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“Is it just me or do you sometimes feel like living with toddlers is the equivalent to a constant dumpster fire inside your house?” This is a DIRECT quote from a friend during a recent conversation about the challenges of trying to manage our homes and schedules.
We can’t be the only ones who feel utterly disorganized and stressed about our day-to-day lives. There HAS to be some great organization tips for moms to help create calm within the chaos.
Instead of the continual cycles of piled-up laundry, lost shoes, and having nothing to eat, moms everywhere need a better alternative.
Spoiler alert: there is!
After this conversation, I began searching for simple adjustments to streamline my neverending list of daily chores, grocery shopping, and treks to the washer and dryer.
Here are some of the BEST hacks to becoming a more organized mom that I’ve learned either from my own life or from friends and readers.
Below you’ll find a list of 15 helpful tips to bring more organization to your busy life. From effortless morning routines to meal-prepping suggestions, using just a few of these can make your life feel more in control.
The Cons of Disorganization – Why Should We Get More Organized, Anyway?
Maybe, the solution for feeling more organized is to stop caring about organization at all.
While it would be easy for busy moms to throw up their hands and say, “Screw it, we’re just going to live in squalor,” this isn’t exactly a viable option. In fact, research proves there are adverse effects that stem from living in clutter and chaos.
A 2009 study even proved that moms with messy houses had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their systems! Well, duh.
Some common effects of continual disorganization include:
- Lack of productivity
- Poor time management skills
- Decreased motivation
- Higher levels of anxiety and depression
- More frequent headaches and backaches
- Feeling distracted or restless
So as you can see, there are plenty of great reasons to add some extra organization to your schedule. But how? When our neverending lists of chores, errands, and responsibilities lead to a serious case of “mom overwhelm,” how are you supposed to fix the situation?
The answer is probably easier than you think, and it just involves a little bit of your time upfront to get some organizational systems in place.
15 Parenting Tips for Better Organization and Less Clutter
Leading a more orderly life doesn’t have to be complicated. From menu plans to chore charts, it’s easy to work any of these organization tips for moms below into your daily routines. But keep in mind that you don’t have to do all of them at once!
For a better chance of success, implement one change at a time, and give yourself grace as you work to implement it. Nothing will be perfect at first, and that’s okay, but things will get easier!
1. Create a Weekly Meal Plan
When I wanted to get more organized with my schedule, one of the first things I did was create a menu plan I could use throughout the entire week.
Instead of wasting time mulling over what to make for dinner each day, I’d figure it all out at once and add the ingredients to my shopping list. When the fridge is already stocked, and my recipes are ready to go, figuring out what to cook at night when we all get home is much easier.
Whether you make weekly trips to the grocery store or use a delivery service like Shipt, meal planning is a fantastic way to reduce stress in your schedule.
Want to make cooking dinner even simpler? Why not take a few minutes in the morning or afternoon to do some meal prep like chopping vegetables or marinating meat? This way, there’s less to be done during the evening after work and school!
You can even get your older kids involved in the process to help them feel included and invested in this new organizational change.
2. Declutter Your Home
I recently read an article about a mom who’d started a home organization journey. One of her tips to help declutter a home was to get rid of a bag full of stuff every day until you finally feel like your home is more manageable.
While this approach might not work for everyone, there’s something to be said for removing excess “stuff” from our homes.
Whether you go through your junk drawer or clear out that linen closet you haven’t opened in months, clearing out some unused items is a top-tier organization tip for busy moms.
Something to remember about decluttering your home is that it’s not a one-and-done thing. Every month or so, set aside time to look through your belongings and see if you can remove anything else.
You can also set up guidelines for yourself.
A friend of mine, for instance, has a rule where every time she buys a new piece of clothing, she has to get rid of two other items in her closet.
This is a great way to get your kids involved with the organization process, too!
My kids have no problem telling me when a particular book or toy is too “babyish” now – so, instead of letting those items take up space, have your little ones gather up items they’re not interested in anymore and donate them.
3. Assign Chores for Kids
Whether you have younger or older kids, there’s never a wrong time to introduce chores. Not only will this teach kids a sense of responsibility and toddler independence, but it’s also an excellent way for us to minimize our own to-do lists!
