Let’s be honest, being a mom is a full time job in itself but some of us still have jobs inside or outside of the home. This allows for stress and overwhelm to easily consume us because we wish there were more hours in the day to accomplish everything that we need to accomplish. It’s hard to be a mom, homemaker, cook, professional, chauffeur, etc… when you have so much to do in a few short hours but it is possible to organize your life and streamline your day with just a few tips. After years of stressing out and feeling overwhelmed with life I’ve figured out a few tips to make my life easier as a busy, working mom.
Get an Earlier Start
This might be easier said than done but it is possible to get up earlier in the morning. Getting an earlier start will allow you to be energized by the time your kids wake up since you’ll be getting that mandatory cup of coffee earlier than usual! If you’re not normally an early riser you will have to train yourself to get up earlier in the morning. Don’t panic! You can do this gradually by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier every day until you reach the target time that you want to be able to get up. Take note – Some people (like me!) might need to do this even more gradually and set your alarm only 5-10 minutes earlier everyday. It’s not important how long it takes you to get up at that target time, it’s important that you can eventually get yourself to get an earlier start in the morning.
Organize the Night Before
I don’t know about you but getting my girls ready for school every morning is something that I absolutely dread. I have a pre-teen who is a morning person but enjoys whining about absolutely everything when she gets up — especially her outfit for the day and what she wants for lunch. My youngest absolutely hates getting up and I pretty much have to drag her out of bed every morning so that she can get to school on time. (I can relate to my youngest, I was never a morning person!) Luckily, there’s a way to reduce your morning stress by organizing for school the night before. I like to have the girls pick out their clothes and get their lunches ready to go the night before. This will cut about an hour out of your morning tasks and will definitely have your morning run more smoothly. Make sure you put their backpacks and shoes by the door so you aren’t running around last minute looking for something!
Delegate to Family Members
I know you, as the mom, feel like you need to take control of everything in the house. I’m a control freak, stubborn as hell and a complete perfectionist so I completely get it. However we can’t do everything on our own as much as we’d love to, we aren’t superwoman (or supermom!) Sometimes we have to delegate some chores to our significant others or children so we can get more done and have less stress in our lives too. I think it’s important to get your kids started young with doing some chores so they will grow up knowing that they have to help out around the house. When you’re first starting out give your kids some smaller chores to do like drying dishes, picking up their toys, helping you fold the laundry, etc… As they get older you can add a little more to their plates such as doing the laundry, taking the garbage out, washing the dishes, vacuuming, etc… By delegating chores to family members you will be less overwhelmed with all of the tasks that you have from day to day!
Have a Weekly Brainstorming Session
Our brains can sometimes be our worst enemy. They keep us up at night when they randomly remember something that needs to be done, they hold in worry about things that are beyond our control and sometimes they cause us to overthink situations. I found that it’s important to completely dump our brains on a weekly basis so we can clear up our minds and feel less overwhelmed and fogged. I do this by having a weekly brainstorming (or brain dumping) session at the very beginning of the week. Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, grab a piece of paper (or notebook), a pen and write down whatever is in your mind. It can be tasks that need to get done, notes that you might want to write down, random tidbits of information, events that you have to remember, etc… Honestly, my brainstorming/brain dumping pages are completely random, not organized and completely a mess — but that’s completely ok! You can always organize them at a later date or process the information over to your planner(s) or command centers. The most important part is just getting the information out of your brain and onto a piece of paper.
Take Out Menu Files
No mother wants to admit how many times a month they actually call for take out, at least I don’t! I like to pretend that I’m the domestic mom who makes home cooked meals every single day of the week, but don’t be fooled. I’m an expert at take out and I’m all organized for it too! Sure you can go onto GrubHub and see what they have to offer in the way of take out but not every local restaurant is on GrubHub. Some of our favorite restaurants don’t use GrubHub for their ordering so we actually have to have the menus on hand if we want to see what they have and order. I used to have take out menus everywhere in my kitchen and sometimes even the living room, dining room, bedroom — trust me it was a mess! A few years ago I got a take out menu organizer and my life was changed for the better. I was able to keep all of my take out menus in one place so I didn’t have to go searching for the menu that we were looking for. I also keep any take out coupons in the front of the take out menu organizer so we can save money and save time! You don’t have to go out and spend money on a fancy take out menu organizer either, you can simply make one with a binder and some sheet protectors! This will really up your take out game!
Organize Bills & Know Due Dates
Ah yes, bills, everyone’s favorite subject right? Wrong! We all dread getting bills in the mail and dread paying them even more. Watching our hard earned money fly right out the window is painful but a necessary part of adulting. I think what gives us even more anxiety is paying the bills on time and making sure that everything is paid so your electricity doesn’t suddenly go out while you’re marathoning Netflix, right? One of my most important organizational tips has to be to organize your bills and know your due dates. An even better idea is to automate every bill that you can. Sometimes you can even save money monthly by opting to auto pay instead of paying your bills manually. This will take a lot off of your plate and ease a lot of your stress because you will rest easy knowing that your bills are paid on time every single month.
Schedule an “Errand Day”
Be honest — how many days a week do you find yourself doing errands? I used to find myself going out every single day to get errands done because I would either forget something that I had to get done or I didn’t schedule enough time in my day in order to get all of my errands completed. Show of hands if you’re in the same boat! (I’m sure at least 50% of you raised your hands!) I find it important to schedule one day a week where you get all of your errands done without interruption. By scheduling one specific day to get all of your errands done, you’re saving yourself a great deal of time during the week. I try to get all of my errands done one day during the week when my girls are in school so I can go bright and early and be done by the time they get home in the afternoon. If I happen to forget something and need to run out quickly to grab something, I will, but I try to get the majority of my errands completed on my scheduled “errand day”.
Utilize a Planner
Planners. Are. My. Favorite. Topic. Ever! I’m actually to admit how many planners I actually have in my collection but I will tell you this; I have so many planners in my collection that my daughter wrote me a note and put it up on my bulletin board that says, “MOMMY, NO MORE PLANNERS!” Yeah, I’m that person, a completely obsessive planner girl who has four planners that she uses on a daily basis. But I’m organized as hell and that’s all that matters! But I digress… One of the most important things that I can stress to every mother out there is to utilize a planner to stay organized. Planners are great tools that will allow you to keep all of your appointments, kids activities, school events, personal events, etc… all in one place. There are so many different types of planners that you can utilize such as ring bound, disc bound, completely bound, digital planners, travelers notebooks, bullet journals, etc… There are also so many brands that you can purchase such as Filofax, Websters Pages, Midori, KiKi-K, Erin Condren, etc… It all boils down to your personal preference and planning style. Personally I keep everything in my planner, my entire life is in my planner and I feel more organized for it. I keep my to-do lists, shopping lists, calendex, perpetual calendar, monthlies, weeklies, cleaning schedules, bill trackers, etc… Everything that I need to organize is in my planner so I can easily find whatever I need to reference or record quickly and easily. Everyone should have a planner in their arsenal of mom tools because this will make sure that you never miss an event ever again.
What are some of your favorite organizational tips for busy moms?