Maintaining a healthy and happy family home can be a challenge when you’re looking after small children, doing the school run, working, cleaning endless clothes, packing lunches, making dinner, and ensuring the pet dog has a walk each day. Below are some vital tips to help ensure your family home runs as smoothly as possible so more time can be spent on the things you can all enjoy together, such as long walks in the country or takeout and film nights.
1. Create systems that work for you.
Write lists of events coming up each week, including birthdays and special occasions so nothing gets missed. Create online shopping orders and set a designated delivery time each week to take the pressure off having to get to the shops. Write age-appropriate chore lists for the children so that everyone is involved in keeping your home nice. Organize regular special treats together, such as Friday night being family pizza night, where everyone has dinner together and shares the good and bad parts of their week.
2. Have reliable and trustworthy people to turn to when things go wrong or for home improvements.
Every family needs local and honest tradespeople they can call when the unexpected happens, such as a leaking roof or a broken boiler. Use the internet to help you find the best reliable and insured local plumber closest to you. Try to get at least three quotes for a job so you can be confident you’re getting the best deal, and always check references and credentials.
3. Clear out the clutter.
It’s easy for jobs to accumulate when you’ve got children. Suddenly the minimalist spare bedroom has turned into a haven for odd socks, old clothes, unused appliances, unwanted Christmas presents and broken toys. Why not take the Marie Kondo approach and ask yourself if an object sparks joy in you. Be ruthless with those that don’t, and donate them instead to the local charity shop, thereby clearing out your house and helping a local cause in one.
4. Get to know your neighbors.
The prominence of online social networks has created societies where people can be very involved with online communities and yet feel isolated in their day-to-day existence. Making personal connections to those who live close to us is a wonderful way to foster a sense of community, which can be especially important when you have a young family. After a sleepless night with a new baby, having a neighbor ask how you are or invite you in for a cup of coffee can be a lifeline. Being able to pop round to a neighbor’s to borrow a cup of sugar or asking a neighbor to feed your cat while you’re away all help provide a sense of belonging. Why not organize a street party or a local charity fundraising event, so that everyone can meet each other in a friendly and relaxed way?
5. Be kind to yourself.
Bringing up children, working and maintaining a happy home while surviving on little sleep and balancing finances can be challenging, so don’t beat yourself up about the little things. Let perfection go and instead focus on health and happiness and what that means to you and your family.