Being a modern mom isn’t easy. Not only do you have to keep things under control on the homefront but also you probably have a job outside the home. Add to that chauffeuring the kids to activities, and you have a recipe for an incredibly hectic lifestyle.
It’s impossible to sustain that level of activity without some degree of organization. Unfortunately, most moms are so busy that they feel as if they don’t have time to get organized. Is it even possible to keep track of your schedule, stay on top of what the kids are doing and maybe even set aside an hour for a little bit of “me” time?
Doing so may be easier than you think, especially when you incorporate these 10 tips into your life. When you get organized, you’ll find that you have more time for yourself and more time to enjoy the unique connections that you enjoy with the people you love best.
1. Start a Planner
A paper planner may not seem like the most obvious organization tool in this tech-focused day and age, but it really works for many busy moms. That’s especially true when you choose the Clever Fox Planner.
With innovative layouts, this planner can help you to accomplish so much more than just running the kids to soccer practice and keeping dental appointments.
Inside the covers, you’ll find spaces to let your dreams take flight. Spend some time reflecting on what’s really important in your life and what you most want to accomplish.
The Clever Fox Planner walks you through the process of setting a few specific goals that will have you getting organized and feeling more Zen than you have in years.
Use the monthly and weekly layouts to get detailed as far as events, activities and appointments. Once a week, sit down with your planner for a deep dive as you look at what’s coming up and take a look back at what’s working and what’s not. You may only spend five or 10 minutes, but it will leave you feeling centered and prepared for the week ahead.
2. Create a Family Calendar
Using a whiteboard, a chalkboard or a piece of poster paper, create a monthly family calendar. Place it in a prominent spot, like the kitchen, where the whole family can see it. This is the place where everyone will write down all of their activities and appointments so that the whole family knows where everyone is supposed to be and when they are supposed to be there.
Kids who are old enough can easily get in on the act by recording their own dance recitals and karate classes. Make them responsible for recording changes when they come up too, and schedule a “family meeting” once a week or so to go over the calendar to ensure that it is accurate.
3. Give Each Family Member a Station
In an entryway, mudroom or another area in your home that makes sense, designate a cubby, shelf or space in a closet for each family member. Each evening, family members are responsible for filling their cubby with whatever they will need for the following day. That includes their book bag for school and the bag they’ll need for baseball practice. This is where homework and other school projects get stored before bed the night before, resulting in far less stressful and more organized mornings.
4. Plan Meals
When you don’t plan meals in advance, it’s a recipe for chaos. Too many busy moms are confronted with the “What’s for dinner” question at 5:30, and they don’t have an answer. Choose one day per week to create a meal plan for the week ahead.
It isn’t fun to sit down on the weekend to plan dinners, but it really cuts down on feeling disorganized during the week. Ideally, you will create your meal plans just before you go grocery shopping so that you’ll have all the supplies you need.
5. Be Prepared
How often have you been caught off guard by a birthday or anniversary? All of that last-minute rushing around can leave you feeling completely disorganized. You have the power to change this by stocking up on a variety of generic or even blank greeting cards. Add a few gift cards for retailers that anyone would enjoy, and you’ll always be ready to prepare a quick card and gift for that event that you almost forgot.
6. Use Carpools
Moms spend too much time behind the wheel these days. It leaves them feeling like they’re constantly on the go but never getting anywhere. Carpooling resolves these issues. Coordinate with one or two other moms who have kids in the same classes or activities as your kids.
You can all take turns chauffeuring the kids, which gives all of you a break for other things on those days when it’s not your turn. You’ll feel far less rushed when someone else will be picking up and dropping off your kids.
7. Get Rid of Clutter
Chances are good that your house feels a good deal more disorganized than it should. Usually, this is a result of having too much stuff. Take a moment to look around almost any room in your house. Do you see things that you don’t use? Are there things that are broken, dirty or no longer functional? When you open a drawer, closet or cupboard, can you instantly see the item you need?
When you’re drowning in odds and ends, you can’t help but feel disorganized. Getting rid of clutter does take time, but it can have amazing results for your peace of mind. Start by setting aside an hour and choose one room on which to focus.
Get rid of as much clutter as you can. As you gather momentum with the project, consider scheduling a family decluttering weekend. Get everyone in on the act, cleaning up their own spaces and deciding which items to keep, toss or donate. Your whole house will be running like a well-oiled machine.
8. Let the Kids Help with Cleaning
Even small children can help with everyday cleaning tasks. In fact, they probably will enjoy it. Turn putting away toys and clothes into a game, and let kids help with chores like setting the table and drying the dishes. They’ll acquire senses of accomplishment and responsibility while taking some time-consuming tasks off of your hands.
9. Stick to a Morning Schedule
If possible, try to get up an hour before the kids. This gives you time to shower, dress, enjoy a cup of coffee and make breakfast. As the kids get up, you’ll be ready to lend a helping hand and keep them on schedule. Some people struggle with creating a morning routine, but having this on auto-pilot can be a lifesaver.
10. Schedule Time for You
Whether you want time to read a favorite book, watch a TV show, write in a journal or indulge in a bubble bath, your “me” time should be scheduled just like any other appointment. Write it in your planner and on the family calendar so that everyone knows that this is “do not disturb” time for mom.