I have always been an organized person for as long as I can remember. Being organized felt natural, so you can understand why I was so confident that being an organized stay at home mom would be a breeze.
I am happy to report that things didn’t go quite as well as I anticipated or desired.
Instead, I found out when you are a stay at home mom of young children (or even older children), getting and staying organized isn’t a walk in the park.
Here is what I mean…
I had to learn new habits, discovered my limits, settled for good enough instead of perfect, and more importantly, I learned to be flexible.
And here’s something we can all agree on.
We all want clean and organized homes, warm homemade dinners, clean and happy kids, and enough time to do all the things we would like.
But the truth is, being a successful stay at home mom is all about being intentional, knowing your priorities and what you’re willing to give up (aka trade-off).
Because it’s hard to do everything and do them well all the time.
So after years of experimenting, tweaking and trying new things, I can say that I have finally found a way to be an organized stay at home mom.
And here’s how you can do the same.
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7 EFFECTIVE WAYS TO BECOME AN ORGANIZED STAY AT HOME MOM
1. DECLUTTER AND ORGANIZE YOUR HOME
Let’s be completely honest here. Most of us have way more stuff than we need or use.
It’s hard to be productive when you live in a cluttered or messy house.
I struggle to get things done when my house is untidy and there’s stuff everywhere. That’s why I made it a habit to purge and declutter my home a few times a year.
Trust me, I know how hard it is to keep your home clean and organized when you have kids, but I know it’s possible because many other moms like you have done it.
I know what you’re thinking.
“I have three babies under five years old, and most days I am lucky if I can take a shower. What time do I have to clean and organize my home?”
I hear what you’re saying and I totally get it. But, I know you’ll feel less stressed and overwhelmed with less clutter.
Less clutter means you won’t have to spend too much time looking for stuff.
Less clutter means more time to enjoy the things you love because you will spend less time cleaning your house.
When you think of it like this, then you’ll begin to see the benefits of organizing your home.
I am not telling you to organize your home in one day or 30 days, but it’s something you can incorporate into your daily routine.
Each day, you can go through one area of your house and get rid (or at least put in a thrash bag or box) of something.
Before you buy new clothes for your kids, go through their old clothes and get rid or sell the ones they have outgrown.
If you keep buying new clothes and shoes without getting rid of the old ones, you’re going to run out of space to keep their clothes, and you (or your kids) will spend more time looking for what to wear.
Let me share some quick tips to help you get started.
HOW TO DECLUTTER AND ORGANIZE YOUR HOME
- Schedule it on your calendar. When you schedule a task on your calendar, chances are you will get it done. This is even more important if you have been putting it off.
- Start with one area at a time. The easiest way to get overwhelmed and discouraged is trying to organize your whole house in one day. Choose an area and work on it before moving to the next one. Your kids closet is a good place to start.
- One in, one out. Don’t bring anything new into your home unless you get rid of something else. This means you think carefully before buying new stuff.
- Find a place for everything. Everything should have a place or a “home” where they are kept. For example,clothes should be in the closet or any other designated place, keys go on the wall key-holder, dirty dishes go in the sink or dishwasher etc.
There are lots of tips for decluttering and organizing your home, but the above tips will help you get started.
If your house is really messy, you can check out this post How to Start Cleaning a Messy House in 5 Simple Steps for some more tips and ideas.
2. SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WITH ROUTINES AND SCHEDULES
It’s so easy to fritter time away unless you are intentional about how you spend your time.
Many stay at home moms struggle with time management. They are constantly wondering where the day or time went.
If you’re struggling to get things done or complete your daily tasks, you can start by looking at what you do every day and which activities take up most of your time.
Unless you become intentional with your time, you will spend each day feeling exhausted and unproductive.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this problem.
And the solution is to create routines and schedules that will help you simplify your life.
You can start by creating simple morning and evening/night routines based on your goals for the day.
Think about all the things you need or want to accomplish each day or week, then create routines that will help you achieve them.
I know this may sound complicated or time-consuming, but it really isn’t.
Just find some time in your day to plan things out. It will end up saving you a lot of time.
Don’t cram too many activities into your daily routine, and be realistic about how much time you have to complete each task.
One of the reasons many stay at home moms get frustrated and overwhelmed is they over-schedule or underestimate how much time it takes to get things done.
Sometimes less is more.
3. START MEAL PLANNING
Planning our meals in advance has saved me a lot of time and frustration.
With meal planning, I don’t have to try to figure out lunch or dinner every day. All I do is take a look at our weekly menu and I am ready to go.
Planning your meals doesn’t have to be tedious or time-consuming. You can choose to plan your meals weekly or monthly.
Weekly works very well for me so that’s what I do. There’s no need to over think this, just do what works for you and your family.
How to Start Meal Planning
My process is pretty simple. This is how I plan our weekly meals.
- I start by making a list of our favorite meals and snacks. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- The next thing I do, is take a look at what is available in the fridge/freezer and cupboards.
- I ask the kids what meals they’d like to eat in the upcoming week. I do this to ensure everyone gets a few meals they like. My kids don’t always like the same things and one of them has peanut/nuts allergy.
- I plan our meals using the available ingredients and throw in some new meals so we don’t keep eating the same foods every week.
