Best of Both Worlds podcast: Organize your life 2024

Happy New Year! Lots of us start the new year with intentions to create better systems for our lives and our stuff (I spent an hour last night cleaning out my office…). So this week’s episode of Best of Both Worlds is all about our favorite organizational strategies.

We cover several categories: calendar/time (both personal and family), kitchen + meals (just run the dishwasher overnight…and try a make-your-own-pizza night), household + kid systems, and ideas (hello content calendars!).

In the Q&A I give some suggestions to a listener who wants to know how to take a larger family on a family bike ride. We have transported 6 bikes + a Burley, but it does take two cars for us (and a bike rack).

Please give the episode a listen! We welcome ratings and reviews. We also welcome all the new members of the Best of Both Worlds Patreon community —  we have great discussions on the forum, and our next Zoom meet-up on January 18th will be a “Habits symposium” — also very New Year’s appropriate. Membership is $9/month. Hope to see you there!

9 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Organize your life 2024

  1. I’ve recently started running the dishwasher RIGHT after supper and unloading it before bed. Technically the dishwasher is my 12-year-old’s job, but she’s always tired and we’re rushing around the kitchen in the morning and it felt like such a nuisance to have a full (but clean) dishwasher over the breakfast hour. This way, we wake up to a clean slate in the morning and our dirty breakfast dishes can immediately go in the dishwasher.

    1. @Elisabeth- glad you have a system that works for you! I feel like clean dishes in the morning is still a clean slate – it’s the dirty dishes that would be a problem!

  2. Hi Laura and Sarah, I’ve been listening on and off for a few years, and was excited by the subject of this episode going into a new year. However, as I listened I became more and more frustrated and eventually turned it off.
    We have a one-year-old and a six-year-old and both work full time. We have hybrid schedules which allow us to trade off childcare, with occasional help from my in-laws. We are stretched (to say the least) and I was hoping for this episode to offer some insights on how to manage a busy household. Instead, I listened to “organization tips” that amounted to delegating nearly everything to full-time paid staff.
    Many of us don’t have full-time nannies or (dear lord) a “house manager” to do 80% of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and running the kids around. I appreciate you are just sharing your lived experience, and don’t mean to judge, but I feel like I am not alone in finding your advice irrelevant to my lifestyle. Perhaps you could bring in a guest who could speak to those parents who don’t have full-time childcare, and need some survival tips? (If you have already done such an episode, please let me know!)

    1. @Simon – thanks for your note, and thanks for listening to the show! We’ve featured a lot of different family situations and work set ups on the show over 6.5 (!) years.
      While I know that many families don’t have full time nannies, one of the key messages of the show is that there is nothing wrong with paying for full time childcare in whatever form that comes. I know I sometimes find advice from men whose wives are covering everything on the home front not that helpful, but people tend not to criticize their lived reality. I wanted to create a show that helped women figure out ways that they could have the support to fully focus at work. We’re sharing what has helped us and I know a number of other people have found the advice helpful over the years too.

  3. Hi Laura – thank you for the prompt reply! Do you have any advice for families where both parents work full time and cannot afford professional childcare? It’s not a choice for us, where we live the cost is just too high.

    1. @Simon – I think the weekly planning time becomes even more critical when the schedule has limited wiggle room. When I spend time mapping out the next week and what needs to happen (and what we want to see happen) I can see when there might be tight spots or potential problems and think about ways to solve them. I think having a helpful community is just key for anyone combining work and life – you guys have family so that’s great, and others pay for help, or it might be possible to swap a lot with neighbors and friends for kid coverage – I’ve seen several people do that, like trading off weekend playdates so parents can run errands…

        1. Some thoughts on what we did on a tighter budget, most of which I’ve heard on other episodes or been inspired from other episodes: online grocery shopping and delivery ($5), annual to do list to keep track of when to do stuff like buy kids’ winter gear on sale etc, try to involve kids in cleaning or working out so you can do it during daytime hours and hang out as a couple once kids are in bed, make a huge pot of soup and healthy grains on Sunday afternoon and eat it S/M/T/W, have a quick supper on Thursday (omelet or tofu), frozen pizza vs takeout on Friday and cook a special family meal on Saturday, have all navy pants for kids that match with everything, have enough kids’ clothes to only do laundry once a week, don’t fold little kids’ clothes, lower cleaning standards. As an alternative to a nanny, we used to have a mother’s helper come one day a week and clean, organize, do laundry, meal prep while our kids were in daycare…less expensive than a nanny in our case but a huge game changer for quality of life.

          1. @Florence- great tips! I’m hoping to get into a routine of making soup or something on Sunday…the idea of having leftovers available during the week is appealing. Sometimes we grill on Sunday and then have a protein available to be a building block for meals during the week…

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