6 Habits of Organized Mommies

Six Habits of Organized Mommies

I know what you’re thinking:

Organized mommies? Yeah, sure, they exist… you can find them off frolicking somewhere with the mermaids, unicorns and fairies.  

Yes, it seems a life spent raising tiny little humans and trying to accomplish anything else is the perfect recipe for disorganization. And there will be moments when even the most organized mommy gets frazzled or forgets something…  no one is perfect!

But there are habits you can incorporate into your day-to-day lives to make your life a little more organized. How do I know? I’m a full-time working mom who had plenty of those crazy days, and vowed to figure out how to master them.

And I did… for the most part.

I used every chaotic morning, every forgotten something, and every should-coulda as a learning experience, and formed these six habits as my Mommy Mantra to help me keep my sh*t together.

And now, I’ll share them with you. Behold… 6 Habits of Organized Mommies:

1.) Don’t fall into the “I’ll do it tomorrow” trap.
Every single time I’ve ever thought/uttered the words “I’ll do it tomorrow,” I have regretted it. I’m not kidding. I make it my goal to do everything I can the night before, to ensure a smooth tomorrow. Packing lunches. Prepping my son’s daycare bag. Washing my hair. Laying out clothes. They may sound trivial, but the little things that only take a few minutes at night can take a lot longer the next morning. And a smooth morning seriously sets me up for a better day so as much as it sucks having to drag my tired bum into the kitchen after I put my son to bed to pack a lunch or prep a dinner, I know it’ll be a thousand times more sucky the following day. And that, my friends, is inspiration enough.
 This has nothing to do with anything, but it made me smile! :
2.) Follow your ABCs (the mommy edition).
ABC = Always Be Cleaning. I used to always set aside a separate time for cleaning… then I became a working mom and laughed in the face of the naive, childless Melissa because no such time exists anymore. I can’t dedicate a whole Saturday to cleaning my house. Instead, I have to do little bits here and there to keep things from looking like a bomb exploded. My husband and I have incorporated little habits into our routine: We always clean up after dinner and put away Miles’ toys before we settle down to relax for the night. We try to wipe down the table and countertops after every meal and vacuum under Miles’ chair after he eats dinner. I throw a load of laundry in as I head out the door in the morning before work… you get the idea. I also try never to pass anything that is out of place without picking it up and putting it away. It seems like a simple principle, but it was one that took me a long time to master!
3.) Create a “reminder” system.
Time for some tough love, besties: You know those times you think “I don’t need to write it down. I’ll remember…”? You won’t remember. I’ve incorporated a reminder system into my daily life for everything, even the simplest tasks like taking my vitamins. My son had a week at school when they were supposed to wear a specific color every day. I knew I’d never remember that, so I set a reminder on my phone every day of that week. I use the “Reminders” app on my iPhone. It’s simple and it gets the job done. You can set it to go off at a specific time of day, or when you’re arriving at or leaving a location (like your house). It’s been a total game-changer for me! If you don’t have an iPhone, you could also use your smartphone or tablet calendar, put appointments on your work calendar… anything. Not a technology person, or need a second set of reminders? I also put sticky notes on the back door to catch my attention as I walk out. I call it The Sticky System. Whatever works, right? 🙂
4.) Plan, plan, plan (and then plan some more).
I am turning into one of those crazy list-making mommies who plans everything. I plan my weekly dinners, lunches and snacks. I create my lists in a “Note” on my iPhone, then create my grocery list from that menu. I make a to-do list for when to prep those meals. I set reminders on my phone (see #3) for what needs to be thawed in advance for our weekly dinners. If my husband and I have several things to discuss, we make a list of topics to cover and then create lists of action items for each of us to complete. We also have a shared calendar we use through Gmail, which syncs with our iPhone calendars, and put all of our appointment, etc. on it so we also know what the other has going on, as well as family plans, etc. We sound insane… I swear we’re not. 😉 Instead, planning is what keeps us sane!
Confession… I totally do this:
5.) Create systems.
You know all that planning I mentioned above? It’s all moot without the proper systems in place to see it through. I can plan weekly dinners until I’m blue in the face, but if I don’t have a system for following through (i.e. thawing the meat), it’s pointless. I make the list, I shop for the stuff… then I set reminders on my phone so I remember when/what to thaw for Tuesday’s dinner or to remind me to make the chicken salad on Sundays so we can eat it all week for lunches. I can pack my son’s daycare bag every night, but if I don’t create a system for where to leave it so my husband and I always know where to find it as we’re trying to get out the door in the morning, I’ll forget it. You get the idea. Your systems don’t have to be complex – again, remember the Sticky Note System. They just have to work for you and how your brain works.  Which leads me to my next point…
6.) Know thyself.

The number one key to organizing your life is to know who you are and how you work best. For the meal planning example, I’m just not the girl who’s going to spend a full day making 40 freezable crockpot meals, or make lunches that consist of gourmet salads with homemade dressings. I wish I was… but that’s not me, and if I try to force myself to do things that way, I’ll fail. Instead, I’m the kind of girl who will prep a week’s worth of chicken salad or deli sandwiches, or will pack up our leftover dinners into lunches one night at a time. I won’t wake up every morning and review my daily planner over a mug of steaming coffee. But I will roll over when my alarm goes off and check my reminders app with one eye open. The point is… create systems that work for you. Don’t try to fight your personality traits – embrace them!

Know you, do you. That is the key to doing it all.

do it all

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