At my house, for example, our girls are in charge of tasks like switching over laundry and wiping down counters.
The important thing is to find suitable types of chores by age.
While I would love to have my four-year-old mopping the floors and cutting the grass, it’s just not feasible. Search for things they’re developmentally ready for. Trust me; there are probably more good options than you think!
Want a convenient way to help your kids keep track of their daily and weekly chores? Why not purchase a chore chart?
4. Wake Up A Bit Earlier
Did you know that one of the most common traits among successful people is waking up early? Getting up 20-30 minutes early (if not more) each day can significantly impact your routine.
But why do these insane people do it? Do they not have kids who are likely up at all hours of the night??
I’m sure you’re shaking your head and wondering what the benefit of becoming an earlier riser is and how it could possibly help you become more organized during the week.
Hear me out! There are several great reasons to get up a little earlier if you can!
- Exercise: Many people get up early to complete their daily workout. Research shows you’ll have more energy and mental clarity to complete other tasks by starting your day with exercise.
- Breakfast: Are you guilty of skipping breakfast because you get busy with kids and other chores? Get up 20 minutes early and make time to eat. Eating breakfast will not only provide better energy, but it also offers health benefits, such as improved digestion and lowers cholesterol levels.
- Time: Do you use time as an excuse for not getting things done? Imagine how much you could accomplish with 30 extra minutes a day!
5. Learn How to Delegate
This is one I struggle with and am trying hard to get better about. Delegation is a crucial organization tip for moms!
Feel free to pass a task on to your partner or ask for help when needed. While we mamas might act like we’re superhuman sometimes, we’re just people who only have so many hours in a day to get things done.
Whether it’s asking your partner to run an errand for you or hiring a cleaning service to outsource some housework, there are plenty of ways to lessen your load. It doesn’t even have to be constant, just whenever you need extra help.
And remember, moms aren’t the only people in the house who know how to get things done. If you don’t feel like you’re getting the help you need, it might be time to have a frank conversation about sharing the to-do list.
6. Write Down Your To-Do List
I sometimes pretend my brain is a perfect sponge that absorbs all necessary information and stores it there for safekeeping.
Well, the reality is even the strongest sponge still has holes!
No matter how hard we try, it’s nearly impossible to remember everything all the time. You’ll have something tangible to reference throughout the day by writing down your to-do list. Plus, studies show that writing things down helps us remember them better anyway.
Don’t want to use an old-school paper notebook? No problem!
There are some great digital alternatives, such as:
- Asking Alexa to set reminders
- Using a planner (some of my friends speak highly of bullet journaling!)
- Downloading an organization app, i.e., Todoist or Rescue Time
7. Implement a 10-Minute Pre-Bed Cleanup
You know how when unexpected visitors announce they’re on the way, you can miraculously pick up your house in a 10-15 minute span?
This is proof that tidying your home doesn’t have to take forever!
Start a new routine where each family member spends 10 minutes cleaning up before you start your evening routine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you can accomplish in such a short time.
You could even get some kid-friendly cleaning products, like this adorable set of small brooms and brushes!
8. Prioritize Your Housework and Make Task Lists
Do certain things around your home stress you out more than others? Make those a priority! You can then make task lists to schedule the other household chores you still have to do.
Take me, for example–laundry is the bane of my existence! My disdain for this chore has a tendency to result in mountainous piles that seem impossible to handle.
To fix this, I’ve started implementing a one-load-a-day rule and making it a household priority.
Some people like to break down their household to-do lists by projects they work on daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly. This technique might help you simplify things, too!
In fact, visualizing your to-do list on a planner (monthly or yearly) can be super helpful. For example, if you designate the last Thursday of every month as the day you will dust the house, write it on your monthly calendar and get the whole family involved!
Little kids love using a rag (you don’t have to put anything on it), and this is a great way to build family buy-in for a cleaner home.
9. Start Using “Put-Away” Baskets with Family Members
Social media is full of great ideas – I was scrolling through Facebook one day and saw a girl who’d purchased “put-away” baskets” for each member of her family.
