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6 Secrets of organized moms

Sarah Walker Caron is an award winning journalist, freelance writer and editor. She lives a happy life in Maine with her two children, where they love to hike, visit the beaches and have lots of silly fun. Check out her food blog at Sara...

Streamline your family life

The air is getting warmer. The daffodils are in bloom. It all can mean only one thing: Spring cleaning! Don't forget to give your family life a dusting off this spring, too. These tips and tricks of organized moms will help your streamline your family life.

Streamline your family life

Sometimes it can all seem like too much. You are pulled in 20 directions -- and so are your family members. It can be a maddening, hair-raising experience.

Is your family life out of control? Regain your balance (and your sanity!) with a spring-cleaning makeover of your family's life. These tips and tricks will help you whittle down the stress so that you are living a steamlined, happy life together.

1Give everything a home

One secret of successfully streamlined families (think the Duggars, for instance), is that they all know where things go. In other words, for every object is a specific place where it should go when not in use. A home, if you will. This way when it comes time to use that item, or take it somewhere, you know right where it is.

Don't have enough space? Create extra storage space using inexpensive shelving in your laundry room, mudroom or spare closet.

Solution: Try ClosetMaid's ShelfTrack shelves. They are easy to install and you can designate an area for each family member (assign everyone a shelf or pick up some fabric drawers and have one for each person.

2Keep a central calendar

Tired of trying (unsuccessfully) to remember every appointment, practice, game and meeting? Then you need a central calendar -- something that everyone can look at and see what's going on when.

"To give your family life and family schedule a spring-cleaning, I recommend a master family dry-erase calendar, centrally located in the kitchen or mudroom for easy access," advises Jordana Turcotte of Simply You. "Every family member gets a different color so each person's activities are easily pinpointed."

Also, consider taking that calendar mobile with an online calendar or a smart-phone calendar. Check out Google Calendar, which can be shared between family members and also synced to some smart phones.

3Have a weekly family meeting

So, how do you know what to put on that calendar? Hold a weekly family meeting to find out what everyone needs and where they need to be when. "A family meeting of just 10 minutes every Sunday night to review the upcoming week will put everyone on the same page and work out any conflicts that may be in the schedule prior to getting to it," says Turcotte. " Tough decisions and prioritizing may need to take place, but everyone will be part of that decision."

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