Stay at home mom organization

Table of Contents

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Share

8089shares

Ever had someone ask you what you do?

And when you tell them you’re a stay-at-home mom, their response is something along the lines of “oh, must be nice” as if it’s some sort of vacation?

Truth is– There’s more to it than just hanging out and watching Netflix all day, right?

Sure, some days we feel on top of the world and might fit in an episode or 2 of our favorite show.

Other days, laundry is up to our eyeballs, we feel like we have no time for ourselves, NO idea what to cook for dinner, and the baby is demanding to be fed.

While I can’t promise you that laundry will ever truly be a piece of cake, I can, however, share some of my BEST stay-at-home mom survival tips for staying happy, healthy, and organized!

How do stay-at-home moms get organized?

Start using a planner

One way to get organized as a stay-at-home mom is to get yourself a planner or family calendar and actually use it.

From appointments to field trip dates, you can’t expect yourself to remember #allthethings.

Save yourself the stress and chaos. You really need ONE place to keep up with everything if you want to be an organized stay-at-home mom!

A few recommendations:

  • Love paper planners? This post lists my favorite planners for moms.
  • Rather go the digital route so that you can create one shared family calendar for everyone? You need this app!
  • Just want something simple? Grab a free fridge calendar right here!

Get your finances in order

When it comes to stay-at-home mom organization— your finances matter too.

As a stay-at-home mom, you’re probably living on one income (unless you’re making extra money from home of course).

And let’s face it– Being a one income family can be stressful.

What’s a mama to do? Getting your finances on track can make a world of difference.

  • Create a budget – The more you make, the more you tend to spend. Figuring out where your money is going vs. where it needs to go is a good idea no matter what your income is.
  • Get organized – Starting a budget binder is an easy way to keep everything together and in one place. No more hunting for passwords or spacing on due dates!
  • Set savings goals – Working towards savings goals can be exciting. Want to plan a family trip to Disney? Pay off your car? Now is the perfect time to start.

Related: 21 Money-Saving Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms

Kick the clutter

Another huge stay-at-home mom tip? Kick the clutter OUT!

Now, I’m not saying you have to get rid of everything but the kitchen sink, but I wholeheartedly believe that decluttering your house is the first place you should start when you’re feeling frazzled.

Some believe that physical clutter can make you feel weighed down and crappy, and I definitely agree.

The idea is to get rid of anything you don’t use or absolutely love.

Is your closet cramped because you’re hoarding things you know you’ll never wear? When it comes to decluttering, you must be ruthless.

If you don’t love something or you haven’t used it in the past year, it’s time to donate or sell it.

Trust me when I say that you’ll feel so much lighter and better once you’re finished.

Related: 50 Things to Declutter Right Now

Plan your dinners

I think when some moms hear “meal planning” they think they have to plan out every morsel of food or cook fancy meals.

That’s really not the case. It doesn’t have to be complicated at all.

In fact, getting started can be as simple as making a list of your family’s favorite meals and using that as a starting point to plan from.

You can even plan to leave one night a week up for Chinese, pizza, date night– whatever you like.

Read more meal planning tips here!

Make smarter to-do lists

To-do lists are supposed to simplify things for you, right? But if you add too many things to the list, it can be counterproductive.

What works better? You probably feel like there are a million things going on inside your head. Things you need to grab at the store, meal ideas you randomly think of, upcoming appointments or due dates, etc.

How do you sort what needs to be dealt with now without forgetting about the rest?

I’m a huge fan of using brain dumps to create my to-do lists.

Once I have a nice, physical list that’s outside of my head and on paper, I can start to sort and prioritize what I should do first and what can be saved for later.

If you do this, you can physically see what needs your attention first and start crafting your (simplified) to-do list.

Get your free brain dump template here!

Embrace routines

In order to create a stay-at-home mom schedule that works (and you can stick to), I highly recommend that you embrace routines.

Having solid routines in place will simplify your life and help you structure your day.

It wasn’t until my oldest son started kindergarten that I started to nail this whole routine thing.

Let’s just say that skating around on school mornings with no plan, no routine, nada… wasn’t cutting it. Racing against the clock isn’t the best way to start your day.

If you have absolutely no routine or structure in place and are just approaching things willy nilly, I would start by creating your evening routine first. Your evening routine should simplify your mornings.

What drives you crazy to have to deal with in the mornings?

Figuring out what your child will wear to school? Hunting down matching socks? Packing lunches or snacks? Signing backpack papers? You can add things like this to your evening routine.

As for your morning routine, there are tons of things you can add to give you a jump start for a productive day.

Start with making your bed, washing your face, drinking a glass of lemon water, working on your blog if you have one… it’s really up to you. The goal is to set the tone for a great day.

Related: My Evening Routine: How I Set My Mornings up for Success

How to enjoy being a stay-at-home mom (tips for staying happy + healthy)

Start exercising

Yes, move your body!

Exercise is a natural stress reliever and can even help with anxiety and depression (source).

So, exercise for the feeling you’ll have afterwards. Do it because you want to feel your best.

No matter what my weight is or how far I can run, I always feel better when I’m exercising consistently.

And by exercising, I’m not saying you have to hit the gym.

It can be as simple as setting a step goal and walking for 20-30 minutes a day. I’ve noticed that just getting in a quick 20 minute walk improves my overall mood tremendously!

Also, if you want to step it up a notch, there are endless home workout options.

TurboFire is one of my favorites and helped me lose 35 lbs after my first son was born. The 21 Day Fix is another great option if you’re short on time.

Bottom line- If you can find a type of exercise you legit enjoy, that’s the best kind.

Related: 17 Helpful Tips for Losing the Baby Weight

Make sleep a priority

Before you start giving me the frog face 🐸, let me explain.

I know it’s hard to get in enough sleep sometimes– especially if you have a baby. You’re on their schedule and you can’t always just sleep on demand whenever you want. I get that.

I also get that sometimes when your kids are asleep you just want to sit there and enjoy the peace and quiet as you catch up on your favorite show.

But it’s so important that you at least try to get enough sleep.

If you’re feeling extra irritable or crying at the drop of a hat, you’re probably not getting enough.

I honestly didn’t start paying attention to the amount of sleep I was getting until I started using my Fitbit.

I started noticing that I felt so much better when I’d get at least 7 hours of sleep. I had more patience and felt all around better.

