I have a lot of busy moms in my line of work. A lot of them have their own “trade secrets” and I wanted to tap into that knowledge base and share their best tips with you. Here is what I came up with. Many of these are direct quotes from moms like you. If they can do it, so can you! Pick one tip and start there.
-Use grocery delivery services such as Pea Pod. You can set up a recurring delivery so your staples arrive automatically every single week. Don’t spend time at the grocery store, getting the kids into the car and fighting traffic and crowds. Often delivery fees are just $5, which is less than gas would cost to go to the store!
-We like to store the boys’ lunchboxes in their backpacks at all times — so the lunchbox comes home, it gets emptied and wiped out, and it goes straight back into the backpack, right on its hook, so we don’t have to hunt for anything in the morning.
-Do laundry once a week. Yes, you will have more to do. However, you can spend a day getting into the laundry groove and keep folding, switching and cleaning in one day. It is better than having to dread the task every single day. Use the time at home to tackle other projects, cleaning and kids’ activities.
-My daughter is responsible for helping clean up after dinner, helping make her bed in the morning, folding laundry and picking up her toys. If it becomes a habit, it’s easier to keep them involved and keep organized.
-I keep a small laundry basket in almost every room of the house, because little boys generate so much laundry (and because we try to be eco friendly, so we have lots of cloths and reusable napkins and things that we go through regularly). That way I can just grab things and chuck them straight into a laundry basket, and when each of those baskets fills up I know it’s a perfect load size of like items. No matter where the kids’ socks end up coming off their feet, there’s a laundry basket right there!
-Use a calendar app such as Cozi. This allows all family members to update and view family activities. If you have teenagers with smart phones include them too. This not only teaches time management skills but everyone is always on the same page. Many apps are free and easy to use.
-We store folded sheet sets inside the pillowcases that match, so all you have to do is grab a pillow case and everything you need to make up a bed is nicely folded inside it. Makes things much easier for every family member and keeps our linen closet more organized than with stacks of folded items.
-Attack things slowly. Instead of ripping apart a close you want to organize, decide what small tasks you can do every day. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you take everything out, you run the rick of getting overwhelmed, tired or pulled away.
-I have one drawer in each boy’s room that is just for school outfits (my older son has uniforms, so it’s especially important for him). It’s a drawer they can easily reach themselves and all their weekday morning stuff goes in there so they can take care of their own needs without me having to lay things out the night before, or having to hunt for what they need in the morning.
-Well, I hang up all of the children’s tops, no matter what, so things don’t get shoved away and missed. And I keep the rest organized clearly, especially outgrown things in bins. I’m not the worlds most organized person, I guess. I also keep toys each in their own seperate bins, and all put back together. Kids don’t like playing with huge toy box messes. I put all the food back in the toy kitchen properly, etc, so it’s all ready to be played with again. Each toy has a place.
-One of my favorite tricks is to reuse the zip/snap plastic bags that kids’ sheet sets, onesies, etc. sometimes come in. They’re perfectly good, so I use them to store small toys like Lego sets, art supplies for on the go, puzzle pieces, dollhouse furniture…that kind of stuff that’s easily lost and doesn’t come with its own container to keep it all together.