Getting Organized will change your life as a Stay At Home Mom (SAHM)!
WOW! Huge statement right?! How do I know? Because it changed mine!
Before kids, people would comment on how clean my house was. I always knew where everything was. Categories, bins and boxes were my friend. I didn’t forget anything.
Kids Enter My Life
Anyone who has had kids knows what a change it is. All of a sudden, you are tired from staying up all night. Then the mommy brain sets in and you can’t remember or find anything. Before you know it, you are looking at your house wondering when the tornado went through.
This is what happened to me.
I was embarrassed to have people over to our house.
So what happened when people, like relatives, just showed up!? I was mortified. My laundry was overflowing, my floors were dirty, and I couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Being home ALL DAY with my kids, you would think I would have the time!
I took a hard look at my days. They consisted of napping, and playing with my kids. Gee, lazy much? I know I had time to do more, but I didn’t. Let’s get something out in the open now…I HATE CLEANING! Absolutely hate it.
But, I LOVE how it makes me feel when things are clean and organized. I feel productive, refreshed, in control. That is what I wanted to feel everyday.
I Wasn’t Always A Slob
You know how I said people would comment on how clean my house was before I had kids! Yeah, there was this one woman we knew…who had two kids…she always looked at my house with disgust because it was so clean. That made me feel awesome !
I realized something had to change. You don’t even know how many times I have left my house just to turn around because I forgot something. It would take me 5-10 minutes just to find my keys and my phone because I would always put them down in different places!
Why I Decided to Get Organized
One day I just decided that I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I didn’t want to feel stupid anymore. Like when I lost things all the time. Or when the pediatrician office sent me a letter saying I needed to start showing up for appointments! I felt embarrassed when people who knew I was home all day, saw my house in disarray.
So I finally got organized! And let me tell you, it is one of the best things I decided to do (besides staying home with my kids in the first place!)
Now that I am organized, things in our lives run so much smoother. Toys are put away, keys and phones are in designated places, and I finally found the time to clean my house. And guess what, I still have time to spend with my family, I am so much happier.
When I finally got organized, the weirdest thing happened. I started to actually have more time in my day. I found time for myself for a little self care. Time with my husband, and time with friends.
Why Schedule Your Days Too? Isn’t Being Organized Enough?
When I realized how much time I saved by organizing, I decided I wanted even more time and I wanted to feel more productive.
Before getting my house organized, I wasted time trying to find things in my house. Spending 5-10 minutes trying to find my phone and key every time I wanted to leave the house was a complete time suck.
Every time I missed an appointment of my own or my kids’, I had to take the time to reschedule for another day. What a hassle and waste of valuable time.
A routine is what I needed now. I wanted to get even more productiveness out of my days. Get more done and free up more time to do the things I loved! Who wouldn’t want that! That is when I started to organized my days too. With an actual calendar and a schedule that I keep every week.
My life has changed drastically for the better.
Let me show you what I have learned over the last 12 years in hopes that you can find more time and productiveness in your days too!
Options for Scheduling Your Days
There are a lot of different ways to schedule your days. It depends on your priorities and the stage your are at with your kids and their activities. Here is a place to start.
Choose a task a day.
When you first have your baby and decide to stay home, things are pretty easy going. Yes you are tired, but you can usually find time to tidy up and keep things in order. The thing to do at this early stage is to just form a routine. Try to get a bigger task or two done each day. For example maybe run your errands on Monday, do a load of laundry on Tuesday, make time with your husband on Wednesday…you get the idea.
This loose schedule will help you keep a routine, but leave you plenty of time for some relaxation and cuddle time with your little one. You are getting some of your bigger tasks done which is great, because those are the ones that build up and create huge messes. Don’t forget to schedule a day to do something you want as well. Things like exercise and seeing your friends is a big part of self care when you are a SAHM. Make sure you make time for it.
Schedule your days hour by hour.