What if you’re a stay-at-home mom that can’t sleep?

  • Eat a healthier diet. More whole foods. Not sure what to cook? This will help!
  • Drink enough water during the day so that you’re not feeling thirsty at night.
  • Figure out what helps you relax. A glass of wine? ASMR videos? Reading a book?
  • Lay off of social media at night. Sometimes a break from the mindless scrolling is good thing. Plus, the bright screen hinders the production of melatonin (source).
  • Diffuse a few drops of essential oils for sleep.
  • When all else fails, valerian root is the natural supplement I take for sleep + relaxation. I love it because I don’t feel groggy the next day.

Find a hobby or a side hustle

If you’re feeling bored or unfulfilled, there are plenty of things to do when you’re a stay-at-home mom.

Scraping food off of weird places doesn’t count. 😉

You need things to think and talk about other than Minecraft, Lego blocks, and which baby bottle you like best.

Yes, those things are great (and necessary), but the person you were before you had kids is still in there somewhere.

It’s okay for you to have a little something for yourself, too.

Having a hobby or even a side hustle gives you something new to be excited about, look forward to, and work at. This will help you feel fulfilled as a stay-at-home mom.

So, what do you like to do?

What would you like to learn? What did you like before you had kids?

Have you considered starting a blog? Or a YouTube channel?

I’m giving you permission to take the leap!

Related: How to Start a Mom Blog for Beginners

Related: 6 Ways to Make Extra Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom

Know that self-care is a must

Happy stay-at-home moms know that self-care is essential.

That morning routine we talked about?

This is a good time to squeeze in some time for yourself. It might require getting up a little earlier than everyone else, but it’s totally worth it if that’s the only time you can get.

If you’re not a morning person, maybe you can plan to take a walk later in the day (even if you have to load up the stroller).

I know this can be tough sometimes. If you can squeeze it in at least a couple times per week, it will still help you to reset.

Related: 21 Quick and Easy Self-Care Ideas for Moms

Wake up before your kids

Another tip that really makes a big difference is to wake up a few minutes before your kids.

It gives you a few minutes of alone time to wake up, make some coffee, read– Anything you want to do before transitioning to mommy mode.

Those first few uninterrupted sips of coffee are the absolute best.

Play some music

Good music soothes the soul.

You can be in the absolute worst mood ever and turn on one of your favorite songs and feel better instantly. I challenge you to try it.

Doing the dishes? Folding clothes? Throw on some music- even if it has to be done with only one earbud in so that you can have the other ear in “mommy listening” mode.

Learn to say no

And if something comes up that doesn’t align with your main priorities?

Sometimes you have to say no.

Being a stay-at-home mom may not come with a paycheck (unless you have a SAHM job on the side), but it’s hard work– No doubt!

You have a lot on your plate and if you aren’t feeling up to a certain activity or event, it’s 100% okay to say no.

Get out of the house

Finally, as simple as it sounds, getting out of the house one of the most important tips for stay-at-home moms!

When you’re a stay-at-home mom, you might find yourself slowly transitioning into a hermit crab 🦀. It happens.

It’s GOOD to change your surroundings even if it’s just to take the kids to the park.

A little sunshine and some fresh air goes a long way.

Help other stay-at-home moms out by pinning!

  • Pin
  • Tweet
  • Share

8089shares

Tips to Organize Your Day for Stay at Home Moms

This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Stay at home moms have a hard job. One would think that since you are home all day that it would be easy to get everything done, but the truth is, the work never ends and the constant juggle of chores can really baffle even the most organized person unless she makes a plan and creates a routine that works for her.

I’ve been a stay at home mom for over 25 years and I still have to be very purposeful about how I use my time if I want to get everything done. You may feel like you are constantly cleaning or picking up after your kids or trying to stay ahead of another disaster. It doesn’t have to be this way! There are things you can do to create a balanced routine. Whether you discover your best time to get things done or start a 30-day cleaning schedule that frees up a lot of your time, you can create a balanced routine that works.

Discover Your Sweet Spot

We all have a sweet spot – it’s that time of day where we’re able to get the most done. For some people, it’s early in the morning. Others do their best work midday. Try to pay attention to your day and see when you do the best work. Once you nail down your sweet spot, you can schedule your time so that the harder projects are done during that time frame. My best time seems to vary from day to day, but evenings are often when I get that second wind.

Plan Your To-Do List

Instead of trying to cram everything into a few hours, spread your to-do list out throughout the day. This can make your day much more enjoyable. For example, if you’re a stay at home mom, get up each morning and empty the dishwasher while you’re making breakfast. After the kids leave for school, you can clean up the kitchen and then take break. You can then start a load of laundry and pay the bills. Once laundry is done you can run errands and come home and make dinner.

On the other hand, creating a morning routine that allows you to get the bulk of your chores out of the way by mid-morning may allow you the break you need in the afternoon to do other things – like run errands, take a nap, visit a friend, or take a walk.

Start a 30-Day Cleaning Schedule

If you spend all your time cleaning, you might want to consider trying a 30-day cleaning schedule. The way it works is that you do a bit of cleaning each day and after 30 days your home is spotless. If you continue to follow the schedule month after month, it will only take a few minutes each day to clean your home. This is a great way to spread out your chores and still maintain a clean home.

Make Time for Breaks

A balanced routine requires finding time to take a break. When you schedule your to-do list into your planner, you want to make sure that you schedule time for breaks. Even if it’s just a few minutes here or there, it can make a big difference.

Remember to Have Fun

Last, but not least, balance is also about having fun. Remember to take time for yourself and to have with your children. Mom, this is so important. Never underestimate the importance of laughing and playing with your kids. The fun memories you make playing with your children will last a lifetime. Schedule a movie or game night into your planner, take time to visit a park or museum, find ways to schedule that fun!

A balanced routine can make a world of difference for the stay at home mom. You want to make sure that you’re spreading out your work while also making time for breaks and fun.

Join the Challenge…

and get your heart and home ready for spring!

We all strive to be “that” mom. You know, the type of mom who might don a superhero costume because that’s how together she is. Well here’s the good news: You don’t need a cape or magic powers to get more organized. Take cues from the smart moms we polled to help you stay on top of things. Their moves are simple — but genius.

