Being a wife and mother can mean that you have a lot to keep organized. Not only is there the house and all the items inside to keep arranged in some kind of order, but there’s also the family and personal routines to keep straight.
While this can be very overwhelming if you’re not a naturally organized person, what can make you feel worse is when you compare your abilities to the seemingly perfect moms in your circle that have it all together: a perpetually clean house, always ready for any situation with a fully-stocked diaper bag and never late for play dates.
How do they keep it all together so well?
The reality is, they probably don’t. But they probably have learned a few tricks that help them keep their act together…things that you can learn how to do.
There’s really only about 5 habits that you need to pick up to become an organized mom that can stay on top of everything and they’re pretty simple to master.
>>Check out the FREE printable download at the bottom of this post!
How do you become a more organized person?
A lot of us grow up believing that we don’t have the kind of personality we need to create a well-regulated life and space. But that kind of mindset is based on faulty thinking.
John Trosko, founder of OrganizingLA, says that “Organized people are not born; they’re built. The people who emerge as ‘organized’ use a variety of tools and methods to accomplish their goals and priorities in life. Their systems become habits.”
Even professional organizers realize that ANYONE can learn how to be more organized! It doesn’t matter what type of personality you were born with…all you need to do is to get the hang of a few new habits and your life will become less rushed, more calm and enjoyable.
But you might be thinking, “I can’t possibly learn new habits right now! I’m too busy taking care of the kids…I can’t even find time to finish my laundry!”
Look, I totally get it! You are already so overwhelmed with everything on your plate that the idea of taking time to do something new feels out of the question.
But the truth is that by putting some of these habits into place now, you will save yourself so much time and worry in the future. You can also open up a little breathing room in your life and eliminate the shame you feel around your cluttered home or constantly being late for appointments or get-togethers.
So how do we do this? By adopting these 5 habits: creating routines, using simple tools, putting things away, clearing out clutter and practicing regular maintenance.
5 habits of organized moms
Create routines and use a schedule
The first and most important habit to establish as a newly organized mom is a routine.
Routines are good for two things: savings lots of time and eliminating decision fatigue.
Did you know that the more choices you have to make each day, the harder it is to make good ones? That’s decision fatigue.
Good Housekeeping magazine puts it this way:
Decision fatigue is a real thing: If you waste too much energy on choices that don’t really matter much (like what outfit to wear), you might find that you’re not making great decisions at the end of the day (err, Chinese takeout again?). Plus, making decisions is a time suck in the morning — so cut ’em out.
When you have a routine that you follow everyday, that means that you have fewer decisions to make, because the choices are already made for you.
For example, you might have an evening routine that looks something like this: prepare the meal that is on your weekly meal plan, sit down to eat with the family, wash the dishes while your husband give the kids their baths, then settle down for some family time with a movie or board game, then put the kids to bed at 8 p.m.
You’ve eliminated 5 decisions to be made in this one routine: there’s no wondering what to make for dinner, what time to eat dinner, who is going to give the kids their baths, what to do between bath and bed time, and what time the kids will go to bed.
Routines also have one other advantage in that they give you a sort of muscle memory when you do tasks in the same order all the time. You don’t have to think about each step, so you can eventually do it better and faster.
A schedule is basically a way to organize all your routines on the calendar. For example, you can run your bathroom cleaning routine on Mondays, and your grocery shopping routines on Thursdays. Add in other appointments and activities as needed.
To keep to your schedule, you’ll need these two tips: don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning…you get distracted by notifications and emails or sucked into social media and lose precious time.
Secondly, you’ll want to leave cushions of time in your schedule for last minute changes or things like unexpected diaper changes. If you try to cram too much into your days, you’ll feel frustrated when things don’t go exactly as planned.
>>Check out the FREE printable download at the bottom of this post!
Use uncomplicated tools
You might be tempted to download the latest app that promises to keep everything organized or invest in expensive gadgets that claim to keep your house from becoming cluttered, but these things often don’t work like we think they will.
John Trosko, a professional organizer says this about complicated organizing systems: “When organizing systems are complex, they often go unused…organized people use simple tools that make an easy job of putting things away.”
Instead of using an expensive app for tracking your schedule that you will never check, try writing out your to-do list on a piece of paper, like this professional organizer does everyday. The list can be out where you’ll see it, not hidden away on your phone (out of sight, out of mind).
Simple baskets are great for organizing small things around the house, and are easy for everyone to use, including kids that need to pick up toys and don’t have the dexterity or the patience to figure out a complicated organizing system.
Put things away
A lot of household clutter happens because we just don’t take time to put stuff away.
The “one-minute rule” from Emily at SmallStuffCounts.com is perfect for handling this kind of clutter. Emily says:
If something will take you less than one minute to complete, do it right then and there. I have to constantly work at this one. It’s so easy to get lazy and leave my cereal bowl on the counter for later, but it only takes a couple extra seconds to rinse out the milk and load it in the dishwasher.
So when you bring the mail home each day, instead of just throwing it on the kitchen counter to pile up, go through all of it right then and there. Put bills and other important documents into a basket to be dealt with later, put the magazines in a reading basket in the living room or bedroom, and put the rest in the trash or recycling can.
Same goes for clothes. Professional organizer Toya Weinstock says, “Hang, launder or fold every garment and DO NOT let anything hit the floor. Neglected clothing can slowly build up and lead to an overwhelming mound.”
Laundry should also be done often enough that you can easily wash, dry, fold and put it away by the end of the day. Don’t leave it go until you have 1738 loads to do and leave piles of clean laundry unfolded on the couch for 3 days.
Lastly, get in the habit of doing a “reset” every night before you go to bed. Walk through the house, making sure things are put away, the kitchen sink is clean and any dirty dishes are put in the dishwasher, and that everything is generally in order. You’ll feel better when you get up the next day to start with a clean house.
Get rid of the clutter
Clutter is no good. Not only does it cause anxiety, but we also waste a HUGE amount of time dealing with clutter and being disorganized, not to mention the money that we waste due to being disorganized.
Think about how much time you spend moving your clutter around to make room, or looking for things in piles of clutter. How many times have you purchased something that you already owned because you forgot that you already owned it or couldn’t find it?
Om Your Home Organizing says:
At a certain point, having too much will result in not being able to stay organized. After all, the less you own the less you have to organize.
Throwing out or donating clutter will not only make space in your home, but in your mind as well. Not sure where to start? Learn how to declutter a room in one afternoon.
Do regular maintenance
“Being organized is a journey, not a destination. This means that you are never fully DONE organizing. Just like eating healthy or exercising, organizing is something you continually work on and do regularly.”
You’ll always have to work on making routines, finding tools that work for you, pick up and put things away and continue to clear clutter that comes into the house. You might find that life changes require new routines and schedules or that your kids have grown big enough to help with keeping parts of the house picked up. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s worth it to have an organized, clutter-free lifestyle.
To help you get started on organizing your home, I’ve created a printable declutter checklist that you can download for free!
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