I am a work from home, homeschooling, Mom of 5. And I have a side hustle, which you are currently reading. I get a lot of questions about how I possibly keep up with all of that. The answer is all in organization. When you organize your life, you find time you never knew you had. But organizing your life is easier said than done. So that’s why I’m here to share some of my best tips on how to organize your life. People tease me about how organized I am, and my Dad even mentioned it in his toast at my wedding! So you know these tips are good.
Organize Your Life: Start Small
There are a lot of ways to get organized. But all of those ways can get overwhelming when you’re just getting started. So if organization is really not your thing, and you’re just looking for some small steps to take, these are for you. When you organize your life, you have to address many different areas of your life. But start with these!
1- Get the whole family on board.
When you’re a Mom and you have a whole family you’re trying to get organized, the first thing to do is to get the family on board. This can be as simple as telling them your plans, or giving them tasks to help.
2- Pick one area to start.
What area of your life is most in need of your attention? Or which area would be easiest for you to organize? Maybe it’s the kitchen. Or maybe it’s a kid’s bedroom. It might even be your work life. Whatever it is, pick one area and get started!
3- Start making lists.
Do you make grocery lists? Do you make to do lists? If not, start now! Lists are an organized person’s best friend. I make lists for everything, including books to read and movies to watch. This is in addition to the easier ones like chore lists and honey-do lists.
4- Buy less.
This isn’t a post about minimalism, but the more you buy, the more you have to deal with. So consider putting an embargo on purchasing new items and deal with what you have. Doing this for even a week can give you some mental and physical space to deal with what you have in your home.
5- Say no.
There are a lot of things that vie for your attention as a Mom. And while I love helping with my children’s class parties and field trips, sometimes I Just have to say no. With 5 children, you can imagine the demands on my time! So it’s just an absolute necessity to say no. There’s only so much time in the day, and your time is precious. Practice saying no, and it will get easier.
Tips for Organizing Your Home
As we continue with our list of ways to organize your life, we need to address your home. As a Mom, you spend a great deal of time in your home. It may be your home office and your children’s school. So we need to get organized here as quickly as possible!
6- Everything has a place.
This is something that I’ve always practiced. Even small items like permanent markers or extra water bottles have a place. School papers have a home. Craft items have a home. Their homes might not be perfect, but they exist. Then they can always be “put away.”
7- Put things away immediately.
This is something that’s not always easy, especially with kids. But the kids will tell you that as soon as they even slow down on a craft or project, I’m there telling them to put it away. As soon as they get home from school, we put away backpacks and lunch boxes. There’s no reason to wait until later to put things away. Get in the habit of doing it immediately.
8- Get cleaning under control.
For cleaning, either get on a rotation schedule or hire someone to clean your home. I realize that not everyone can hire help in this area. If you can, do it. If you can’t, enlist your children to help and set up a strict schedule. There are some wonderful apps and schedules that can create cleaning schedules.
9- Elimante junk drawers.
This is a myth. I don’t have junk drawers. I don’t have closets that we can’t open. In a home that’s not huge that has 7 people and a cat and a dog, there’s no room for junk! Don’t start with even a small space for junk, or it will start to creep into large spaces.
10- Try tiered shelves, drawer organizers, and other gadgets.
After you’ve purged some spaces, take a walk around a home organization store to get some ideas. Or look around Amazon for some organization products that could really help in your home. Here are some that I found on Amazon that might be helpful for you!
Organize the Kid Stuff
When you’re a Mom, the kid stuff is something that can be quite overwhelming. The toys, the clothes, the school stuff; it’s a lot! And with five kids, you know we have a lot of kid stuff!
11- Limit toys.
I know, I know. It’s nearly impossible. To be honest, it’s always an issue for us. But it’s an easy way to organize your life. The less you have, the less you have to deal with. Consider experiences for gifts instead of things. Ask relatives to be on the same page.
12- Have kids try to follow the “one in, one out” policy.
We have a lot of stuffed animals in our home. We have a lot of LEGOs. So again, even though we aren’t great with this, it’s an awesome rule to follow. If you get one new book, you get rid of one old one. Simple!
13- Use rolling drawers or storage.
As a hybrid homeschooling family, we homeschool three days a week. So on the other days, we don’t need our homeschooling supplies. How do we get them in and out every other day? A rolling set of drawers!
14- Assign chores to kids.
No matter how much help you can afford to hire, kids still need chores. And keep it simple! For a season, have just one child empty the dishwasher. Another child can load the dishwasher. This way, everyone knows what their job is, and when they need to do it. Change it up every year or so as needed.
15- Check bags and other spaces.
Don’t rely on kids to tell you everything from school that you need to know. Even for my middle schoolers, I still check their bags and folders every now and then. With a first grader, I check it every day! Help them put things where they should go, but oversee the task.
Overall Tips to Organize Your Life
I’ve been an organized person my whole life. Even as a kid, I liked to put things away and in the best way possible. I liked to be organized long before I had kids and long before I owned a home. So what are some tips to becoming an overall organized person?
16- Do things now.
If there’s anything I can do right in the moment, I do it. If I have 30 seconds to spare, and there’s something I can get done in 30 seconds, I do it. I have a hard time with not being productive. And that’s a topic for a whole other post on relaxation! But if I can do something now, I will. It’s a great habit to get into.
17- Determine the most important tasks for the day, or the hour.
For Moms, it can be hard to narrow it down to just one or two tasks for the day. Especially for work at home moms, we need to do paid work and also all our mom duties. So narrow down some absolute must do’s for the day or for the hour ahead of you, and just get it done.
18- Practice a zero inbox policy.
As much as humanly possible, I keep my inbox at zero. If something needs a response, I respond as quickly as possible. If it doesn’t, it gets deleted. At the least, I try to get to zero every 24 hours. This is an amazing way to avoid things falling through the cracks and not feeling overwhelmed.
19- Pick a calendar system and stick with it.
Believe it or not, I use a paper wall calendar ONLY. I don’t use the Calendar app or any other technological calendar. I only use my home wall calendar and nothing else. Keep it simple.
20- Prioritze your goals.
Set goals, and then make them achievable. Make time for yourself and make your goals happen. If you want to get the pantry organized today, do it! If that means you have to say no to a play date or a tv show, do it. You can make your goals happen when you make them important.
It’s possible to get organized. If you’re just getting started, you need to start small. You can set goals, make them important, and make them happen. Happy organizing!