You’ve probably caught on by now… I LOVE a to do list. I’m obsessed, need them for survival, and if someone actually uses my shared Google Calendars, we’re going to be BFFs. [I feel ya] This may make it seem on the outside like we have it together – we don’t, I promise. Our house is just very planned and organized with lists and schedules.
Treat it like work
Being a mom is the most thankless and underpaying job ever – but we still clock in on time and put in additional hours. Your office is always a mess and there is no lunch break – only snack breaks (aka leftover quesadillas from their plates). [yum]
If it’s work, let’s treat it like work. Calendars, (meeting) invites, schedules, and deadlines. I took this approach after my first kid and, honestly, I’m so happy I did. I respect it may not work for everyone, but for me, it was the simple extension of my work life to my home life that helped keep things sane.
We use physical calendars on the fridge and Google Calendars on our phones. Having Google help manage our schedules is good for my husband and I, since we’re on our phones frequently. We have a calendar for ourselves and one for the kids. Colors help us see what’s happening when and who needs to be where (and with who).
The calendars we use on the fridge are good for us – but really are there for the kids and childcare. Seeing things helps us manage our children’s’ expectations for the week and showing them what they can expect for that week helps with change too.
[ok…so I also have a fridge and google calendar that’s color coded but i have no kids or husband…what will I turn into when I do?!]
When we decided to stay in NYC post-kids there were a few factors that fell into play. One being, no big toys. We don’t have space – so please don’t send my kids big toys that need a backyard or basement. Our friends and family didn’t listen. [oops…] Therefore, we have bigger toys than I’d like and also small toys with 1,000 pieces. Most important rule: if the full toy isn’t intact or you can’t find the pieces, you won’t. [until you move out – I’m not helping btw] Don’t kid yourself, just toss the toy – it’s days are done.
Everything has to have a place – the same way your plates and cups have their own space in the kitchen. The Container Store has great furniture we use to store toys in the playroom. It doubles as seating and holds all toys – big or small. Using colored bins and toy drawstring bags also helps the kids put things away where they belong.
Clean up, clean up!
This song was created for a reason and, you’re welcome, because I’m sure it’s stuck in your head now. [it is…thank you very much, Barney] Try to clean up every single day. It sounds daunting and frustrating but waking up to a clean home makes the next day better.
Have the kids help – it’s their mess – therefore their job. Not only does this help you, but it makes them accountable for their things. I threaten to throw away every toy that isn’t put away… it’s rude, but it works 75% of the time. [those aren’t great odds haha] Chore charts are great, and we’ve tried them, but I think my kids were too young at the time. So, it’s something that I’ll bring back in the fall when we go back to school. I believe that simple household chores and personal needs based activities help keep them focused on pulling their own weight. After all, they all live rent free…
Follow the leader(s)
These days it’s so easy to find influencers or companies that share tips and tricks on how to stay organized mentally and physically. Here are a few of the accounts I follow to give me inspiration to do it myself and try to make things a little less chaotic at home, all while staying organized.
- Imagine It Done — Lisa is a professional organizer who posts videos that really help you tackle smaller spaces in your home
- Done Neatly – their instagram presence is helpful with various tips and tricks on how to organize your space
- The Home Edit – …because they are the masters of it all. Who doesn’t love a good rainbow of organization?
What are some ways you keep your household organized with kids [or without kids…I’ll take tips too]? Share your tips, we’ll try them and let you know how it works out for us!