I have raised two sons and for a majority of their childhood, I was a single mother. I was working odd jobs in accounting trying to make ends meet as a young mom. While I am quite sure I didn’t do everything right, I learned a lot along the way. As a single parent, your life is super busy and I quickly realized how important it was to simplify life so I could prioritize and stay productive.
Simplifying your home and your life makes life more enjoyable. It frees up your time and energy to focus on what really matters–your children. Here’s how to declutter your life and organize your home to clear the way for positive parenting.
Declutter Your Single Parent Home
For every item you own, there is maintenance required in keeping it clean, organized and safe, especially if it has some value to you. Having less stuff and adopting the minimalist mindset allows you to refocus your energy for other things. Instead of accumulating more stuff for you to manage, assess your possessions and decide what to do with them to create more space and less clutter.
- Sell off items you no longer need.
- Donate items you are not using.
- Get rid of things that negatively drain your energy and time.
- Avoid having to pay for storage to keep things you don’t use (unless this is a temporary situation)
The general rule of thumb is to set aside things you have not used in the past year. If you have not needed it within a year, it’s unlikely it is something worth keeping.
The more organized your home, the less time you waste in looking for the things you need.
Organize your Space
The more organized your home is, the less time you spend looking for things, getting ready, and moving around in your home. Some areas of focus you may want to start with:
- Keep a well-organized calendar: Remove activities from your calendar that you can de-prioritize–this makes your time more focused and productive.
- Keep your kids toys tidy: Keep a few storage bins of their toys put away and routinely switch out the toys available in their room. Routinely go through the bins and thin out by donating toys they no longer play with.
- Kids clothing:Each year before school starts, you can also go through the older clothes to donate some. This way you’ll know what clothing needs they have for the school year. Keep the clothing tidy by arranging non-seasonal clothing toward the back of the closet or putting them into bins.
Have enough storage bins and containers to keep everything tidy. A good place for these bins are in shelves, under the bed or in bookcases. Keep them away from your main traffic areas of your home for safety reasons too.
Planning and Preparation
Planning ahead and being prepared for upcoming activities, like packing your kid’s lunch for school, avoids last minute time-wasting decisions. Always have a plan “B” if in case things don’t materialize in the way you expect them to whether those activities are big or small. A little thinking ahead saves you a LOT of time.
Here are some things to consider in keeping your home simple and organized so that your plans are smoothly executed with the support of your home team.
- Involve your kids with a chore chart. It’s helpful to get things done but also to teach home management skills and responsibility.
- Don’t tackle too many tasks or chores alone at once. Take on only as much as your capacity and bandwidth will allow.
- Kitchen–Plan ahead for groceries, cooking, and snacks. This will streamline your time and help you stick to a budget.
Simplify your life, your schedule, and your household to free up more time for what really matters. Single parenting is hard, but you can do this!