As your kids grow, your days will become more busy. Therefore, you may need to adapt more of an hour by hour format for your schedule instead of one day at a time. For example, on Monday, you would get up at a certain time, feed the kids at a certain time, and then schedule particular tasks or chores at a certain time.
I have always thown a load of laundry in first thing in the morning, before anything else. That way, once I get the kids and myself clothed and fed, it is already time to throw the laundry in the dryer. It was washing while I was doing other things, so for me, this is the ideal time to do it.
This is a great way to schedule for moms who have a few young kids. You are not running to too many activities or appointments yet, but your kids are keeping you way busier than when they were babies. Scheduling your time by the hour will allow you to get chores done, run errands, and even have some time to yourself. You will also be able to get to any activities or doctors appointments your kids have as well without being too overwhelmed.
Color Coding or an App
Once your kids are older (big kids, tweens, and teens) your days become super busy . Between work, kid’s after school activities and finding time to eat, you barely have time to brush your teeth! That is when this last option may work for you.
When sports, work, and everything else under the sun, take over your day you may want to try color-coding the events for each kid on a calendar. For instance, all of Suzy’s activities would be highlighted in yellow, Danny’s highlighted in Blue, and Mom and Dad highlighted in pink.
This allows for a quick glance approach to your calendar. You can quickly see where Suzy is or where she needs to be! I like to do this on either a paper calendar or better yet, a dry erase board that is visible by the whole family. Then there is no confusion about what is happening and on which day!
Another option is an app. I like Google Calendars which I talk more about at the end of this post. Also, the Cozi App is good. They both have calendars that you can share with the whole family so everyone is on the same page. There are a ton more apps, just find one in your phone’s app store and see if it works for your family.
Keep your calendar in two places
Google Calendars is my new Go To Calendar. I just recently started using this calendar all the time. It sends out reminders when I need to be somewhere or do something.
I also like my dry erase board though. A dry erase calendar is a monthly “at a glance” approach that the whole family can see. It cuts down on questions about when we are doing things and at what time. The family can just look for themselves.
Having the dry erase board always visible is also a safegaurd against me closing my paper planner and then forgetting about things! I am so “out of sight out of mind”!
If you are interested in just having a weekly quick glance calendar you can print my printable here. It is a page that you can laminate and then fill in each week to hang on your fridge. Voila! A quick glance should tell the whole family what is going on for the week. There is even a place to list things for your grocery list and things to remember to add to next week’s calendar!
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
What should you schedule?
When you schedule your days, what you schedule will depend a lot on what is important to you. Obviously, you want to add any important events, like a birthday party for a family member. You also want to add doctor’s appointments, haircut appointments, and other appointments you don’t want to miss or be late for. Then, schedule the things that are important to get done to create the home and life you want for yourself and your family. Sometimes to be the best mom you can be, you even have to schedule in some time for one-on-one time with the kids and your husband.
I have listed out some things that are important to me and therefore I schedule them into my day.
1. Schedule Time for Chores
A few chores each day are necessary to keep your house running smoothly. And if you do a little everyday, then you will find that you have far less to do in the end. It is a lot easier to quickly dust one room a day for a few minutes than it is to dust the whole house all at once.
So put your chores on your calendar. If you like doing laundry in the morning, block off time in the mornings and do just one load a day. I like to throw in one load as soon as I get up. Then by the time I have eaten breakfast, it is time to throw it in the dryer. By lunch, it is dry and ready to be folded. Then in the afternoon or evening, I get the kids to help me put everything away.
It is our routine and it works wonders for getting the laundry done every day.
Kids and Chores! Yes They Can Help!
Another great tip is, when you can, have your kids help with some chores. They do not need to watch YouTube all day! If they help you in some small ways, it can make your life drastically easier. There are chore charts you can print off or buy, just check out Amazon.