- Once I know the meals for the week, I make a shopping list.
- To save time, we may eat one or two meals twice a week on consecutive days. Maybe throw in a salad or another side with the second meal to keep it interesting.
Full disclosure: I don’t make all our meals from scratch because of other commitments.But we try to eat as healthy as possible.
We tend to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water!
One more thing, I don’t spend a lot of time looking for new recipes every week.
I generally stick to tried and true recipes and maybe once a month or so, I will look for new recipes to add to our menu.
And that’s my process for meal planning.
For some more ideas and free templates, check out Easy Meal Planning Templates:Save Time And Money
4.BE AN ORGANIZED STAY AT HOME MOM WITH BATCHING
One of the secrets to being a productive stay at home mom is to learn how to batch tasks.
The main benefit of batching is,it saves you time and helps you simplify your life.
What is Batching?
Batching is when you collect similar activities and work on them at the same time.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s say you have to go to the grocery store, pick up prescriptions,go to the bank or post office (my least favorite places to visit) or run some other errands.
Instead of doing them at different times, you will save time (and gas) if you combine all the errands and do them at once.
You can use batching for basically anything including household chores, making phone calls,bill paying, cleaning,meal preps and cooking.
Instead of spreading the same or similar chores throughout the day or week, you can set aside a block of time to complete them at the same time.
As a working stay-at-home mom, I find batching to be one of the best ways to be productive because it helps me stay focused for longer.
So if you’re wondering how to be an efficient stay at home mom, give batching a try.
5. DELEGATE AND ASSIGN CHORES
In a perfect world, we would have time to do everything we want, with some to spare.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and time is something we never seem to have enough of.
So what can you do to keep things rolling along smoothly?
You delegate and assign chores to other members of your family.
Start by assigning age-appropriate chores to your kids. I find that most children are willing to help, but many of us don’t take advantage of this.
Instead of trying to do everything, ask your kids to give you a hand. They can load the washing machine, make their beds, vacuum, pick up after themselves etc.
It all depends on their ages and to some extent their preferences.
Have a chat with your husband so you can work out some of the household chores that he can do.
For example, my ex-husband likes ironing and I don’t (even though I used to iron all my kids clothes when they were younger).
That was a task that he was happy to take on and I was happy to let go.
So if you’re struggling to stay on top of your household chores, maybe all you need to do is ask for some help.
You’d be surprised at how much you can get done if you just ask for help!
6.ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES
You can’t talk about being an organized mom without talking about your family’s finances.
Since a lot of stay at home moms rely on a single income, it’s very important to practice good financial management to maximize that income.
There are different ways to organize your finances but the main ways include: budgeting, getting rid of debt and saving money.
It’s essential to find ways to save money, avoid waste, reduce expenses and get rid of as much debt as you can.
Organizing your finances will help your family reduce a lot of financial stress and prevent your husband from feeling overburdened as the sole earner.
If you need some help in this area, start by reading some personal finance blogs or books.
If you’re dealing with debt, my favorite book on this subject is The Total Money Makeover.
Some other ways you can organize your finances include: having a system for bill payments or automating them, tracking your spending and keeping your accounts and financial records organized.
7. USE A CALENDAR
As a busy mom, there’s way more stuff to do than hours to complete them.
Trying to remember every appointment, activity or commitment is very challenging, that’s why I use a calendar.
Another benefit of using a calendar is, I have all my commitments in one place so I can see everything at a glance.
This way I can see if I have over-scheduled myself or the kids, and whether we are involved in way too many activities.
One of the best ways to simplify your life is to cut down on your activities and to-do lists. You can achieve that when you use a calendar or planner.
With a calendar, you can keep track of important dates and events throughout the year. This way, you can save for birthdays, holidays and anniversary gifts.
HOW TO USE A CALENDAR
- First, I enter all the dates, birthdays, events, anniversaries and appointments I already know about.
- Whenever anything new comes up that I need to remember, like a new appointment or activity, I add it to the calendar.
- If there are tasks I need to complete by a particular date, I add them to the calendar. I also include a reminder, maybe like two or three days before the due date. I would normally write something like “Coming up on….)
- I update my calendar whenever there’s a change or I have completed a task.
As you can see, my process is pretty simple, and this method works very well for me and helps me stay organized.
Because I take the time to complete my calendar each month, it’s easy for me to plan my days.
Here is how this works…
At the beginning of the week, I take a look at my calendar to see what I have scheduled, then I write out my to-do list for each day.
If I don’t get everything done one day, I just move it to the next day.
I try to prioritize my list by putting the most important things first.
I always start with the things that will make the biggest (positive) difference to my day or week.
You don’t need a fancy calendar to do this. You can use Google calendar, but I am a paper and pen kinda girl for the most part so I use a desk calendar like this one.
If you have the space for it, a wall calender is pretty cool too.
As you can see, becoming an organized stay at home mom is not something that’s reserved for a few super moms.
Anyone can become organized if they are willing to learn and adopt some new habits.
If you’re are tired of feeling overwhelmed and burned out, I am sure some of these tips would help to make your life easier and more enjoyable.
Are you a stay at home mom who’s struggling to stay organized? Have you tried any of these tips?
If not, then it’s time to get started.