I am not an organized person but I do crave order! As a singleton, having a bedroom floor covered in clothes was just fine, but now that would reduce me to tears for nearly a week. Motherhood has posed organizational challenges for me, but there are a few of these challenges that have required some pretty strident action if I was going to survive the journey and come out in one piece.
Socks. Yes, socks. I can virtually see you cringe. That pile of them that do not match, or the Hansel or Gretel living in your house leading everyone to Gingerbread glory, or not! After trying many different strategies, plans and charts, I suddenly had a lightbulb moment. A truly lightbulb moment. I would buy all the same socks for each member of my family. My son gets sports socks (no flash school for him), all the same brand, all the same color. My daughter gets white socks and on the day she needs sports socks, she pinches her brother’s. My husband, well he works in an office and to save the brown, black or tan shoe debate, he gets navy socks. Goes with everything. So at laundry sorting time I don’t waste hours cursing the sock fairy because, guess what? Everything matches! And to make it even better, because my lot always lose socks, at the beginning of each school year I throw out every single sock and start all over again.
Socks is a great segway to washing, another of my pet hates. I truly despise sorting the washing, either before or after washing. Another lightbulb moment. Instead of one family washing basket, each member of our clan has their very own washing basket. Along with this washing basket is a laundry basket and on their designated washing night, down comes their washing and only theirs. So it gets washed, dried and folded and I do not have to sort. Unfortunately this does not solve the drama of getting them to put the folded washing away. Still waiting for the lightbulb moment there!
This is not so much of a hack, but rather a gentle affirmation to you that it is okay to take the easy way out at times. I like cooking. In fact I don’t just like it, I love it. However the bit about cooking I would rather not be involved with is the thinking, shopping and unpacking. It kind of takes the joy right out of it. So after much resistance I finally succumbed to one of those home delivered recipe and shopping in box subscriptions. It completely changed my world and my mood each evening at about 5 pm. Dinner prepared in 25 minutes. Easy. No more food waste, reduced dishes, and the real winner was, my kids had to learn to try new foods. A little hack I can add to this however is, I always keep some pasta on hand for my especially fussy boy, who is bribed into eating the meal so as to score the pasta! Winners all round.
Now this one is revolutionary and works well with other halves too. It has a really unique way of getting stuff done and really quickly for that matter. Any protests or dragging of feet about unloading the dishwasher, cleaning bedrooms, or taking out the garbage are hastily put to bed. The router is a powerful tool. That on/off button has more control than the Principal of my kids’ school. One small press of that glorious button and heaven and earth are moved to get stuff done. I mean who could be without Snapchat or YouTube for like, ten whole minutes. Humor aside, it is not just a hack but an important part of our family day, to have a rest from technology. I need it and my family needs it. We need to get stuff done, but most importantly we need to connect.
Hacks are more than the cool things we see on Pinterest, or hear about from our friends. Hacks are a really valuable way of making our lives easier. They are the light bulb moments we can borrow from others to make our daily grind that little bit easier. We sometimes need to be more gentle with ourselves and recognize that shortcuts are important, because they give us the time and the opportunity to ‘be present’ with our family and friends. This is important so I challenge you to go hack!