Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Juggling Domestic Harmony and Business Growth

Life is a juggle. The older you get, the more responsibilities you acquire, the more you need to juggle.

At highschool it was juggling friendships and school work. At Uni it was juggling uni work, paid work and if you were not lucky enough to live with your parents (I was) then you also had to juggle looking after your own place or be part of a share house (and all the joys that go with that). Then there was real grown work and climbing the career ladder, possibly a boy/girl-friend, maybe further study, sport and creating a life balance. Some travel (or a decent amount in my case), followed by a mortgage, starting a business, wedding (or not), babies – and then you really truly understand the juggle – you get why the previous 35 years you thought you were busy and challenged, but this was the biggest challenge yet – creating and maintaining domestic harmony and business growth!

Domestic harmony – being a domestic goddess – basically having a clean house, food on the table, full cupboards and the washing done –sounds simple hey….cough, splutter. Add to that children – or in my case 1 active, spirited, somewhat needy girl. As you tidy you look behind you and she is tearing the house apart. You clean one room only to walk into another and find a cleverly constructed creative project out of ripped up tissues and boxes. Or the latest artwork on the wall or carpet, made from that forgotten sharpie texta that she has discovered! The stories go on. That witching hour that gets better as they get older, but usually starts around the time you should be cooking dinner. The washing basket that seems to magically fill itself up only minutes after you thought you were on top of the washing. The endless folding and putting away. The effort to get to the supermarket and do it with child/ren in tow. Add into that mix the ‘business growth’ bit and you have the perfect recipe for a pressure cooker explosion!

That is unless you do a bit of planning and a bit of outsourcing. There are so many tips about how you can do all of this and you need to see what works for you. What I have learnt that has worked for me is the following:

Clean House
·       Don’t let the mess get on top of you – everything should have its place and everything in its place
·       Tidy like a ninja! Get a washing basket and a plastic bag. Go to a room, do not leave that room until it is tidy. Things go away, or in the basket if they belong in a different room or in the rubbish bag. Simple. I saw this on Pinterest and it works for me. I start in the lounge (where most of the mess congregates) and work around the house leaving my daughters room until last (where most of the things in the basket end up).
·       Clean a room/section of your house a day. I have a fairly small house (in todays terms) and I have divided it into 5 equal parts and I tackle a section a day. I tody the night before and then clean in the morning. I leave the big sections to the days that I am not rushing to kinder/work. Oh and I use beautiful toxin free cleaning products from Natures Direct!
·       Hire a cleaner – it could be the best $50 you spend.
·       Make it smell nice – I use Scentsy.

Food on the table
·       Cook multiple meals at once – I have 2 cooking days a week and cook at least 2 meals
·       Double the quantities – that is simple enough – then you freeze a batch for another meal or eat for lunch the next day
·       Create an ‘anything goes’ night. Ours is Friday. All the rules go out the door. We eat in the lounge. We eat whatever (usually snacky time food from the freezer). Have dessert first. No set bedtime (she is usually crawling in about 8pm anyway) and no set bedtime routine. It is rule free, relaxed and we all look forward to chilling out after a big week.

Full Cupboards
·       Use online shopping – really why are you not doing this? I shop with Woolworths and do a bulk shop with Grocery Run every 6-8 weeks. No dragging kids to the supermarket.
·       Buy fresh – we enjoy attending farmers markets and have also found a local fruit & vegie shop that is great (aka cheap) prices. You have to hand pick their goods, but it is worth it to save $.
·       Buy in bulk – where you can buy bulk. There are bulk places that you can visit to stock up on canned goods and other dry goods. Plus markets and other online shops will sell in bulk other goods. Big W also sells bulk for cheap on things you will use every day like toilet paper.

·       Buy a bigger washing machine – for every child you have upgrade to the next size. The more you can fit in a load the happier you will be.
·       Buy a bigger basket – or one that divides lights and darks. I have only recently done this and love it – the washing basked doesn’t look like it is growing clothes.
·       Don’t iron – really – my nan used to iron everything from sheets to nickers. My mum ironed a little less – I iron nothing! My partner has clothes that need ironing, he does that.
·       Move clothes quickly through the cycle. This will help with the above point. If clothes come out of the washing machine and are hung out to dry and then folded (not piled up) it will keep them in better condition.
·       Have a space for indoor drying (I have hung racks on my laundry wall because I hate my house looking like a Chinese laundry) and buy a clothes line that has a cover on it – this will stop UV damage in summer and will enable you to air dry clothes in winter and they won’t end up wetter than when you put them out.
·       Look on Pinterest/Google/blogs for tip son setting up your laundry and washing systems if you have many people in your house.
·       If all else fails buy more clothes.

The last tip to becoming a domestic goddess is create a ‘control centre’ – look it up on Pinterest – this is essentially where all the comings and goings of your house go. I use mine to plan meals, create shopping lists, the family calendar, store the house money, vouchers, craft ideas and all the bits of paper that would normally go on a fridge! You can add whatever you need to this area, and it helps keep everyone in control and informed of what is happening.

So if you have your house in control, and with a little bit of planning there is no reason that you shouldn’t, then you can get down to the business of growing and developing your business, working around all the family commitments that you have.

What are your tips for keeping domestic harmony? Share below

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