1. They get themselves ready first.

“Just like in airplane safety videos — where they tell you to put on your oxygen mask before putting on your child’s — I make sure that I get ready before worrying about everyone else,” says Jennifer Lifford, the blogger behind Clean & Scentsible. She gets up 15 minutes earlier than her kids, who are 8 and 11, and everyone follows their own routine. When Jenn is done, she can check in on the kids’ progress. If your kids are younger, try setting your alarm a half-hour earlier and put your day in motion before rousing them.

2. They start dinner in the morning.

We know, mornings are busy. But thinking about dinner early can make for a much smoother evening. Maria Lichty, blogger at Two Peas & Their Pod, makes a weekly meal plan every weekend. “Each day, I look to see what prep can be done in the morning, so when 5:00 hits, I’m not scrambling to get dinner on the table,” she says. She’ll wash veggies, make salad dressings, shred cheese, cut up fruit and tackle anything else that can be done ahead of time.

3. They run meals like clockwork.

“My meals start at exactly the same time every day,” says mom Summer Blackhurst from Salt Lake City, Utah. And she says the days go more smoothly because of it. The best benefit? No time wasted begging kids to come to the table. “By now, they’re tummy alarms know to go off when it’s mealtime.”

Getty Images

4. They do a load of laundry.

Though the debate over a once-a-week laundry routine versus a daily one wages on, this mom is firmly in the every day camp: “I put a load of laundry in the washer every morning while my coffee is brewing,” says Traci Hutcherson, mom of four who blogs at Beneath My Heart. Before she leaves the house, she puts the clothes in the dryer. “Doing laundry every day helps to keep the task from feeling too overwhelming.”

5. They schedule time to procrastinate.

Busy moms, of course, require some down-time. If you don’t have a single moment to yourself during the week, you’ll burn-out from to-do list overload eventually — and that’s when your organization will implode. Dani Faust (of the blog OK, Dani) gifts herself a free hour a couple days a week — and she schedules it out, so she’s sure to get it. “I put an hour on my calendar and I use that time to watch a show on the DVR,” she says.

But even then, she’s not totally wasting time: She’ll do other tasks (like update her to-do list or catch up on social media) during commercials — because time spent zoned out in front of a sales pitch isn’t an escape anyway. “I do it guiltlessly and enjoy it — and then I get back to my other pressing tasks for the day.”

6. They give the bathroom a once-over.

Who has time to clean the bathroom every single day? You do, according to blogger and organizing expert Samantha Pregenzer (and our cleaning experts agree). “While my kids take a bath at night, I clean the sink, toilet, floor and mirror (sometimes the walls and doorknobs too!),” she says. “I’m still able to engage and chat with the kids, but I’m also cleaning the one room that is always the dirtiest at the end of the day.” And this way, everyone starts with a clean bathroom the next morning.

Getty Images

7. They carry a notebook.

Paper is hardly dead, people. Sure, your smartphone has a notebook app, but what happens when you need to write something while you’re on the phone? Mom Marisa Silver from Long Island, New York, takes a small notebook with her everywhere she goes. “I date it every morning. Then, if I get a phone call from another mom about a birthday party or play date, I write it down,” she says. She goes back through the list at night and updates calendars or appointments all at once.

8. They email themselves.

And not just funny videos of cats jumping into boxes. Every night, New York City mom Cheryl Brody Franklin emails herself a to-do list. “I copy and paste the list from the night before and go through to take stuff off and add to it,” she says. “It’s broken down into categories — my son, life and work — and I prioritize within each category.” If you’re checking your e-mail all day anyway, this keeps your to-do list front and center — you don’t even have to shuffle between apps.

9. They say no.

“I used to feel like I had to say yes to everything — play dates, helping out at school, all sorts of extra stuff — and I’d drive myself crazy trying to stick to an even crazier schedule,” says mom Kate Dreyer from Northern Virginia. “If I know that I can’t fit something in easily, I’ve learned to just say no.” She doesn’t even give an excuse. Simply say no before you take on even more responsibilities. Done and done.

Sharing is caring!

  • Pin
  • Share
  • Tweet

21shares

I’m always looking for ways to be a more organized mom. Between working a full-time job outside of the home, managing One Big Happy Life, and trying to keep up with the kids, my mom schedule is pretty darned full. Then throw in the need to actually eat and sleep and things can get lost in the shuffle really fast.

Here are some of my favorite mom hacks that help me be a more organized mom.

1. HAVE A CATCHALL FOR ALL OF YOUR TO-DOS.

I used to be pretty bad about trying to keep everything all in my head. Eventually, after one too many things started to fall through the cracks, I realized that I had to figure out something that would work better.

For me, that means I have several different collection buckets for the various things in my life. I’ve tried creating a catchall that holds everything by making a pretty time-intensive bullet journal. But as awesome as it was, I just couldn’t keep up with it because I just didn’t have time for all of the set up. Far from being a more organized mom, I ended up with everything back in my head again just waiting until I could get to (and set up) my bullet journal.

I realized that I needed easy tools that I can have access to on the go. Overtime I’ve collected some favorites that meet different needs in my life. Here are a few:

  • Wunderlist: things I need to get/buy, random to-dos
  • Trello: vacation planning
  • Feedly: the keeper of my blog roll
  • Google Calendar: my go-to scheduling app
  • Personal Capital: for aggregating all of my financial stuff all in one place
  • Evernote: for all of the random times inspiration strikes when I’m out and about

2. USE A CALENDAR AND GET THE WHOLE FAMILY ON BOARD

I like to treat my family like my coworkers. We are all part of a team and we work together to get things done. Having a family calendar (like a team calendar) is a great way to make sure that everyone is one the same page.

The thing that I love the most about having a family calendar is that I am no longer the sole person in charge of remembering an event. When Alexis was younger and smart phones for kids weren’t a thing, we kept a calendar on a dry erase board in our family command center. Nowadays, we all use Google Calendar. If Alexis has an event after school, she adds it to her calendar and invites us if one of us needs to drive her.

It’s all too easy for us busy moms to end up being the information hub of the whole family where everyone relies on us to keep everyone on schedule. Fight that urge to settle into that familiar routine! Making everyone responsible for their own calendars takes the mental pressure off of you and distributes it amongst the family where it belongs.

