Friday, September 9, 2011

How To Be An {Organized} Mom

I love being organized.  It's a love that grows deeper as I get older.  When I was a twenty-something, organization wasn't high on my priority list.  Maybe because I had less to organize back then!

But now, with 2 growing kids, a full time job, a husband, and a home -organization is key to sanity.
I don't like chaos in my home and organization prevents chaos (for the most part!).

And more importantly, as I teach my 2nd graders, God is a God of order.  I need to have order in my home.
Let's be honest, the Proverbs 31 woman makes us all look bad.  But she is something that I need to strive for.  Her habits are modeled for me right there in black and white.  Just another reason I love God's Word so much.  It gives me direction for every area of my life!

Over the past 5 years I have become more organized than ever.  I have found some simple things that help my home run smoothly.  So I share...


1.  {Train your  kids to pitch in.}  Whether you work outside the home or not, this is a necessity.  If for no other reason, we need to teach our children life skills and how to become responsible adults.  Male or female they should have set chores.  I've shared this before, but my 13 year old son completely does his own laundry (operating the washer and all).  And I can tell you, he is going to be a catch some day for a lucky girl!!  My 7 year old daughter folds and puts her laundry away.  They both make their own lunches (starting this school year and it's working like a charm!).  Those are the 2 big things that they are responsible for.  There's many other "little" chores that they do.  But those 2 things take such a load off of me.  I can be more available to them on the evenings and weekends because I have 2 less loads of laundry and 2 less lunches to make.


2.  {Do everything the night before.} This is a must for me.  Some of the things we do the night before school/work: make lunches, lay out clothes, sign homework journals, go through school papers, decide what's for breakfast the next morning, make sure shoes are by the door, we even put backpacks in the van the night before (extreme? no! A couple of times a month I have students show up without a backpack in my class! Totally could have been prevented with a little organization!) This isn't just for the kids either. I lay out (and iron if necessary) my clothes, shoes, and jewelry for the next day.  I make sure my coffee pot is "loaded" and the cup is sitting by the pot.  Every little bit helps!


3.  {Have a folder for each kid}  I buy 2 extra folders when I buy my school supplies: one for Dylan, one for Holly.  I put all their school papers that I need to keep in their folder, i.e. weekly newsletters, field trip, party info, picture day info, etc.  I always know where to look for pertinent information. I also mark the calendar immediately with important dates that are mentioned in their weekly folders so I don't have to keep papers just for the dates.

4. {Don't keep it!}  When I go through their weekly folders I TOSS everything that is not pertinent.  No stacks of papers allowed around here.  I probably save 5 papers a year for the scrapbook.  I take pictures of art projects or science fair projects and throw out the originals! Yes, I do!! (thankfully with a 2nd & 7th grader we're passed the season of excessive craft projects!)  I act on papers as quickly as possible.  I send in the picture money, sign the permission slip etc. within a day of receiving it.

5.  {Say No!}  One of the quickest ways to NOT be organized in your daily routines is to be too busy.   We have a strict limit on activities.  Only one extra curricular activity at a time per kid.  We rarely have any other weeknight activities.  This gives my kids time to do homework.  It allows us time to sit down and have a family meal time and devotion time.   I also say no to working late unless absolutely necessary.  As much as I love my job, my family is my priority and I always need to keep that in perspective.  We say no to too many weekend activities, as well.  As I've shared before, we only go to birthday parties of family and very close friends.  Maybe once a year, we break that rule and attend another party outside of those parameters.  There's no way I can keep up with my home if we are running the entire weekend, weekend after weekend.  I've learned this the hard way!


6.  {Plan your meals and plan ahead} This is huge for me.  I generally don't go to the grocery during the week. This robs me of valuable time.  Not to mention that it's the last thing I want to do after work! I plan my meals on the weekend.  I don't always stick to it exactly, but I know I have everything I need for meals for the entire week.  I also do all other shopping during the weekend-birthday presents, cards that need to be mailed out, supplies for the kids for school-whatever I have to get to avoid the stores Mon.- Fri.!


7.  {Have a daily devotion time}I NEED to start my day with God's Word.  It sets the tone for my day and keeps me on track.  Nothing can derail a well organized day faster than not giving my day to Lord!

Do you have any great tips or tricks for staying organized at home?

Blessings to you,
Kris

3 Comments:

  1. This was great. #6 and #7 are my struggles. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I still need to purge the art by taking photos. I have a box in my closet full of my sons art and hopefully one day soon will get to it.

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  3. Even with being in our current "housing" situation, I find organization to be IMPERATIVE!! The kids empty the lunchboxes as soon as we get home, and begin on the next day's lunch. I love your ideas. You are a great mom!

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