to run, etc., you’ll save time and avoid potential headaches in the morning.
- Utilize that family command center – I’ve shared before about the importance of creating a family command center, complete with shared calendar, so everyone’s to-do’s are in one place, but here I encourage continued use of this center. This is one of the most effective home organizing tips I offer busy parents. You’ll need to reference it as you pull together your daily game plan, and it’s a huge help if everything’s in one place – from keys, permission slips, to packages to drop off, etc. Your family command center will be just that; a central repository for all important items, information and papers.
- Get into the routine of routines – A consistent routine is essential to organizational harmony at home, and can even benefit you at work. Both nighttime and morning routines at home can affect your whole family’s day. Kids especially appreciate a routine – there are no surprises and they feel comfortable in their surroundings, always knowing what’s coming next. This way, they’re prepared for each day and you minimize the chance of tantrums. At work, a routine can be helpful as well; carving out time for daily activities processing e-mails and weekly meetings.
- Plan ahead – Think of all the things you can do ahead of time to make the next day run smoothly and make them part of your routine, whether at the end of your day in the office or during your family’s nighttime process at home. Clear your desk and create a list of your top three priorities for the next day before leaving your office, work with the kids to lay out outfits for the next day, fix lunches and leave keys and jackets next to the door, so they’re close at hand when heading out in the morning. If you have little ones, don’t forget to check on the status of your diaper bag, to make sure that all supplies have been replenished.
- Surround yourself with support – Whether it’s finding quality childcare or locating a qualified assistant, taking the time to surround yourself with the right people is a necessity. By working closely with these people, and managing those relationships and expectations, you’ll be able to effectively delegate tasks, and focus on one thing at a time. At work, you’ll perform to your best ability and at home you’ll be totally present. Learning to let go and trust others is key to achieving balance between work and family. It is one of my most important home organizing tips.
Though there’s no perfect recipe to an ideal work/family balance, these ideas will help you juggle all that comes your way. As with any plan, organization is essential and forethought is key. If you need help creating a specific plan for balance in your life, contact our NYC Professional Organizer today.