3. CREATE A NIGHT TIME ROUTINE

Morning routines are all the rage on the internet. And yes, while having a good morning routine is the key to actually getting out of the house on time with your kids and everything that you need for your day, it is not where the primary focus should be for most busy parents. For us, it’s all about the night routine.

Our night routine makes or breaks the entire following day. It determines whether we eat a healthy home prepared meal or ordered pizza (again). Whether we got enough sleep or end up feeling groggy and unproductive all day. And whether we have coffee waiting for us in the morning or drop $10 at Starbuck on the way into the office.

So take some time and plan out your evening routine using the aforementioned calendar. It will provide some much needed perspective on how you currently use those precious evening hours for and what you can change for the better.

4. WAKE UP EARLY (MY FAVORITE ORGANIZED MOM TIP)

There is nothing like those quiet moments in the morning when no one else is awake. My day always feels like it’s off to a great start when I’ve had my coffee, hit the gym and showered before 7:30am. Bonus points if I also hit up the grocery store and return home with goodie for breakfast by the time everyone is up by 8:30a.

Of course having a baby that wakes up at 6:30a like clockwork has changed that a little, waking up early is still one of my favorite ways to be a more organized mom.

You might also like: How to Live a Happy Life: Tips for Creating a Life You Love Starting Today

5. DELEGATE TASKS TO OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS

The more tasks that you can clear off of your plate, the easier it becomes to be a more organized mom. Several of the items on this list are aimed at lightening your load but this one is the most important and potentially the hardest.

Sometimes it feels a lot easier to just do it yourself the right way than to have to police the kiddos into getting their chores done. But it absolutely is worth giving your children the opportunity to grow into their independence by giving them age appropriate chores as early as possible (like 2-3 years old).

The same holds true for our partners in crime. When each of you have designated tasks that you are responsible for it goes a long way towards avoiding burnout and resentment. And, personally, I find that a man that can cook, do laundry, and wrangle the kids while I handle some other household stuff hella sexy!

6. MEAL PREP FOR EASY WEEKNIGHT LUNCHES AND DINNERS

Meal prep is my jam. It is the reason why we went from spending thousands eating out most nights of the week to eating at home and actually taking those family vacations we’d been pining after for years. Now I have absolutely no problem making my family eat the same thing for four or five nights in a row. Because let’s be real, I have ordered the exact same order from take out multiple times in the same week with no complaints.

The key is to hunt for recipes that your family would wrestle each other to get to eat every night. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Tandoori chicken bites with yellow jasmine rice
  • Chipoltle copycat barbacoa bowl
  • One Pot Sausage and Mushroom Pasta (because who doesn’t like one pot recipes?!?)
  • Turkey Burgers

7. HIRE HELP IF YOU CAN

Have you ever heard the saying that many hands make light work? Well it still holds true even if some of those hands are paid hands. If your family budget can afford it, it is absolutely worth considering hiring some extra help to give you time to take care of other things (or do nothing because sometimes that’s exactly what mamo needs amiright?).

A good house cleaner or mother’s helper can be the difference between your household running smoothly and everything being almost but not quite done.

8. PRACTICE MODERATE MINIMALISM

Over the years we all accumulate a lot of stuff. That stuff takes a lot of time and energy to manage. The fewer things we have the easier it is to stay organized. So from time to time you should set aside an hour to go through a drawer, cabinet, or closet and purge the things that no longer bring you joy.

I call this moderate minimalism because we can all do with a little less, but there is no reason to feel pressure to strip your house down to the bare bones unless that really suits your aesthetic. Just work on being intentional about the items (and people) that you bring into your life and those that you allow to stay there.

9. HONE YOUR ROUTINES

Routines are everything when it comes to being a more organized mom. The fewer decisions that you have to make in a day, the more time and mental energy you have to handle everything that you day throws at you. While the truly unexpected does crop up from time to time, there are a lot of things about our day that we can control and routinize.

It can be something simple as putting your keys in the same place when you get home from work every day. Or having a set makeup look that you wear every day that you can throw on in five minutes or less. Take some time to identify those repetitive parts of your life that you can streamline and make more efficient.

What are some of your favorite tips for being a more organized mom?

Sharing is caring!

  • Pin
  • Share
  • Tweet

21shares

Let’s be Insta-friends. Follow me over on Instagram for encouraging mom posts and stories that don’t take themselves too seriously.

8 Habits of highly organized moms

“How are you always so together?” someone once asked me. The question caught me off guard, because somedays, I don’t think I have anything together. Like, at all. I feel like the entire book is coming apart at the seams and I’m over here like “I could go get the hot glue gun and put it back together or I could finish watching this new Hulu show.”

It wasn’t until I sat down with a friend who said that I always seem to be together and have everything in my home and life organized. The truth is, I do, and I don’t. I don’t live in a Martha Stewart catalogue, but I don’t live in filth either. I hate having disarray in my home and so making sure things are tidy (ish) and organized is a priority for me.

As I can tell you from years and years as the owner of a cleaning and organizing business, this can be taught. I promise you. It isn’t about knowing some secret handshake that the others mothers aren’t privy to or having some kind of exceptional skills that give you the power to be Pinterest-perfect at any given moment. Like anything else I teach, it is all about good, solid strategies and habits. A good habit (or a bad one for that matter) can change everything for you.

I began thinking about that things I do that make running my house a little easier and keep things more organized. I also thought about the moms I know in my life who always seem to have it all together. There were some glaring similarities and I have compiled a list of the habits of highly organized moms. They are pretty easy to implement so you too can be a super highly organized mama (I said that in my best As Seen on TV voice)

1. They have a routine. They don’t just have a routine, they live and die by it. Now, sometimes I see moms who say they have a routine and what is really happening is that their routine is that they have no routine. Inception-y, right? A good, solid routine includes tasks and actions done the same way each day that make running your life easier. For example, I don’t have a morning routine, I have a nightly routine. Why? Because mornings are unpredictable. Kids get sick in the middle of the night, the alarm doesn’t go off, you snooze through it, you spill coffee on yourself, the car won’t start and so on. However, evenings are in my control. I get as much done at night as I can. I have the coffee maker set, the clothes out for everyone in the house (aside from my husband. He’s a big boy and can do that himself), bags packed and near the door, breakfast decided on, dishes done or in the dishwasher, lunch money given or lunches made, etc. The more I get done, the easier my mornings go. The enemy of organization is having no routine in place.

2. They get ready first. This can spark some controversy, but what I hear when people tell me why they can’t is a lot of excuses. “I don’t want to get up earlier. My kids are too demanding. It makes me a bad mom..” blah blah blah. I know the natural inclination is to get everyone ready to go first, but it really doesn’t serve you. Again, things with kids, just like mornings, are unpredictable, but you aren’t. Take a shower, get dressed, and feed yourself BEFORE everyone else. Then, when your toddler decides to dump her Cheerios on your dog’s head, you won’t have to worry about still needing to get yourself ready. I have had kids for 10 years and have prepared myself first every single day and it has worked like a charm.

3. They declutter often. Put it on the calendar, have a set day or do it at the same time daily. However you choose to do it, declutter often for maximum organization. I have said it many times, decluttering is like showering. You can’t just do it once and expect it to stick. It has to become a part of your life and routine (there’s that word again.)

4. They do a load of laundry each day. Now, full disclosure, I hate laundry. Like, give me 20 bathrooms to scrub and I’ll be in heaven, but laundry? Barf. It’s just so tedious to me and never ending, but the thing that gets me through is putting in a load every single morning (or at least every other morning.) Because I hate laundry, the last thing I feel like doing on a Sunday afternoon is sifting through a mountain of a week’s worth of clean laundry and separating, folding and putting it away. It’s my nightmare. Instead, I do one per day. And don’t say you don’t have time. Throw a load in before you leave in the morning (or after breakfast if you stay home), throw it in the dryer when you get home or midafternoon and take 10 minutes in the evening to put it away. Done! I know, I hate laundry, too. Remember?

5. They clean often and as you go. The way I am able to stay on top of the cleaning and organizing in my house is that I clean as I go. I don’t have a set day of the week or month to do everything, mostly because as much as I adore cleaning, that’s not how I want to spend my days. Rather, I choose a few things each day and do them. While my son bathes, I clean the bathroom or fold towels. I keep Clorox wipes on each level of the house and grab one daily to wipe down various yucky spots, like the handrails and light switches. When I see crumbs, I just vacuum before someone steps on them and crunches them up even more. Cleaning as you go can take as little as 5 minutes. Your house stays tidy without you having to invest hours of your time into it.

6. They say no, often. Highly organized moms say no often and yes enthusiastically. What does this mean? Say no to things that don’t serve you or your higher purpose and say yes to things that light you up. Period.

7. They delegate to others and accept help. When was the last time someone asked you, “Hey, do you need any help?” or “Let me know if you need any help!” And when was the last time you actually took them up on it? Moms love to be martyrs, I should know. I have played the part many times. “I guess I am the only person in this who can do this! UGH” Even I am annoyed with myself when I do it. Being highly organized means delegating to others and accepting help when it is offered. Give your kids more to do, hire a mother’s helper (for more help with that, head to my post on that very subject), say yes when your mom offers to watch the kids for a few hours, swap babysitting with a friend. Give yourself permission to NOT do it all.

8. They avoid procrastination. I know, but it feels so good in the moment. However, procrastinating just leads to heartache down the line. Keeping your home and life really organized is all about doing it now and not later. I have to push myself to do this as it doesn’t come naturally, but It has paid off throughout my years as a mom. If I can do it today, I do it today. I don’t kid myself into thinking that I will have more time tomorrow, because odds are, I won’t. Perfectionism can really stunt our ability to do things now, as we keep telling ourselves that we’ll do it when we have it all figured out ( and what do you know, I have a post on that very topic right here) We also think we will have more time later, but often, later keeps getting pushed back further and further. As someone amazing said once, “Someday is not a day of the week.” Amen.

Ok, so we’ve got the kitchen counter tops down, but what about the rest of the house? Is the clutter taking over and causing you to think “It would just be easier to move to a yurt.” The problem is, you don’t even know what a yurt is and you love your home, so let’s find a better way. Sign up below to join The Mother Like a Boss Vault and gain free access to home management printables, worksheets, mini courses, audio lessons and more! This vault is your key to all things #homemakerish and it’s totally free.

Organizing Tips for Busy Moms

Mother Image/ Getty Images

Challenge #1-2

With three kids, ages 2, 6, and 8, stay-at-home mom Daniela Rinard rarely reached the end of her to-do list. “The housework never seems to get finished, and I feel as if I spend half my day chauffeuring kids around,” said Daniela, who lives in Walnut Creek, California. “The baby’s naps are constantly interrupted, and I barely have any time alone with my husband. If only I were a little better organized, my life would be a lot less hectic.”

To help Daniela achieve that goal, Parents called in time-management expert Ronni Eisenberg, author of Organize Your Home!: Simple Routines for Managing Your Household. Eisenberg asked this busy mom to keep a detailed diary of exactly how she used her time. At the end of two weeks, the expert reviewed the logs, identified the top time-management challenges, and offered suggestions on how Daniela could become more efficient.

Stop racing around.

The problem: Daniela’s days are a whirlwind of activity. She drives her older girls to school each morning, then picks up one at 11:30 a.m. and the other at 2:35 p.m. After school, she chauffeurs them to gymnastics, piano lessons, or sports, and usually races out to the store to buy one thing or another. As a result, baby Ava isn’t napping regularly and is often cranky by late afternoon. Getting the girls to do homework is a hassle.

The solution: Eisenberg advised Daniela to reduce her car time. She urged Daniela to set up car pools for school and activities. She told Daniela to limit her carpooling to one or two days, and to arrange for someone to watch Ava on those days so she could stick to her naps.

To help Daniela feel more in control, Eisenberg also recommended keeping track of activities on a calendar — as well as establishing an after-school routine. “The girls need to get into the habit of coming home, having a snack, and doing their homework right away,” Eisenberg said.

To cut down on errand time, Eisenberg suggested maintaining a computerized checklist of groceries and other necessities, and keeping a printout handy. “That way, she can mark off things she needs, and she can take the list with her when she goes shopping,” Eisenberg says.

Streamline housework.

The problem: Daniela spends four and a half hours a week cleaning, but she complains that the house is mess. “I hate housework, so I think of every excuse not to do it,” she admits.

