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Moms Share 16 Tips for Getting Organized (and How to Keep Your Sanity!)

When I did my Juggle Series on Babble, I noticed one occurring theme when interviewing moms. And that was that organization is key! It’s hard to balance work/motherhood/life without being organized. It’s not to say it’s impossible, but it does make life a bit easier. I must admit at home I’m not the most organized. In fact, my husband always jokes and says I have hoarding tendencies. But since having a baby, I’ve realized the only way to try to have that balance and not lose my mind is to try to have some type of organization. That also includes prioritizing what is important.

The other day, I was talking to my neighbor and getting her advice on being organized. She has two daughters in middle school and has a very type-A personality. One thing she said stayed on my mind: “Simplify your life.” Do I really need to keep every single birthday card that was given to me or have 20 different body creams just sitting in my bathroom vanity? Probably not. I’ve started going on a little cleaning binge and let me tell you, it feels great! De-cluttering actually feels pretty darn amazing.

When it comes to other household organization tips such as laundry, meal planning, and chores, it’s important to have a game plan as well. So I decided to interview a couple of moms to get some of their favorite organization tips (I also share one of my own tips). So without further ado, here are 16 tips for getting organized.

Do you have any tips you can share with me? I’m a new mom and would love to hear them!

  • 16 Tips to Help Get you Organized! 1 of 17
    organization tips

    Scroll through to check out these tips from moms! 

  • 2-3 Week Meal Rotation 2 of 17
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    "I find the easiest way to stay organized during the week is to have a 2-3 week list of meals that are on rotation. For example, I have 15 go-to meals that can be prepared in 30-40 minutes. I try to ensure the meals are healthy with vegetables, a starch and protein. To avoid boredom, the meals are themed ie Mexican, Indian, Italian, Thai, American etc. I shop on the weekend for that week's list of meals and then I repeat the rotation after 3 weeks. Weekend meals are more relaxed a take-out, nibbles etc." -Christy Cook, President of Teach My

     

    Photo: eddiewelker via Flickr

  • Barter with Friends 3 of 17
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    "Babysit for your friend for an afternoon so they can get some organizing, cleaning or shopping done. Then trade off. You'll be thrilled with the time you "find." -Bonnie Joy Dewkett, Mom and Certified Professional Organizer

     

    Photo: rabbipedro via Flickr

  • Gift Organization, Be Prepared 4 of 17
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    "Have gift wrap, cards and general gifts at home. It never fails my son or myself if I need a last minute gift for a birthday or a house warming. Shop the clearance racks and find great deals on these items. I have them organized in a closet for handiness." -Reneé Rayles, mom and author of The Super, Sexy, Single Mom on a Budget

     

    Photo: rwkvisual via Flickr

  • Use Accordion-File Coupon Wallets 5 of 17
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    "Buy 2 small accordion-file coupon wallets (found in most discount stores) to keep one in your purse. Designate one for food coupons and one for the non-food. More "serious" couponers can purchase a binder and utilize YouTube for tutorials with binder organization tips." -Mary Potter, Weekly Couponing Columnist, The Dubuque Telegraph Herald

     

    Photo: Levenger

  • Organizing and the Spirit of Giving Go Hand in Hand 6 of 17
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    "Ask your child to think about what toys s/he has outgrown and may want to donate to children who are less fortunate. Begin a tradition of purging several times a year (before birthdays, holidays, and the end of school). Not only does it teach your child about giving to others, but it results in extra shelf space before big influxes of toys." -Barbara Reich, Author Secrets of an Organized Mom

  • Institute Weekly Family Meetings 7 of 17
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    "Institute weekly family meetings that prepare each member of your family for the upcoming week. Young children might remind you that they need to bring cookies for the bake sale, older children might remind you that they need to be driven somewhere, and you can remind your family that you won't be home for dinner on a particular night." -Barbara Reich, Author Secrets of an Organized Mom

     

    Photo: theogeo via Flickr

  • Keep a Running To-Do List 8 of 17
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    "This may seem simple, but it's often overlooked when you're moving in a million directions. You can go old school and leave a pen and paper on your kitchen counter and next to your bed. Or, if you have a smartphone and/or tablet, I suggest using an app like Evernote and creating separate notes for separate topics (one for family, one for shopping, one for work, etc.)." -Nikki Little, mom to 6-month old twin boys and PR Professional 

     

