I’m not the kind of person that thrives in a go-with-the-flow environment. I like to have things organized, I find it helps to keep me in the right mindset. This is especially important as a mom. If you’re reading this, then you’ll likely agree, that staying organized when you throw kids into the mix, is quite the challenge. But I think that being organized as a mom is so important in helping you stay in control. Since having my fourth daughter a few months back my life seems to be non-stop chaos. But these tips on how to stay organized as a SAHM means that I get to have my s*** together at least some of the time.
Create routines and schedules
I am of the opinion that life with kids will always throw you curveballs, and so being flexible is essential. Having said that, I do believe that routines and schedules are lifesavers. Especially as a SAHM. I have a cleaning routine that helps my family and I to stay on top of our home. It’s a pretty loose schedule, and I move things around if I need too. But I find having a task assigned to each day means I’m not spending time that could be spent cleaning, thinking about what to clean.
We also follow a routine in our days, and our week, as it helps us all stay in rhythm, and know what to expect. I think this is really important for young children, as they take comfort in routine, since they don’t have a grasp on time passing yet. We schedule appointments, playdates etc it for the morning, so it doesn’t interfere with London’s afternoon nap. Our daily routine shifts depending on the age of our children, and what we have going on in life. We do have days where this isn’t always possible to follow our routine, and that’s okay, we jump right back in when we’re able to. And I believe it’s beneficial for the kids to experience flexibility sometimes.
Utilize your calendar
Keeping track of appointments, clubs, school events, and playdates, as well as everything else life entails can be overwhelming. And honestly, with how busy mom-life is, it simply isn’t possible for me to remember everything. Thankfully, I don’t have to. By utilizing the tools available to me, I’ve made it so much easier to stay organized as a SAHM. James and I have a shared Google calendar that we add all of our appointments, and activities to. Each member of the family has their own assigned color, so it’s clear what relates to who. I have reminder notifications set (that I customize depending on the event) so if I’ve forgotten to look at the calendar that day, my phone will remind me.
As well as my Google calendar, I have a physical calendar on the fridge. Usually, this means I have to write down information twice, which could be considered a waste of time. But I like having somewhere that the Emma can check what’s going on, and be able to check myself without getting my phone out.
Use timers, alarms, and reminders
My memory isn’t what it once was, so relying on it means that things get forgotten, and then I end up playing catch up. My solution is to have various alarms on my phone to remind me of things throughout the day. A few I have are: let the chickens out, London’s nap time, Emma finishing school, and putting the chickens away at night. I have a few others, and I remove and add them as needed.
I’ve recently started using timers to remind me of things such as switching the laundry from the washer to the dryer. When I put the cycle on, I set my timer for a couple of minutes longer than the machine says, and then I pop down and swap it. I do the same for the dryer. If I’m going out, I’ll set a reminder for when I aim to be home, so I don’t forget to do it when I get back in. My laundry room is down in the basement, so the laundry is very easy to forget about. I also have reminders set on our Alexa for the trash, and recycling, as I was tired of rushing to get it out last minute.
Write a to-do list
I love a good to-do list, but not the type where you’re creating little tasks to keep yourself busy planning rather focusing on what really needs to be done. After all, planning to do things is much easier than actually doing them, right?! I’m guilty of over-planning too, and including every little thing on my to-do list, only to have no time to actually complete said list. Since becoming aware of this, I try to be much more intentional with my to-do lists, and my time. James and I like to sit down each morning and discuss things we’d like to get done that day, and then I’ll write them on a to-do list. I don’t include things I have a routine for, since that would play into the over-planning I mentioned earlier. Usually it’ll be one-off tasks such as book a doctors appointment, or organize a certain space.
I used to be a strict meal-planner, and then as we added each subsequent child, I fell out of the habit of doing it. It got to the point earlier this year where I dreaded dinner time. I had no idea what to make, and we’d end up heating up nuggets from the freezer, which is fine on occasion, but isn’t ideal daily. So I made it a priority to meal plan. And it has been a game changer for me. It’s like a weight has been lifted. Unfortunately, I still have to make said dinner, but at least I’m not scrambling to put a meal together.
Stay a step ahead
When you can, stay one step ahead of your kiddos. If you know your kids are going to be hungry when they get in from school, try and have a snack prepared so you’re not rushing to do it when you get in. Or if you know you need your child to get changed into their soccer kit as soon as they get in, have it all ready and in one place for them. As always, this isn’t going to be possible every time (I say this as the mom that’s thrown snacks to her kids through the car, and changed them in the car while in the parking lot) but I find that staying a step ahead of my girls when I can helps to keep me feel in control. Which in turn keeps me in a better mindset.
How do you stay organized as a SAHM?