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Organizing Life….

One thing I really struggle with as a housewife is being a GOOD housewife. I always worry that I’m not doing enough…or if I get distracted (which, I easily get!) by a webpage or book and haven’t done much with my day, I feel like I’m a failure.

Well. I’m going to try to change that.

See, I already meal plan every week because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to do a Tesco order. I try to meal plan on the Friday before (which is why I don’t participate in Meal Plan Monday that often) so I can place my order for a Monday or Tuesday delivery. It works out pretty well, and sometimes I even get the following week planned at the same time. Meal planning takes up a decent chunk of my day. I like to try one new recipe each week*, so sometimes I spend as much as an hour looking through cookbooks. Sometimes I mark more than one new recipe if I’ve found several interesting ones. Sometimes I’ll pass Tim a cookbook and tell him to pick something. Sometimes, I’ll try to come up with something to do with leftovers other than freezing them for a homemade ready meal. Then, I make a list of ingredients I need, sometimes looking up recipes for our favourites. After I have my full weekly ingredient list, I spend time going through the pantry, freezer, and fridge to see what items are already “in stock” and also to check what I’m running low on. And then, of course, I have to put the order into Tesco’s website. This doesn’t take too long, since I can go in and see my “favourites” and just click on the things we order each week – bread, milk, eggs, chicken (nearly every week. What can I say? My husband loves his roast dinners).

But anyway. This wasn’t going to be a post of me babbling about how I meal plan. This was going to be a post about how I’m getting myself more organized and trying to become a better housewife. Not a Donna Reid (who I had to explain to Tim), but a good housewife. Though, if anyone wants to send me a frilly apron, I promise I’d wear it! (and I need a new one as I’ve had to throw one out for ripping beyond repair)

Last Christmas (2009), my mom put a magnetic notepad in my stocking. It’s about 7 inches wide, 5 inches long and has columns for the days of the week across the top. Monday through Friday have full page columns, and Saturday and Sunday split the 6th column. I used this pad sporadically for meal planning in 2010, but I kept feeling like I wasn’t using it to it’s full potential. Most of the columns only used up a line or two where I wrote in what I was making. Occasionally I’d write an event on it, but usually it was largely left blank and became scrap paper after the week was out.

There are about 30 sheets left on it. I don’t know what I’ll do when I run out of sheets, but for now, here’s what I do –

First, I write at the top of each day what the date will be, followed by what shift Tim is on. Then, I take a coloured pen, and I write in the meal plan. I use other colours to designate other things, too. Tim and I both want to make sure we get on the Wii Fit every day, so I’ve written it on the planner. I write down deliveries and meetings, and I even started scheduling what cleaning tasks I’d like to do each day. I also added (after I scanned it) blogging, so I can keep my promise of weekly blogging…I haven’t been doing so great since the start of the new year, but I think I can pick up the pace.

Will it keep me organized? Who knows. But at least, I have things written down. Sometimes, I don’t always make the meals in the order they appear on the weekly meal plan, so I’ll probably do that with the cleaning, too.

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*So we don’t get stuck in a rut of the same old stand-by meals. I mean, Tim would be happy with a roast chicken every week, and I’d be happy with pasta every week, but I have to mix it up a bit!

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2 Comments so far

  1. Michelloui January 18th, 2011 10:13

    I went from single mum of one to running a household of seven when I got married and it took me ages to get organised! I was always running out of milk or forgetting to wash the school clothes on time, or making everyone cranky because mealtime was so late (I always underestimated how long it would take for so many) and always getting exhausted because I was up late trying to catch up. And never getting my own projects done.

    It’s much better now, but it takes years of practice, I’ve learned!

  2. Rebecca January 18th, 2011 13:51

    I’ve gone from living with my mom (on and off, but prior to getting married had been living with my mom for the previous 3 years) to living with my spouse. When I lived with my mom, we both usually cooked dinner together just because we both knew how to cook. Tim’s not much of a cook, and to be honest – if I’m going to be the housewife, that sort of was one of the expectations we had – I would be primarily responsible for cooking and cleaning, he would be responsible for bringing in the income. When I lived with my mom, I guess I didn’t really have to think about things like milk and bread – she and I didn’t use a whole lot (neither of us really liked milk) and if we were running low on something, it was super easy to go to the grocery store around the corner at 11PM and pick things up. Not so easy here. Even with Tesco and Asda being 24 hours, they aren’t exactly around the corner! Fortunately, there is a village shop where we can get things (at a premium rate, too).

    I always have problems with figuring out when food will be ready – some nights, Tim and I wouldn’t eat until 8PM. Not because of his shift (though when he’s on the overnight, we do try to eat late), but because I hadn’t worked out properly the timing on everything. I think I’m getting better, though.

    It’s the cleaning and organizing the house bit that I still haven’t quite worked out! Living with my mom, my main responsibilities were my spaces. And when I knew the move to the UK was eminent, I started cleaning out those spaces so I would have less to move. I moved with 20 boxes and 3 suitcases full of stuff….into my husband’s already crowded house! I had never moved into a place that someone else had already established – it had always been into my own apartment, or into an empty room, empty half of a dorm, that kind of thing. So I wasn’t prepared at all to deal with Tim’s stuff….and finally, a year in, I feel comfortable moving his stuff around.

    Glad to hear it’s not an instant thing! I’m hoping I can get things figured out before we have a baby, so things can hopefully be a bit smoother….but who am I kidding? Organized Chaos is kind of my thing!

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