Having children is a lot of work, and any parent will tell you that it can be hard to keep up with all the different aspects of raising them. Kids need clothes washed, lunches packed, rooms cleaned—the list goes on and on. And when things are hectic in your home, they’re often hectic outside, too: you forgot that it’s your turn to do the carpool or you thought your kids’ practice was Thursday, but it was Tuesday.
What if there was an easier way? What if there were ten easy ways to make motherhood more manageable? That’s what this article is for! We’ll cover everything from creating a home organizing system that works for your family to how to manage those dreaded “home projects.”
You can find relief from the chaos and finally get back in control… even if you feel totally overwhelmed right now.
From basic steps like setting up an organizing system, delegating tasks, and using task lists or calendars – all the way through meal planning and setting up a homework station, you’re sure to find tips here to help you manage the chaos. Each of these 10 ideas is easy to do and will help you take one step closer to the goal of becoming a more organized mom… even if your home is overflowing with clutter right now.
It’s important to understand that working on your disorganization is a lifelong process. You might read this article and think, “I could NEVER be that organized!” I encourage you to keep reading and learn more about how you can improve your organizational skills. The truth is that every single parent can benefit from strategies like these.
In fact, some of the tips below will seem SO basic that you might refuse to believe they’ll really make a difference. But I can tell you from personal experience that changing small habits can help you build better systems over time, become more confident, and truly enjoy taking care of your family. So let’s get started, shall we?
Get ready before everyone else
Moms who seem like they have everything together will wake up at least 15-30 minutes before anyone else in the house. But why? As it turns out, this valuable quiet time gives you a chance to wake up, get your to-do list together, come up with your plan for the day, and be fully prepared to take on whatever life tosses at you. (Read: 7 Tips to Become a Morning Person)
Lay out your clothes the night before and make your bed as soon as you wake up. Grab something quick for breakfast or get in a quick workout—whatever energizes you.
It’s amazing how much of an impact getting ready for the day early can have on your ability to handle anything that comes your way.
Create an organizing system that works for your family
The very first thing to consider when you’re trying to get yourself and your family organized is that you have to do what works for your family. Your family is unique! You have different goals, values, time constraints, hobbies, and priorities. Don’t try to fit your family into someone else’s organizing routine. That will set you up for failure from the start. Instead, create a system catered specifically to your family. Here are some points to consider:
- Create a checklist of your family’s needs and wants.
- Have the whole family help with creating the system together so that it feels more natural to them.
- Make sure everyone has input, not just you!
- Choose an area in the house (or one area of your life or routine) and get started on that first—don’t try to do everything at once!
- Celebrate when you finish one area or task; this will keep you motivated!
- Reward yourself after finishing something big. A family night out, a movie night in—whatever works for you!
Delegate tasks to others
Mama, you don’t have to do everything yourself. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s also okay to delegate tasks to others. Whether you’re asking your husband, children, or friends to help with chores around the house, this will make being a more organized mom easier.
CEOs, bosses, big-wigs, whatever you want to call them are successful because they know when to take on something themselves and when to delegate. You are the CEO of your home!
Choose which tasks on your to-do list really, truly need to be completed by you and which ones your hubby or the kids can take on or at least help out with. A chore chart or task list is super helpful with doing this.
Some of the tasks you might delegate to others include:
- Grocery shopping—this is easier than ever to delegate! Just order your groceries online and pick them up (or have your hubby or one of your teens pick them up for you; bonus points if they put them away, too).
- Cleaning the bathrooms.
- Organizing and sorting the kids’ toys and clothes—older kids and teens can handle this themselves.
- Cooking dinner—take turns with hubby or the tweens/teens!
- Taking the kids to and from school—ask a mom friend if she’d like to alternate this chore with you weekly.
- Washing dishes—They’ll benefit from learning how to wash the dishes properly and be more independent!
Do you have other things in your home that need to be done or just don’t feel right if someone else does them? That’s fine! Those are tasks that should definitely stay under your watch. Just be aware of the things that you can let others handle to free up some time for your most important tasks and priorities.
