8 More more tips to help you become an organized mom
Through my years as a mama, I’ve learned a few things about how to be an organized mom. I thought I was good at being organized before I had babies. But after my first child was born in 2009, I learned how real mom brain is. Keeping track of what needs to be done and deadlines when you’re constantly interrupted and sleep deprived is difficult!
I’m less sleep deprived nowadays; however, I still need strategies to keep organized and on top of everything in our lives. From work to chores to school assignments to daily tasks and beyond, being an organized mom helps me not drop the ball too often. It still happens sometimes (I’m far from perfect!), but these tips help keep me sane and organized.
When I started out with putting together this list, my plan was for one blog post about being an organized mom. Then once I got on a roll, I realized it was too much information for just one post. Don’t miss the first 8 tips on becoming an organized mom as well!
9. Ask for help without feeling guilty.
A couple of months ago, my oldest daughter put in a load of clothes to wash for her and her brother. She saw they were piled up. I meant to do laundry for them the day before and got busy. I felt a nudge of guilt that my daughter was doing laundry and I was slacking. Then I squashed that guilt right down. First, my 12-year-old is capable of doing laundry. She saw it needed done and did it. I should be celebrating that! Second, she’s learning responsibility. Third, I truly can’t do everything all the time.
Being an organized mom doesn’t mean that we do it all ourselves all the time. It’s OK to let go and ask for help. You can be organized and delegate. In fact, I’d daresay delegating allows you to be even more organized because multiple people accomplish more tasks quicker. So, ask for help. Kids can help with so many chores from packing part or all of their lunches, folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, helping a younger sibling with homework, putting away laundry and so much more. Use their help to teach them responsibility, finish quicker and enjoy more fun time together!
And don’t forget your spouse. I’ve learned in 22 years of marriage, that my husband doesn’t always know what needs to be done. Instead of getting irritated with him, I tell him what I need him to do. Ask for help and ditch the guilt!
10. Get yourself ready first or last, whichever works best for your family.
I don’t like being late or doing things in a rush. It stresses me out! Getting our family ready and out the door smoothly requires some planning and organizing. Figure out if you do better getting ready first or last. If we are all going somewhere at the same time, I often do best to get ready first. Then I can easier help with whatever tasks come up. Even now with kids who are 9 and 12, they invariably need help or have questions while getting ready. When they were younger and needed more (or complete) help with getting ready, having myself ready first just made life easier.
When we don’t have to be somewhere all at the same time, I usually get ready last. For instance, on school mornings, my husband drives the kids to school. I get up and do all the organizing tasks like make sure everyone has breakfast, stays on track getting ready, finalize lunchboxes, fill backpacks and whatever else needs done. Then after the kids leave, I eat my cereal and get myself ready. I could get up earlier and get ready first (and I’ve done so), but this way works best right now.
If you feel like you are always rushing to get yourself put together to get out the door, try getting ready first. Or if you are able to get everyone organized and on their way before you have to get ready, do that. Figure out what works best for you and your family and go with it. It may even change based on the day, and that’s OK!
11. Stick to daily routines and schedules.
Another way I’m an organized mom is by using routines and schedules to my advantage. We have some tasks so much part of our routine that we just do them without thinking any more and it really does make life easier. Like keeping backpacks by our shoes or doing homework right after school. On and on the list goes. Our routines and schedules keep us on top of things and ends up with less nagging and chaos in the end.
I don’t find myself scrambling around to make sure everyone has their homework in their backpacks if I know they put it in there the evening before. Being an organized mom definitely leads to less chaos. Routines and schedules help with that so much.
12. Sort school papers and mail immediately to save or toss.
I’ve totally lost track of paperwork that got lost in the shuffle. With schoolwork coming home plus mail and random other things, it’s easy for paperwork to pile up. I have learned the best way to avoid that is to immediately deal with said paperwork as soon as my hand touches it.
When we bring in the mail, I look at it right away and toss any junk mail. I put things I need to deal with on my desk to file or deal with accordingly from there. When my kids bring home papers and/or art projects from school, I immediately look through them. I sign forms and put them back in backpacks right away. I look over assignments, ask any questions I have and then toss or keep them. For school assignments or projects I want to keep, I use an easy filing system to organize them per school year. I have a file folder for each child for each school year to keep things.
I mentioned in part one of how to be an organized mom that I love lists. I highly recommend lists. One way I use lists is to prioritize what I need to do. While my daily planner and calendar are great for writing down items, I found that using a list with daily top priorities and weekly must-do tasks helps most. So now I do that to easily see what I need to focus on first each day. It makes such a difference!
(Check out The Christian Woman Life Planner to download and print your own lists that will help you prioritize your daily, weekly and monthly tasks!)
All of that said, don’t forget what your overall priorities in life are. While I have lists of tasks to be done, my faith and family are my biggest priorities. If I need to leave tasks undone in order to be there for a loved one, then so be it. Never have I heard of anyone regretting on their death bed that they didn’t complete all their to-do lists each day.
14. Make a daily to-do list.
More about lists! They really do help me be an organized mom. A daily to-do list is a must, I think, when it comes to organization. I love having a list that lets me prioritize for the day as well as a general to-do list of things I just need to do when I can. Even within that, my to-do list has sections for “top priorities,” “random,” “ideas/plans” and “tasks.”
Seeing your to-do items in writing helps you focus. Whether you write them down on paper or make the list digitally, give a daily to-do list a try. It keeps you from forgetting what you need to do.
15. Pick a time to organize yourself for the week.
At the beginning of each week, I look over the upcoming schedule and note what needs done. For me, Sunday evenings or Monday mornings work best. Find the time that works best for you to take a few minutes and prepare yourself mentally for the week. Look at appointments coming up. Figure out any logistics you need to deal with. Add items to your daily and/or weekly to-do lists. Even just five minutes of thinking and planning ahead can make a big difference to your organization.
I mix both work and personal tasks in this weekly prep time, but you might need separate times for each. Figure out what works best for you and go with it. Set reminders if certain laundry needs done before your kids’ next game. Or put a big meeting at work on your calendar with prep time scheduled beforehand. Organize yourself, including some downtime. We all need it!
16. Give yourself some grace.
Be kind to yourself. Not every day is going to be great. You’re not a perfect mom or a perfectly organized mom. Do your best, but don’t beat yourself up when you fall short. Just learn from it and move on. I’ll never forget the time in PreK when I missed my son’s show-and-tell day. We were scheduled to bring in the snack and he could bring in something to show off. I totally forgot it because of some other things going on. I felt awful.
However, he doesn’t even remember that happening. So many things I beat myself up for at the time are not that big of a deal in the long run. What is a big deal is doing my best and making good memories with my family. If I can accomplish both of those things, I call that success!
Don’t miss part one of this series: