Aug 19

Spring clean your life

This time of the year a hot topic is always “Spring Cleaning”. Some articles might feature eco-friendly alternatives, very 2019 and some might tempt you to buy ample plastic storage containers or colour coordinate the fridge. But let’s face it, with kids that’s not happening anytime soon, and it will only last a few minutes anyway.

Spring is rearing its head, so let’s rather start spring cleaning our lives so we have more time to spend with our kids and loving our families.

1. Less is more

I was reading an article the other day about having less. Having less… means cleaning less, means less packing away, less time spent tidying. It means more space, more room for imagination and having more time to spend doing the things you love. I am sure you have heard of Marie Kondo and her decluttering method. “If it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it”. She even recommends that you get an item you love as a benchmark to measure other items against before keeping it or better yet, discarding it.

We have all seen the more toys kids have, the less they play with them, so start by throwing out all the broken toys (that has been super glued twice). Donate the baby-toys that no one is playing with anymore. Rotating toys can also be helpful, keeping some toys fresh and exciting. Second, start with the wardrobes – keeping in mind, “would I have bought this today?”

2. Get organised

So now that your living space seems organised, let’s get the living organised.

I suspect the biggest stressor as an adult is money. Throw kids in the mix and there is definitely less of that going around! Here’s how to get more organised:

2.1. Budgeting

  • Draw up a budget and be realistic and specific about it.
  • Start by paying of debt and then saving.
  • Add room for spoils in your budget so that when you are tempted to splurge you don’t break the bank.
  • It might take a few months to get it right, but by showing some discipline you will definitely reap the rewards sooner than you think.

2.2. Calendarize your month ahead

Write up all the compulsory things like doctor appointments, work and school functions. Slot some fun activities in there – birthday parties, family braai’s and lastly some down time. Being at home and relaxing gives us the opportunity to spend some quality time with our kids. Make sure you don’t fix things or watch TV while they play around you – but get down on the floor and play WITH them. Ask them what they feel like doing and let them take the lead.

2.3. Meal planning

It sounds like a lot of work but will save you so much time and tears come “happy hour” late afternoon and everyone is hungry. Think of easy dishes to refrigerate and ingredients you can use in a few different ways. Let’s take mince meat for instance. Cook a hearty pot of mince meat on Sunday afternoon, add beans, diced veggies and a whole lot of tomatoes. Monday you cook spaghetti to add, Tuesday might have a cheese and mince toasted sandwich. Add it to wraps with some fresh salad greens and guacamole or make nachos a bit more nutritious by adding some mince. Let us know if you would like some more ideas on meal prepping and keep an eye out for quick and fun bakes with kids next month!

3. Self-care

We have all heard the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Having young kids, one seems more concerned about it being the right cup (Is it the blue one that leads to meltdowns?), what is in the cup and is my child holding the cup correctly according to the age milestones? On a more serious note, we often neglect ourselves and believe it is for the sake of our families. Let’s leave that mentality behind with winter this year and may August winds bring in a fresh approach to self-love! Take some time for yourself, do something you love, spend some money on yourself. I know it might be easier said than done, but make yourself a priority and plan for those activities. Get a babysitter, someone you trust to relax on your alone time. Save some money every month for yourself – it doesn’t have to be a lot but something that is just for you. A warm cappuccino on a Monday morning goes along way after a bust weekend!

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