Throughout the day, she would gather up personal belongings that were left out and throw them into the person’s corresponding basket. Then, they were responsible for taking the things out and putting them away before bed each night. Genius!
10. Get School and Work Items Ready the Night Before
This is a huge one in our household! I like to do as much as possible the night before to alleviate extra stress in the morning.
Packing backpacks, signing permission slips, and making lunches are all task items that can make your morning routine even more chaotic. They’re also three things that parents can easily do the night before!
So, gather up those library books and have your kids pick out their school outfits–you’ll feel all sorts of gratitude in the morning!
Do you want your children to take a bigger role in getting ready for school? Make it a part of their routine and come up with a rule. One friend said that her kids aren’t allowed any tv time in the evening until they have everything set up and ready for the next day. I bet they get ready for the next day pretty quickly!
11. Create Nightly Routines
Many of the items on this list, like packing backpacks or meal prepping, can all be incorporated into your nightly routine. Additionally, it helps to create a schedule for your evenings.
This way, everyone is on the same page and knows what needs to be done without you having to ask!
12. Do a Load of Laundry Each Day
Doesn’t it sometimes feel like all you do is blink, and dirty laundry is suddenly spilling out from your hampers onto the floor?
Laundry and washing dishes are two of the most annoying chores because it often seems like they’re impossible to keep up with. If you want to say on top of the piles, one helpful strategy is to make time for at least one load daily.
This will ensure a continual flow and prevent a dirty clothes mountain from starting in your closet!
13. Put a Family Calendar on Display
My husband and I often struggle to keep up with each other’s schedules, especially when a lot is happening. If you suffer the same sort of ordeal, why not set up a command center inside your home?
Decide on a prominent location to put a family calendar on display. This way, you’ll walk by it frequently and have a better chance of remembering the various things on the to-do list.
Want a physical calendar but don’t feel like making one yourself? No problem! Amazon has some excellent family calendar products to pick from.
14. Have Back-Up Plans Ready
In a perfect world, I would always be on top of things and never need a “backup plan.” Unfortunately, for most of us, stuff falls through the cracks from time to time.
I can’t be the only working mom who’s gotten lazy during the day and suddenly has no desire to cook the gourmet meal they had planned. Or the only one who wakes up in a cold sweat on a Sunday night because I forgot to put my kid’s leotard in the dryer.
This is where backup plans come into play.
Stock the fridge with some easy dinners and buy a couple of extra necessities like leotards or whatever it is that is never clean when you need it.
Basically, have a few tricks up your sleeve to ensure there’s an alternative option when life gets busy, and things don’t go as planned!
15. Cut Yourself Some Slack
If you take nothing else from this list of organization tips for moms, pay close attention to this one– go easy on yourself.
Many of us mamas want to do as much as possible as perfectly as possible. The thing is, though, we’re only human. So what if your house is a little cluttered or you forget something a time or two? Mistakes happen, and life goes on.
Sure, there are fantastic reasons, such as less stress and enhanced productivity, to improve the organization in your life, but that doesn’t mean you have to be picture-perfect either.
Try your best but also cut yourself some slack if you can’t do it all 100% of the time!
Which of These Organization Tips for Moms Would You Like to Start Using?
It is almost impossible to do each of the items on this list continually. That’s why I suggest picking a small handful of them to prioritize, and like I mentioned earlier: only try to implement one thing at a time!
Small changes in how you run your schedule and home will make a significant difference in the overall organization of your life. Whether you’re starting a meal plan or cleaning up for 10 minutes every night before bed, you’ll be amazed by the difference!
Do you currently practice any of these organizational tips for moms? Which ones would you most like to implement?
Kristen Bergeron is a freelance writer from Florida. In addition to writing, she is a wife, mother of two beautiful girls, Hadley and Scarlett, and a part-time photographer. After overcoming infertility and having two successful IVF cycles, she’s made it a personal goal to help educate men and women on the realities of fertility struggles. She is passionate about supporting fellow women who are trying to navigate the complicated world of conception, pregnancy, and learning to be the best mothers we can be.