Wherever you live, there are things that you can put in place to make everything run like clockwork. Here are the top 10 essentials that every home needs that you can start to use right now that will make all the difference.
How many times have you looked around your house and felt overwhelmed?
There’s so much to do, and no one good place to start….
I’m here to tell you that it can be easier.
All it takes are putting in place a few key things, and it will honestly transform how you live and how you feel about your home.
Sounds good doesn’t it!
Let’s get started so you can reap the rewards as quickly as possible: –
10 ESSENTIALS EVERY HOME NEEDS TO RUN SMOOTHLY
#1 – A PLAN
Yes, Yes – not very glamorous – and that’s why most people don’t bother with this step at all – but it’s CRUCIAL.
If you have a plan for your home and how each space is used, then you will always be able to find what you need, you can work out how to organise each area better, and you will feel more in control.
A plan is the first part of my A.D.O.R.E method and it’s SO worth taking an hour or so to really plan out your home so that it works for you.
A step by step guide to doing this can be found HERE (Read this: How to Make Your Home Work for You – a Space for Everything), and it will make everything else fall into place so much better.
#2 – HOME INFO IN ONE PLACE
Picture these common household scenarios – (i) you’ve had a power cut and you’re not sure who to call to find out why, (ii) You decorated your living room last year and need to get some more paint to do a few touch ups – now, what colour was it that you used? (iii) You’ve got a babysitter tonight and need to write down all the info for them – AGAIN…
All of these things mean time, energy, and stress.
They involve you searching for answers, and getting annoyed in the process.
As such, I decided years ago to create a file where I could house all those important details so they were to hand whenever I needed them.
Things like: –
- Babysitters checklist – filled out once so I could pull it out and use it whenever we needed to.
- Address book
- Birthday / Anniversary dates
- Holiday plans
- Chores and Home Maintenance schedules
- Trades details
- Decorating information for each room
- Budget and account information
- Meal planning
and loads more!
.. and it wasn’t fancy at all at this stage – just a ring binder with my notes in it – but it WORKED!
I later found out that there was a name for this – a HOME MANAGEMENT FILE, and when I started this blog I decided to create a really lovely one with every printable I needed in it ready to fill out and use.
So I did! – and now it’s available in my shop for you to make use of as well. You can take a look at the HOME FILE HERE.
Whether you decide to take a short cut and get my version to print out and use – or whether you create your own – it really doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you DO create one.
It will be a life-saver – and I wouldn’t go back to not having one now!
#3 – A DIARY
Where the Home File is the manual for your home – the Diary is the manual for your life.
It’s literally what keeps me organised on a day to day basis – and I don’t know what I’d do without it.
Again – pick something that works for you.
Whether it be an electronic diary on your phone, a paper diary, a bullet journal or a simple notebook – the choice is yours – just as long as you use it!
To make it work best – have one only (you are one person, so having separate work and home ones will just serve to confuse you), and write down everything that YOU are involved with.
Don’t add in everyone’s things – unless they need you in some way (i.e. your daughter has a class each Monday night – you will need to box time off to take and fetch her so that would go in).
Having your day shown somewhere will help you to be more productive, help you see where you are double booked all the more quickly, and generally help your sanity levels!
#4 – A QUICK AND EASY WAY TO SEE ONE-OFFS
I’ve said that I don’t use my diary for all the things that don’t pertain to my own day – so that they don’t clutter up what I can see and make me feel busier than I already am.
As such – I would say that everyone in the family (once old enough) will have their own diary with their own items in it.
However – there are always going to be one-off items that could easily be forgotten, so I like to have some sort of wall planner in the house so that the whole household can see these things.
I keep it small because I don’t clutter it up with all the usual schedule stuff – that’s for everyones own schedules in their diaries (you could have a copy of their schedules in the Home File if you want to have it for reference).
I simply have a sheet per month with a small box for each day, which I hang on my kitchen wall in a place that’s easily visible on a daily basis: –
On here I only add onto it the unusual and one-off items.
That way, they are easier to see, and easier to remember.