    Photo: justinsea via Flickr

  • Keep a Monthly Timetable to Manage Chores 9 of 17
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    "I have a monthly timetable to manage chores. There are items that need to be done daily (make the beds, put clothes in the hamper, toys back in their bins), a few times a week (dishes, laundry), weekly (decluttering problem areas like the front hallway console and kitchen table, vacuuming) and monthly (dusting ledges, scrubbing out shower and tub). This schedule is kept visible on our household calendar along with other scheduling issues (doctor's appointments, work and social commitments). It allows my husband and I to keep on top of the needs of our home as a team, since we both work outside the home." -Jessica Campbell, mom, wife and therapist

     

    Photo: maryfrancesmain via Flickr

  • Make Meal Plans 10 of 17
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    "Every Sunday I make out a meal plan and then do the grocery shopping. This keeps me from stressing over what to make for dinner. I have a regular repertoire of meals that I could make with my eyes closed (like tacos, spaghetti and meatballs, lemon chicken, etc.) and then I love to try one or two new dishes a week because variety is the spice of life." -Bethany Herwegh, The Glamourous Housewife

  • Give your Husband Responsibilities 11 of 17
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    "My husband has always been in charge of giving the kids a bath and getting them into bed. He also makes sure they have new shoes, haircuts, and he handles all of the kid's "well child" check ups and dentist appointments. He is also responsible for any sports activities the kids are in. This clear delineation in what we are each responsible for enables us both to stay more organized." -Bethany Herwegh, The Glamourous Housewife

     

    Photo: hugged via Flickr

  • Pack Lunches and Check Backpacks the Night Before 12 of 17
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    "I pack lunches and check backpacks the night before. I line up their bags in order of who leaves first near the front door. It's my goal that when we buy our house next year I get a custom entryway built with hooks for their jackets and bags...and a place for their shoes." -Johnnya Burruss, Mom and Editor of SalsaSouthBay.com

     

    Photo: anotherlunch via Flickr

    Photo: buzzymelibee via Flickr

  • Tackle Laundry Small Bits at a Time 13 of 17
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    "Laundry...I hate it. But I opt to do each kids laundry separately and sometimes on separate days. To me laundry isn't considered done until it is folded and put away. So to prevent myself from going insane and dying of a laundry induced migraine I tackle laundry small bits at a time instead of trying to get it all done on one day. Its much easier to do 2 loads every other day than to try and do it all on a single day and end up with a wrinkled mess that never finds its way back into its drawers." -Johnnya Burruss, Mom and Editor of SalsaSouthBay.com

     

    Photo: lovemaegan via Flickr

  • Have a Family Calendar 14 of 17
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    "I have a large Family Calendar. Each week it's updated with all the children's and and of course my husband and myself's schedule. Each one of the family members is color coded. This way everyone knows where they are going each day of the week. Example my older sons schedule is in Navy Blue and my younger sons is in Green, mine Hot Pink and my husband in Black. Having a weekly schedule for everyone to see is very important and helps with keeping everyone on time." - Lyss, DivaMoms.com

     

    Photo: patis_photos via Flickr

  • Calendar Alerts 15 of 17
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    "I use my iPhone to alert me to any appointment I have. When something is out of the ordinary, like jury duty or a random doctor appointment, I make sure to have my phone remind me the day *before* the engagement so I can get it into my brain. Then I have the phone alert me again about 30 minutes before I have to be somewhere. This has really helped me keep from missing so many appointments." -Bethany Herwegh, The Glamourous Housewife

     

    photo: zerobits via Flickr

  • Crockpots are Lifesavers! 16 of 17
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    "With an 8 month-old baby and working full-time (so does my husband) we barely have time to cook dinner and found ourselves getting takeout almost every day! We recently started using our crockpot and it has been the best thing EVER. I leave everything prepared in the morning and in the afternoon we have a delicious meal waiting for us.  I try to make enough to last for 2 days and plan what I'll make on Sundays. I have a few rotating favorites like beef stew, brisket and lasagna." -Carmen Ordonez, Viva Fashion

     

    Photo: via Walmart

     

  • Have Folders with your Children’s Activities 17 of 17
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    "I have a folder for each child's information and activity. (Ex: Oldest child's school, oldest child's activities, middle child's school, etc.). This way, it is easy to quickly find the information that is needed. These folders get cleaned out each summer." -Melissa Chelist, mom, Founder StorkGifts

     

    Photo: via Staples

Read more of Carmen’s writing on her fashion blog, Viva Fashion.

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