The solution: The first thing Eisenberg noticed about Daniela’s diary was how often phone calls interrupted her chores. Eisenberg suggested that Daniela let the voice mail pick up calls while she cleans, to help her maintain momentum. To make daily tasks go more quickly, Eisenberg advised Daniela to use comforters instead of blankets (to make beds more quickly) and keep cleanser and sponges in each bathroom (to do quick scrubdowns). She also recommended organizing the house better so cleaning up wouldn’t seem like such a monumental task. To get rid of kitchen clutter, for example, Eisenberg told Daniela to clear counters of anything she doesn’t use at least once a day. Daniela should also clear out drawers and closets of outgrown clothing. “But don’t do everything at once,” Eisenberg said. “Break down the work into a task or a time frame. For instance, Daniela should say, “I’ll clean one closet every week until I’m done.'”

Challenge #3-4

Reduce kitchen chaos.

The problem: Daniela usually doesn’t start thinking about dinner until 5:30 or 6 p.m. “I never know what to serve, and often I don’t have the ingredients I need,” she says. As a result, the family frequently doesn’t eat until 7 or later. Daniela also complains that she feels as if she’s in the kitchen all the time, either preparing the meals or cleaning them up.

The solution: Eisenberg suggested that Daniela make a weekly meal plan every Sunday and check off the ingredients she needs on her grocery list. To ensure that evenings feel more leisurely, Eisenberg recommended that the family always eat at 6 p.m., as soon as Daniela’s husband, Dave, gets home from work.

Daniela should also use her kitchen time more efficiently. “Instead of spending 20 minutes here and there, she should stay in the kitchen for longer periods,” Eisenberg suggested. In other words, rather than leaving the kitchen after a meal and coming back later to clean up, Daniela should prepare meals, serve them, and do the dishes right way.

It also would help to consolidate food prep — chop enough vegetables for salad one night and stir-fry the next, or double recipes and freeze a meal for later in the week. Daniela should also let the girls prepare their school lunches while she gets dinner ready. “I’m amazed at the difference these changes have made,” Daniela said after implementing the suggestions.

Find time to unwind.

The problem: In Daniela’s two-week diary, the girls hit their targeted 8 p.m. bedtime only twice. Often it is almost 9 p.m. by the time lights are out, giving Daniela only 15 minutes alone with Dave at night.

The solution: Eisenberg told Daniela to maintain strict bedtimes: Dave should put the baby down at 7:30, and the older girls should have the lights out by 8:15, no exceptions. Fortunately, the earlier dinner hour and the new homework routine made this doable. “Evenings don’t feel so rushed now,” Daniela said.

The family is still working on implementing some of Eisenberg’s advice. (The most difficult challenge has been arranging car pools.) But even by incorporating just a few of the suggestions into the family routine, Daniela feels that things are under control. “It’s amazing: Getting things even a little organized makes you want to get even more organized!”

Copyright © 2003 Christine Larson. Reprinted with permission from the November 2003 issue of Parents magazine.

  • By Christine Larson

Parents Magazine

6:45  Wake Up

MY LATEST VIDEOS

Daily Schedule of a Stay at Home Mom

Before I start, I wanted to let you know that I send out tips about once a week via e-mail. You can sign up here if you’d like to receive them, too.

One of the questions that I get MOST often is “What is the daily schedule of a stay at home mom?”

Here is my daily Stay at Home Mom Schedule:

I wake up for the day around 6:45 (during the week, but weekends are a little later. 🙂 ). Yes, I should get up earlier and some days I do. I really feel so much better when I get up 30 minutes before the kids, but I find myself tip-toeing around the house, trying not to make a sound, so it’s just not worth it to me.)

On the days that I don’t wake up early, I’m up with the kids. (Our kids are not allowed to get out of bed until 7:00… If your kids are waking up too early, try doing this.) We started this when they were young because I didn’t want them to be walking around the house without my knowledge (safety reasons).

6:45: I make my bed before I leave my bedroom (before I even get dressed for the day). This has been a habit of mine and I promise you it just helps you to feel better & more “put together” the minute that you wake up. I get ready for the day before I go downstairs. PS- This is when I turn the shower water on to heat up.

6:50 Throw a load of laundry into the washing machine. A load a day keeps the chaos away. I do this every morning. It forces you to finish it later. 🙂 LOL!

6:55– QUICK shower (less than 5 min. I don’t wash my hair in the mornings.) Get dressed, do my makeup & brush my hair (Takes about 10 min. for this).
I’m downstairs by about 7:15 and immediately unload the dishwasher. (We usually have to do it twice a day, so I do the mornings & the kids do the afternoon).

Once the dishwasher is empty, I make breakfast for the kids (usually Pepperoni & eggs or oatmeal – those are the favorites in our house) If someone isn’t hungry, I’ll at least have them drink a Carnation Instant Breakfast before heading off, but that’s rare. Usually, they do pretty good about eating breakfast.

If the kids aren’t up by 7:30, we wake them up.

Now we just rush around & get ready for the day: breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, hair fixed, backpacks ready to go). I have to be ready before this begins or we would never get out of the house on time.
If they finish early and have time to spare, they can watch TV until it’s time to leave the house (Use this chart as a reference).

8:20 Older Kids Leave For School

We used to have them ride the bus, but now we take them to school, which is about 2 minutes (no exaggeration) from our house. Either way is fine with me because it’s so close.

8:40 Younger kids to school

Once I have finished the school drop-off, I try to work out for 45 minutes and then come home to get some work done, clean, or use this time to run errands- like a trip to the grocery store.
Tip- I try to order my groceries online to Walmart or Harris Teeter so I can just swing by & pick them up in the morning.

10:30: Make Dinner (yes, really)

This sounds crazy, but if you can make dinner now, it works out to your benefit. I can’t tell you how much it helps when that 5:00 time rolls around and I can say “Oh- yep… it’s in the crockpot.” Or “Tossing the casserole into the oven now”, instead of “Oh no! What should I make tonight? What’s thawed? Oh man- nothing. Who wants chicken nuggets?” 🙂
Once dinner is prepped, I check e-mails, FB, etc… during this time.

11:00: One morning a week, I try to volunteer in our kids’ classrooms. I taught at the school where they go to school, so it’s a joy to go back and see my old co-workers while I’m meeting my children’s friends & getting to see what our kids are doing. We have four kids so I’ll try to rotate which class I’m in each week. I also try to limit the time to an hour or two, because of preschool pickup time at noon. (Preschool is about two minutes from the elementary school.)