Adding things like: –
- Nights out
- School dates
etc… will all help to keep the family on track, and is a great idea to be able to glance at each morning if you put it on the wall.
No more excuses!
#5 – A CHORES SCHEDULE THAT FITS YOUR FAMILY LIFE
Chores are the one thing in your home that have to be done again and again and again….
It can involve the laundry, cleaning, home maintenance and loads more – and it can be a huge weight to carry when everything seems to need doing all the time.
It therefore makes sense to take a bit of time to work out a schedule for your chores that’s do-able, and that works for you and your family in terms of how often things are done and what those things are.
Again – nothing fancy is needed, but if you want help with this, I have a schedule (plus info on how to create it) in my HOME FILE (or you can get the CHORES PLANNER and HOME MAINTENANCE PLANNER separately which are 2 out of the 6 parts of the HOME FILE if you prefer).
#6 – A PAPERWORK SYSTEM
Paperwork – the bane of most households life.
It’s never ending, and seems to pile up no matter what you do about it.
As such – setting up a system to deal with the paper piles will help you conquer it once and for all.
Setting up simple INBOXES for each person in the house, along with a HOME FILE is a really great start, as this will deal with the majority of incoming paperwork, and then setting up a great filing system will keep things in check. BUT, if you want to go even further, then you’ll want to check out my Paperwork:Sorted! eBook – a detailed step by step guide that I use in my own home and have set up in loads of clients homes with huge success. Simple but VERY effective!
#7 – A BUDGET
Again – there is a BUDGET AND FINANCES PLANNER as part of my HOME FILE so you have everything in one place – but you can set this up as you prefer and however works best for you.
Sit down with whoever pays the bills in your home and work out your incomings and outgoings each month.
From here you can see how you are faring in terms of finances.
Having a handle on your money can help in so many ways: –
- You can start to plan ahead
- Create more savings
- Create an emergency fund
- Budget for large plans
- Increase your incomings
- Decrease your outgoings
– and basically be more in control of your money. It’s such a sensible idea – but so often missed.
#8 – A MEAL PLAN
Another place that the HOME FILE comes into it’s own (see how useful it is!) – is when it comes to planning anything related to food in your home.
Creating a meal plan will save you time each and every day when it comes to shopping and preparing food, and it will even save you money as you won’t buy things on a whim as much. You can see all the benefits of meal planning HERE, and get started with the FOOD AND MEAL PLANNER that I’ve created to save you time.
#9 – MORNING / EVENING / DAILY ROUTINES
The corner stone to the day to day running of most households – especially those with families – is to have great routines.
Set up an evening routine for each person that helps them get ready for the following day, and then a morning routine so that they can all get out the door on time and without stress.
Routines are especially useful because they get everyone to bed at a decent time, there are less last minute rushes, and you can avoid bathroom queues/arguments each day.
#10 – HOUSE / FAMILY MEETINGS
Have you ever sat down as a family and talked about plans, schedules, goals, worries etc…?
I would take a guess that the answer is NO.
But, just as in an office, a regular meeting with your team is important to make sure everyone is happy and on the same path – so to is a meeting for your family.
Each week sit down for a little while and talk through things like: –
- The week ahead – anything that people need help with / are worried about / changes made to plans
- Upcoming holidays, events, appointments
- Any general worries that need sorting
- Chores and Schedules
- Pocket money, rewards, praise for things done the week before
Anything and everything – and it can be tailored to how old your children are (get them involved for the start of the meeting, for instance).
You’ve guessed it – there’s a place to add notes from your Family Meetings in the Family&Friends Planner (part of my HOME FILE) – to save you time creating your own.
Get the family talking, and you’ll be happier as a whole because you’ll all feel listened to – and you can get everyone on the same page.
So – there you have it – 10 essentials every home needs to run smoothly!
- A PLAN
- A HOME FILE
- A DIARY
- A WALL PLANNER
- CHORES SCHEDULE
- PAPERWORK SYSTEM
- MEAL PLAN
- DAILY ROUTINES
- HOUSE / FAMILY MEETINGS
Get these set up and you’ll be organised before you know it!
I can’t wait to hear how you get on, and how these things transform how you feel about your home life.