I’m always looking for ways to be a more organized mom. Between working a full-time job outside of the home, managing One Big Happy Life, and trying to keep up with the kids, my mom schedule is pretty darned full. Then throw in the need to actually eat and sleep and things can get lost in the shuffle really fast.
Here are some of my favorite mom hacks that help me be a more organized mom.
1. HAVE A CATCHALL FOR ALL OF YOUR TO-DOS.
I used to be pretty bad about trying to keep everything all in my head. Eventually, after one too many things started to fall through the cracks, I realized that I had to figure out something that would work better.
For me, that means I have several different collection buckets for the various things in my life. I’ve tried creating a catchall that holds everything by making a pretty time-intensive bullet journal. But as awesome as it was, I just couldn’t keep up with it because I just didn’t have time for all of the set up. Far from being a more organized mom, I ended up with everything back in my head again just waiting until I could get to (and set up) my bullet journal.
I realized that I needed easy tools that I can have access to on the go. Overtime I’ve collected some favorites that meet different needs in my life. Here are a few:
- Wunderlist: things I need to get/buy, random to-dos
- Trello: vacation planning
- Feedly: the keeper of my blog roll
- Google Calendar: my go-to scheduling app
- Personal Capital: for aggregating all of my financial stuff all in one place
- Evernote: for all of the random times inspiration strikes when I’m out and about
2. USE A CALENDAR AND GET THE WHOLE FAMILY ON BOARD
I like to treat my family like my coworkers. We are all part of a team and we work together to get things done. Having a family calendar (like a team calendar) is a great way to make sure that everyone is one the same page.
The thing that I love the most about having a family calendar is that I am no longer the sole person in charge of remembering an event. When Alexis was younger and smart phones for kids weren’t a thing, we kept a calendar on a dry erase board in our family command center. Nowadays, we all use Google Calendar. If Alexis has an event after school, she adds it to her calendar and invites us if one of us needs to drive her.
It’s all too easy for us busy moms to end up being the information hub of the whole family where everyone relies on us to keep everyone on schedule. Fight that urge to settle into that familiar routine! Making everyone responsible for their own calendars takes the mental pressure off of you and distributes it amongst the family where it belongs.
3. CREATE A NIGHT TIME ROUTINE
Morning routines are all the rage on the internet. And yes, while having a good morning routine is the key to actually getting out of the house on time with your kids and everything that you need for your day, it is not where the primary focus should be for most busy parents. For us, it’s all about the night routine.
Our night routine makes or breaks the entire following day. It determines whether we eat a healthy home prepared meal or ordered pizza (again). Whether we got enough sleep or end up feeling groggy and unproductive all day. And whether we have coffee waiting for us in the morning or drop $10 at Starbuck on the way into the office.
So take some time and plan out your evening routine using the aforementioned calendar. It will provide some much needed perspective on how you currently use those precious evening hours for and what you can change for the better.
4. WAKE UP EARLY (MY FAVORITE ORGANIZED MOM TIP)
There is nothing like those quiet moments in the morning when no one else is awake. My day always feels like it’s off to a great start when I’ve had my coffee, hit the gym and showered before 7:30am. Bonus points if I also hit up the grocery store and return home with goodie for breakfast by the time everyone is up by 8:30a.
Of course having a baby that wakes up at 6:30a like clockwork has changed that a little, waking up early is still one of my favorite ways to be a more organized mom.
You might also like: How to Live a Happy Life: Tips for Creating a Life You Love Starting Today
5. DELEGATE TASKS TO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS
The more tasks that you can clear off of your plate, the easier it becomes to be a more organized mom. Several of the items on this list are aimed at lightening your load but this one is the most important and potentially the hardest.
Sometimes it feels a lot easier to just do it yourself the right way than to have to police the kiddos into getting their chores done. But it absolutely is worth giving your children the opportunity to grow into their independence by giving them age appropriate chores as early as possible (like 2-3 years old).
The same holds true for our partners in crime. When each of you have designated tasks that you are responsible for it goes a long way towards avoiding burnout and resentment. And, personally, I find that a man that can cook, do laundry, and wrangle the kids while I handle some other household stuff hella sexy!
6. MEAL PREP FOR EASY WEEKNIGHT LUNCHES AND DINNERS
Meal prep is my jam. It is the reason why we went from spending thousands eating out most nights of the week to eating at home and actually taking those family vacations we’d been pining after for years. Now I have absolutely no problem making my family eat the same thing for four or five nights in a row. Because let’s be real, I have ordered the exact same order from take out multiple times in the same week with no complaints.
The key is to hunt for recipes that your family would wrestle each other to get to eat every night. Here are some of our favorites:
- Tandoori chicken bites with yellow jasmine rice
- Chipoltle copycat barbacoa bowl
- One Pot Sausage and Mushroom Pasta (because who doesn’t like one pot recipes?!?)
- Turkey Burgers
7. HIRE HELP IF YOU CAN
Have you ever heard the saying that many hands make light work? Well it still holds true even if some of those hands are paid hands. If your family budget can afford it, it is absolutely worth considering hiring some extra help to give you time to take care of other things (or do nothing because sometimes that’s exactly what mamo needs amiright?).
A good house cleaner or mother’s helper can be the difference between your household running smoothly and everything being almost but not quite done.
8. PRACTICE MODERATE MINIMALISM
Over the years we all accumulate a lot of stuff. That stuff takes a lot of time and energy to manage. The fewer things we have the easier it is to stay organized. So from time to time you should set aside an hour to go through a drawer, cabinet, or closet and purge the things that no longer bring you joy.
I call this moderate minimalism because we can all do with a little less, but there is no reason to feel pressure to strip your house down to the bare bones unless that really suits your aesthetic. Just work on being intentional about the items (and people) that you bring into your life and those that you allow to stay there.
9. HONE YOUR ROUTINES
Routines are everything when it comes to being a more organized mom. The fewer decisions that you have to make in a day, the more time and mental energy you have to handle everything that you day throws at you. While the truly unexpected does crop up from time to time, there are a lot of things about our day that we can control and routinize.
It can be something simple as putting your keys in the same place when you get home from work every day. Or having a set makeup look that you wear every day that you can throw on in five minutes or less. Take some time to identify those repetitive parts of your life that you can streamline and make more efficient.
What are some of your favorite tips for being a more organized mom?