On days when we don’t have preschool:

We still do what we need to do – run errands, etc…
If we can, we will just stay at home and play! I am a play therapist and I was a teacher before I had our kids, so I completely understand the importance of playing and working with our young children. It makes a world of difference. I also know how important it is to teach them to entertain themselves, so she will go to her room for an hour at a time and just play with her toys while I get things done (clean, fold laundry, prepare dinner). I don’t have to say anything except “Go ahead and play for a little bit and then we’ll ____ later” (bake cookies, go on a walk, swing on the swings…) and she runs off to play with her princesses or dolls.

12:00 Pick Up Time

Once preschool is over, we have lunch at home and just play & have free-time for the afternoon. This is more free play since preschool just needed. I usually allow ONE 30-minute show after preschool. (Wild Kratts, Curious George and Peppa Pig are favorites for our younger kids) then I just say “no more electronics” and that’s that… off to find toys or draw or paint. This is when I get some housework done, make calls, schedule appointments, etc…

Allie, our youngest, will help me with little things like matching socks or dusting with my thieves spray… although most days I’ll find her having a tea party with her dolls. She has always loved playing with her toys.

3:30 Kids Home From School

We have a snack (all 4 kids have one).
Snack tip: Have fresh fruit & veggies cut & on the table when they walk in the door. They will eat them because they will be so hungry from a long day at school. I allow ONE 30-minute show after school, to let the kids decompress a bit.

This is when I check emails, FB messages, etc… It’s 30 minutes, so enough time to do these things and not get sidetracked.

4:00: Homework

We work on sight words, math, reading and writing. If they don’t have homework, they just read for 20 minutes. I was a teacher & 20 minutes a night will help your kids SO MUCH.
As soon as they finish their homework, they can play before dinner (if they have time)

4:30 – 5:30 Dinner (4:30 if practice, 5:30 if nothing)

I am a big fan of easy dinners. I pin every meal that I make here. They are usually simple things like casseroles, crock-pot meals, pasta meals or baked chicken. After dinner, the kids help Mickey and I clean up the kitchen. Everyone does their part and takes their things to the dishwasher. No one leaves the kitchen until it is cleaned up and back to normal.
After dinner, I run the dishwasher. The kids will unload it an hour later.

Practice…

Sports practice usually happens after dinner, so if only a few of our kids have practice, they go with Mickey (he is an assistant coach for all of our kid’s teams) while I get the little ones ready for bed and start their reading.

Some nights, we have baseball & football on the same night, so we just divide & conquer. If it’s wrestling or lacrosse, the three boys all go together and I keep our daughter home. If it’s her dance night, they all come with me because it’s at 4:00. Just depends on the season & the sport. 🙂

7:00-8:00 Bedtime

Bedtime routine: We have a snack, then head up for bath time. Our kids get a bath or shower (almost) every night- it’s part of their routine. After bath time, I send each of the kids to their rooms to play or read until I come in. One at a time, I go into their rooms to tell them goodnight:
I spend about 20 minutes in each child’s room at night. I start with the youngest child because the older kids can be up later and should be reading longer. When I go in, I read one book (or they read one to me), we read the Bible or a devotional and talk about it. We pray. We talk about our days. Then, I sing them a song, kiss them goodnight and go to the next room. They no longer come out of their rooms (we dealt with this already)

While I’m with one of our kids, Mickey is with another, until we’ve each seen all four kids.

I put our younger kids to bed at 7:00. Once our kids turn 9, I move their bedtime to 8:00, but no later, unless it’s a night of sports. You can read that post here: Why I put my kids to bed at 7.

If it is a night of sports practice, our younger kids will be in bed before the older kids get home. Our older boys get home shortly after and I give them a snack (cereal, oatmeal, smoothie) and send them up for a shower and they can read in their rooms for 20 minutes until I come to tuck them in.

8:30: My Time (housework, online time, watching a movie, reading)

“Us” Time (work, clean, relax).

I will clean up the downstairs, whatever is leftover from the day (the kids help throughout the day). Mickey usually does some yard work or folds laundry. We watch TV during this time (sometimes we’ll play a game). I use this time, at night, to catch up on blogging.

Ps- Interested in blogging? You can learn how to start on here.

We get everything ready for the next day. Then, I get a (long) bath, read a book or magazine & Mickey usually watches TV. before we go to bed. (I even lay out my own outfit & the kid’s outfits every night before bed because it makes the mornings less stressful).

On that note- I’m sure I’ve left out a ton, but it’s enough to give you a good idea. 🙂

11:00 pm – 12:00 am – Bedtime (and I’d like to say I go right to bed, but I usually read for 20 minutes or watch TV) 😉

This first clock is great! It will change colors when it is time for your kids to wake up in the morning.

I use my Catch All Planner every day: It has pages for menus, school, weekly planner, sports, meal plans, homework, budget planning, daily schedules, shopping lists & more…
You just download it, print it & get started… right now. No need to wait for it.
Here is an example of the cleaning section… It has this for EVERY section.
You’ll be so organized, trust me! 🙂

SAVING TIME TIPS to make life easier:

  • Don’t Iron – Yep, I never iron. I use wrinkle release spray for everything. It takes too much time to iron and I hate having to have the iron out, waiting for it to cool. I like to keep it put away and off of my bathroom or laundry room countertops. If my husband wants something ironed, he does it (not because I don’t offer- he has just been ironing his own clothes since college, so he has kept on doing this himself) – fine by me.
  • Getting the kids involved in doing chores (age-appropriate chores)
  • Prepare the kids for school the night before (here is a post about getting the kids ready quicker in the morning)
  • Do more online. I do a lot online now… emails, birthday party invitations, banking, even grocery shopping (I order a lot of my groceries to our local grocery store and I can drive up and have them delivered to our car with their pick-up line.).
  • Don’t get online when I am cleaning! If I have chores to do, I have to stay offline and keep the TV off or I will only get 25% of my things accomplished. This one is huge.
  • Stick to my schedule. Every day. This is really important. Kids need this as much as I do- I realized this during my first month of teaching. Kids need a routine. It makes the whole day flow nicely.
  • I have a course that I run called Whole House DeClutter Course and it gives you daily tasks to have your house be clutter free. Thousands of moms have taken the course with me and have come back with stories of success & emotional healing (because clutter is actually linked to depression).
  • Make crock-pot meals to free up time (like this french dip sandwich recipe!)
    .
    .
    .
  • MORE POSTS YOU MIGHT LIKE:
    If you are getting ready to potty train, my potty training tips walk you through just how to do it (with a schedule to keep you on top of it.) We don’t want potty training to take up all of your time for weeks on end… do it all in one weekend.

