Getting organized: Organization and Motherhood
Photo by Hillary Graves Photography
Motherhood and organization truly do go hand in hand. Well, let me rephrase that. Motherhood is messy, unpredictable, and often, nothing goes the way you’d planned- so the more organized you can be outside of those things, the better off you’ll be. There aren’t any do all to end all ways or formulas to make life with kids more organized, but as always, there are things I can share that are working for us.
1. Have a good, well-structured routine.
Luckily, my kiddo is like me- she craves order and routine. This makes having and sticking to a routine easier. When we get home, we immediately pack Mommy’s lunch (E doesn’t want to pack a lunch, so she eats daycare foods), lay out clothes for tomorrow, do chores and start dinner. After dinner and some play time, it is bath time, devotions and story reading time, and bed time. The hardest part of our routine to maintain is bath time and bed time- it’s not surprising that we all function better when we stick to the bed and bath routine.
2. Prepare for the next day, on the night before, as much as you can.
I’ve already mentioned that we pack lunches the day before, so all we have to do in the morning is grab the lunch box out of the fridge. We also set our clothes out the night before so we’re not struggling in the morning. We make sure bags are by the door, and anything we need to bring with us that we don’t usually have, we make sure it goes into the bags. On the weekends, we launder Emorie’s daycare blankets and sheets and then put them right back into her bag for Monday. We also put dinner items in the fridge the night before so they’ll be thawed and ready.
3. Teach your kids to pick up and put up.
My kiddo has had the toy bins in her playroom labeled with a word and picture since she’s had a playroom. I was initially chided by a family member that the labeling was well-intentioned, but she was far too young at 18 months to know where to put away her toys. She took to it well, and still knows where to find and put things away. Granted, sometimes getting her to put away her things is a battle at times, but she knows she has to do it, and she almost always does.
4. Kids CAN do chores.
Have you seen this post on Pinterest about age appropriate chores? Some of these I had never even thought of for my kiddo. Luckily, she is still at the age where it is fun to help Mama clean. I am planning on taking advantage of this as long as I can- I know she is eventually going to think cleaning is not fun and she’ll try to get out of it. We don’t have her making her bed just yet, but she can dust, help load the dishwasher and sweep.
5. Regularly clean, organize and assess all kids’ spaces
We have a bin in both girls’ closets for outgrown clothing. We toss the clothes into the bins and either pack away Emorie’s outgrown clothes for Aubrey to use, or we donate them. I have a similar bin in mine and the hubs’ closet so we can do the same. We utilize consignment shops so we can get a little bit of money out of our donations. This cuts down on having outgrown items to take up spaces in closets. The same goes for toys- pack away outgrown toys and throw away the broken ones.
6. Create an “emergency car kit” and keep it stocked at all times.
We created a kit to keep in our van- we have a plastic “toolbox,” filled with necessities such as baby wipes, tissues, hand sanitizer, bandaids, trash bags, extra feminine supplies, pen and paper, safety pins, nonperishable snacks, cleaning wipes, and, now that we are having another baby, there is also an extra diaper or two. There is also a bin with CDs and DVDs, and one with books and toys for my kiddo on long car trips. Of course, you do need to keep an eye on the kit in case you are running low on something.
What are some of the ways you keep your family and your kiddos organized?