Hello, Mamas! If you are anything like me, you are always looking for that one trick that will magically make you more organized and less stressed. Am I right? It feels like my to-do list is growing most days, and the hours in my day are shrinking. However, I do have a few tricks up my sleeve. Here are some organizational tips for busy moms that will (I hope) keep you from wanting to scream into a pillow, at night, while eating your children’s candy that you told them you trashed weeks ago.
Organizational Tips For Busy Moms
One Space For All Your To-Dos
When I was younger (pre-mom brain), I was pretty good at keeping my to-do list in my head. However, let’s be honest, I’m not in my 20’s anymore, and the struggle with mom brain is LEGIT. One of the best things I have done recently to help me stay organized is by creating one space for all my to-dos. Maybe I am crazy, but besides being a mom and wife, I am also a small virtual business owner and blogger. Needless to say, I am swamped.
I have four planners, each one for a specific part of my life:
- Blog/Social Media Planner
- Clients Planner
- Homeschooling Planner
- Family Planner
Even though all my to-dos aren’t in one planner, I have all four of my planners in one place (my office/desk.) Having them all in one space helps with planning appointments, vacations, zoom calls, and more. I can check every planner to make sure I don’t double book myself or my family.
I know that people will have their own personal preference for planners, digital or handwritten. If you like the digital format, here are some great options:
- Google Calendar
Think Precious Moments
I always try to utilize those few (and often short) times between the big tasks. For example, checking your email in the school pickup lane or having your groceries delivered instead of going to the store yourself. Or I like to clean up my kitchen as I am cooking dinner. Then it isn’t as big of a mess after we eat.
Family Calendar (Command Center)
I also like to have a LARGE family calendar on my desk that I like to call the “command center.” It might sound a little harsh, but sometimes I like to treat my family like “co-workers.” For a long time, I felt like I was the sole information hub for the family. It was overwhelming, which is why I started the family calendar. My kids aren’t big enough to really utilize it yet, but it is such a help for my husband and I. Whenever we have a meeting or appointment, we add it to the calendar. It helps keep us on the same page.
Find Tools That Work For You
We all have certain preferences that go with our personality types and the specific needs we need for ourselves and our family. There are a TON of organization tools out there. You just have to do a little research and find what works best for you. Here are a few tools that I have used or heard about from friends:
- Keepy– a great app for helping you keep up with your children’s artwork, school work, and photos. Every parent gets to the point where they feel like they can’t keep any more of their kids’ school work, but you don’t want to throw them away. This is a great tool if you are in that boat.
- Cozi– a great phone app to help families stay organized. You can color-code each of your family members, and it has a place for recipes, grocery lists, and chore lists.
- Undebt.it– this is a great tool for getting your family out of debt. Basically, it is a debt-snowball plan that generates a monthly payoff plan from your own income resources.
- Timer- I use my Alexa as a timer every single day!
Have An Emergency Stash
I recommend having backups to some of the items you regularly use because life happens, and you don’t want to run out of toilet paper when it does! Some examples:
- Toilet Paper
- Printing Paper and Ink
- Ingredients for a Quick Dinner
- Over-the-counter Medicines (like Tylenol and Kids Benadryl)
- Feminine Products
When the COVID craziness hit and stores were out of everything, I was so grateful to have a backup stash for some of our regular items.
Mom Friends (Buddy System)
Don’t do motherhood alone, if you don’t have to. It is always a bonus to have a few special mom-friends that you know you can call if you will be a little late for school pickup or if you can’t take your little one to baseball practice. Plus, I like to trade off date nights with my mom-friends. It is a wonderful thing, and it is a great reminder that you aren’t alone, and having a soundboard that really knows what you are going through is priceless.
Set Routines For Mornings And Evenings
Routines can be lifesavers for moms! Kids thrive in routines. They thrive in situations where they know what to expect. When my oldest started preschool a couple of years ago, I started making him go to bed by 7:15, and a lot of people thought I was crazy. However, he was in a much better mood, and his teacher said his performance was better. Kiddos need their sleep for their little brains to work.
Nighttime routines and morning routines should compliment each other. Tasks you complete a night should make your mornings easier. Check out my two posts about routines:
Wake Up Early
Ok. I know this one doesn’t sound that great for all the night owl mamas out there (myself included). However, it can be very beneficial. Even if I don’t technically get much marked off my to-do list, it still feels good to have a few minutes of quiet to myself before the day starts. Plus, it is really nice to be able to drink an entire cup of coffee in one sitting and not have to reheat it a hundred times!
I’ll be honest, I use to laugh at moms that talked about meal prepping/planning. However, it is now my JAM. No joking, meal planning has saved us hundreds of dollars a month because we don’t eat out as much as we did. I love making taco meat at the beginning of the week because you can make so many different things with it. Soups or chilis are great because they make left-overs, but you can also freeze them if you need to.
I included a printable weekly meal planner to inspire you to make your own or print this and use it!
The more tasks you can hand over to someone else in your family, the better for you. This is the perfect time to introduce age-appropriate chores to your kids. You can make it fun! Each week draw your chores from a cup that way it is different each week.
Ask For Help
This one is hard, I know. It isn’t always easy for me to ask for help, either. If your family budget can afford it, pay for some extra help around the house. I have had someone come in a clean my house a few times when I was completely overwhelmed and had the budget to do so.
If you can’t afford to hire extra help, you can ask family or friends for a little assistance. It isn’t a weakness to admit that you can’t do it all.
Schedule YOU Time
Scheduling time for yourself is crucial and often overlooked for many busy moms. I try to give myself a little time each week to just breathe and do what I want to do. It is essential for your mental health. Go for a walk, sleep in on a Saturday, go get your hair done, whatever sounds good to you, just do it.
I also schedule one day a week, usually Sunday, to sit down and map out the next week. This is when I make sure we have everything on the calendar for the week, meal prep, budget for the week, whatever I need to do to get prepared.
Priorities: Remember What Is Important
I know that it can feel overwhelming. However, please keep in mind that somethings you can’t control. Life happens. Don’t waste your time worrying about the trivial things that won’t matter in 5 years, or even 6 months, from now. The important thing is your family. You don’t want to look back and wish you had spent more time with them and less time “organizing.”
Saying that being a mom is a hard job is a huge understatement. Just remember that you aren’t alone. Don’t be afraid to do a little research and reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed. I hope these organizational tips for busy moms help you feel a little relieved and ready to keep fighting!
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31