Mondays come quickly and while weekends are for relaxing (or kid’s soccer and baseball games and birthday parties… sigh), it’s important to schedule some time on Sundays to get ready for the start of the new week so that when Monday rolls around, you’re already ahead of the game. On the weekend, you might not want to think about the new week at all, the whole out-of-sight, out-of-mind theory, but I assure you, Monday morning will sneak up on you and unless you’ve done some Sunday prep, you may not have a jump on the week like you had hoped.
By planning ahead, the new week will be a little less dreadful. Try these five things to get organized.
MEAL PLAN, SHOP & PREP
Plan your week’s meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner. Use this free printable to write down your meal plan for the week. Make sure to take into account any dinners or eating out you already have on the books so you don’t buy groceries you won’t need and could waste.
Next, once you’ve created a meal plan, write down a grocery shopping list of everything you’ll need based on these meals and categorize them by section – produce, meat, frozen, dairy, etc. When you shop, this is a huge time saver so you get everything you need in each area of the store without having to double or triple back.
Once you write down your grocery-shopping list, check your fridge and pantry to see if I already have any of the items you’ll need and can cross them off your list.
In our house, our breakfast staples are easy to whip up and include scrambled eggs, oatmeal, cereal, pancakes or bagels.
I pack lunches for our kids for school the night before and my husband and I have leftovers for lunch most days.
I also try to limit the number of ingredients for dinners to cut down on grocery shopping and meal prep time for those busy nights.
Our family has found it’s most helpful to put the weeks’ meal plan in the kitchen for everyone to see what is scheduled. This also helps to make sure no one starts snacking or using ingredients that are needed for one of the week’s meals. We have a chalkboard that lists the meals for the week and a section for a grocery list. If we run out of anything mid-week, anyone can add to it for the next grocery-shopping trip to re-stock.
If you can, prep meals that can hold for the week. This will be helpful on mornings you’re running out the door and don’t have time to pack anything in 60 seconds or less.
Mason Jar Salads and chicken salad, tuna salad or egg salad for sandwiches are easy to grab and go. Consider doubling your batch for dinner one night and you’ll have leftovers for several days.
CREATE A TO DO LIST FOR THE WEEK
I cannot function without a to-do list or my planner. I’m old-school like that but do love writing things down in a paper planner. I am most productive with a to-list. I have a great weekly planner that includes our schedule, to-do list for work and personal and goals for the week so I can keep track of everything in one spot.
CLEAN THE HOUSE
Starting the week off with a clean house will make things much less chaotic come Monday morning and do you really want to have a full day of work and come home to a sink full of dishes and mountain of laundry that needs folding? My guess is no.
Get a jump on cleaning your house – split responsibilities with your partner and kids too – the cleaning will go so much faster!
DO THE LAUNDRY
Spread this over Saturday and Sunday so you’re not overloaded on Sunday with several loads of laundry, especially if you’re a bit backed up. I try to throw a load in the washer first thing in the morning and move it over to the dryer before we head out in the morning. During naptime or after the kids go to bed, I fluff the clothes and fold them. I do a load of laundry every other day so our laundry pile never backs up.
I don’t know about you but one of my most favorite things is slipping under freshly washed sheets. It’s another load of laundry but completely worth it to go to bed tucked in under freshly washed linens. Add some bath towels to the load as well and your entire house is looking and feeling fresh.
If you’re heading to the office in the morning, take a look at the weather and then choose an outfit including shoes and jewelry. This can be a huge time saver in the morning! If you’re feeling especially productive, choose outfits for the entire week.