Organizing Tips for Moms from Moms
I joke that some days half of what I do is pick up hair ties. Or crayons. Or whatever the current favorite toy of the day is. As Moms (especially if you’re a stay at home mom), our lives have a lot of repetition…dishes, laundry, diapers, naps, pick up toys, make meals, etc.
On the one hand, this can be discouraging because it feels like we get hardly anything done- we’re busy all day and at the end of the day the house is still somehow a mess. But on the other hand, it does mean it can be easier to get organized because you can create routines and systems for the things that you do over and over!
However, while it’s theoretically easier to get organized because of the routines, it’s equally easy (or probably easier, honestly) to get in a rut and feel stuck. But that’s where our Mom friends can come to the rescue! Listening to what others do can help us to think creatively (read: steal their ideas) and come up with solutions for our own homes.
Toward that end, I asked my readers for their best tips and tricks and hacks for staying organized as Moms, and here’s what you all said!
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Without Further Ado…The Top Organizing Tips for Moms!
“Use that magical sort of quiet time in the morning to not only make breakfast, but lunch as well really helps! That way if you are playing outside or on an outing you can come home and have lunch ready to go. Kids are hungry (and sometimes demanding!) at lunchtime.” ~Jessie
“Trash bag hanging in the garage for easy and quick clean up after every car ride! Less mess inside is always a plus!” ~Rachel L
“Keep your kitchen counter clutter-free! Find an easily accessible drawer or cabinet and store baby/toddler items in there (bottles, cups/bowls, silverware, etc.). Take advantage of all the storage tools out there and find places to tuck those items out of sight. Clean counter = clean(er) kitchen = less stressed mama.” ~Meredith
“Find a system or support group you like. I personally have liked FlyLady.” ~Lindsay
“A bag for everything- swimming, soccer, library, music lessons, church, school, waiting fun (coloring books, little cars, playdough)!” ~Lisa
“Make systems your kids (and husband!) can follow! We have shoes and socks in cubbies by the door for everyone to keep track of. We also put picture labels on kids bins so they know what goes where and how they can put things back (ages 3 and 5).” ~Brittni
“Pre-packing bags for common locations. My regular diaper bag is ready with the basics for church or the grocery store. I have a pool bag that’s got everything for the baby, plus my water sling, sunscreen, sunglasses, towels, and sunhats.
Library bag is a sturdy book bag with a few diapers and wipes for the baby. Outdoor playdate bag has chalk, toy trucks, bubble wands, more diapers and wipes, and a blanket for baby to lay on. I try to re-pack things that get used (diapers, towels, etc) when I get home so that each bag is always ready for the next adventure!
The only other area of my life that’s organized is meal planning. I have an awesome app (Paprika) that stores all my recipes. I use it to plan dinners for the week, then use the handy grocery feature to create my list, just un-checking items we already have on hand.
It automatically sorts the groceries by category which makes shopping much more efficient. And having dinner always planned saves me a lot of stress! I try to plan around the week’s activities, too. Long play date planned? Crockpot meal I can throw in while cleaning up breakfast. Early evening activity? Something quick to eat with minimal clean-up (like hubby grilling out ????). Day around the house? Try out a new or more complicated recipe. ” ~Becca
“If you have stairs, I keep a basket at the bottom of the stairs for odds and ends that have to be put away upstairs. Then once a week I empty it.” ~Ceci
“Using a laundry sorter! I find this makes the chore of laundry so much easier. I have one of those sorting bins that separates out by 3. Also, having a laundry bin for towels helps a lot!” ~AshleyGivens.com
“We have four people in our house and five laundry baskets. The kids have one, my husband and I each have one, there is one for linens, and a small one for… SOCKS! Yes, socks, which we pin together. I’m not 100% on point with this, but when I am laundry runs so smooth. No sorting needed, really. Each basket gets washed/dried and goes back to the same place. Magic, I tell you.
Also note: they are lined under our bedroom window. I had to give up my ideas/desires to have a magazine-worthy home when I had children. It was a slow realization but eventually I learned functional is best in this season.” ~Rachel S
“1) Getting out of the door in the morning is a lot easier when you just bite the bullet and prep the night before. I take 15mins each night after dinner to pack the diaper bag, another bag for any extras (swim stuff, picnic gear, depending on our adventure) and set out clothes (for you too, mom). You can tape a packing essentials list above the diaper bag if it helps you or another caregiver remember what needs to get packed.
