When I think back to before having kids, I laugh at myself. I thought I was so busy. But I look back now, and I wonder, “What in the world did I do with my time?” I know I filled it… somehow, but for the life of me I don’t know how I could have been that busy. (For that matter, I think back to when I had just one child.)
In reality, I think I do everything I used to do before plus care for two children. Well, maybe not everything — I pretty much cut out free alone time. 🙂 Still it is an amazing reality for moms. Cram in everything you already do and add on top of that the needs of a small person — food, laundry, entertainment, bathing, teaching, and on and on and on.
Of course, with more moving parts, the key to staying sane and getting everything done is to get organized. Time management is something I continue to work on, but I have learned a lot about how to keep myself and the kids organized. As part of the Playtex Baby Mom Trust I was asked to share some tips on how I keep my family organized. Now, if I could just get one more hour added to each day imagine what I could accomplish!
6 Tips To Keep Your Family Organized
Write it Down – Write it down, write it down, write it down. It is a proven fact (by researchers who do these kinds of things) that the simple act of writing something down helps your brain remember it. That’s why lists and calendars are great tools because not only are they visual reminders, but they also help you to remember things just by writing them on a list or a calendar. (Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment when you cross something off a list!)
The Put-Away Box – As soon as kids are old enough to start helping put away things in their room, establish a put-away box. We keep ours right out side the bedroom door. That way at night when I am picking up for the day, I just fill her put-away box with things she needs to put away. Then everyday, she is responsible for putting away what is in the box.
Declutter Daily – This is is my biggest pitfall, so this year I am on a mission to declutter this house – one day at a time. Through my project #365Declutter I am removing clutter from my home everyday. Less clutter means more space to move both physically and mentally. It is hard, but I am doing it. And you know what, so far I don’t miss a single thing I have gotten rid of.
Keep a Family Calendar – I actually keep three calendars. A little nutty, perhaps, but it works for me. I keep a paper calendar that is just for work (get free printable calendars here), another paper calendar for family events hanging in the kitchen and finally a digital calendar that I share with my husband with appointments – and pop-up reminders. (I’ve also been known to set alarms to remind me to do things.)
Bins & Buckets – Keeping the toys organized is a full-time job. And while regular “toy resets” are needed to make sure that everything is back in its place and that all of the pieces are accounted for, don’t underestimate the importance of a dump bin. At the end of the day, kids and parents can clean up in a hurry by simply tossing toys into bins and buckets. The bins can be organized another day, but for now things are put away.
A Home for Everything – One of the worst feelings is that feeling when you are already running late and suddenly you can’t find your keys. Ack! Having a home for everything (especially the important things), where it is always returned to will go a long way toward simplifying the stress of leaving the house with kids. Sure, you still have to get the kids ready and out the door, but at least you know where your keys are.
Keeping my family organized and on track is a full-time job on its own, but by keeping lists, enlisting help and staying on top of things we continue plugging away. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Before you go. Keep your bottles and sippy cups organized with a giveaway for Playtex Baby storage solutions – 10 winners!
Sarah L says
Those are excellent tips. I use a computer program called Time and Chaos. That works very well for me. It has a calendar, to do lists and more that keep me pretty well organized.
keely hostetter says
We use lots of bins and a calendar!!!!
Jay Dee says
Good tips! With a baby on the way, I really need to start organizing my home better.
Viv Sluys says
I do a few of these (declutter daily-ish, home for everything, family calendar and bins and buckets). I’ve spent the last couple years working hard at becoming more organized but I still have a long way to go. I really like the idea of the put away box, especially since I now have a kid in school and often end up putting away her stuff while doing chores because she isn’t home to do it!
Sweta Sonulkar says
I have organized my home with lots of cartoon boxes around to organize according to the categories like mail papers,store newsletter.
Angela Higdon says
I really need to get more organized…with my oldest now in K and Pre-k and a baby, it seems like there is always an appointment or a play or SOMETHING I am forgetting!
Having a family calendar is essential. We keep ours on our phones since our kids are so small, but someday we will have a printed one for everyone to use!