This year now that I have the three boys in school for the first time I’ve been thinking a lot more about the nature of weekly preparations. As far as groceries, meal planning, and regular household up-keep is concerned. Seeking new ways to help keep things rolling smoothly and alleviate some of the stresses a new school year (with multiple kids in attendance) now includes. Especially after coming off a three month vacation that had us kicking off “schedule” like stiff shoes in the sand. Dragging the family from beach to camp site, to pool party to play date, partly living out of out of a string of old cars like seasonal vagabonds without a care in the world, or clock on the wall.
As some of you may know – based on blurbs over on my personal blog – my organizational skills can be counted as sub par, at best. Always have been. Probably always will be. But that doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for fresh ways to improve in the area, year after year. This year being most vital in that, I have to do better if I don’t want to pummeled by the grind.
I started asking around, talking to friends about their own up keep and rituals, trying to gain sense of how others manage to keep things together during school months. Ways in which they prep and organize their time and households, to maximize the possibility of “spare” time. Still, I keep coming back to my one friend Sara, whom I remain most inspired by because of her solid sense of old school dedication to weekly preparedness. Sara devotes every single one of her Sundays to prepping herself, and her entire home for the week ahead. A devotion I can hardly see standing as a lasting, and realistic goal in my own life (we give in to spontaneity far too easily) but one I genuinely admire, in appreciating how sacrificing the entirety of one day, to ease the weight of a whole week, would greatly benefit the peace and functionality of a full thriving household.
Sara told me that she wakes up early and makes a run to the grocery store to stock up on what groceries she needs to fulfill her week’s worth of meals for her husband’s work lunches, her daughter’s school snacks, as well as her own specific meals that are made up of staples she leans on to be handy in ready to go containers filled with chicken, veggies, lettuce, beans, ect. All calculated portions to ensure healthy options are there for her to choose from in the midst of even the most hectic weeks, where, let’s be honest, we tend to fall last on the totem poll of balanced nutritional concern. Grueling schedules that run the risk of tossing us in desperate situations when it comes to solving our own hunger, landing us in drive throughs we didn’t plan on or eating crap food we aren’t ever proud of. I know I’ve been guilty for the past few years of bouts of neglect when it comes to proper preparation in caring for the quality in many of my own meals while taking special care to provide it as a constant for everyone else.
Meal planning in general is something I need to practice more. A simple way to help save time and money while feeding our families throughout the week. Making lists and planning exactly what’s in store for the week ahead is the best way to dissolve the stress of last-minute dinner decisions where a few missing items can ruin the whole recipe you kept loosely in mind. I know for me, this happens a lot more than it should and serves as the nixing factor to so many meals I thought I had as options on hand. So in this, I’m asking for some advice and input from you guys as to how you minimize the weight of a new school season. Or family life in general. Anything from homework habits, to shopping, to stocking, to cleaning. How does your household work to stay on top? What are your tried and true preparing routines, and how do they serve you best? And lastly, what tools might you consider detrimental to the overall flow of your home. What, if anything, would you share first if asked?
Sitting atop a desk piled with school forms and homework packets, a stack of laundry hanging around my feet, I’m all ears. .