Keeping things together

Like many, I am a busy, professional who loves my job, working with clients in an international environnement.

Outside of work I am a wife, mother of 2 teen age daughters, housecleaner, cooker, exerciser, active member of the PTA, organiser, member of a professional woman’s group… just to name a few. Work – life balance is extremely important, and finding time to be with family and friends, exercise and have somewhat of a social life … all part of who I am.


So there are things that I do not mind spending money on, things I delegate, or things I do which make my life a heck of a lot easier and contribute to my happiness. Here is how I keep my world organized, unstressed, on track and on time :


  • Convenience – I grocery shop on line & have my groceries delivered. I place a big order every two weeks or so, with all my dry goods, beverages, beauty products…anything that is not perishable. For produce, meat and dairy I shop at the market on the weekends.

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  • Delegating – I pay a math tutor for my children. In France they teach math a bit differently than when I learned many years ago, so if I even try to help my kids, I usually end up confusing them. Not to mention the lack of time I have to review homework. So this year they have a tutor, each one hour a week and has had such a huge impact on their self confidence (not to mention their grades).
  • I give my kids specific tasks to do around the house : dishwasher, litter box, cleaning their own bathroom. Everyone pitches in.
  • Anticipating – I have a big calendar with everyone’s appointments, trips, competitions, races, birthdays, long weekends, vacations.   I am sure I always have enough metro tickets for when my kids forgot to write on the calendar that there was an outing with school the next day. Yes, it sometimes happens.

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  • Grouping –  I do laundry only on the weekends. I seriously think that I could actually do laundry every day of the week. I do all my loads Friday evening or Saturday morning and then only have to fold laundry once. Not. every. day.
  • Meal prep.  I don’t have much time to cook during the week, so I be sure to cook a lot on the weekends, so that we do not turn towards pizza or pasta too often. My family makes fun of me because when they ask what’s for dinner, they know my answer is very often “left overs”.  This is today’s lunch : pork roast that we will also eat tomorrow and sweet potato – I made enough to have for 3 meals.

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  • Connecting.  I be sure to emotionally connect with my husband one to one every evening, and I find time to connect with my girls. We love the movies Mama Mia or Pitch Perfect.  We have probably seen each at least 15 times. We sing ALL the songs. Seriously.

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  • Exercising. Yoga, running, pool, fitness DVD, doesn’t matter, but my body loves me so much more when it moves.

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  • Mindset. I never sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to be mad, unhappy or negative, so I always try to see the bright side of things. I do not worry if the house is not picked up every evening, if the floor isn’t vacuumed, or the sheets have not been changed as frequently as they probably should.
  • Saying no. Overtime I have learned to say no. Or actually not raise my hand when a volunteer is needed. Sometimes I actually need to SIT ON MY HAND to do it, but I have come to grips with the fact that you need to pick & choose what you do, and you’ll be so much more involved and happy to help if it is something you are really interested in.


The above allows my stress levels to be relatively controlled, gives time for me and my family, and let’s me work at a job that I love.


What do you do to keep your life organized ? Any tips on how you anticipate or manage stress ? Do you have a hard time saying no ?


Comments: 7

  1. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm Reply

    It’s so cool that you order your groceries online!

  2. Britt@MyOwnBalance March 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm Reply

    Great post! I definitely have a hard time saying no! I get my groceries delivered too and it helps out so much! I also pay for a housecleaner to come because 1.) I am terrible at cleaning and 2.) it is way too time consuming! I don’t feel bad about these things because I know I cannot possibly do it all!

    • Karen - French Inspiration March 29, 2014 at 2:57 pm Reply

      I used to pay for a house cleaner too, but I actually don’t mind doing it that much. Kind of calming, even if that sound really weird !

  3. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork March 25, 2014 at 12:54 am Reply

    This is a great list! I also do laundry only on the weekends. Who does it every day? That’s crazy! I love that you make a point to connect with your husband every night. It can be so easy to just get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you get to the end of the day and you’re so exhausted you just fall to sleep without having had much of a conversation. That’s really important and something I need to be mindful of from time to time.

    I agree that my body likes me more when I work it out. I feel better mentally and physically. And not sweating the small stuff is key! As I’ve had less time to get things done due to having more classwork, I’ve gone longer between vacuuming. I used to not be able to do that, but it really doesn’t matter (as long as we’re not expecting company and really, it’s still not that bad).

    I hear you on the math being different–I tried to help my brother-in-law a few years ago and couldn’t understand the way they taught it!

    Great post! I really enjoyed this one and I hope know we can all learn from your great tips and tricks!

    • Karen - French Inspiration March 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Thanks !

  4. Teresa @ March 25, 2014 at 1:38 am Reply

    Love this post and how organized you are. I also love that you made a point to connect with your family. I think we have all become way too busy especially with all the social media!!

    • Karen - French Inspiration March 29, 2014 at 2:54 pm Reply

      Fully agree !

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