Meal Planning

Meal Planning is a simple way to plan ahead each week, saving time and energy.

Meal plan one day of the week. Grocery shop the next. Prep food the next day if need be. Don’t feel like you have to do it all in one day.

Meal Planning

Plan out the week’s events, appointments, and meetings before you try to start meal planning.

You will likely end up switching days or planned meals being replaced by freezer food or eating out sometimes, so this is just a rough outline to get us started, ever-evolving.

To get started:

  • Make list of 10 most popular family meals. What foods will your family actually eat?
    • leftovers
    • crockpot/instapot meals
    • freezeable meals
    • eating out
    • snacks
  • Plan one month of meals
    • use the list you just made above
    • use pinterest for ideas
  • Get EVERYONE involved/contributing!
    • Everyone gets to choose a meal one day of the week or one protein/fat meal
      • i.e. Monday: chicken, Wednesday: lamb, etc or Mom Mondays, Kid 1 Tuesdays, Dad Wednesdays, etc.
    • Everyone should contribute either by prepping, cooking, or cleaning etc.
  • Double check “to-buy list” is inline with food budget (and only buy what’s on the list)
  • Which day of the week is it best to grocery shop at your preferred location? Double coupon Wednesdays?? Produce delivery day?
  • Plan freezer meals for upcoming weeks (work late night, events @, yoga night, etc) so you don’t have to stress last minute.

Your meal planner can totally just be a blank notebook where you write the meals and creat your grocery list.

We really liked using a magnetic dry erase board on the fridge so that we could add in any other big events or appointments that were going on in the week.

I love this simple “Weekly” notepad with blank boxes for each day, too. It makes a great meal planner, but it’s so versatile, it can be used for infinite things.

If you want to plan more than just dinners, this “Meal Planning” notepad has additional space for breakfast and lunch!

If you’re like me and want to keep all of your grocery list separated by type of food (i.e. location in the store), you might dig this “All out Of” notepad where you can just quickly check off boxes on items you need.

 

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Organizing BEFORE You Move: Save Time and Your Sanity

So, you’re moving! How exciting and yet, utterly terrifying.

Moving doesn’t have to be your worst nightmare, though. It CAN have the potential to be only a mildly scary mini-dream. Below are a few tips to help you tame that moving beast while staying organized and at least partly sane.

Visualizing the New Place

Firstly, let’s start by visualizing your new place. Moving into a new home can also be the start of a new chapter in your life. Homes are often a marker in time when you think back and say, “it was when we were in the yellow house on Drury Street, or was it still when we lived at the condo?” Each home has a different feel and elicits different emotions. Looking forward, what kind of vibe are you wanting from this new place?

A few major factors that determine this are:

  • Location
  • Decor
  • Size

Each of those factors play into and off of each other. It’s not likely to feel like a quiet, relaxing oasis if you’re on the corner of two busy streets and you probably won’t get that authentic southwestern feel if all of your furniture and decor is mid-century modern. If you’re decreasing or increasing the square-footage, think about your current furniture and how that will physically fit in the new place.

Drive around and map out the new neighborhood. Think of some specific decor pieces that you can visualize beautifully placed in your new space. Taking measurements of the new rooms, your current furniture, and planning the furniture layouts beforehand can save you time and frustration when you realize mid-move that the new sectional doesn’t fit down the basement stairs.

Create Moving Notebook/Folder

Use whatever you have to keep all this moving-related info together. You don’t have to get super fancy with a hyper-organized, tabbed and color-coded binder, but having one place as your go-to can save you a lot of time when searching for your moving info.

Some good things to keep in here are:

  • Research (moving companies, storage units, internet/cable providers, new utilities and trash companies, etc)
  • To-do list:
    • Utilities to Turn on/off
    • School Paperwork to Transfer
    • Change of Address, Notifying Relevant Parties of Address Change (banks/credit cards, magazines/subscriptions, HR at work, etc.)
  • Moving Schedule, Appliance Drop-Offs, Carpet Cleaners, Etc.
  • Donation Center for donate items
  • Recycling Center for post-move boxes/packing paper

I also suggest creating individual folders for the following paperwork. Though most of these are moving-related, you will need to hang on to this info for much longer.

  • Loan/Closing Documents/Lease
  • Appliance Instruction Manuals
  • Warranties

Lighten the Load

Now, onto the most important part of this whole shebang. Do not bring anything to the new house that you didn’t use or love in the old house. If it’s broken and you don’t have solid plans to fix in with-in a few weeks, it’s time to go.

Before you move is the perfect time to “trim the fat”. A couple great areas to focus on de-cluttering and pairing down are:

  • Kitchen appliances and utensils
  • Bathroom and bedroom linens
  • Each family member’s wardrobe
  • Books and Media
  • Children’s toys

Now is also the time to go through those old boxes in storage that you’re not quite sure of the contents, yet have drug around to the last two or three houses with you. Odds are that they are full of items that don’t serve you anymore.

If you’re thinking that they are mostly keepsakes and memorabilia, it’s still a good idea to go through them and purge what you don’t absolutely love and want to still be holding onto 10 years from now. Chances are that the the last time you went through those old boxes, it was probably a lot more important to you to hold on to that high school graduation tassel than it would be to you now.

