Oh God, don’t get me wrong: life with babies, toddlers, and kids–kids of all ages–is the furthest thing from organized. You constantly feel like you’re running late to everything, scrambling around the house looking for misplaced socks, forgetting things on your to-do list and missing appointments, and no matter how put together you try to seem, well, sometimes it just shows.
Luckily, though, there are some things we can all do to make our mom lives easier. Yes, some of these involve some work, but hey, they pay off. I promise. You can thank me later when your chaotic life has somehow become manageable…ish.
There is nothing worse than being hangry with nothing in the fridge and the same old delivery options available: chinese or pizza. My husband and I are unfortunately guilty of this. If we don’t plan ahead, we usually end up getting takeout, which is ridiculous considering how much money we spend on groceries every month! To prevent this, start each week with a meal plan. If you know what you’ll be cooking every day of the week, including what ingredients you need for each meal, it not only facilitates grocery shopping but also helps you plan more effectively on a day to day basis. Mom hack: Use your crockpot as often as possible. Nothing is easier than dumping ingredients in a pot and letting them work their magic.
Have a plan for all those outgrown baby clothes! Don’t just keep stacking them in empty diaper boxes in your child’s nursery closet. That’s what I did at first, and it quickly got out of hand. I bought large bins from Walmart and now keep all outgrown clothing in our basement storage. When my son outgrows the clothes on his hangers, I label a new box (for example, “6-8 months”) to keep things organized. I’m sure I’ll be very thankful when we get pregnant with baby #2!
We all know how difficult it is to clean and organize your home all at once. It often feels either overwhelming to think about or like a waste of energy, with so many other things to worry about. To make sure your home is clutter-free, organize a room, closet, or drawer every day. It’ll give you the giddy feeling of a clean home without the strenuous effort. There is nothing like an organized closet, seriously. It’s good for a woman’s soul.
When your child miraculously decides to play by himself, is eating one of his meals in his high chair, or napping, don’t just sit on the couch scrolling through your Instagram feed. Make those minutes/hours count! Use the opportunity to shower, or even brush your teeth, if it’s been that kind of morning. If you’re feeling extra motivated during nap time, you can probably even get a quick home workout in before your child wakes up. It does wonders for your mood! But, to be honest, nap time in our house usually rhymes with folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.
I always feel super accomplished when these two things happen at night. I usually steam veggies (zucchini, carrots, broccoli, green beans) in bulk so I have a few meals worth of quick, healthy eats for my son. Every other day, I also do a load of laundry to avoid an hour-long folding session the next day.
I don’t know about you, but ever since I had my son, I have not been able to remember appointments. There’s just too much going on! Having a family calendar (we use the app “Cozi”) has kept us on track and makes sure that we both know when events are coming up. My husband works long shifts as a firefighter, so it’s essential for him to be aware of our plans so he can schedule his shifts around them. Cozi has been a lifesaver for us! I also have many reminders on my iPhone to help me stay on track with the small day to day things I need to get done.
There is nothing worse than spending a whole day organizing loose mail and paperwork that’s been building up for weeks. To prevent this labor intensive task, don’t let in build up in the first place. Have folders for important documents (tax documents, mortgage related paperwork, paid bills, etc…) and when something comes in, just slip it in the right folder. Easy.
Our son has a lot of toys and I swore our house wouldn’t become a Toys r’ Us when we had kids. So, to make sure that isn’t the case, I put them away in large bins every night. My son gets super excited about taking them out again the next day, and this usually makes him excited about his “independent play” time. Mom hack: I love putting a few of my son’s unused toys away and surprising him with them a few weeks later… it’s almost as if they’re brand new!