Between work appointments, doctor visits, teacher conferences, sports practice and family time, it’s no wonder moms feel overwhelmed. Here are tips to help you curb that frantic feeling and organize your busy week.
Moms with a PDA (personal digital assistant) should take advantage of the various free applications available today. Intuition: Mom’s Personal Assistant by IconApps, Inc is a perfect start.
“To make sure your e-bills and e-statements don’t get lost or overlooked among your personal e-mails, simply set up a separate e-mail account to receive them. It’s a quick and easy way to be eco-friendly and keep financial matters separate from your personal life,” suggests Robert Laura, personal finance expert and owner of efinanicalorganizer.com.
While technology is convenient, nothing beats the traditional pen and paper. Keep sticky posts in your car, purse and even on your bedside table for reminders and jotting down important information.
Get the family involved
Assigning chores and raising expectations can get the entire family into a good routine. Gail Gray, owner of Fresh Start Professional Organizing and mother of two boys, reminds moms: “A CEO delegates work and so should you.”
Have a family organizer
“Keep a household notebook with all the important information in it. Things like phone numbers, instructions and scheduling in one location is vital to keep the house under control,” recommends Gray.
Prepare for the next day
Stephanie Lee, The Tsunami Mommy, makes her coffee the night before, does prep work for breakfast and has a weekly check-in with her husband to make sure they’re on the same page for the week ahead. Zele Avradopoulos, owner at ZOrganize, encourages moms to involve the children in clean up before dinner or bed time to start the following day fresh.
Make use of waiting time
Find yourself on the train or car pool line? Deborah Kinney, CPO Certified Professional Organizer says to put that time to use, “Organize a special tote for yourself that holds your ‘while waiting to dos’.” Tasks can include returning phone calls, paying bills and scheduling appointments.
Moms can save time in the kitchen, too, Kinney points out, “Cook a one-pot meal (chili, hearty soup) and roast something. Our mothers in the ’50s knew the value of roast once, serve twice. This will give you at least two dinners ready for the work week. Making a double batch and freezing half gets you even further.”
Color-code the family
Kinney says assigning each child a color can make life much easier when trying to get out the door or planning for the next day. “You always know whose is whose,” she says. Are the kids too old for colors? Simply labeling items with names works well, too.
Organize the car
As much time as moms spend in the car, it’s silly not to have a car system. Put the glove compartment to use by keeping a pencil bag filled with pens, band aids, lip gloss and even a few dollars in cash. And don’t forget to systematize the kids. Shelly Walker, a busy mother shares her secret, “I keep a lidded container in the back of the car that’s only for my child’s stuff.” Kinney agrees with car organization and suggests moms keep a small “just in case” bag in the car. Articles can include a change of clothes, sunscreen, snacks and even pajamas in case a spontaneous invitation pops up. “Then your child can say yes without you racing for home.”