Then in the morning you only have to worry about changing that last minute poopy diaper before you head out the door. And remember, if you forget something from your diaper bag, chances are another mom will help you out. That is how we build some of the best bonds- forgetting crap and rescuing each other.
2) Online ordering! Can I get an Amen! You’ve probably already met my good friend Prime but in case you haven’t met, let me introduce you to Lowes Foods to Go (or insert your grocery store of choice).
Imagine grocery shopping from the comfort of your own house in your pjs and then have the store do your shopping and deliver it to you at your car (or another caregivers) whenever you are ready. I call this controlled outsourcing.
You can cart things throughout the week and check your pantry as you shop. Does it cost money for this service. Yes. Buuuut-there’s no impulse shopping. And you can compare prices without a small child making you do math while they sing to the gods. So at least for us, I could argue that it saves us money.
But more importantly, it saves us time and also sanity. The “pickers” are better at picking out produce than you; also they don’t want you to return it or most store policies require they replace it and then give you your money back.
You can add coupons online and still hand them any extra physical coupons. There are periodic free samples. You can preset what substitutions you would allow online or have them call you. I could go on but I won’t. Somehow we always catch Lowes’ annual “Foods to Go” promotion so we pay $50/year for this luxury. ” ~Katherine
(Note from Mama Shark: my grocery delivery service of choice is Instacart- use my link to get $10 off your first order!)
“I have consistently made lists which has evolved into journaling. So many options. I journal to do lists, habit tracker, meal plan ideas, birthdays, special dates, grocery lists, birthday party plans… basically anything I need to remember. It’s all in one book and hand written.
I like the idea of hand written because maybe my kids will look through my journals one day and see these plans, prayers, gratitude lists… I just bought a “Happy Planner” which you can design to do all these things. But I’ve had all this in a plain bullet journal organized by months, which I label with a sticky tab.
Clothes…when the kids were little, I had two color plastic bins. One color (red) for girls and another color (blue) for boys. They were organized by sizes. 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months…. I rotated and pulled them out as needed.
Chores… I love “Managers of their Homes” she also has a “Managers of their Chores, School...” It’s a pretty rigid plan and each kid has plastic chore packs they wear. These were wonderful when my kids were little.
Non readers had pictures on their cards and readers had words. Really really awesome. This evolved into one chore chart that hung up and they would check off their chore. Now we just have a list with all the chores.
Lastly, my favorite and most recent of this year is a BIG calendar. I make it each month. I draw it out on a poster board. This has important dates we all need to know and meals listed out. This has saved me from getting asked many times a day, ‘what’s for dinner?'” ~Heather
“We have a bin for kid shoes by the door. We are not a shoes off at the door family….but for kids it makes finding shoes soooo much easier!! It also forces me to keep the shoes relevant (size and season) and not be excessive with shoes.
We have sneakers, Keens, rain boots, white sandals for church in summer and brown boots for church in winter and right now we’ve ended up with a pair of crocs each which means the bin is getting rather full. We occasionally have a pair or two that falls outside of that list but usually those aren’t kept in the bin because they aren’t worn very regularly.” ~Carrie
Plus a few of my own organization tips…
I love these tips from you all. I’m definitely going to be trying them out! Here’s a few more I’ll add as well:
- I use 13″ fabric bins in cube storage (I love the wire ones, personally) for storage in both of the kids’ rooms as well as their play corner. That means the bins are interchangeable if I need to rotate out toys, etc. I counted and I have about 38 of these in my house! I love them!
- Plastic command hooks in the shower for bathing suits and other wet things. We even hang our baby bathtub on one!
- Shoe bin for a snack container. I divvy up snacks into a shoe rack that hangs on the outside of our pantry. Snacks for the grown-ups are up higher and snacks for the preschoolers are down lower. She has to ask before getting one, but it really comes in handy when she’s begging for something while I’m trying to put the baby down for a nap, etc. I also pre-portion out snacks I can grab and go when we’re heading to the park/pool/etc.
Organizing Tips and Tricks for Moms
I’m always looking for more tips and tricks to try as I get more organized as a mom. If you have a tip we didn’t list here, please comment below and let us know about it!
If you liked these tips, be sure and check out these resources for more organizing tips for moms!
- My favorite list of how to Simplify Your Life as a Mom!
- The 30 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge for getting the whole house organized!
- Organize your meal planning (on a budget!) with this step-by-step guide!
- Mama Shark’s guide on How to Organize your Family Chores (plus a great free resource!)
- The 5 Days to a Decluttered Mom Brain Challenge for clearing up your mental space and making sense of your to-do list- throw your email in the box below to get started!