Do you long for an organized, Zen-like living space -- one that doesn't require that you to wade through piles of toys and navigate landmine-like floors where hidden sharp objects like jacks and action figures constantly prick the bottoms of your soles? Well, you're not alone, as most mothers find themselves in this very unenviable position and will readily attest to the fact that their organizational skills leave much to be desired.
If you're ready to wow others with your organization skills and create some semblance of order in your home keep reading for some relatively pain-free ways to get it all done.
Create a command center for your papers
According to Ellen R. Delap, CPO of Professional-Organizer.com, moms should create a command center that holds all their important papers like bills and other papers requiring an action. Each day moms can open their mail at this station, recycle junk mail, shred potential identity theft papers and bring catalogs and magazines to a reading spot. By creating a specific work station for these papers, moms will be ready to act on them with an hour of weekly administrative time and be on their way to getting organized.
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Make a place for everything
"Often clutter is the result of items needing a specific home or space," says Ms. Delap, who suggests that moms designate that space by deciding where the item is used most often and make a concerted effort to place it back each and every time. By designating a space, you are also setting a limit to the quantity of the item you can own.
For example, all clothes must fit in the master bedroom closet or all laundry products fit on the shelves above the washer. Ultimately, defining a place for everything helps you save yourself the stress of looking for items and helps maintain order and organization in their home.
Get a portable calendar
Having a calendar, whether it be paper or electronic, is the single most important tool moms can use to manage their time, says Ms. Delap. The calendar should be portable and the format should be a week- or month-at-a-glance. Moms should use their calendar regularly, and record everything from doctor appointments to work meetings and coffee breaks and review it daily. Keeping everything in one handy-to-reach place will help you stay organized rather than overwhelmed.
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Keep a spiral-bound book next to your phone
According to Cristin Frank of Frankhaus, CarryCargot.com, having a book that holds a pencil in the binding promotes prompt follow-ups, verbal thank yous and updates. Not only is it courteous, but it will keep moms organized and in control, and will save them from having a smattering of Post-its with random telephone numbers cluttering their refrigerator door!
Carry a "magic" bag
You know the mom who always has a bandage or tissue? Stephanie Vozza, founder of TheOrganizedParent.com says it's easy to be that mom.
Vozza suggests creating a car bag where you keep things like a first aid kit with children's pain reliever, tissue, a pad of paper, pencil, snacks, bottled water, lip balm, all-purpose wipes, antibacterial gel, safety pins, stain remover, a calendar and whatever else you might need. Moms can also branch out and create magic bags to streamline other activities as well, such as dining out, visiting friends or grocery shopping.
More ways to get organized
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Simple ways to organize the homework area | Real Moms guide
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