Packing

Now that you’ve gotten rid of things you don’t love or use anymore, it’s time to start packing up what’s left. It’s a good idea to start packing the items that are the least accessed/used and finishing by packing the every-day items. Starting this processes early will save you the most time and eliminates a lot of that last-minute scrambling and stress.

A couple tried-and-true packing tips:

  • Mostly use small and medium boxes
  • Put EVERYTHING in boxes
  • Put related and like-items in the same box
  • Label each box with:
    • What room the box should be taken to
    • What is mostly in the box

Selling Your Home

If you are listing your current home to sell, pack up as many of the household items as you can. While your home will be shown, it’s vital that there is no clutter anywhere.

  • Remove any non-neutral decor, especially personal photos and knick-nacks
  • Remove kitchen counter top appliances, store food out-of-sight
  • Keep bathroom and laundry counter tops clear
  • Give storage rooms a purpose, i.e. stage as a craft/sewing space etc.
  • Create illusion of space by moving some furniture to storage
  • Pack and store off-season clothing and shoes
  • Pack and store majority of children’s toys – especially large bulky toys like play kitchens, riding toys, etc.

Compile a Moving Essentials Kit

Alright, now you’re ready to move! It’s also a good idea to create an essentials kit with some of the items you will need to access right away that will save you from having to rip open and dig through boxes just to find one or two items. Here are just a few things that are great to include in your moving day essentials kit:

  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels/Paper Towels
  • Trash Bags
  • Soap: hand, dish, multi-purpose spray
  • 1 Dish Set/Disposables, Silverware, Cups
  • Box Cutter
  • Light Bulbs
  • Shower Curtain
  • Set of Bed Sheets for each bed
  • Teapot/Coffeemaker
  • Baby/Kid Items

Un-Packing

Now it’s time to unpack and settle in! This part can be especially overwhelming. Below are some tips to help it stay a little less chaotic and a little more manageable.

  • Start unpacking right away
  • Only unpack one room (fully) at a time
  • Put things where they should permanently live as you unpack
  • Tear down boxes and move to recycling as you go

Additional Resources

Check out this thorough Organized Moving Checklist from the Container Store to make sure you’re staying on point.

Also, if you’d like some help getting your move organized, de-cluttering, or sorting through storage items, please contact me, I’d love to help!

Organizing Simplified Workshop

Learn how to help your household flow smoother by implementing better routines, planning meals, and using a more efficient laundry system.

We will talk about how to implement daily and weekly routines, getting the rest of the family on board, and customizing them to fit your household.

We will plan one entire month of dinners by using a simple template you can change up and reuse each month, making grocery shopping and budgeting so much easier.

We’ll talk about ways to improve our current laundry systems, minimizing the amount of dirty clothes, and getting all family members engaged and responsible for their own items.

$40 per person. Must register here:
https://squareup.com/store/shawna-childers/item/organizing-simplified-workshop

6-8pm Tuesday, August 1st
@Matt Ross Community Center – Cottonwood Room on Main Floor

Refreshments provided.

Podcast Interview: Mindful Mama Movement

Last week I was interviewed on the Mindful Mama Movement Podcast! So fun talking about allllll my favorite things.

I talked to Shannon and Ashley about all things organizing: clutter, laundry systems, meal planning, and letting go. We talked about efficient ways to manage these household duties as well as how it feels being a parent and how I feel that it’s changed me.

Click the pic below to listen!

mindful-mama-movement

Workshop: Organizing Simplified: Maximize your Time and Space

Start spring off with a fresh, new, and organized space!

Backed up with laundry and to-dos? Can’t keep half the household and kids’ items straight?
Come learn some techniques to help your household flow!

Join us on Saturday afternoon, April 16th at 1pm for a workshop in home organizing!

We’ll learn some simple tricks for

  • Routine and Scheduling

  • Laundry Systems

  • Storage Solutions

Snap a few pictures of some spaces in your home that you wish were better laid out or utilized. Come ready to ask questions and to learn from other workshop goers. Bring a notebook and pen for note taking!

Q &A with Professional Organizer Shawna Childers of Organizing Solutions KC!

One lucky workshop attendee will win a FREE in-home consultation! 

Pre-register online at hOMe holistic family center to reserve your spot. Space is limited!

Donation based/pay what you can (suggested donation of $35).

 

Shawna Childers is the founder of Organizing Solutions KC, a Kansas City based company that specializes in professional organizing and organic household cleaning and body products.

She has over a decade of experience working with Kansas City area families. She’s helped them create more space in their lives for things that bring them joy by implementing schedules and action plans, organizing their spaces, and cleaning their homes without toxic chemicals.

She is passionate about helping people live richer, fuller lives by working with clients to examine their homes and routines for opportunities to improve efficiency and flow. She is fascinated by the relationship that people have to their possessions and has spent the later part of her life working to help them manage their items, spaces, and ideas.

She is an avid nature lover and very interested in learning how we connect with and affect our surroundings, whether it’s our home or world, both big picture and microbial. Since it’s a priority for her to limit the amount of chemicals in her household and exposure to her family, she makes her own organic cleaning products and body products.

She thrives on learning from people who want to share their life experiences, teaching others through her own, and making genuine, lasting connections in her community.