Use task lists or calendars to keep track of what needs to be done
For example, to keep track of what needs to be done around the house, my husband and I use a task list. We keep it up on the dry erase board (affiliate link) so it’s always visible.
Another one of our tips is to make sure we use calendar reminders and alarms on both our phones. That way, if something pops up in our email or on social media and we need to respond immediately, we can see that we have an appointment coming up or something else happening on that same day. It also helps us avoid forgetting things when it’s time to do them because the alarm or reminder function reminds us.
Google calendar works great as a family calendar, but apps like the Cozi Family Organizer are also great choices.
For task management related to my blog and clients, I’m a huge fan of Trello. It’s very visual, easy to use, and helps me keep work and personal stuff organized and dumped out of my brain.
Schedule regular household maintenance appointments
As with most other things in life, it is a good idea to schedule things like home maintenance in advance. Think about things that you need done every year, quarter, month, etc. Do you get your gutters cleaned out regularly? Need someone to mow your lawn? Want to get the decks power-washed every summer? Get them on the calendar now! Scheduling these appointments will ensure they’re done at the best time for you, so you don’t have to worry about them later on.
Hire a professional organizer if necessary
Sometimes, you just need a helping hand getting started. There’s no shame in hiring someone to help you get the house organized or help you develop your systems to start off on the right foot as soon as possible.
You could hire a housekeeper to come in regularly to help or just hire a professional organizer for a one-time consult for ideas. Either option could be helpful in giving you the metaphorical kick-in-the-butt you need to get going.
Start meal planning
One of the easiest ways to get more organized as a mom is to start meal planning. Gather up a list of meal options for the week, make your list, and head to the grocery store.
An even easier option is to use a service like eMeals to choose your meals for the week, make your list, and even order your groceries. Talk about a time saver! Not only does it save time, but it’s better for your budget as well. If you shop by a list, you’ll be less tempted to throw random goodies into your cart, which can quickly add up.
We’ve also used some of the Budget Bytes meal plans as well and recommend them.
Don’t let clutter build up – throw out items that you don’t need or use on a regular basis
Junk mail, old birthday and Christmas cards, books your kids have outgrown, clothes you know deep down you’ll never wear again… all those small things add up to a lot of clutter over time. Ask me how I know.
It’s so, so easy for clutter to build up on surfaces and in closets. Bust clutter before it ever happens by regularly throwing away items that you no longer use. Just grab a small bag, and toss items into it as you see them. When the bag is full, throw the contents away!
Have a homework station
Kids’ schoolwork is important, but sometimes it gets left behind in other rooms – causing clutter and stress. Create a homework station where kids can easily put away and find their schoolwork. It’s easy to create a homework station with a small table or desk that has just two sides for placing books, papers, etc., and drawers for stashing supplies. Having one designated spot for kids’ schoolwork will make it easier to keep organized at home – which will help you as well!
This is something that we really need to work on as a homeschool family. We tend to have books, notebooks, science kits, and more scattered across several rooms, and it leads to a chaotic feel in the home. Keep things in one room, and put them away when you’re finished. Reshelve the books, tuck the kits away in the closet or cupboard, and file any papers that you need to save.
Do a quick tidy several times a day
Ever look around at the end of the day and see your house in shambles? It’s not a fun feeling. By the end of the day, your energy is drained, and you just want to go to bed or veg out in front of the TV. But waking up to a huge mess is even worse—no one wants to start their day that way.
If you just take 5-10 minutes to tidy up each room a couple of times a day (for those who are home with the kids), it can save you an hour of headache later. Seriously, set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes in the hotspot areas and see how quickly you can tidy the room. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do in so little time. Do it even if you don’t feel like it.
Organizing a family can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With these 10 simple tips and tricks, you’ll find that your house will quickly become more organized and less stressful for everyone involved. Whether you’re looking for easy ways to get started or just need some new ideas on how to stay motivated long-term, this article has something for all families!