The Juggling Act: How to balance work, parenthood and home life

How it all started

When Gary and I first came up with the idea of Plastic Box Shop, we were motivated by the need for, and considerable lack of, home storage solutions that were not only cheap but actually did the job. At that time, we found that you’d typically get a £1 or £2 box that was flimsy, or a sturdy box that was extremely pricey.

All of us lead busy lives, and we require storage that we can throw our bits and bobs into knowing they’re going to be secure. This is what ultimately led us to creating Plastic Box Shop. Way back in 2003 we literally ‘set up shop’ in some farm buildings from our base in North Yorkshire. We got to work generating stock and coming up with realistic prices for everything. Thirteen years on, we now have instant access to over £2 million worth of stock, offering everything from bedroom storage and kitchen organisation, to boxes for schools, offices, and industry.

Staying on top of things

As a mother, it can be difficult to strike the balance between work, parenting, and your personal life. We work so hard because we want the best for our families, yet in doing so we often spend the majority of waking hours away from them. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t figured out the perfect formula by any means, but I have found that there are a few things you can do stay on top of different aspects of your life.

Firstly, learn to leave work at work! This might sound obvious, but it is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress and helps you to be more ‘present’ at home. A good way to switch off is by listening to your favourite album on the journey home from work. Here are some great chill-out songs compiled by Elite Daily to help you unwind at the end of your working day.
Secondly, take a family trip whenever you can. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, you could just go for a stroll to the park to feed the ducks or maybe go on a bike ride. It can be difficult to find the time, but take the opportunities where you can, it’s healthy and your little ones will be too tired to run riot when you get home.

Lastly, call on friends. It can be easy to get so wrapped up working and bringing up our families that we sometimes don’t put as much effort into our relationships — whether that’s with friends, or your partner. Arranging a girls’ night or organising a romantic date with your other half will make you feel great. They’re your support network and, after all, we all get by with a little help from our friends.

The best ways to declutter

My advice for decluttering is simple: be brutal. If your kids haven’t played with something in a while, or by the same token, if you haven’t worn something for more than a year, throw it out. My parents loved to hang on to everything “just in case”, but that will just result in your loft or spare room becoming a minefield of boxes.

Furthermore, if you are undertaking a major declutter, I’d advise doing it in steps. Don’t bite off more than you can chew by trying to tackle the whole house in one day. Instead, thoroughly organise and clear out one room at a time, maybe one room every Sunday. This gives you the feeling of satisfaction without exhausting yourself in the process.