Four smart time management tips that'll transform your household into a place of calm.

HP Australia
Thanks to our brand partner, HP Australia

As the kids settle into their 2018 school routines and start their after-school activities like playing sport, learning instruments and going to tutorial groups, weekdays may start to feel chaotic. A spare moment during or at the end of the day? Now that’s a luxury.

Mum-of-three Katrina Springer, also known as The Organised Housewife, has figured out some clever home organisation systems to help simplify family life and keep the house in order. She’s a connoisseur when it comes to creating useful charts and lists, which she prints herself, helping to bring even more calm and organisation into the home. Yes, it’s not a crazy dream – you can do it too.

Here are some of her practical time management tips for busy families looking to tame the household, with the help of printers and to-do lists:

1. Routine is your friend. Embrace it.

With the limited time we have in the morning, it can easily become frantic with getting the kids ready for school or getting ready to get to work on time. Most mornings so much needs to be accomplished, from putting washing on the line to preparing lunches to tidying up the kitchen to ensuring the kids are dressed (and don’t forget to dress yourself too!). Having a routine may be repetitive, but it will make your home life easier and family happier in the end.

Keeping lists is one of the essential keys to time management. Without a to-do list, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of things you have on your plate.

Actually seeing your tasks will help you prioritise, focus your attention and help you remember what you need to do. Using a printable template like the one below can really help – and every day, you’ll feel a good sense of accomplishment when you tick a task off the list!

An empty shopping list? For once! Image: Supplied

2. Make your lists the Most. Fun. Ever.

There are some great ways you can make those lists a little more exciting - and inspiring - for you and your family.

The new HP Smart Tank Wireless 455 Printer is a great choice for printing out colourful templates because comes with two years’ worth of ink (goodbye, "running out of ink-xiety") and you can print and scan from your smartphone or tablet. Running a home office, it's especially helpful for me to print straight from the HP Smart app on my phone when I'm busy doing 10 other things.

This beautiful printer leaves no excuse to not be organised when you can Google and print what you need straight away. Plus, the kids can use it for their homework. That's a win.

Smart Tank is one of HP's most premium printers. Two years of ink? Yes please. Image: Supplied.

Start using the following kinds of charts/lists in your home:

Monthly Calendar - Place on your fridge to keep track of upcoming school dates, sporting events and other dates. HP's premium quality is perfect for this - it's waterproof and smudge-proof, so your yearly calendar will stay shiny and crisp all year.
• To-do list - It can be a reminder for yourself, your partner, or potentially a chore plan, spelling list or times' table wall hanging for the kids. Make it fun!
Grocery list - Add all the ingredients from your weekly meal plan onto your shopping list along with when you finish something from the fridge or pantry, add it to the list, if it’s not on there you may not remember to buy it. Not only is a grocery list an efficient, effective and stress-free way of shopping, it will save you money and reduce the number of times you will need to stop into the shops.


It's super easy to find some great printable lists online, which you can conveniently print at home and use instantly. Google the printable you're after (for example: printable shopping list) and search for something that you will find practical and help you.


3. Create a weekly meal plan

Do you stroll up and down the aisle in the grocery store unsure what to buy for dinners through the week? Each week I like to create a weekly meal plan - this not only saves time and my sanity but it helps to save money at the checkout. I only go to the grocery store once a week and I credit this to meal planning and using a shopping list. When planning my meals I consider use-by dates for fresh meat, use meat from the freezer, or canned fish to see me through to the following week.

I frame my 'What's for Dinner' printable, and use a whiteboard marker to write the planned meals for the week on the glass for all the family to see. This not only stops the constant question of "What's for dinner, Mum?", but if I am out running the kids around after school, so that my hubby can make a start on dinner, giving him no excuse of "I didn't know what to cook"! The next week, I wipe off the meals and start again.

The Organised Housewife's meal planner. Image: Supplied

4. Have a place for everything.

Being organised and knowing that everything has a place helps my mindset and reduces my stress levels. Most elements of my house are organised from my pantry to the dirty laundry (yes, I organise dirty laundry), but at this time of year I strive to have these areas organised as the kids get back in the school rhythm:

• School notes - keep them clipped to the fridge or in a file so you can easily access them when needed.
• Homework - keep all the homework supplies and home readers in once place. That includes printing labels using the HP!
• School bags - off the floor and in the same place so there is no excuse the kids can't find it.
• Laundry schedule - I create a laundry schedule to ensure that they have a clean uniform each day and to save having Mt Washmore to battle with on weekends.
• Lunchboxes - to make preparing lunches a quick and easy process, create a lunchbox plan for the week and store all lunch supplies together in one cupboard. Print out a "lunchbox planner" like the one below - it's a great way to make life a lot easier for whoever might be packing the lunchbox on that day.

Printed labels are the best. Image: Supplied


What tips would you add to Katrina's list? Share with us below.

Visit The Organised Housewife for more tips.

This content was created with our brand partner HP.