I use The Roscoe Chart. This particular chart helps your child learn responsibility. It also has both pictures and words so your kids will be able to tell which chore is which. And to make it even better, it has cute little star magnets for each child to use once they complete a task (just make sure they don’t eat them!).
Here are some extra chores your kids can do if they are a little older:
Chores My Kids Do:
Bring plates to the sink after a meal
Put their own dishes in the dishwasher
Empty lunchbox and lunchbox containers after school
Give the dog fresh water
Keep bathroom countertop clear of items
Take their stray items upstairs each night
Make sure shoes are in the shoe closet
Keep the floor in bedroom clear
Put their clean/dirty laundry into its proper place
2. Schedule Time for School Work
Once your kids are school aged, you may want to schedule time for school work. My kids get a little time after school to run and play. But every day at a certain time we go over what they did in school. I have blocked off 6-7pm because I usually have to help them with certain things.
This specific block of time works for me because it is when I am not cooking or cleaning. That way I can give this task my full attention. AND, since it is on my dry erase calendar, the kids know when it is homework time too!
To make things even easier, I make a list of the school work they need to do so they know what is expected of them for the week. I use a stick-on chalkboard that I bought a few years ago at Target.
Scheduling time for schoolwork helps me and my kids keep up with what they are doing in school.
Photo by Agung Pandit Wiguna from Pexels
3. Schedule Time for Family
As kids get older, it gets harder and harder to spend time together with all of the extracurriculars kids do nowadays. Scheduling special time with your kids to just hang out is very important. Our family doesn’t have time to do these things every single day, but once a week, we schedule family time. We play games, watch a good movie or show, go to the park; these are all great free family time activities. I have a bigger list of things to do with your kids (the I’m Bored List), check it out!
4. Schedule Time for Errands
Errands are essential for keeping your house running throughout the week. Without groceries, toothpaste, and that notebook your child needs for school right now! Things will not run very smoothly. Instead of running out 15 different times in one week, it is a good idea to schedule your errand time.
For example, let your family know that you go to the grocery on Saturdays. That way they know they need to be thinking about what they want in their lunches. If you know you run to target every Monday morning, then make sure you have a list of all the toiletries or school items the kids need for the week together by then.
Running all over God’s earth several times a day or week is just not time efficient! Scheduling which days to run certain errands will streamline your week making you more productive. It will also give you more time to do the things you actually want to do! Especially if your kids are with you. When you know exactly what you need, you can plan your route to take better advantage of your time. Lists placed strategically around your home can be a life saver too!
PRO TIP: List Portability
Make sure your lists are portable. Whether you take the time to type them into your phone or you grab the sheet straight off the wall! Make sure you can carry it with you so you have something to reference while you are out. This will cut down on extra trips and save you loads of time!
Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels
5. Schedule Time for Exercise
Okay, people! It is 2018!! If you don’t know it is important to exercise and eat right by now, you must me living under a rock. Or maybe a big pile of laundry!
I wish I could exercise on the beach every day like the picture above, but that is not possible. Regardless, exercise is so important! It will keep you strong and resilient while playing with your kids! Exercising regularly will also keep you from injuring yourself when you are picking your kids up.
So schedule exercise into your daily routine! Just like the other parts of your life, exercise is important enough to be on your calendar. I like to get my exercising done first thing in the morning so I can clean myself up, get dressed and start my day. Figure out where it works best for you and pencil it in!
6. Schedule Time for Work
Whether you have an actual job to do, or you just need to pay bills, write it down on your calendar! This will block off the time that is best for you during your already crazy days. Remember, that the more you schedule, the more
By scheduling your days, you will find that you are inherantly more organinzed. You will have more time to do the things that you want to do! Like cuddling with those cutie pies you decided to stay home with!
Hope you all got something useful from my Scheduling Your Day – Get Organized post.
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If you have some great ways to stay scheduled as a busy mom, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Thank you for Reading!!
P.S.!! If you haven’t read part 2 of this series, you can read it now… Organize Your Home-Get Organized Part 2