Welcome back to another monthly addition on How to be an Organised Family. This one being how to be organised this September. A new academic year for us in England and so a month of new beginnings and a chance to get really stuck into organising.
Each month I touch on a few areas of home organisation. Here is a little introduction for those who are new to here. I’m a stay at home, work from home Mummy to 4 children ranging from a toddler to a teen with 2 in between.
I am far from the most organised of people, ironic, I know! So I came about writing organisational posts to help myself and others as I wanted to create a monthly post for the parent who is desperately trying to remember everything in a way that isn’t being too super organised and overwhelming for the average slightly disorganised home.
I’m sat writing this a little delayed in mid-August as we have been away. I have been having those slightly panicky feelings that everything needs doing all in one go in time for back to school.
My house is in need of lots of tlc from the holidays, the garden is a little neglected, clothes need labelling, new after-school routines established etc. Catch my drift it becomes overwhelming!
Panic not you just need to sit down with a much needed coffee or something stronger if that’s more your thing and plan out a list of what and where you need to start.
Once you have a list you will feel immediately lighter and I’m here to help inspire your list. September to me is like the start of a New Year and so with new routines come new beginnings and with a bit of work and basic organising you can start afresh in a lot of areas of your home and life.
I’m not going to lie it is a busy back to School month but with a good list and ideas you can still find some time to think about everything else, including ‘me time’ as well for the month. So here are my tips for September, starting off with back to school and then moving on from that for when I get a bit more peace in the school day to sort through other areas of my life.
This is key to the start of feeling less overwhelmed. Often I find myself putting off the lists as I worry it will seem all too much written down. Then as soon as I have planned out my lists, dates and commitments I realise everything is all so much more manageable. I recently found the benefits of the digital calendar, yes I might be late to the party here! If you haven’t already I recommend it; it means I can check things on the go or have a quick check at bedtime and sync with others. Also investing in an academic calendars is also helpful as a new start with stationary is often an incentive to be more organised. Then add into this your monthly/weekly meal planner and then make a list of things you wish to achieve for the month making sure you’re not overloading yourself.
We have found a plan on our fridge written out with white board marker has been a helpful way to note down all of the kids school activities such as Forest school, music lessons and after school clubs etc, so we all can see what is happening every day in term time. It was a simple and cheap tool for keeping organised and meant both of us could keep track on what the kids needed to be organised for that week.
Here is our September meal plan.
If things weren’t working for you last School year then reflect on why and look at how to change it up. I can recommend reading how I transformed my morning routine, I have touched on it often but it’s made me reach the school gates a far more relaxed and less unhinged looking Mummy this year. Now is also the time to stop doing any after school clubs that you found weren’t working out for you or the kids weren’t really bothered about. Sometimes just looking at cutting down or swapping clubs and groups make such a difference to your week.
Here is an older morning routine video that I filmed for having a baby, preschooler and 2 School aged children.
I don’t know about you but my house takes a bit of a beating in the school holidays. No amount of cleaning and organising over the holidays keeps the house tidy and sorted with 4 whirlwinds, so I don’t do too much as it just frustrates me that it doesn’t stay tidy for long. I do a basic cleaning schedule and a tidy up each evening and enjoy my time with the kids instead. This means the house is in need of some tlc after the Summer. Many of you will know that I follow The Organised Mum Method (TOMM) of cleaning to make sure that my weekly days aren’t full of mundane cleaning tasks and that I get the weekends free. I then tend to spend a bit more of my time in September decluttering, I find towards the end of the holidays opening each cupboard is interesting as everything tends to need a sort and clear out. Make a list in priority of what is most important to you to declutter and tidy and here are my top tips that I used last September in getting to grips with last Autumn to reorganising my home
You don’t have to go on a mission to go through everything in the house as that can be very overwhelming. Just starting some areas of decluttering is enough to lift your mood and make for easier organisation over the coming months. I also find that I keep on top of decluttering as I started it really efficiently a year ago, so each revisit is easier and less time consuming. So write your priority list for this month and then leave some areas to tackle in October.
For September I prefer to make sure that I tackle each child’s room and go through their wardrobe ready for the Summer to Autumn/Winter transition, sifting out hand me downs, items to sell or donate. I also like to go through unwanted toys so I can see what to donate or sell and clear out ready for new arrivals in December.
At the end of the month I also dig out Winter coats, hats etc and make sure they have had a freshen up wash and air on the line ready for the first chillier mornings of October.
If I have a chance this month I will be tackling my kitchen as I’m finding my cupboards have got a bit out of hand and need a deep clean. Your list of priorities will be different to mine, so set some goals that will make your decluttering work for you. I have included at the bottom of this post my toys and a clothing reorganisational video from my channel for some decluttering inspiration. I find it really helps lift my mood and makes for easier organisation over the next few months.
I’m not taking farming scale but if you’ve been planting fruit and vegetables now is the time to enjoy them. We planted potatoes and we have just harvested our first delicious crop. If you have got your own fruit and veg plot then it’s a perfect time to go foraging for blackberries, apples, pears and other fruit. We try and find what we can wild and also our local NT place has an honesty box where you can grab some of their produce from. Freeze if you have a glut of fruit and vegetables ready for the colder months. Also if you get any extra time on your hands (we can but hop!) maybe preserve any fruit for jam or even make chutneys for Autumn and Winter treats.
I’m sorry for mentioning Christmas but when writing an organisational post and having a family our size it’s going to get a mention. I have been shopping and saving small amounts were I can for the kids presents since the January sales. I just pick up the odd thing and add it into my shopping. It spreads the cost and for me the time aspect. Now is really a great time to grab Summer toy sale bargains in the supermarkets and department stores and I have also spotted some Winter items in the Summer clothing sales. I still leave plenty of Christmassy things to do for closer to December so the magic is not lost, it’s just the practicalities of being on a family budget.
Invest in some candles. I have found that Sainsburys, Ikea and M&S have some really nice seasonal scents at really affordable prices and after the expense of Summer little touches of luxury need to be affordable. I always find that seasonal flowers are also more affordable so I enjoy having 2 vases in my house, it just makes for a happier home for me. I love September, the late Summer into early Autumn is a perfect time to have your seasonal hygge shift it helps tie into your me-time. Being able to read a book or plan a project that is all about you with a more relaxing, prettier home is very much needed whilst sitting down and enjoying those first few hot cuppas whilst your children are back to nursery/school. If they are younger, utilise their nap times for getting sorted but also leave yourself some time to sit and enjoy some me-time.
Make a date for you whilst organising the back to school diary. Look at when you can have some hours/day whatever suits your schedule and have a break. Looking after everyones needs for 6 weeks is pretty full on. I know that just doing things like catching up on some personal self care like my nails and waxing will seem luxurious and being able to meet up with a friend for a coffee will be like a mini break away! Also I love getting out with Florence for September walks and plays outdoors, it’s such a lovely time to be outside. You really do need to make sure in between work, busy school days and organising your home life that you leave some time to spoil yourself.
All of this may seem quite obvious but just seeing it all written out and planned out for the month is pretty much your organisation for your mind and sanity. I hope you all enjoy the last Summer days and the transition to back to routine goes smoothly. I will be back with some October planing and inspiration in September and it will have a definite Autumn feel to it.