Create household systems to simplify life

We are familiar with using systems in our workplace. Having a set path to follow when we do a task simplifies the task, in terms of the time it takes and the results you need to achieve.

Do you have Household Systems in place?

Regardless of whether we work outside the home or not, whether we run a business, a job, a household, or all three, when we utilise systems everything runs more smoothly. We create a routine which can easily be followed.

Grocery list and meal planning – what system do you have in place?

Every kitchen is run differently, depending on the number of people in the household, their diet needs and their schedules. Regardless of these differences each kitchen has items which are used regularly. When you develop a system that works for you, meal planning and shopping lists can take the hassle out of grocery shopping. This becomes a household system, a routine which anyone can follow.

household systems

Do you plan your meals then create your list? Or do you shop then plan meals from what’s in the fridge and cupboard? Do you have a different method?

I’m the sort who shops then plans meals from what we have.

My kitchen system means that I have regular items on my list. Things we eat all the time. It’s part of living simply. I guess it’s grown out of looking at the way we eat, what sort of meals we like, the way we like to cook. This has extended to other regular items we use, including particular brands. Dish liquid, paper towel, cooking oil, coffee, tea, spices, herbs, biscuits, flour, pasta etc

This all happens regardless of who cooks the meals, who writes the list, who does the grocery shopping. Do you see where I’m going here?

When we create household systems and routines, it then becomes easy to delegate tasks to family members. They just need to start by following what you have put in place. They learn by following the routine for the task. Over time they learn to be flexible and to experiment. To try something new and assess whether it is right for the household. To keep it or discard it.

There’s just Hubby and I. He’s retired and I began an afternoon job. Because I have a household system for food planning, he was easily able to take over the cooking. He has since branched out, adding his own extra flavours and feels very accomplished in the kitchen. He was never overwhelmed by taking over the cooking, never felt he had to learn something new or a new way of doing something.

Next time – how you can delegate tasks by having systems in place

So tell me – what Household system do you have running? What simple tasks have you been able to delegate? How have you been able to lighten your load?

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Create household systems to simplify life — 25 Comments

  1. Hi Lorelle! In the kitchen, I have recipes printed out in simple words filed in a clear folder. At the back of each recipe, I have identified the list of items or ingredients needed, in 2 columns: items found in grocery, and items that can be bought in wet market. Every Friday, my husband and I choose the meals for the week, and make a grocery and market list – which is already easy and accurate because we only need to copy them from each recipe.
    We can control our food spoilage this way.
    I am now a fan of your blog because I love organizing and making my life systematic to have more time with family, friends and work.
    Daryl recently posted…Gist ReviewMy Profile

  2. I think I’m a bit like you in that I cook from what I have rather than meal plan ahead. I cook depending on what takes my fancy that day and I could never stick to a weekly plan, it’s just not me. We also get plenty of improptu invitations to eat out and the kids bring friends home without much warning so I don’t thinkI could stick to the plan if I tried. But I do always write a list and get the family to add whatever we’ve run out of so shopping is efficient and easy. I often think I’d like to be a bit more organised but my system, such that it is works too!
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted…Silent Sunday – 17 November 2013My Profile

  3. I love planning also my daily family life! I usually plan meals (dinners) every Sunday evening: twice a week fish, twice a week rice, once a week meat and once dinner out, and once..depends. Every day fruit and vegetables of course! I usually do the shopping or delegate. I love cooking but sometimes I delegate, especially when there is fish!

  4. We love systems in our house! For menu planning, we have 2-3 weekly menus that we choose from and then we buy based on that. Of course, just like you, Lorelle, items such as fruit, veggies, milk, eggs, that we always eat, are on the list all the time.
    We even use an iPhone app where we keep a general list, mark the items before we leave for shopping and then we check them off as we go. It saves us lots of time!
    Delia @ Blog Formatting recently posted…From overwhelm to awe in 3 easy stepsMy Profile

  5. This is something that I was thinking about the other day b/c we have NO system at all, I pick up things from the market, my hubby pick up things, no one has a list and we both forget things…it is just all over the place. Thank you for the motivation!
    Margaret recently posted…Tips to Maintain A Healthy MindMy Profile

  6. Systems make life run much smoother. I used to be a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl, but I learned that it’s not feasible to live that way and be successful. I implement systems when necessary for my sanity, as I like to keep a positive vibe in my house. :)
    Keri Kight recently posted…Create Happiness and AWEMy Profile

  7. Great article and ideas Lorelle. I used to be much better at using systems but somehow fell off the wagon. You’ve reminded me how much smoother things are when I get them back in place. Thanks!

  8. To be honest I do not have a system to shop or to plan the meals. When I go to the grocery store I make a full month shopping. Then I ask my husband each day what does he want for dinner. But this is a great tip too! Thanks for sharing.
    Remy recently posted…Gaudi Experience BarcelonaMy Profile

  9. A post very near and dear to my heart! As I time strategy visionary, I encourage my clients to use TONS of systems. Any activity you do more than once can become a system! Packing for vacation, decorating for the holidays, paying bills, meal prep, putting the garden to bed in the fall . . . .
    Lisa Mallis recently posted…Homemade Bread Day, Evaluation, and ChangeMy Profile

  10. Systems makes life much easier. Before I go shopping, I always go through the kitchen cupboards and fridge so that I know what I need to buy and add it onto a shopping list.

    When I’m at the fridge, I’ll have a clear out so that when the new shopping arrives, there’s space for everything.
    Carol recently posted…Which is your favourite Christmas 2013 TV AdvertMy Profile

  11. Hi Lorelle, Yes I agree, it is good with household systems. We have a list where we add everything that we run out of and when we go shopping we add additional things. And like you we cook from what we have at home.
    I would have loved to make menus and then shop for that – if we had done that we would eat much healthier.

    So – maybe there will be a new system coming up in our household.
    Eva Synnergren recently posted…Marketing Challange – Interview with Johanna IsbergMy Profile