3.6Kshares

  • 282
  • 3.3K

A Stay-at-Home Mom’s Survival Guide for My Fellow SAHMs

Photo: Frantisek_Krejci

Being a stay-at-home mom is anything but easy! Heck, being a mom in general is tough—but I have come to learn a lot since becoming a mother.

I am a stay-at-home mom to my fifteen-month-old son. I have grown to love staying at home with him but believe me, there were days that I wanted to go back to work and have my mother or a nanny take care of my son while I worked.

When my son was only a few months old, he was easy to take care of. I could leave him in his bassinet and he would stay there at least for an hour while I got things done. Once he became more active and mobile is when I was constantly after him making sure he wouldn’t get hurt or get into anything he wasn’t supposed to. He also became more fussy and demanding while I got impatient and frustrated at times.

I know I don’t have a lot of experience yet as a mother but from the experience I do have, I have come up with some tips on how to stay sane and actually enjoy being a stay-at-home mom. Learning from mistakes I made in the past, I’ve developed new habits and made some changes that have helped me become a more patient, loving and attentive parent.

Here are my 10 tips and tricks I’ve learned and applied to my daily life to help me stay sane as a stay-at-home mom.

1. Staying Organized

Motherhood is already messy and it can become messier when we don’t have structure and organization in our daily lives. I remember waking up next to my son after his morning nap looking at the time and feeling like I wasted the morning sleeping or just scrolling through my feed on Instagram. I was tired of the cycle of feeling like I was wasting time and not getting much done.

I finally decided to start planning out my day. I got myself a nifty little planner and wrote out the activities for the day. I loved it! I loved having my planner there to remind me of what was next. Now I’m not saying it all goes as planned because life with children is so unpredictable sometimes but for the most part, I followed through with my planner and had a set time for each activity. I even made it a goal to exercise daily and I find myself feeling great and very productive!

2. Wake Up Early

I know this one may be a tough task to accomplish especially if your little one still wakes up at night, but making an effort to wake up a little earlier than your spouse and baby gives you time to yourself to catch up on reading, drink your coffee (while its still hot), workout or whatever you want to do.

I like waking up an hour before my son wakes up. I have my cup of coffee while I read The Word. This sets the tone for the rest of the day. I enjoy listening to worship music while reading The Bible and having some quiet time before the chaos begins.

3. Exercise

Did you know that when you exercise your body releases endorphins that make you feel good? Yep. I experience that every time I workout. Since the beginning of 2018, I have made it a goal to exercise at least four times a week. Not only am I getting back in shape but I feel more energized and happy because I know that I did something good for myself.

Getting that workout in each day is like having “me time” even if it is only for thirty minutes. I can assure you that getting some exercise each day will elevate your mood.

4. Take a Break

You are not weak if you ask the grandparents or a babysitter to watch the kids for a few hours while you go get a pedicure, run some errands or do some shopping. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. We all need help sometimes!

Taking a short break even if it’s for two hours will help you relax, take a breather and relieve some stress. Parenting comes with many challenges and we can’t always face those challenges on our own. I’m so thankful for grandparents because they are always willing to babysit for occasional date nights or whatever need may arise.

5. Keep a Journal

Writing has always been something I have loved to do! I have many journals filled with thoughts, dreams, prayers and revelations The Lord has given me. What I can’t express verbally, I do it in writing and I find that it brings me some relief writing my thoughts down. If you had a tough day, write it down. Years later you can look back on those hard times and be thankful that they were only for a season. I like writing letters to God because He alone gives us the strength we need to live each day. Journal what’s important to you.

6. Find a Hobby

I took it upon myself to start learning how to play the guitar this year. My husband plays, I sing and I have always wanted to raise a family where we are musically inclined and talented. While my toddler is busy playing or is entertained, I practice at least thirty to forty minutes a day.

I have already learned some chords and am excited to continue learning. Not only is it fun, but learning something new makes you feel productive and just great overall.

7. Spend Time With Other Moms

Spending time with other moms is another way to relieve some stress the day may bring. Go grab some coffee with a friend and just chat and catch up. When mothers unite, we can encourage each other when we face certain challenges.

We have common ground and an understanding of what it is like being a parent. Now I’m not saying to go to someone just to vent or complain but to genuinely build strong friendships with other women will really help you in the journey of motherhood.

8. Get Out of the House

It can get tiring for mom and baby to always be at home. There will always be things to do around the house: there will always be dishes to wash, laundry to do, trash to take out, crumbs to sweep off the floor, etc.

I like going for a walk with my son when the weather is nice. We get some sunshine and fresh air and enjoy being out of the house. Taking the kids to the park will also give you a little break from housework. Not to mention, they will get worn out doing all that running and playing which might result in a nap once you get home.

9. Get Ready

I have always struggled to get ready even when my son was a few months old. I was either too lazy or the moment I attempted to get ready, my baby would cry for my attention. Some days I lived in my pajamas but I also felt extremely unproductive when I didn’t make an effort to get ready.

I try my best to get ready every day after my workout now. Even if I only apply a little makeup and get dressed, I feel put together and ready for the day. Plus, if you have to go somewhere all of the sudden, you will be ready to head out the door.

Yes, I understand that it is hard and I even found myself applying mascara while holding my baby at times (whatever works for you). Now that he is a toddler, I let him cry for a bit because sometimes there is just no way around it.

10. Count Your Blessings

Sometimes, we can fall prey to whining and complain when our children are fussy or when they throw a temper tantrum or make a huge mess. Sometimes our emotions will match our child’s emotions but it shouldn’t be that way.

In moments when you feel like you have it hard and that no one understands you, remember that there are so many mothers out there that wish they could stay home and raise their children, but can’t. It’s going to be hard and frustrating but it is a blessing to be a stay-at-home mom because you are raising your child the way that you want.

You do not have to worry about what your kids are learning and picking up if other people take care of them. You have the opportunity to mold your child and watch all of their milestones when you stay at home with them. Remember to try and have a grateful heart.